So I just finished reading a story in the news today about Bria, a 9-year-old girl from Michigan who wrote a letter to Elon Musk with a marketing idea for his company Tesla Motors, and he actually decided run with the idea!
It’s a pretty amazing story and you should check it out:
But aside from the cool factor of a schoolkid getting a busy bazillonaire entrepreneur to take her up on her marketing idea, there’s some pretty cool lessons here for marketers of all ages. Here’s three:
You can reach almost anybody on Twitter
Elon Musk is a pretty avid Twitter user, and so are lots of other VIPs who’d be difficult to reach otherwise.
A lot of them will respond to Tweets if they’re interesting or relevant enough. Bria (her Dad, actually), used this to his advantage and Tweeted Bria’s letter at Elon Musk to get his attention.
Is there some bigwig out there you’ve been wanting to reach out to? Find out if they’re on Twitter, and try Tweeting something interesting and relevant to them to get a conversation started. You’ll be surprised to see how many people will be happy to engage with you on there, even people who are normally hard to get a hold of.
Don’t overTweet or spam them, though. There’s no faster way to ruin a potential professional relationship that doesn’t involve making a “Yo mama so fat…” joke.
The Power of Crowdsourced Advertising
The actual idea Bria pitched to Elon was holding a contest where Tesla fans would create their own ads for Tesla Motors and send them in. Tesla’s people would choose their favorite ad and use it. The winning creator would get some of that sweet, sweet Tesla merch in return. So everybody wins.
This is sometimes called “crowdsourced advertising”, and companies like Tongal are based on the same basic idea. As Bria points out in her letter, the benefit of crowdsourced advertising is as follows:
The cool part is that you still won’t be taking the time and money to advertise for yourself. Plus, this is something your fans and customers will definitely love.
What entrepreneur wouldn’t want to save time and money while also getting their biggest fans and customers more invested in their business? The only way that prospect could get any sweeter is if there was free pizza involved, and I’m sure Bria would’ve figured out a way to work that in too, if given the time.
Make It Newsworthy (aka Have An Angle)
Honestly business ideas are a dime a dozen. People give away business ideas all the time. People, especially people as well-known as Elon Musk, get pitched all. The. Time. None of that is newsworthy.
But a schoolkid delivering a business idea to one of the most famous business people in the world, via Twitter, and him saying “Yes!”? Now that’s a story. It’s newsworthy because it’s something that’s different and unusual enough that journalists feel like they have to write about it.
This story got coverage in the BBC and elsewhere because it was wrapped in an interesting angle.
You may not be a 9-year-old girl reaching out to a billionaire entrepreneur with a business idea, but you can tell your unique story that nobody else can tell, or add a unique take on an existing story, and then reach out to journalists who’d think their readers would like it. You angle is the key to your coverage. Use it.
Well that’s my 2 cents for today.
Bria says she wants to go into politics, but if she ever changes her mind, I think she’s got a bright future ahead of her in marketing. And I’ll bet now Elon Musk thinks she does, too.