Below is a post that originally appeared on the Women Catalysts’ blog. This wonderful organization promotes community building through networking and inspirational talks by and for women (but men are more than welcomed and made up half the crowd for the event I attended), with all ticket proceeds benefiting a charity of the speaker’s choice. Ms. Fetterman’s charity was 18 Reasons.
Lisa is giving Madame Ask reader’s $20 off their very own Nomiku! Please use code: WOMENNOMALYSTS
If Lisa Q. Fetterman ever gets bored with building her home use sous vide immersion circulator empire known as Nomiku, she could totally kill it on the stand up comedy circuit! On June 24 she kept it real while keeping the audience in stitches at her talk on the art of hustle for the Women Catalysts’ Speaker Series.
Who knew networking and crowdfunding could be so “dayum” entertaining?! Turns out it %&*$# is and an absolute must if you want to get your idea/company off the ground.
All joking aside, attendees walked away with some extremely valuable tips which I will happily share with you now. If you are not familiar with Lisa’s background, Nomiku has successfully raised over $500,000 twice on Kickstarter, becoming the largest funded food project in their history.
Sounds like something you want to do as well? If you are screaming heck yes like me, then follow this simple plan my friends:
- Give yourself at least 2 months to plan a campaign (beats the PR firm minimum of 3 months prep time). This includes at least a week to write the script and a month to film your video.
- DO NOT go on a crowdsourcing site if you haven’t yet sold a product or service. The best customer is a repeat customer. After all, you’ve already established a relationship where they give you money for a product that is desired.
- Get press coverage by offering an exclusive story (that is how Nomiku got on the front page of Yahoo news).
- Establish relationships with favorite bloggers and offer your product for their use. Word of mouth can go a long way!
- Use social media to build excitement before you launch a campaign. Start sending out reminders a month ahead, follow up every week, then post daily for the final week. You want to get at least 100 people to back your project at the same time to put it on the front page.
- Launch on a Tuesday at 9:00 am EST. No, seriously. Do this if you ever want people to see your campaign!
When it comes to networking, Lisa brought up an extremely valuable point… it’s not just about meeting people but finding those you really connect with and then offering them help. Introduce them to your friends, help with resources, whatever you can do! Only great things can come from it says Fetterman. She ought to know, it got her a trip to the White House, deals worth $$ and ultimately, spots on Zagat and Forbes “30 under 30” lists. (Another tip, get on any “30 under 30 list” you can no matter how local or small time. That’s how the big guys cull people for their lists).
If you are just starting out, she suggests going to every event, talk, party etc. to meet people. Do whatever you have to do, whether it be throwing back a few drinks to drown your nervousness or keeping it together and professional with Spanx! And don’t be afraid of having nothing to talk about… sometimes just listening is the best policy (also a good tool for negotiating according to Lisa).
If you are more established, it pays to think of ways to reach a lot people at once (like giving talks). Especially if you are a busy mother like Lisa. Most especially if you are hilarious and not afraid to be your quirky self! The best preparation for learning to talk to hundreds is to master the art of networking one on one.
No matter what stage in the game you are at, get out there, get connected, be relentless in the face of rejection and get your hustle on!