Category Archives: Marketing

Help Us Win A Contest!

We have entered a PayPal Developer’s Contest. First prize is $50,000 cash and $50,000 credit from PayPal. As you know, startups can ALWAYS use money like this and we need your help to get it.

To win, we need you to vote for our demo in the contest before 11:59 PM Friday night, March 5th. Sounds easy, right? It is.

You need to have a PayPal account to participate. If you don’t have one, click here and you can set one up. Pick Personal. It is fast, easy and free.

Once you have your PayPal account, click here or on the screen shot below to be taken to the contest. The first screen will look like this:

Click on the VOTE NOW link to start. You will be prompted to login to PayPal. Honest, this won’t take very long…

Enter your account name and password and then click Log In. If this is your first visit to the PayPal Developers Network, they will automatically redirect your browser to a screen like this.

Please enter a screen name (usually in the format firstname.lastname), check the Java and Social networking boxes and click Submit. You will then be directed to the contest page (finally!) shown below.

Please enter our contest entry number D1039 in the search box in the top right corner and click Search.

You will see our video demo (entry) into the contest on a screen like this:

Please click on the Vote button in the top left corner and you are done!

Except, of course, if you really want to watch the video. If so, click on the Play icon in the middle of the screen.

Please send us your feedback on our (very short – we were only allowed 2 minutes) demo. We’d love to hear from you.

Thanks for your help!

Vote For Your Favourite FundRazr Website Design

We’re in the process of launching a fantastic FundRazr website so please take 10 seconds to vote on your favourite design

There’s just three options to choose from, click on this link:
Which FundRazr Homepage Website Design Idea do you like best?

We welcome any comments or feedback too! This poll ends tomorrow at 5pm so get your vote in now (these are not final but design concepts we want your opinion one before we pick one to work further on).

Thanks.


How to gain 100 fans in less than 24 hours and change the game

Our small team with huge talent is gearing up to unleash our FundRazr application to the world. We believe FundRazr can change the face of fundraising and fee payments in social networks. This may seem like a bold statement but it’s boldness that changes attitudes, industries and trends. As Steve Jobs, a true visionary of our time, states:

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary”

Since our time is limited and we have much to do in order to change the game here at ConnectionPoint Systems I’ll keep this brief. I was truly touched last week when Daryl and I reached out to our friends to become a fan of FundRazr. We needed just 100 fans of our Facebook application page to allow us to gain the vanity URL that we can use to link to our application in all business dealings. In less than 24 hours the message I sent out to 100 of my friends to take 5 seconds to support us and become a fan had an 85% response rate – that’s huge. Those of you who did this for us are superstars. Daryl and Agathe also had their friends come on board and before we knew it we had over 100 fans and a fancy new URL – www.facebook.com/fundrazr – check it out now if you haven’t already.

This only amplified the power of social networks to me, and the viral nature of it that allows you to share, engage and connect in more ways than one can imagine in no time at all. I think this is summed up perfectly in this rather amazing video `Did you know’.

It manages to encapsulate some incredible facts in less than 5 minutes including  just how much impact technology is having on the world, how dramatically the population is changing and much more. It finishes with the question `So what does this all mean?’

In my personal opinion, this means that everything we think we know and understand today will look entirely different tomorrow, this may seem extreme but seriously watch the video and acknowledge that this also means whatever you think is impossible is in fact truly possible. So continue to think beyond today, beyond the confines of your every day world to imagine the unimaginable. Dare to be different, to change the game and to make positive change in our world. Dare to dream like you did when you were a kid, nobody told you to stop did they?

On a much less grandiose note, let me know if you wish to be part of our closed beta launch, especially if you organise or manage a club, team, group or cause! natalie@fundrazr.com

Leveraging the Monday morning Mocha

leverageToday is important for two reasons.

  1. I had my first coffee infused drink of the year. After 4 hours of Frisbee tryouts yesterday my body is feeling it and the team suggested I have a mocha to provide me with the kick start I need for this  full on week ahead of us.
    This includes a proposal plan for a prospective partner alliance, our first customer sales brochure targeted at the political market to present at the Liberal party conference, and continuing on with the New Ventures BC competition and business plan completion.
  2. The word leverage is totally justifiable! Daryl & I have been accused of overusing the word `leverage’ when we discuss the FundRazr business model. However Eric Ries blog post talked all about leverage in product development. It may be a dirty word in finance right now, as he pointed out, but for us it’s fundamental.

