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Crowdfunding Uncut | Kickstarter| Indiegogo | Where Entrepreneurs Get Funded

Why should you listen to Crowdfunding Uncut? Because I’m asking the same questions you want to know. I know what it feels like to fail at crowdfunding. I also know what questions to ask, and what to do to raise over half a million dollars on Kickstarter and Indiegogo. As I’m also advising Crowdfunding campaigns, I need to keep up to date with what’s working and what isn’t. Questions that will get answered on this show: what crowdfunding platform is right for me? What can I do to have a successful product launch? How can I get 1000 backers for my project? What really matters? What if I have a small budget? What happens after crowdfunding? I will share with our best interviews showcasing the campaigns processes, failures, critical lessons learnt and actionable strategies showing YOU how to get your project funded. This is where project creators get funded.
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May 29, 2019

In this final episode of the Crowdfunding Uncut podcast, we explore what's next and how you can keep us in your earballs. Visit launchandscale.crowdfundinguncut.com to learn more.

Apr 25, 2019

What if you could launch your project and have a super-engaged audience lining up to buy your product? So many blogs, and guru’s harp on having a big email list before you launch. What if it wasn’t about that? What if it was about how engaged they are? 


"90% of the people who sign up for my Giveaways end up reading their email, and about 50-60% respond to that email", Timothy Moser, MasterOfMemory.com

This rings true for a lot of things. If you have a tiny list of raving fans, I guarantee you will convert higher rates, and get MORE sales from that list then you would have if you only focussed on the quantity.

 

Using a Giveaway Strategy in another niche has helped Timothy Moser get an almost unheard of 10% conversion rate (from lead to sale). This unique selling strategy focused on nurturing your leads, and getting them super engaged, and ready to buy anything you’re selling.

 

Before Timothy Moser started Master of Memory, a website that offers free information and courses on how to memorize anything, he was a lot like many people trying to get their start on the internet.

 

He had been listening to podcasts and reading blogs on how to start a business online.

 

Memorization and learning had always been a passion of Tim’s. One day Tim was googling around for more information to improve his own skills....

 

But he didn’t find much.

 

He mostly found forum posts, but certainly no central hub to learn the best techniques for remembering someone’s name you just met, or Spanish verb conjugation.

 

So Tim threw up a website for fun hoping to make some beer money with banner ads…

 

When Timothy’s website, MasterOfMemory.com, blew up!

 

Even though he decided early to focus his brand around giving away ALL his information for free, he was still able to monetize the site within 3 months by selling a course on learning Spanish where enrollees get personal attention from native speakers online.

 

His Unique Selling Proposition for that course was to use the advanced memorization techniques he had learned and apply it to learning “boring” vocabulary and grammar.

 

This podcast isn’t on how to memorize anything… Go to MasterOfMemory.com for that info…

 

You will learn:

 

  • Why Timothy spends hundreds of hours offering free, one-on-one teaching to people who haven’t bought yet even though he knows it is not likely that the people he helps will actually buy his course
  • Why you need to focus on a BIG first day for your launch
  • How to set up your own Giveaway with nothing more than a Gmail account and a spreadsheet
  • How sometimes making people do MORE work is better for sales than making a task as easy as possible.
  • The psychological difference between a “launch” and “drawing :) ”, and how it can drive sales

Contact Khierstyn at www.khierstyn.com 

Show Notes:

MasterOfMemory.com

The Ultimate Guide To Use Hangouts On Air For Webinars - By Pat Flynn of SmartPassiveIncome.com

Apr 23, 2019

Gareth Everard ran a wildly successful crowdfunding campaign when he launched the first product that led to the founding of Rockwell Razors. He used that first campaign to launch several other successful product lines and made the transition to make it a sustainable brand. But his road to success was not an easy one. In today’s episode, Gareth shares his story of the manufacturing problems he ran into and what he did to keep those troubles from causing his product to fail. If you’re launching a product, or even thinking about it,  you’ll want to join us and learn all you can from Gareth’s experience.

What made Gareth Everard’s crowdfunding campaign so successful?

Gareth Everard’s first crowdfunding campaign exceeded its goal the first day and made 12 times that goal by the end of the campaign! In this episode, Gareth talks about how he chose his product, how an online community made a huge difference in the success of his campaign, and how he navigated the challenges that came his way. Listen in to gain some great tips and ideas for a successful crowdfunding campaign.

When your crowdfunding campaign becomes a series of unfortunate events

As Gareth Everard describes it, his crowdfunding campaign became a series of unfortunate events when he discovered that his manufacturer had massively misled him regarding their capability for producing a quality product. In this episode, Gareth tells me about how he overcame this huge obstacle in a way that allowed him to keep his backers and customers and successfully launch additional products. It wasn’t easy. Listen in and learn from Gareth’s experience how you can prevent your crowdfunding campaign from ruining your life. 

