Tip #2: Identify your audience

The Curbed competition involved 32 architects, interior designers, or decorators who were pitted against each other in “a massive, weeklong, sports-like showdown” (as described by Curbed).

I knew right away that the last thing I should select for an audience would be my fellow architects, interior designers, or decorators. Why? Because we all belong to the same industry. That would be like Coke asking support from Pepsi.

I identified a target audience and categorized them in 3 levels. Level 1 will be those who will most likely vote for you with no questions asked. Level 2 will be those who will probably vote for you if you give them a good reason why. Level 3 will be those who will vote for you because your Level 1 and Level 2 audience asked them to.

I was in a crazy situation. At first, I was alone in this journey. This video by Derek Sivers was the inspiration behind empowering my audience. It quickly turned into “mini-versions” of this "movement" that finally led into a snowball of supporters, that reached more than 7,000 at the final round.

Here are some of my early and strongest supporters:

Level 1. I sent out a few emails, tweets, and direct messages to some of my closest friends. These included my former alma mater, the School of the Holy Spirit in Quezon City, Philippines and my friends outside architecture. The “movement” scenario explained by Derek Sivers, was soon replicated in those people to whom I reached out. There became several lone nuts in each group, and subsequently the first followers/supporters: Reena Castro from batch '91 and Yasmin Conception from batch '92 picked up on the idea to share this with the rest of the alumnae group in Facebook. They were all game enough to vote for me, no questions asked. This was during the first few rounds.

Level 2. After winning the first couple of rounds, I challenged my supporters to see how far we can take this thing. I gave them a reason why.

“Regardless of whatever differences you may have, once you appear before a global audience, we automatically forget all that and bond together. While of course there are a few bad eggs rolling around, I think this is something instinctive to any Filipino, and is something to be proud of,” says Ana Alexis, who voted and campaigned from the UAE.

Level 3. Soon, we found that my friends asked their friends to join in the fun.

Jorjette from batch '92 shares, “I have some networks overseas which I have tapped as well by sending the voting link by email and giving it a personal touch which made the recipient see the importance of their participation and made them feel the passion I had for this journey. As such, they in turn sent out emails to their colleagues, friends, and relatives which led to a global snowball effect.”

The last people who I let in on the fun are those in my industry. When they saw the visual diagrams of the pie chart and they saw I was winning, their natural instinct was to vote for the person who would imminently win.

So that’s how I identified my audience, who eventually became my strongest supporters.

Here's a recap of the 7 Tips.


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