Okay, put away your pitchforks. I got an email from *the* Nick from KidReviewer.com, home of the five-donut review, asking how he might apply branding tips to what he’s up to in the 7th grade. Nick wants to get the word out on his site, which provides movie reviews, and likely will start reviewing whatever appeals to this articulate young man and his dedicated posse of contributors.
Nick wants what any good website wants: more awareness, a developed audience, and outreach that brings even more participation onto the site. He points out that he can’t yet go to BarCamps (and I don’t know whether they’re the right audience- but what do I know?), and that business cards might seem strange for the 7th grade set. I’ve got a few ideas, but also wanted to open this up to YOU to see what you’d tell Nick.
Reach Them Where They Are
Your crowd is already getting into texting and IM, right? Getting your message out might be a little more of a texting/messaging campaign at first, but you’ve gotta watch out. You don’t want to seem like you’re spamming them. Instead, should you be chatting with friends, tell them what you’ve been working on, and ask them for their opinion. Further, ask them if they’d want to write a guest review. It’s infinitely easier to get someone to commit to ONE review than to sign them up to do tons.
After texting/IM, if you’re using social media sites (is Club Penguin too childish? Are you on MySpace? I don’t know the crossover age), make sure there are prominent pointers to your site in your signature, on the front part of your page, and everywhere else that someone might look at your stuff and get an impression.
Instead of a professional-seeming business card, lots of my podcasting friends have cards for their show. They’re colorful and feature a description or catchy phrase that gets you interested in heading to the site. Oh, it obviously features the URL prominently, too. (use somewhere like VistaPrint or OvernightPrints.com).
Add an email signature with your URL and a very brief phrase that drives people to your site with every mail you send. I’ve found this very effective for getting people not already in your circle of friends to get to the target you’ve set out.
You mentioned there aren’t many kid blogrolls. I’ve gotta bet there are and we just don’t know about them yet. I know there’s a Teen Podcaster Network, and though you’re not doing podcasts (yet- get working on that video show, Nick), if you reached out to Robbie and those guys, I bet you’d find some resources there.
What ideas do you have for Nick?
Oh, and go check out KidReviewer.com. I loved his take on Casino Royale, 300, and more!