The one factor that made Gareth Everard successful turning his campaign into an actual business

Are you wondering how to create a business out of your crowdfunding campaign? Do you want to learn from someone who did it well? Gareth Everard was successful in turning his campaign into an actual business. In this episode, he talks about the one factor that played the biggest part in his success. And it’s not what you might think. Listen to this interview to learn what you need to do to keep your backers and customers receptive to new products.

Is Kickstarter or Indiegogo the better creator for my crowdfunding campaign?

Are you trying to decide which creator would be the best for you to use for your crowdfunding campaign? In this episode, Gareth Everard provides some insight into Kickstarter and Indiegogo and which one will likely best serve your needs, based on where you are in your product development. Listen in for some great advice that will help you make a good decision about the platform you want for your campaign.

Outline of This Episode

  • Introducing one of my favorite humans, Gareth Everard, founder of Rockwell Razors.
  • How Rockwell got started, in Gareth’s senior year of college.
  • How Gareth chose what product to go after.
  • To what did Gareth Everard attribute his overnight success?
  • When your crowdfunding campaign becomes a series of unfortunate events.
  • What Gareth did with the new manufacturer to make sure the same problems didn’t happen again.
  • Gareth’s advice on manufacturing and fulfillment.
  • Setting pricing and shipping and customer perception.
  • The one factor that made Gareth Everard successful turning his campaign into an actual business.
  • How Backer Kit helped Gareth decide on new products.
  • Using backerKit to recover transactions that are lost due to Kickstarter.
  • Is Kickstarter or Indiegogo the best creator for my crowdfunding campaign?
  • Two words of advice for anyone launching a campaign.

Resources Mentioned

Sponsors

Apr 18, 2019

Rachel Pedersen is a Facebook marketing strategy specialist. In this episode, she helps you dig deeper into Facebook advertising and shares her most helpful tips and insights into how to do it well. Rachel provides solid answers to detailed questions. Listen to this interview to learn how to use Facebook ads in a way that will stand out, engage your audience, and lead to a successful product launch.

Targeting: Who is your potential market, and what message will resonate with them?

The first step in preparing for your product launch is to identify your potential audience and find out what message will resonate with them. In this episode, Rachel Pedersen explains how vital this step is to your entire Facebook marketing strategy, and details the ways you can test your market so that you don’t spend money on ads that may be ineffective. Listen to this interview to find out how to set yourself up for success by knowing ahead of time what is going to attract your market.

How to write good copy for Facebook ads

Good copy is essential to effective Facebook marketing strategy. As Rachel Pedersen says, “If your copy isn’t explaining the benefits of your product very well it doesn’t matter what audience you send it to.” In this episode, Rachel provides instruction on what good copy includes, how to find examples to base your copy on, and how to then test your copy to be sure it resonates with your market. Listen to this podcast to get a head start on writing great copy for your Facebook ads!

How e-mails and Facebook ads work together for a successful product launch

Your e-mail audience is your warmest audience. They have already indicated interest in your product. In this episode, Rachel Pederson talks about the importance of communicating with them, and gives tips for targeting Facebook ads to your e-mail audience so that they see your product launch everywhere and don’t forget to be part of it. Listen in to learn about using your e-mail audience as a vital part of your Facebook marketing strategy.

Tips for creating a lookalike audience on Facebook

Is the best Facebook audience a lookalike audience based on your e-mail list? The answer to that question depends on several factors, including the size of your e-mail list. In this interview, Rachel Pederson explains what is needed to create an accurate lookalike audience, and how to make adjustments as you gather more data. Listen in to learn about creating a lookalike audience and to gain other helpful tips and insights from this Facebook marketing strategy expert.

Outline of This Episode

  • Introduction to Rachel Pedersen and this episode on Facebook marketing strategy
  • Figuring out who your market is and how your message resonates.
  • Why is the testing and validation part so important to not skip?
  • Defining online sales funnels.
  • How and when to test your audience, copy, and creatives.  
  • How to write good copy for Facebook ads.
  • Taking into consideration the flow of how someone reads a Facebook ad.
  • How and when is the right time to boost a post when you might get more traction with it, based on having social proof already?
  • The relationship between engagement and social proof.
  • Is there a default objective that people should start with?
  • Thank you to our sponsor: BackerKit
  • How can we apply re-marketing to future campaigns?
  • How e-mails and Facebook ads work together for a successful product launch.
  • The importance of communicating with your crowdfunding audience.
  • Driving a cold audience to your Kickstarter campaign.
  • Remember to use gifting holidays that fall into your campaign dates.
  • Tips for creating a lookalike audience on Facebook.
  • Is there any easy way to import Kickstarter conversion data into FB or a third party tool to make it easy to calculate cost per acquisition?
  • What Rachel Pedersen looks for when people want to work with her for their product launch.
  • What’s your favorite product you have ever worked on? Wish I had worked on. Travel purse. My favorite is Pavlock. Cool to be part of that and see how it progressed. Maniche. I like taking on innovative mommy products.

