Today we’d like to introduce you to Stephanie Sharp. She shares VoteSharp’s story below:
A Garden City, KS native, Stephanie Sharp holds degrees from Southwestern College (BA, BPhil) and George Washington University (MA, International Affairs). At 26, she was elected to the first of three terms in the Kansas House of Representatives (’02-’08) and then to two terms on the Johnson County Community College Board (’09-’18).
Her professional expertise is “Translating Politics Into English” for legislative & local candidates and organizations, which led her to create the VoteSharp.biz tool as a “cheat sheet” to manage their relationships with voters. Sharp has advised nonprofits, advocacy organizations, legislative, and local campaigns for more than 20 years and is a frequent presenter on effective voter and policymaker engagement.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I created VoteSharp in 2011 but newsletter and campaign work forced it to the back burner for ten years. Now that I’m focusing solely on VoteSharp, I realize how much time I have lost and how little I know about the steps to scale such a product – both from a sales and external perspective but also from the internal work that needs to be done.
VoteSharp is non-partisan and available to any candidate regardless of party affiliation, but because I was elected as a Republican and a moderate Republican at that, there has been baggage and reluctance to trust the system by party-affiliated candidates and organizations.
Additionally, in the last ten years, other products have taken advantage of the market niche with products which leave users frustrated and broke. There’s still a niche market for VoteSharp, but finding it when potential users are already committed to a product they’ve taken the time to learn and have paid for is difficult.
We’ve been impressed with VoteSharp, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
VoteSharp improves relationships between elected officials and their voters through an easy and affordable database tool that serves as “political memory” for candidates, electeds, organizations, and businesses. The tool is designed specifically for legislative and local races, with an intuitive interface which requires very little training – to meet the tech needs of the tech-averse! It is different from the other tools in the space because it is a year-round CRM to track voter communications between election cycles when voters are interacting most with their electeds. Just because you’re running in a small race like school board or city council, you don’t have a million dollars in the bank or a team of teenagers to run your data; it doesn’t mean you can’t have access to good data that’s affordable and easy to use.
Who else deserves credit in your story?
Current and former subscribers have helped craft the app over the last ten years through frequent communication, focus groups, and app updates.
- 0-20,000 voters: $375/year
- 20-100,000 voters: $725/year
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: votesharp.biz
- Instagram: @votesharp
- Facebook: @VoteSharpVRM
- Twitter: _VoteSharp