Quoting Eric directly leverage is:` a force that allows startups to build products at parity with much larger companies – cheaper and much faster. It’s a key lean startup concept.
The idea of leverage is simple: for every ounce of effort your product development team puts into your product, find ways to magnify that effort by getting many other people to invest along with you.’

We’re building momentum every week right now and it often seems overwhelming but our small team is definitely up to the task and continue to impress me with the dedication they show to developing a quality product and meet the beta testing deadline.

If only the weather outside wasn’t so gorgeous and tempting right now!

The results are in and the winner is…

From the end of November 2008 through to 1 April 2009 we had 136 wonderful people respond to our online survey. Creating this survey was a long and arduous task, but the results we received and the rich information we collected were definitely worth the time & effort!

So thank you to our friends & family, colleagues and acquaintances,  and whoever else got sent the link and filled in our survey. You have all contributed so much by allowing us to gain insights on your trials and tribulations in managing the collection and payment of team/club fees, fundraising and donations!https://i0.wp.com/skattertech.com/media/2007/09/apple-ipod-touch.jpg

And the lucky winner of an Apple iTouch is Nicole Cozens in the UK.

Congratulations Nicole. I’ll be contacting you about receiving your prize today.

I’ve summarised the key research results below, and one thing is for sure, there is a huge amount of pain, time and effort that goes into managing the financials of teams and groups and not one solution that addresses everyone’s needs adequately. FundRazr aims to be that solution.

Overview:
Respondents are aged between 18-54 with 83% belonging to a club or team and 63% paying fees for themselves and 11% paying for others as well.
The majority (62%) were players/ members of a team/club, followed by captain, organiser & coach respectively (as indicated in piechart).
The most common sports played by respondents included soccer, hockey and ultimate Frisbee and over 20% of those respondents played at least one other sport.

Fee collection:

  • Fees paid by respondents include an individual fee (71%) & team/club fee portion (48%) paid annually, equipment/ outfits (77%), travel/accommodation (77%)  & tournaments (68%) paid monthly, quarterly and as you go and gifts/awards (33%).
  • These fees generally ranged from US$20-200 on average
  • The fees are paid to a Club treasurer (33%), Team manager (20%), Sports association (20%) and a sports facility (11%). This means the majority of payments and collection are going through one person.
  • Cash is the most common method used to collect payment for fees owed (57%), then cheques and online methods (21% respectively)
  • Fees are received via set payments, `in full and upfront’ and random amounts during the season
  • Excel is the main method used to manage the fee collection and tracking, few teams use rostering systems such as Pointstreak, HappyTC and Rosterbot.
  • Average times spent on managing fees per month was at least 2 hours and up to 20 hours

Fee payment:
Cash is the common form of payment (63%), then cheque (42%), followed by bank transfer (42%), credit card (31%) and online payment tools (30%).
However the preferred payment method is bank transfer (particularly in the UK), credit card and online payment tools (in North American responses) such as PayPal

Fundraising:
Of the respondents surveyed 25% are involved in fundraising on behalf of their team/club and this is done predominantly via events or raffles. Money raised by individuals generally goes towards the club or team. Donations are mainly paid by cash (45%) followed by cheque (24%) and come from friends and colleagues primarily then family, general public and sponsors.

Donations:
Personally 60% of respondents have donated online with the most common donation amounts being  US$20/50 or 100. Donations were paid direct to cause/charity websites of which many respondents couldn’t recall.
Online habits:

  • Facebook was by far and away the most frequently and commonly used social network application
  • Email is the most common form of communication, especially via Google or Yahoo groups
  • Approximately 50% of teams/clubs have a website, 35% have a FaceBook group or profile and 35% use a registration system.
  • 84% surveyed buy online using credit card, PayPal (50%) then debit card (39%)
  • 100% of respondents would happily pay a transaction fee of 0-4%  for online payments

Thanks once again to all involved, you’re shaping the future of our business!

Changes to Facebook strengthens FundRazr’s position

Yesterday an email came through from Daniel saying `The new Facebook pages are up’. He’d beenfacebook-image undertaking application development and watching the transformation as he worked. We’d known about the changes coming for some time and were excited to see how they’d effect Facebook Pages as well as individual profiles.

It’s really quite something to be witnessing live changes to the largest social networking platform as they happen. Throughout the afternoon Daryl had pages open such as the NY Times, CNN and Coca Cola (all test partners with Facebook for the new look). They were literally changing every 10 minutes as more of the new features were uploaded at FB HQ.