Resources Mentioned

Sponsor 

  • BackerKit - use the code “uncut” to get 50% off of startup services
Apr 16, 2019

"The smartest thing we did was reject old fashion, old media, old world advice of how to trick people into giving you their money" - Max Temkin

 If you are becoming frustrated, depressed, and disillusioned learning about how to raise money to fund your project, then this podcast will inspire you.

Max Temkin has directly raised, or advised in a number of projects that have raised over $10 million total on Kickstarter. 

You MAY have heard of them…

In December, 2015, Max raised $1,479,046 for "Secret Hitler", a social deduction table game based in pre World War 2 Germany. Players have to help or hinder the beautifully illustrated Junta-Komodo-Dragon-Adolf-Hitler from taking over the government. His goal was $54,450 and he raised over $100,000 in the first 24 hours.

But that is not where he started.

His first project was Cards Against Humanity, one of the first games in the early days of Kickstarter, raised "only" $15,540 but since exploded and has been #1 Best Seller on Amazon for Toys and Games for as long as we can remember.

(...and is a staple at every games night I host with friends!)

In fact, Cards Against Humanity, as of publishing, occupies 3 - WOW! -  of the top 20 spots on the Amazon.com Best Seller List including the TOP 2, besting classics like Jenga and Connect 4.

Max also helped advise his friends who made the Most Backed Game in Kickstarter history,  Exploding Kittens, which raised $8,782,571.

Max understands Kickstarter, the Kickstarter Community, and his audience, probably better than anyone on the planet.

But Max is not a "marketer". He hates "gimmicks" and "tricks" and "gurus who don't know what they are talking about".

If you are feeling jaded by the Kickstarter Marketing World, and think that in order to fund your project you need to sacrifice your vision, then listen now. It will be the best 38 minutes of your day, guaranteed!

 

You will discover

  • The number #1 Trend in Kickstarter Today
  • Why Max still has the "fear to launch" and it never goes away, even after millions of dollars raised
  • Why it is important to ignore the temptation to look for "tricks" and "gimmicks" to hit your goal and "focus on the art"
  • Why no one knows really knows what the future of your project, or any project, holds
  • What it means to "front load" your project, and why it is absolutely critical to the success of your project (...and also when it isn't!)
  • Why “failing a project is a gift”...and how to embrace failure so "you are not on the hook to build something nobody wants"
  • Why you should never take the money if you don't reach your funding goal on Indiegogo
  • Why you should "Show don't tell" to sell your project
  • The importance of "user testing" and "iteration" to produce the best product possible before you launch your campaign (Max took a year and over a hundred iterations to get Secret Hitler just right
  • The importance of knowing your market better than they know themselves
  • The difference between "a good project and a good life"
  • Why your story is so important and why you need to be crystal clear communicating what it is about
  • Your page should clearly explain why a backer should not fund your project
  • How crushing his funding goal on Cards Against Humanity set the project delivery back

 

Famous last words:

"Finally, I am not the funniest guy in the room"

-Del Close



Resources Mentioned:

Connect with Max on Twitter

Secret Hitler

Cards Against Humanity

Max’s Other Projects

  • Humans vs Zombies - Help develop the software that powers games of Humans vs. Zombies at over 350 locations and universities all over the world.
  • Philosophy Posters - Ten giant philosophy posters with big ideas presented simply.
  • Wearwolf - A simple game about deceiving your friends.
  • Maxistentialism Zine - A monthly zine about philosophy, design, humor, and social insects, delivered to your door for one year.
  • Spelunky Dance - An interpretive dance for Andy Baio.

 Exploding Kittens

 

CONNECT WITH KHIERSTYN: www.khierstyn.com 

Apr 11, 2019

Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls, a book of short stories about extraordinary women,  surpassed one million in preorders, in spite of the small budget that was available for advertising. Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo did not expect the success that came their way. But, looking back, they have realized the steps they took that all worked together for their project to become the most funded book in crowdfunding history. Listen to this interview with Elena Favilli to hear the story of their campaign and learn the secrets to their success.

How to know if there is a market for your product

Testing the market for Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls began with Elena and Francesca’s newsletter audience. In this episode, Elena details how they entered into open dialogue with their readers and how that dialogue informed the decisions they made and eventually led to the launch of their book. Listen to this conversation to learn how you can engage your audience early in your project and ensure that you are creating something they really want.

Taking orders before your product goes live - Does it help or hurt your campaign?

Once Elena knew that there was a market for her product, she sent out a Google doc with a link to purchase. While it might seem that this could be a mistake and hurt her campaign, the result was quite the opposite. In this interview, Elena discusses how they went about choosing the people who would receive the Google doc, and how the response to it drove the success of their campaign and helped them exceed their goals even with their small marketing budget.  

How to keep the community energized throughout your campaign 

Keeping the community #engaged and energized throughout their# campaign was important to Elena and Francesca of Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls. In this episode, Elena explains how they managed their updates and stretch goals in such a way that their community became their ambassadors for their campaign. The engaged community was a major factor in allowing their launch to succeed with a small advertising budget. Listen in to find out what you can do to keep your community energized!

