I came across a website that I thought was worth sharing. It’s similar to another micro-payment site that I previously reviewed but this one is different in that it’s focused on business. To get more information, I asked some questions of Brad Ayres.
Mike: UpHype.com has quite a unique concept behind it in terms of bringing social marketers and businesses together. Where did the idea for this originate?
Brad: We started to see a bunch other sites pop-up but they were not focused on business. Instead, they were a potpourri of anything goes. We thought… the only way to get businesses interested would be to create a site that offered only services that would help them further their goals. Businesses are always looking for new ways to promote their products, brands, services and websites. I am a big believer that everyone has a special talent or some kind of influence that is valuable to business. It’s a great way to connect businesses with these talented and connected people for a win-win service.
Mike: Service provided cover just about every aspect of online marketing from posting Craigslist ads and providing banner ads on users sites to press releases and blog reviews, and Twitter mentions. Which of these services tends to be the most popular and why?
Brad: Facebook and Twitter services seem to be the most popular right now. I think savvy marketers understand word-of-mouth referrals by someone trusted is the strongest form of advertising you can get. It’s all about influence.
Mike: You have three tiers of payment consisting of $8, $16, and $24. Who determines what price a particular services will be offered at?
Brad: A seller can set the price they feel best suits their service. We decided to make the three-tier pricing simple so sellers could offer more extensive services. I am a big fan of micro-payment sites and wanted to make a very affordable, fun and easy-to-purchase site. It’s really fun to purchase your hypes.
Mike: Is there any way to rate the service provider or determine if he or she has a reliable record?
Brad: Yes, once a service is completed the buyer rates the seller’s work and can also give written feedback on the seller. Like ebay, buyers should look for sellers with good ratings. However there are new sellers everyday so if a seller does not have any feedback it may be that they are new to UpHype. Give them a chance to prove themselves!
Mike: Who are most of your paying customers? I would imagine that it consists of mostly small business due to budget reasons, but I can see large advantages to bigger businesses as well.
Brad: Yes mostly small businesses who are trying to get the word out about their service or product in an affordable way. However, larger businesses are using it too.
Mike: My slant being domain names, I have to ask about the site name, “UpHype.com.” The general meaning is clear, as in “hype up a product.” Is that the intention? Is there more to the name than meets the eye? How has the name worked from a branding perspective?
Brad: We wanted a catchy and simple name that communicated the site with a fun and positive message. UpHype just seemed right…we think it has a nice ring to it.
Mike: What are your primary marketing strategies? Do you employ your own service to spread the word?
Brad: Actually yes. It’s funny but it’s true. Our marketing team is our own sellers! We still drive traffic to our site by purchasing our own sellers hypes… whammo… They work.
Mike: UpHype.com is in beta. What can we expect to see in the full release? When is the full release planned for?
Brad: Because our site has the new site smell and we are still tweaking our system a bit, we decided to use the “beta” tag. We will take the “beta” tag off soon. We should have a full release in a few weeks. We also have some plans for some cool additions in the future…oops I already said too much, stay tuned…