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article imageInterview with Stuart Lawson, founder of Special

By Cendrine Marrouat     Aug 25, 2011 in Internet
Headquartered in Tustin, California, is a new start-up. The company offers a line of stickers that help promote social media profiles offline. Today, I am pleased to feature its creator, Stuart Lawson.
Cendrine Marrouat: Hello Stuart, thank you for answering my questions. As a starter, tell us a little about you.
Stuart Lawson: Hi Cendrine, thanks for the interview. I am currently 27 and I’m a Designer and Entrepreneur. I consider myself a bit of an Idealist and Futurist. I grew up in Pretoria, South Africa, and when I was 14 my family moved here to the USA. I’ve been involved in Design from an early age, but since 2003 caught the entrepreneur bug and got a real feel for business (and how difficult it is). I’ve since been involved in many different companies and start-ups. In Spring 2011, I decided to create
CM: Why did you decide to create
SL: First of all, I love Twitter. Twitter is what really got me interested in Social Networking. I started using Twitter a year after it was created and at the time I had alerts set up on my cellphone to find out what was going on locally. I immediately connected with some new friends in the area after sparking up some conversations online. At the time, Twitter felt really “underground” to me: not many brands, and a lot of geeky people my age looking to socialize locally (Kind of like Google+ right now). Since then, Twitter has changed a lot, but the drive to connect “beyond-the-screen” stays strong for me and I know it does for many others.
The idea behind is to help create meaningful local connections facilitated by social networks through the creative use of stickers. ‘Follow Me Stickers’ shout “Hey, I can be reached on my favourite Social Network, and I wouldn’t consider it weird or creepy if you say hello over there.” As it turns out brands are just as interested in this message, but unlike many similar ideas I’ve seen accommodates the individual before the brand.
Stuart Lawsom
CM: focuses on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and YouTube, with the possibility to add QR codes. So, how does it work exactly?
SL: lets people type in their Social Media Username right onto a preview of their sticker. If the preview looks good, stickers can then easily be ordered in quantities as low as 5 for individuals, or bulk quantities of the Mini-QR variety for brands. The stickers are printed here in the office, hand trimmed, and shipped to your door. Sticker designs initially began with Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. I have recently added Google+ and LinkedIn to the line of Standard “Follow Me Stickers”.
All of these social networks can be featured on our Mini-QR stickers that have traceable QR codes on them. These QR codes can be scanned by anyone with a smartphone. The QR code is fun because you can track how many people scan them over time as well as increase local viewership, audience or connections. I decided to make the “Mini-QR Follow Me Sticker” small enough so that it fits on as many objects as possible.
CM: Who uses your stickers right now?
SL: The variety is great, we have people from all walks of life, from all over the world using our stickers. Just to name a few… we have a Sports Bar in Miami using the Mini-QR’s (@DoralBilliards), an a cappella vocalist and producer in Oregon (@PeterHollens), a property broker in the Netherlands (@Mooijekindvleut), an accomplished author (@RhondiVilott), and a State Farm Insurance Agent from Chicago (@AnnRNolan).
CM: You launched very recently. How has the experience been so far for you? And how have people responded to your products?
SL: The experience has been a lot of fun so far. People have been enthusiastic and the stickers have been very well received. It’s nice to sit down and make something tangible and get rewarded for it. It’s enjoyable to proudly display something that you made for yourself as well as for the benefit of others.
CM: How have you used social media to create a buzz about
SL: initially began creating buzz on Twitter and has recently branched out on Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Twitter is a great platform for coupons and rewards because according to statistics I’ve read, most people follow brands on Twitter or Facebook for the chance of receiving an exclusive award or coupon of some sort. We started a few Twitter competitions, giveaways, and coupons. One competition was for a lucky Retweet (RT) winner to receive 5 free twitter stickers. Another was “The first 50 people to follow us and RT get 1 free twitter sticker.” These campaigns have gone very well and have increased brand recognition for We are looking forward to continue giving out freebies and discounts into the future so be sure to follow us on twitter: @FollowMeSticker.
CM: What is next for you and the company? Do you plan on expanding to include other social networks?
SL: I personally hope to spend a lot more time on the project. I really enjoy it because I learn a little bit about each person who orders stickers and how they are promoting their brands and businesses with the help of Follow Me Stickers. Branching out into other social networks has always been the next step in the business plan for me, but it takes time and momentum to get the ball rolling.
I’m very excited on including a network but I’d like it to be a bit of a surprise! Keep checking for updates in the near future for exciting promotions and product updates.
CM: Any last words?
SL: A few weeks into the project, I was sitting in Starbucks and someone sent me a Tweet saying hello after they saw my Follow Me Sticker. It was at that moment my fears of creating a product that doesn’t work went out the window: I knew my stickers really work, that they are worth making and that spending the time to put one up was absolutely worth it. Having the experience of a product that works makes you feel good about spending that extra bit of time on each one.
More about followmesticker, Social media, Marketing, Interview, Facebook
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