Elena Favilli’s top two marketing tips for people on a budget with a great product

Elena Favilli has two marketing tips for anyone who has a great product and a tight budget. First, do a lot of research for journalists who might be interested in covering your campaign. Second, make your video great. In this episode, Elena shares details about both strategies. She clarifies when and how to establish relationships with journalists that can help your campaign succeed, and describes the most important qualities for your video, which don’t include spending a lot of money on it. Listen to this interview to get the details on these two tips that can lead to a successful campaign on a small budget!

Outline of This Episode 

  • Why Khierstyn loves Backerkit (sponsor Info).
  • Introducing Elena Favilli and the surprising success of Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls
  • Elena’s first steps in discovering that there was a market for her product.
  • Elena’s story of testing the market and starting preorders before the campaign.
  • The process and effect of taking pre-orders before the Goodnight Stories campaign.
  • How Elena chose the people for the preorder release  
  • Break: BackerKit - How to keep organized after your campaign (sponsor info).
  • The value of validating your product and educating yourself on the crowdfunding process.
  • How Goodnight Stories kept building and avoided the mid-campaign slump.
  • Keeping the community energized through updates and stretch goals.
  • How Elena and Francesca used their small advertising budget.
  • Elena’s top two marketing tips for people on a budget with a great product.
  • How Elena pitched her project to journalists.
  • How Elena and Francesca completed their launch without outside help.
  • Khierstyn’s similar experience with validation, and your invitation to Crowdfunding Product Launch Academy.

    If you would like to contact Khierstyn, please visit www.khierstyn.com 

Resources Mentioned 

Sponsors

Apr 9, 2019

Have you ever seen a Mystic Unicorn poop creamy, delicious, ice cream?

If you caught the viral sensation ad for the Squatty Potty then you are familiar with some of Derral’s work.

But Derral was not always making millions of dollars for himself and his clients creating incredible direct response video ads.

After Derral Eves graduate from college with a degree in Public Relations and Advertising he landed his “dream job”:

As a Hospital Administrator.

No Really. That WAS his dream job. And he loved it… at first.

Within six months of diving in he had saved his new company $680,000 and went to his boss for a $10,000 per year raise. A 1.5% commission seems like a pretty good deal eh?

Well, not according to his boss, because if Derral got the tiny raise he was asking for he would be making more money than his direct supervisor. We wouldn’t want to rock the boat over a measly $680,000 saved in the first six months on the job, would we?

“I knew right then and there that I needed to get out... I needed to work somewhere where my work was appreciated.”

Despite having a brand new baby and wanting the security of a salary for his family, in 1999 Derral ended up in business for himself generating traffic for websites and doing internet marketing.

In the early days, Derral was being paid a base for his work but ALSO a commission of final sales, so he was looking for every possible way to get visits to convert into sales.

And video was his Golden Ticket.

Fast forward to 2016, Derral has been the Executive Producer and Project Lead for the Squatty Potty ad, he’s launched the musical careers of the Piano Guys from retail piano store owners to  global sensation, and recently celebrated over 1.8 BILLION total views on Youtube from videos he has produced.

This episode is NOT about a specific crowdfunding project or crowdfunding necessarily.

But it IS about the most crucial element of your crowdfunding campaign that you have to nail if you want to beat your funding goal: Your Video.

People who come to your page will base the majority of their buying decision on quality of the MESSAGE in the video, (fortunately, NOT the “expensiveness” of the production). In this episode, Derral is going to teach you exactly how to make a video with a MESSAGE that sells.

Derral considers himself a student of crowdfunding videos and offers up a number of wildly successful crowdfunded campaign videos as examples of his concepts at work.

This could be the most actionable podcast I have ever recorded. Pay attention, listen to it at least a half a dozen times.

Especially pay attention to how to study successful crowdfunding video online, and it will all but guarantee you hit your crowdfunding goal.

You will learn:

  • The 5 Step The Power Pitch Formula Derral uses in EVERY single one of his videos, beit a sales video for a Shark Tank client, a 1 minute sneak peek video for his own sites, to drive traffic, sales, and virality.
  • How to get someone like Howard Stern to endorse your product, and how to leverage that endorsement into credibility and sales.
  • Why your crowdfunding video MUST inspire for it to have a chance.
  • Why Derral doesn’t work on the FIRST 15 seconds of his videos until the AFTER the rest is done, and why he spends MORE TIME working on the intro than the rest of the video combined.
  • Why every single video you make needs just ONE Call To Action.
  • The biggest mistake most video marketers make that kills sales, and how to avoid it in your campaign.
  • Why video is the BEST way to sell your products and services without you being in the room face to face with your prospect.
  • Why “30 seconds ads” are a relic from TV and long form “edutainment” ads on the internet are crushing them in sales.
  • How to study the most successful Crowdfunding videos to be able to model their structure to basically guarantee your success.
  • Why “authenticity” is so important, and how a low budget iPhone video can beat a high budget production if it is more aligned and authentic to your story.
  • The importance of having at least three “credibility pieces”, and how you can get them even if you consider yourself an “unknown, inexperienced, rookie”.