The timing couldn’t be better for us. It means we can adapt our development to suit the new look, as opposed to many businesss who’ve spent much time and money to make the most of their pages, only to find this effort has been wasted.

Key changes

  1. Facebook Pages will look more like a profile page.
    This proves to us that FB values the importance of pages as much as we do. By making them as familiar to navigate and use as a profile page they will ultimately encourage more people to create and use pages to promote their product, service, business or themself. This will definitely appeal to the increasing older demographic of users.facebookpages-old-to-new1
  2. Increased news feed to promote our  application
    In an attempt to target the success of Twitter the status concept is now called a `stream’ that can publish real time data essentially creating an instant online community conversation. Any activity undertaken on a Facebook page that you’re a fan of will be promoted on your profile which means way more exposure of our application to an extended audience.
  3. Better real estate to promote our application
    As well as being able to promote our application in a prime position on the landing page, we will also have an entire tab for our application to run in and the space available to view it has doubled! We’ll be able to drive people to that via Facebook ads as well.
  4. Application bookmarks are replaced with application feed filers
    This could be a disadvantage until people get to used to where they can find them, and it shows that Facebook is increasing the emphasis on and incentives around sharing through applications with this update.

    The other disadvantage is the lack of branding and advertising space now available. We imagine after much feedback from Page users this could be changed. However better engagement with fans through the wall and real time feeds will ensure better ineraction between pages and profiles which means more opportunity to reach customers and drive them to pages and therefore our application!

More info can be found in Inside Facebook and this TechCrunch article

Facebook really is a phenomenon and one that keeps evolving contantly. For this very reason I think it will be around for a long time and embed itself in our lives so effectively,  just as Google has, that we won’t know life without it.

The global role of Social Media for FundRazr

I was told last night by a business friend that I’m super networked in the social media world. Clearly my thin disguise is working! I have to admit I’ve recently delved into as many facets of social networking and media as possible. Whilst overwhelming, one has to start somewhere, and there’s nothing better than just doing it, learning, refining, improving and observing the way these online communities proliferate. And I’m by no means close to scratching the surface!

FundRazr worldwideWhilst I’ve been on Facebook for a few years and find it very useful especially from staying in touch with international friends, it’s also a massive source of useful information on people’s behaviours, interests and needs. Hence Facebook trying to succeed with its `Engagement ads’ that target demographics and profiles to bring ads of relvance to each and everyone of the 150 million users. The recent growth of the 34-54 age bracket shows everyone is capable and willing to engage in this paradigm shift of social networking, even my Dad is on it!

Add to that my recent update of my LinkedIn profile that had stayed dormant on leaving UK, and I have close to 70 connections within the space of a few days. An extremely handy tool that has 34 million users and counting. From a professional point of view you can engage and connect with some extremely credible and successful business people. I even did a search for Angel Investors the other day and due to my connections found I could reach them by being introduced by people who already knew them – a great introduction vehicle.  Let me at em!

I have over 100 followers on Twitter now in just over a week and that’s without half the tricks and tips I’ve been reading up avidly on like retweeting, sharing, replying. My initial skepticism about the worth of this micro-blogging tool is rapidly being replaced by recognising the access to a whole dialogue across the world on matters of topical interest, current trends and a whole new way of communicating. Plus it’s an instant feedback tool with real people who can test out your product and ideas.

I’m `virtually’ attending AMA Marketing Association Webinars on a weekly basis on all the current & relevant topics for FundRazr – SEO optimisation, email campaigns, Social Media strategy. Plus I’m now reading a daily concoction of excellent blogs including Guy Kawasaki’s How to change the world, marketing guru Seth Godin‘s blog, TechCrunch and TechVibes for the latest industry news

I particularly liked the article 10 ways Social Media will change in 2009 as it convinces me why it’s worth investing time in all these new tools and platforms: `The new form of social media will be about creating “whole products” and complete experiences, all in real time, across the web, mobile, and live. Each user will be able to create his or her own experience using tools, features, and apps that magically coalesce. People will be able to move seamlessly through information that is available to them anywhere, anytime, sharing rich content with a rich set of groups and networks that they themselves define. Innovative companies that are able to listen to these needs and deliver products based on them will not only survive but thrive in the coming months and years as people eagerly advance on the inviting waters of the new social alchemy.’