365 Killer, Sure Fire, Down – and – Dirty Marketing Strategies; Tactics For Indy Publishers and Comic Shop Owners…PART 21
What are Virtual interns and PR representatives, and how can they benefit you? Well I’m glad you asked. This is an idea that can take your brand awareness from local to global in a matter of Months, weeks, or even days if you have the drive to get it started with a few simple steps.
No doubt many of you are familiar with the term or concept of a fellowship or internship. Traditional internships require the intern to work at the physical place of business, however, we are no longer living in a traditional world and this requires non traditional methods to leverage your time, product, power, and brand. The world has gone virtual and viral to hell in a hand basket in the last decade, and this is the future… like it or not. You as a company have two choices, you can either get on board or you can become extinct (harsh, I know…but thems the breaks).
As a Marketer and salesman I have to constantly research, discover, uncover, or create marketing ideas and concepts…one of those concepts are virtual interns of which you are reading at this very moment. Virtual interns can operate anywhere and anytime in the world, which is what you, because this will help push your brand in the locale they inhabit.
Now here are your requirements:
You must have a legal business, license preferably or at least one that a Federal Identification Number. Having a FIN or some legal stance (Be creative) creates more credibility when requesting interns. Remember you may have interns that are high school or college students so their advisors will require some level of legitimacy from you as their employer (remember internships are unpaid, generally). For publishers like yourself you may want to focus on art, film, design, or vocational schools when recruiting interns as they are more apt to want to learn the “ins and outs of publishing.”
How do you recruit these folks? Simple, you have avenues such as face book and twitter to spread the word that you are looking for interns (remember be creative). Recruiting is the easy part, involvement, instruction, and maintaining control virtually is the challenge (I never said it would be easy – just cheap). First, you will have to conduct virtual meetings to set the direction you want each individual intern to complete…use communication tools such as conferencing, Skpe, or live chats to keep in touch with the interns (your new team).
Now, once you have each member squared away as to what you expect, then it’s time to start branding using both virtual and grass roots methods. These methods will be performed by your interns in their unique locales…under your direction and management. Your job is to help create marketing Campaigns, have them focus on individual sections and carry it out (This works easily if you have a little back ground in management and marketing yourself).
Virtual Methods of Influence:
- Have the intern blast your post to any and everyone.
- Have them tweet and share your youtube videos.
- Have them comment on your post (Let them know that it is ok to be honest about their opinions of the post…make sure that you as the manager read all post to understand both the views of your interns and the audience).
Grass Roots Methods of influence:
- Have the interns attend, participate, and pass out your brand (flyers, business cards, comic books, etc…) at local Comic Conventions and gathering that support your fandom. Don’t worry about cost of entrance to having them enter these cons, most conventions will provide free access to media (which each of your interns have now become). Your only cost may be creating biz cards for the interns…and all your brand material you want them to pass out.
- Door to Door visits to comic retailers to hand out your product packages…especially if you are coming out with a new book, this could help get your book in those stores.
- Request that each of them use one aspect of their education to create and implement a unique marketing campaign.
*One Last suggestion, this relates to recognition…it’s always a great idea to reward people that help you achieve your goals… and when it comes to the publishing business, there is no greater honor or award than to be mentioned in print (in your comic book make sure to have a “special thanks” section where you will include your key interns names and even contact details; you never know you may help land them an awesome grade or a great job).
Happy Hunting …!!!!