    To contact Khierstyn visit www.khierstyn.com 
Apr 4, 2019

Wondering how to get product validation and calculate your costs?  Today’s conversation with Brian Creager is a great place to get started. In three years, Brian went from $500 a month to $250,000 a month! Listen to this episode to hear Brian’s expert advice about how to find a product, how to tap into the market for that product, and how to discover costs and set prices. If you want to crowdfund a product and sell online, you need to listen to this episode!

How do you know if your product will sell?

Your first step for selling your product is to see if it will sell. But how do you know what type of product to choose? In today’s episode, Brian Creager describes product types and gives wise advice about how to choose products when you are getting started. Something truly innovative?  A product similar to others out there, that does it better, faster, cheaper? Where is your best chance for success?  Get answers to these questions and more in today’s podcast on product validation.

Product validation: Is there a market for your product?

You will want to figure out whether or not your product can sell it before you go to the time and expense of making it. But how do you know?  In this episode, Brian Creager talks about the steps he takes to validate his products, how to find out the size of your potential market, and how market information influences the choices that he makes about what products to sell.  You won’t want to miss Brian’s expert advice about validating your product before launching! 

Three things to consider before launching a product

What are the necessary steps involved with launching a new product?  What aspects of a new product should be evaluated before moving forward?  Amazon marketing expert Brian Creager shares in this episode four steps that he takes in the process of launching a new product, and how he grades ideas on three specific aspects of the product to help with product validation. This information is invaluable for anyone seeking to market products online.  Don’t miss it!

Consider other experts in your field as resources, not competition


Connections work.  Seek out others who sell products similar to yours.  Does that sound scary to you?  In this episode, Brian Creager, founder and owner of The Product Hatchery, explains the valuable resource that others in your field can be when you start to see them as resources instead of competition. Listen to this podcast and discover how to connect with others in a way that helps you be more effective in the way you launch your product, and less afraid of the competition.

Outline of This Episode

  • Intro to this episode on product validation: how to find out if your product will sell.
  • Intro to Brian Creager, how he got started selling on Amazon, and how quickly his business grew.
  • Product validation: Is there a market for your product?
  • What is the first step to selling on Amazon?
  • How do I find a product that will sell on
  • Four stages of a product launch, and three aspects to grade when deciding on a product.
  • Thoughts about emotional attachment.
  • How you can do cost analysis.
  • Consider other experts in your field as resources, not competition.
  • Brian Creager’s perspective on products that fail.
  • One thing Brian Creager would have done differently if he could.

 

Want to get in touch? Go to www.khierstyn.com 

Resources Mentioned

Sponsors

Apr 2, 2019

Cheat Sheet

  • Burnout is inevitable if you try to do everything yourself. When you start to feel overwhelmed, that is when you should start outsourcing.
  • Start small, with discrete, one-off tasks, that you could do, but someone else could do a lot better. For example, if you aren’t a graphic designer, don’t  mess around in photoshop!
  • As you get used to outsourcing tiny projects, your confidence in other people and their abilities will grow.
  • Never settle for less than awesome. If you fail to delegate a task that could be better done by a specialist and instead do it yourself, you are settling for less. Settling is the path to mediocrity.
  • An Entrepreneur is someone who builds a team to solve a problem. A solopreneur is someone who tries to do it all themselves. Which do you want to be?

 

About this Episode

If you have been preparing for your Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign then you are probably finding out just how much stuff you have to do:

  • Build an audience
  • Source manufacturing
  • Build a website
  • Logos
  • Copywriting
  • Talk to potential customers
  • Iterate
  • Pay your bills in the meantime
  • Patents
  • Sleep
  • Date night with your significant other
  • Etc...

Oh yeah! And design your product!

And if you are like most of the people I talk to, you are probably a rookie in most, if not ALL of these categories!

When you are researching any one of these tasks, you have probably realized that you can go REALLY DEEP into any one of them. There are awesome, in-depth products on each one of these fields.

So where do you start - other than with my Product Launch Checklist?

Your time is scarce.

It takes time to execute everything you want to execute...

It takes more time to learn how to execute what you want to execute…

And it takes the MOST TIME to sort through all the information out there just to decide WHAT to learn and who to learn from before getting down to the business of learning and then executing.

And because you may not have the financial resources to go on a mad hiring binge, nor have the experience to be able to properly vet the people you want to hire, you probably fall into what this week’s guest, Chris Ducker, calls....

SUPERHERO SYNDROME

Superhero syndrome is where we as entrepreneurs try to do everything ourselves.

And that is incredibly overwhelming. It is hard enough to learn one new task as opposed to 10, and to be able to complete the task to your own high standard, let alone your customer’s.

At some point, the only solution is to cut something or hire someone to do it.

