The waiting and secrecy is over. Distinctive Gardens is a Big Break winner!
At midnight on July 19 voting for AmEx OPEN’s Facebook Big Break for small business closed. Then the waiting began.
And when that ended the secrecy started. And the work for the next phase. Finalists learned their fate within 24 hours of the last vote. They were sworn to secrecy, actually signed to secrecy.
Here’s some notes from the big phone call, as recalled by Bud:
“We at AmEx and FB were very impressed with all you did to get the votes”…. “We know how hard you have worked”….. “We’re so very happy you won. We really really like what you are doing”….. “Bud you’re a star” (Bud’s response through the tears). “That’s what the kids say, but I’m just Bud.”
The hard work part is no joke. Here’s a taste of what they did to get out the vote:
- Developed 4 sets of web and Facebook Page graphics to keep people interested (the graphic above, for the win is #5)
- Created press release, posters and invites for the Big Surprise Bash, and for the Finalist announcement
- Walked the town in Dixon and Sterling before voting started, inviting people to the Big Surprise Bash
- Made a Prezi trailer for the Big Surprise Bash
- Learned to use Twitter
- Created an Our Story Prezi to show at the bash
- Passed our “Vote for Us” cards at every bar in town and a local music fest
- Thanked every person who fanned their web page, usually a 12 hour/day job
- Fed blog content on the experience to SocialPie
- Bud’s son and a buddy hit the street to pass out “Vote for Us” cards
- The kids also share to all their Facebook friends continually
- 13 TV and Radio appearances (either before or after landscape jobs)
- Walked town (Dixon, Sterling, Subula) in late afternoon passing out vote cards
- Posted every compliment, photo, blog and news mention possible to Distinctive Gardens Facebook Page.
- Announced TV and radio appearances to Twitter and Facebook, by now nicknamed DiGgers at the suggestion of a fan.
- Created an event on Facebook inviting people to vote and invite their friends to vote. It spawned upwards of 15,000 invitations.
- The community was incredibly supportive. There were at least 5 personal friends who posted to their Facebook Pages everyday, the local florist used their sign, “Vote Distinctive Gardens on Facebook;” other businesses supported DG in their ad space and with in-store signage.
Overall it was an incredible experience. Just watching it from 800 miles away I was exhausted and impressed.
They are celebrating today for sure. And I couldn’t be more pleased to have played a tiny role in the whole thing.
BTW – Party at their place Friday night, Ravinia style 🙂