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SxSW Talk with Saul Colt: Big Marketing on a Small Budget

It’s a question every bootstrapped startup has: how do we generate a user base, sales or any kind of buzz around our product, service or company without having the budgets of companies like Coca-Cola or Facebook? Fortunately, as #140Cuse Speaker and Head of Magic for FreshBooks Saul Colt pointed out during his SxSW talk, there are awesome ways to do big marketing with virtually no money. Colt had 3 main lessons:

1. Live by the 4 E’s: Execute Extraordinary Experiences Everyday

When it comes to marketing, every time a consumer or potential user interacts with you, if you can make every one of those correspondences and extraordinary and shareable experience, Saul swears that your word-of-mouth value will skyrocket.

2. Real World Experiences cause Digital “Viralility” 

Similar to his 4E mantra, Saul emphasized that in the “real world” or the physical world, experiences are far more ‘sharable’. People don’t click on RT’s or likes, but if you are so excited about a story or experience you just had that you are just bursting at the seams to tell someone about it, the chances of you getting more clicks, RT’s and Likes sky rockets. So, create real world experiences, take users to dinner*, send cereal boxes out in twitter contests*, and hire a mime to follow you around while you chat with users about your product*. Giving people real world experiences will get them talking on the interwebs.

3. Make People Fall in Love with You

In a world where it seems like all marketing is driven by Big Brother forces and our buying and selling data is scraped and sold for profit, Saul’s advise is “make people fall in love with you.” How? Be genuine, be interested in them, and get to know your users. Doing this shows them you care, that you want to have a meaningful relationship with them and not just profit from them. Fall in love with them, they will fall in love with you.

*Saul did this

Think Saul is awesome? I do too. He will be headlining the #140cuse Conference on April 19 at the Schine Student Center. We will be having over 40 speakers discussing how the real-time internet is changing the world as we know it. If you are not already registered and are interested, take some time to do so today.

Isaac Budmen

Comfortable foot attire enthusiast -- more to read at

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