Enter Chris Ducker.

Those of you who have been following me for a while will recognize this episode from my original podcast, Entrepreneur Uncut #19.

But I have been getting so many calls from overwhelmed project creators that I decided to repost it for you here.

This episode is a crash course on both how to decide what to outsource, and how to outsource. It applies as much, if not more, to crowdfunding Project Creators as it does to any other entrepreneur.

Chris explains in detail his concept of the 3 Lists Of Freedom that I have personally used to delegate tasks in my business.

When I got started advising entrepreneurs launch crowdfunding campaigns I was doing most of the work myself.

But now, I have a team of people that help me do the copywriting, customer support, and technical work, while I focus on strategy, media outreach, and quarterbacking the whole project.

Listen to this episode, go through the 3 Lists of Freedom exercise, outsource something small, and then get some sleep!

Your business will thank you for it.

If you would like to contact Khierstyn, please visit www.khierstyn.com 

Resources mentioned

ChrisDucker.com

YouPreneur.com

The New Business Podcast

Virtual Staff Finder

Virtual Freedom

Tropical Think Tank

Mar 28, 2019

My guest today is Matt Bodnar. He is the host of the Science is Success podcast and a part of the Fresh Hospitality Firm. He’s here to share with us today how to get VC investments and whether they’re right for your business.

 

Investment with Fresh Hospitality

 

Fresh Hospitality invests across the food value spectrum. They invest in farming and agriculture through packaged foods.  They also invest in technology, marketing, and accounting that fits around their ecosystem. They're able to add immediate value to their clients. They provide the extra resources needed to help growth.

 

They are very hands on investors. Matt looks at investing as the discovery of value at one end and the creating of value on the other. Companies they invest in already have good value, but Matt wants to increase their value. There's several ways they provide value to their clients.

 

There’s a lot of different ways to work with VC’s. Fresh Hospitality works as a traditional private equity firm. They take more stake in the company and become more hands on. Majority of VC’s take on more of a minority position.

 

 

 

Matt’s Beginning

 

After graduation Matt worked on Wall Street for several years. He’s originally from Nashville. His connection there is what brought him into the food and hospitality industry. He found himself in a new dynamic with new challenges. He’s now starting to find opportunities in the food technology space. While still investing in more traditional farming practices.

 

Investment in Crowdfunding and the Entrepreneur

 

Crowdfunding is one of the top platforms for your start up. It improves customer demand and gives you the startup capital you need. Most people will lean more towards a company that started through crowdfunding. It gives them validation of the product.

 

It’s important to look at the traction and value of a company when investing. Have your proof of concept ready when approached with an investment. This is something you can get from a successful crowdfunding campaign. Connect yourself with your campaign.

 

When investing, Matt also looks at the entrepreneur themselves. He wants founders to stay involved with their business and continue to lead. It’s originally their vision so they should be taking lead on the creative side of the business.

 

Matt likes to focus more on the back end of a business and scaling the business. It’s important for Matt when investing to ensure the company connects with Fresh Hospitality’s current investments. He utilizes the success of his investments to leverage other investment opportunities. He’s found this increases the value of those investments.

 

Investment Decisions Vs. Investment Outcomes

 

It’s not about the outcome of a decision. It’s about the decision being the right one. Make yourself a decision journal. When you have big decisions coming up, focus on which ones are most important at that moment. Analyze what the decision is and weigh out the outcomes of making the decision. Once you’ve made the decision, analyze what went well and what went bad. By building a log of these decisions you can look back and see how your decision-making skills have grown.

 

Network Towards an Investment

 

Most of the clients Matt deals with have sought them out. In the beginning they focused more on being active in seeking clients. Now he gets 5-6 deals pitched to him per week. He’s been able to garner this traction from referrals and word of mouth.

 

The platform in which you send your pitch is important. When receiving pitches from an online form or their website, Matt immediately discards it. If he’s given a warm introduction by someone he knows, he’s more inclined to receive the pitch. It’s a kind of vetting process when it comes to the leads he receives.

 

Networking goes a long way when asking for an investment. Use your network to reach the people you need to. It’s much easier to pitch an idea when you have a warm intro. Matt likes to receive pitches in person when possible. If not, he’ll ask for a product sample and a 30-minute meeting. He wants to create that personal connection with them before he starts to invest.

 

Are VC Investments Right for You?

 

If you think VC investing is for you, make sure it’s the right thing for your business. It’s a very different life than bootstrapping. The pressure to grow quickly can lead to investing in areas that don’t create value. This can be what destroys your business. Most people who look for VC investments are aware of the holes in their business. They are looking for someone who can provide that capital or intellectual capital.

 

Be clear with yourself on what you want. What kind of lifestyle do you want? Are you capable of taking it there? Be honest with yourself.

 

 

 

 

Investments in the Food Industry

 

In the technology world, most VC’s invest in the seed stage. In the food industry, people lean towards investing in companies that have growth. They’ve already gained traction and have some sort of customer demand. It’s rare to receive investments in the seed stage in the food industry. The more traction you can get the better chance you have at getting an investment.

