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My Free Social Media Hack: for startups under
two-years in operation.

 You can minimize your social media footprint and have an effective online presence by using my social media hack.

This social media hack isn't genious, it's practical sense, eliminating the pressure of daily posting on social media platforms.  You will save money, energy and time and create an online presence with your customers.  My three part hack is free.

 1. Meet your customers face to face, go to where they are - often open air markets or consignment shops.  2. Create and post your video-story. 3.  Take your video link and create a free QR code and print it on your new "Smart" Business card.  Your customer scans your card's QR code with their smart phone immediately linking them to your online streaming video-story.  That's it!


  • Sharing your video-story with consumers generates trust, confidence and increases the potential to buy your product.

  • QR code technology turns your business card into a "smart business card"  the QR code does not expire, it can be used repeatedly, even updated if you decide to switch to a website down the road.  Any smart phone can scan it with their camera app.

  • Consumers want out of social media scrolling, they want to meet the business owner, see the product and feel confident in their purchase.  Consumers want your story.

NOTE: This social media hack is focused on early startups such as mom-and-pop and small businesses with limited social media experience, time and financial resources.  My hack may also be an option fully operational sall or mid-size businesses that choose not to engage in social media platforms.


First of all,  "CONGRATULATIONS!" 


By the end of your first year, your startup business has accomplished a number of milestones.  You likely have  products and services ready to sell public!  


My observation from speaking with vendors at open air markets is similar to my own experience, navigating the maze of social media is not a priority.  So many startups dismiss it all together.  

However, I do believe there is a middle ground that can benefit startup businesses and build consumer interactions into sales.

My media hack has three practical elements.   

1) Create your video story

2) Create an affordable new QR code business card ( 100 cards for $18); 

3) Meet your customers face to face, build on your interaction into a relationship. 

other parts to consider:

Begin networking with other startups, this should be organic. The rest of the formula is your business plan and ambition to thrive.


Step 1: Design and create your video-story 

Creating your video-story should happen only once, unless it requires updating. Select someone you trust with video and editing skills. You may have someone in your family who can do this for low or no financial cost.   Remember, this video story represents you and your business, you want it look good but can be friendly.  

(Pipestone Media  Solutions will be offering a video-story workshop for videographers).

Step 2. Create a new QR


business card. 


One of the fastest, easiest and cost effective ways to get your QR coded business card it to visit Vista Print*.   With some skill, you can accomplish this  with QR code free software or have them do it up.  Add your image/logo; all relevant contact information and social media links. In creating your QR code, add the video link to make it uniquely yours.  Test it to be sure the link is working.   

NEW:  Here is a link to create your own free phone vCard Generator from the App Store (phone contact QR Code) 

Need additional support? Schedule a free consultation and visit my blog or just roam the website.  There's lots of support information available at no cost. 

Step 3: Meet your customers face to face: Locate and apply for open-air markets.
Research and invest in open air markets; meet your customer face to face and hand them your card.  Invite them to scan the card for a direct link to your story.


Open Air Markets: pop ups

Most organized markets require applications, each has their own time frame and fees.  Open air markets or pop-ups, are your opportunities to be your authentic self, fine tune your pitch, share your product purpose and perfect your table display. It is likely you will sell your products, build your audience and generate a customer  following.  Our first market was free and fun, meeting  customers face to face, this is how you get to know your audience not everyone will show interest in your product.  This market creates the opportunity to engage those who are interested.   


Market fees are the cost of running a business if you don't have a physical store location.  Do real-time research, you won't waste your time: visit the markets to see how they are set up and how they operate.  It is usually a friendly environment, though competitive.  Talk with the organizers and vendors, as aks how to get involved or where there are markets inviting vendors.

*Note: I receive no profits from Vista Print, they are my choice for  quality affordable card and other products. I am always looking for professional, skilled local suppliers and support local sourcing.

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