Small Business Owner Spotlight: Sam from Y Athletics

Small Business Week starts next week so I thought now (on my first blog post on this site!) would be a great time to highlight a small business owner that I very much admire. Sam from Y Athletics. He's got a great story.

Sam wearing the  Short Sleeve V T-Shirt  in salmon red.

Sam wearing the Short Sleeve V T-Shirt in salmon red.

I love Kickstarter. I came across his company and become one of the first few hundred backers. If you haven't been on Kickstarter, check it out. It's a platform that connects startups with backers to help small businesses launch new products or completely start a new business.

Sam started out in November 2013 with a modest goal but within only one month, he had raised $250,000 with the help of 3,801 backers. Incredible. He had all the right Digital Marketing tools in place for it be a success. It definitely was no accident. It also helps to have a really cool product like his T-shirts that are part silver and made in the USA.


He did everything right. He messaged out regularly to his backers and kept them up-to-date on where he was with his progress on Kickstarter. He actively engaged his followers on Facebook and Twitter.

After the Kickstarter campaign, he needed a way to keep the sales going, so he directed customers to his website His website is responsive (mobile-friendly) so customers can access it on their phone, tablet, or desktop and it will always look and work great.

That's important because mobile users now outnumber desktop users. And just as of last month, Google introduced a new rule to its algorithm that places mobile-friendly websites above non-mobile-friendly websites on its search results page.

I asked Sam to provide some insight into his Social Media strategy:

Do not spend any money to get 'likes' or 'followers' on your social media channels. The quality of paid acquisitions is really low. We never pay for our likes, and we don't have too many compared to other pages, but the amount of engagement we get is crazy. We do pay to boost our posts but those just go to the people who genuinely follow our page.

I definitely agree with that approach. It's never a good idea to pay for followers. It may get your numbers up but if your goal is to generate sales and create genuine engagement on your social media channels, having thousands of uninterested, fake followers is not going to help you. It's best to foster the growth of your followers naturally by posting relevant content that creates genuine interest and value. And Sam has done an amazing job of doing just that.

Sam just launched his latest product, the SilveAir sock, made with pure silver. And in celebration of Small Business Week, he's offering 15% for my followers. Use code smallbizweek at checkout. Let's support Sam and all Small Businesses around the country by shopping local this week. Feel free to share the code with your friends.

Steven Matt

I am the Director of Digital Marketing at one of the world’s largest financial institutions. I teach Digital Marketing courses to small businesses on behalf of the NYC government and General Assembly in NYC. I am a graduate of Pratt Institute in Brooklyn with a Bachelors degree in Communications Design. I have a Masters degree in Management and Technology from New York University. In my spare time, I organize volunteer glass cleanups in NYC parks and I make jewelry out of the broken glass that I and the volunteers collect. I sell the designs at an artisan market in Brooklyn.