 

Word of mouth will help you get traction. There are some investors in the food industry still willing to invest early. Use your connections and network to figure out what the ecosystem is right now. Find the right person for the investment you’re looking for. Look for someone who’s willing to invest in your niche.

 

Show Intensity, Intelligence, and Integrity

 

Reputation is very important. Don’t sacrifice your integrity for short-term gains. Shortcuts to get ahead end up pulling you back. You can get money easily but building your reputation is difficult. The integrity of an entrepreneur is important for any investor.

 

 

Episode Outline

 

Introduction: How to Find Which Investment is Right for your Business.

 

Investing with Fresh Hospitality

Matt’s Beginning

Investment in Crowdfunding and the Entrepreneur

Investment Decisions Vs. Investment Outcomes

Network Towards an Investment

Are VC Investments Right for You?

Investments in the Food Industry

Show Intensity, Intelligence, and Integrity

 

Contact Khierstyn at www.khierstyn.com 

 

Resources and Sponsor

Matt Bodnar

The Science of Success Podcast

Fresh Hospitality

Toxic VC TechCrunch

 

Follow Matt Bodnar @MattBodnar

Facebook

Twitter 

 
Mar 26, 2019

When weighing the options for crowdfunding, most project creators opt for a months-long process to ensure optimum success. In some cases, however, time is not abundant. This was the case when Bryce Fisher of Ravean Heated Jackets approached his first Kickstarter campaign. The timeline from idea to prototype to crowdfunding campaign was just a few weeks long, giving Bryce a time crunch to meet his goals. The question is, how do you find success with so little time to raise funds? In his chat with Khierstyn, Bryce unveils the secrets that helped Ravean launch with a bang, in spite of having just a couple of weeks.

The importance of marketing in order to spread the word.

As Bryce approached the Kickstarter campaign for Ravean, he knew spreading the word quickly would be the only way to find his supporters. With a little trial and error, he was able to connect with his target market via social media and gain incredible support in a short time. Bryce shares some secrets that can help you connect your product to the sometimes-elusive target market that is essential to the success of any crowdfunding campaign. Driving traffic to his site was key, Bryce explains, and his strong focus on those efforts have given him the edge Ravean needs to maintain vigorous support.

The #1 best practice of the Ravean campaign.

When planning a crowdfunding campaign, it’s pretty clear customers will either make or break you. Bryce explains why customer validation was the #1 reason for success with his Kickstarter campaign, and how he maintained this as his top priority throughout the campaign. He delves deeper into some key strategies by sharing marketing techniques that truly transformed his campaign. Finding your niche will help to drive all-important organic traffic to the campaign, which saves time and money in gaining support.

Why the campaign picture and headline are key.

A great first impression is essential to any interaction. Bryce explains the role of having a clear, eye-catching campaign photo in converting customers. He offers a few tips that can give any crowdfunding campaign the edge. Getting potential supporters to your campaign page is just half the battle and Bryce shares the importance of the details as you create your campaign. He shares his top 3 marketing focuses and how he applied mistakes from his first campaign to his current Indiegogo campaign. By understanding the key differences between Kickstarter and Indiegogo, future crowdfunders will be better equipped to choose the best platform for their product.

Bryce explains what’s next for Ravean.

Bryce shares with great passion the unique heated jackets offered by Ravean and what he sees as the next steps for his company. By continuing to focus on quality and customer validation as top priorities, Bryce believes the sky is the limit for this growing company. After far exceeding the goals set by his first Kickstarter campaign, Ravean continues to see success in the current Indiegogo campaign. He shares his key learnings and future goals for Ravean with Khierstyn.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE:

  • Khierstyn’s introduction of Bryce Fisher of Ravean, who shares how he built a successful Kickstarter campaign in a short period of time.
  • Bryce explains his current project status.
  • Understanding Ravean and the inspiration behind the Ravean Heated Jacket.
  • Why Bryce started his campaign later in the process than most, giving himself less time to raise funds.
  • The process of marketing the campaign and spreading the word within the 2-week window.
  • What is the #1 reason for the success of the Ravean Kickstarter campaign?
  • Bryce explains how he drives traffic to the Ravean site.
  • Overcoming the marketing limitations present in a short-term campaign.
  • The #1 best practice during the Ravean campaign.
  • What is the #1 mistake made on this campaign Bryce would avoid in future campaigns?
  • What insight into customers does Kickstarter give you after project completion?
  • Bryce’s reasons for choosing to run an Indiegogo campaign after his Kickstarter campaign.
  • The resources Bryce used in the push to get his campaign off the ground.
  • The importance of understanding the competition in finding traction as you approach your campaign.
  • Setting a realistic marketing budget for a campaign.
  • The top 3 things you should be spending your marketing budget on for a Kickstarter campaign.
  • Indiegogo versus Kickstarter as a crowdfunding platform.
  • What’s next for Ravean?
  • Why did Bryce choose to continue using crowdfunding to launch new products after having a successful Kickstarter campaign?
  • Ways to connect with Bryce.

