10 Questions w/ Digital Nomad & Disruptive Marketer Kristen Colwell a.k.a. CryptoCoffee
17 May, 2019 CryptoParrot
Who is Kristen Colwell Aka CryptoCoffee?
I am the marketing madness behind Brian D Colwell, having helped Brian build a social media and content marketing platform from the ground-up. My background is in marketing, with a concentration in research, and a taste for disruption. I adopted the nickname “CryptoCoffee” in late 2017 to help people understand that I’d begun working primarily on cryptocurrency marketing. Also, the always-on nature of cryptocurrency (CryptoTime) calls for loads of caffeine!
1. Can you share with our readers the story of what first got you into blockchain, crypto and ultimately cryptocurrency marketing?
My interest in blockchain and cryptocurrency came about in 2016 when I began assisting my husband, Brian Colwell, in developing his alternative investments blogging platform. As a marketing consultant, one of my primary skills is applying marketing strategies and tactics to specific brands and niche industries. I have executed marketing campaigns and/or research for large consumer brands, local businesses, and franchises in a variety of industries including financial services. Brian was interested in developing his brand online, but didn’t know where to start, so I applied my tested methods to his case.
In the process of assisting Brian in building his content marketing platform, he became increasingly interested in researching blockchain and cryptocurrency technology and applications. The more Brian learned about blockchain and cryptocurrency within the framework of The Fourth Industrial Revolution and disruption, the more intrigued I became with the state of marketing in this emerging industry. Having experienced the frustratingly rigid rules around financial products & services marketing, it was amazing to watch as cryptocurrency marketing began to take shape in the apparent absence of regulation. The evolution of cryptocurrency marketing is now one of my research obsessions.
2. You currently work with several projects including, BEAM, Beaxy, MakerDAO, Phore, Duality Solutions, and Fedora Gold... in perhaps a sentence or two could you tell our readers what excites you most about some of these blockchain projects?
In a word: trust. I trust that - based on what I know about these project teams, their value propositions, and results thus far - my skills (and those of Brian Colwell) can help these brands gain visibility and earn a reputation for quality products and/or services. I have had the unfortunate experience of being employed by some projects that later proved to be lacking in substance. These experiences have shaped the way Brian and I select the projects we work with, and how we determine the legitimacy of a project - beyond what is written in a whitepaper or found on the project website.
3. Websites like Niffler.co put a lot of emphasis on blockchain, cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency trading education, but we haven't seen much in the way of blockchain and cryptocurrency marketing education or best practices,..do you see this as something currently lacking in the crypto space?
Given the relatively small size of the cryptocurrency marketing industry, I am not surprised to see little in the way of quality content on the topic. However, the “Wild West” nature of cryptocurrency attracts entrepreneurs of many types… some with ethics, some without ethics, and many without traditional marketing education.
Traditional barriers to marketing entry such as large press release budgets and industry association fees don’t exist in the cryptocurrency industry at the moment. Websites, social media channels, content, and even cryptocurrency codes can be created/copied/forked with little investment beyond labor. Therefore, projects are able to build well-developed promotional platforms and solicit investment before they’ve proven any revenue models. Social media influencers are easily incentivized to promote these projects, so the opportunities to manipulate end-users present themselves over and over again as projects come to market, quietly disappear, and are reborn as different brands.
I’d like to see more public conversation about cryptocurrency marketing tactics and increased interest in marketing fundamentals in general. My theory is there are many young marketing superstars looking at the cryptocurrency industry as a springboard to success. Without education, it is easy for these entrepreneurial spirits to fall into Black Hat tactics. Let’s work together as an industry to make cryptocurrency marketing a reputable profession.
4. If you could give one piece of critical marketing advice to new blockchain projects and/or crypto related businesses/startups especially when it comes to the harsh realities of marketing financial products and services what would that be?
Provide value or get out. Marketing in the absence of a legitimate value proposition and realistic product/service is a recipe for disaster or the makings of an exit scam. Always begin by building quality products/services that address real consumer needs and have the consumer’s best interests in mind.
Put the majority of effort into product development, then let the product features drive marketing messaging. Do not allow rigid marketing rules to impede product development. For example, the editorial calendar should not be used to push the development team to specific deadlines. Instead, the development team needs to actively feed information to the marketing team to ensure that their efforts translate into public campaigns. This means the marketing team needs to be flexible and responsive, while the development team needs to be communicative.
5. There are a lot of really great “ marketing tools” out there designed to help crypto projects and businesses get a leg up on their marketing, what are some of your favorites?
My go-to marketing tools are typically associated with Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). These tools allow you to explore the manner in which search engines view relevant keywords and phrases, and the strength of specific domains in terms of search engine visibility. I strongly recommend these free tools:
- Moz Link Explorer
- Google Analytics
- Google Keyword Planner
- Screaming Frog
6. What other exciting crypto related projects are you currently working on?
In addition to client work, Brian and I regularly create blog posts and research reports on various aspects of the industry. Most recently, we released our first ebook “What is Investment Diversification?” on Apple Books. We also published a free booklet “The Fourth Industrial Revolution” on Apple Books and I just shared the first in a series of research reports on cryptocurrency project marketing profiles, with the initial profile on BEAM.
7. What prompted you and Brian to write “What is Investment Diversification?”
It started with a tweet, actually. Brian found that some cryptocurrency enthusiasts on Twitter were under the mistaken assumption that diversification can be achieved by holding various cryptocurrencies. His first reaction was to reply to the tweet, but he realized this may call for a blog post.
Brian’s blog post on diversification quickly became more than a blog, it was a text book. Ultimately, the book became a guide for creating a custom diversified portfolio using concepts from The Permanent Portfolio and taking into account alternative investments such as comic books and cryptocurrencies. I helped Brian with the structure of the book, adapted it to the ebook format, edited the text, added the glossary, created the cover, and published to Apple Books.
8. For those of our users interested, where can they pick the book up?
The ebook is available on Apple Books: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1459074993
9. Outside of the current projects you may be working with, we always like to ask those we feature on Niffler.co whether they have any crypto or blockchain projects they are particularly bullish on and why?
The cryptocurrency brand closest to my heart is Bitcoin, so that will always be my first response to this question. However, beyond BTC, I am hopeful that Beaxy Exchange will continue to bring a positive, user-first approach to cryptocurrency trading. Beaxy weathered the bear market, put significant investment into infrastructure, and built a well-known brand in short order. If they meet my expectations of high quality service and positive customer experiences, we could be looking at the next major gateway for beginners into the world of cryptocurrencies.
10. Where do you see blockchain, crypto and/or the crytpo-sphere as a whole in 3 to 5 years?
The industry will continue to evolve, despite cries from traditional industries that blockchain and cryptocurrency are fads… we heard similar rebukes of ecommerce in its early days. Therefore, I predict that we will see continued regulator interest in the field and may see the conclusion of cases related to cryptocurrency advertising that will shape fundamental policies. Scammers will still proliferate, but some of the larger ones will begin to get hit with litigation that sticks.
Where should Niffler.co users who are interested in learning more about you, your book and in particular what you do on the crypto marketing side go for more info?
Connect with me on Twitter (https://twitter.com/Kristen_Colwell), LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/kristencolwell/), or check out my work on BrianDColwell.com https://briandcolwell.com/crypto-coffee/
Disclaimer: Nothing contained in this article should be considered as investment or trading advice.