How to Get More Votes
Made by Mac Voting
We had a number of questions and comments from students regarding the system of public voting to choose the top 5 semi-finalists in the Made by Mac Contest. A number of people have complained that public voting is nothing more than a “popularity contest”. In a sense you’re right; like any public vote or election there is an element popularity or recognition by the masses. The key to gaining recognition socially, professionally and in this contest is networking.
Networking is a skill that will serve you well throughout your entire life
Reaching out through networking and self-promotion is a key component in expanding your sphere of contacts and communicating who you are and what you’re about.
Whether you are looking for job opportunities, professional contacts, to expand your circle of friends, or seeking online votes in a contest it is safe to say the more people you can enlist to help spread the word the better.
Like any candidate in any election you need to reach out to friends, family, acquaintances to promote your entry. Use lots of different methods, social media, face-to-face campaigning, whatever it takes to get people to vote for you.
The Art of Self Promotion – 6 Tips for getting votes
- Network with a clear purpose:
Be sure to let people know exactly what you are asking them to do and what’s at stake. Be direct when asking people to vote for you. Make sure they know exactly what the Made by Mac contest is about and your involvement in it, where to go to vote for you and why their vote is important to you.
- Make it easy to find & recognize your entry:
a. Where ever you are promoting your piece make sure you give people a direct link to the Voting Gallery page your entry is listed on.
b. Make your thumbnail recognizable and eye-catching. Consider using your own picture or an attention-grabbing pic that is representative of your entry.
c. Make sure your entry is quick to download or stream and doesn’t need any special plug-ins or applications to open. People are impatient and if you keep them waiting too long they may navigate away before they have had a chance to see your work. The WordPress login requirement will test their patience so make sure you explain to them that voting will require more than a few seconds (maybe more like a few minutes) so that they set aside the time to do this.
One of the most effective ways to garner votes is to email your friends and family directly. Consider creating your own custom email. The advantage of creating a custom email is that you can put a direct link to the voting page your entry is found on as well as embedding your thumbnail so they can easily recognize your entry.
After your initial email blast, consider putting a link to the contest in your email signature to keep the contest fresh in people’s minds and to extend your reach to those you may not have put on your initial list.
- Build a website or landing page:
Wherever you decide to host your project consider it as a “landing page”. A good landing page let’s your audience know exactly why they are there and what they should do. Be crystal clear that this is your Made by Mac entry and that their job is to vote for you. Once again, make it easy for them find you by providing a link to the voting gallery.
If you are hosting your entry on YouTube make sure you mention the contest in the description and give them a link as well as leaving a comment to encourage visitors to vote for you.
- Social Networking:
You likely already have a network of friends on sites such as Facebook, Twitter or MySpace so reach out to them. Send your contacts a message asking them to vote for you and ask them to Retweet your request or post it on their status. Remember if you have 100 people on your friend list and each of those people have one hundred people on their lists there is the potential for your message to reach 10,000 people. If you aren’t currently involved in any online communities it is never too late to join.
We have provided you with some common Social Networking buttons at the bottom of your entry page so use them and ask your friends to use them.
If you have a blog or are a regular contributor to a forum there consider that there is another opportunity to tap into a wider community.
- Talk it up:
Word of mouth (WOM) is a viral process that can be very effective. Don’t be shy. Call everyone you know and start leveraging the relationships you already have. Talk about your project; share what you’re doing and what it means to you.
Often people feel uncomfortable with the idea of self promotion but keep in mind that it is all in the delivery. You aren’t selling snake oil. You’re simply letting people know about your hard work and accomplishments. There is nothing wrong with tooting your own horn a little.
Learning to promote yourself is a skill that can open doors of opportunity, both socially and professionally and just may put you in the running for a new Apple MacBook.