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

Ravean

Ravean Indiegogo Campaign

Kickstarter

Indiegogo

Coolest Cooler

CONNECT WITH Bryce: www.Ravean.com

CONNECT WITH KHIERSTYN: www.khierstyn.com 

 

Nov 29, 2018

Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, and many others have been around for about 10 years now, and yet there are still lots of people who don’t understand why Kickstarter is good for your business. In this quick video, my aim is to explain the power of Kickstarter and other similar crowdfunding platforms and the potential that they have for your business or personal needs.

Put as simply as possible, crowdfunding platforms allow you to raise money for projects with the help of a community, which you then repay with various small physical or non-physical tokens of appreciation. These can be the products that your project ends up producing or anything else that’s relevant to your project and your supporters. Crowdfunding supporters sometimes get their money’s worth and sometimes do it mainly with altruistic purposes. Either way, the bottom line is that understanding the power of Kickstarter and knowing why Kickstarter is good for your business is how many of the most successful entrepreneurs of the last decade realized their projects.

Particularly with physical products, where my specialty is, you need to raise X amount of dollars months ahead of your production schedule so that you can even start your business. To that end, crowdfunding campaigns typically set a certain monetary goal that needs to be reached within a certain amount of time – usually 35 days, but sometimes less or more than that.

Whereas with other traditional investment methods such as bank loans, angel investment, friends & family loans, etc., you can often put yourself in uncomfortable situations, with the power of Kickstarter and other crowdfunding platforms you can go global and contact your future customers directly. And this is another reason why crowdfunding is such a good idea – because it allows you to get in touch with your client base even before you’ve created your product and start building upon it in advance.

These are just a couple of the many great benefits that come with crowdfunding. For more tips and strategies about how to plan your Kickstarter campaign, be sure to subscribe. 

Nov 27, 2018

Crowdfunding too early is a common mistake a lot of entrepreneurs make with their campaigns. They don’t research what to know before crowdfunding before jumping in. Today we’re going to take look at a key stress point in your campaign and how to avoid it.

I have a major beef with many marketing agencies that deal with crowdfunding. They don’t talk about the phase of production that comes right after the successful end of your crowdfunding campaign. Most agencies and fundraising coaches give all sorts of crowdfunding tips for making a successful Kickstarter or IndieGoGo campaign. However, by “successful” they mean “a campaign that’s reached 100% of its funding goal.” They talk about what to know before crowdfunding, but only in the context of preparing for the campaign itself. What’s usually left unsaid, and what kills a lot of otherwise “successful” crowdfunding campaigns, is that they’re not well prepared for the phase that follows – using the raised funds and manufacturing the planned products.

This is why a lot of campaigns fail to deliver on their promises and why they get delayed for months or even years. Crowdfunding too early can kneecap even the best business concept. It can cause you to fail to predict the exact manufacturing costs, lose key manufacturing partners, and force you to change major aspects of your product. In an ideal world, a crowdfunding campaign should be started when you have a working prototype, or have already manufactured about 100 items and figured out the ins and outs of the whole process.

Otherwise, you risk delivering a different product than what you promised, delaying delivery, and losing potential clients for your brand. What’s more, you’ll damage the trust that crowdfunding supporters have, both in your brand and in crowdfunding as a whole. None of us want that to happen, so don’t make the mistake of crowdfunding too early.

Nov 27, 2018

Can your product succeed on Kickstarter? We’ve been going over different tips and tricks on how to run a successful Kickstarter or IndieGoGo campaign, but it’s time to talk about your product itself. It doesn’t matter how well-prepared your campaign is – you first need to see if your product is a good fit for crowdfunding in the first place.

Crowdfunding is an amazing tool for raising money, but it simply can’t be done for any and all products – at least not easily. People who support the various fundraising campaigns on Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, and other platforms don’t do it out of sheer altruism, nor do they only care about the material incentives they’ll get from supporting it. These things matter, but the main rule here is that crowdfunding supporters tend to gravitate toward interesting, new, and unique products that manage to impress them. So, when wondering how to run a successful Kickstarter campaign, the first thing to do is consider the following three things about your product:

What’s your product’s selling point? What’s unique about it, what niche can it fill? It doesn’t have to be a “never-before-seen product”, but there needs to be something new and different about it.

Is your end customer a consumer or is your product intended for a business-to-business model? Can your product succeed on Kickstarter if it’s intended only for social media managers or CEOs? In theory, yes, but generally there are other fundraising platforms and methods that better suit B2B products. For a platform such as Kickstarter or IndieGoGo, you want your product to be something that can catch the interest of a wide consumer base.

Does your product have market validation? Sure, your product has a unique twist, but is it truly one of a kind or are there other similar products out there? The best way to know how to run a successful Kickstarter campaign for your product is to check out how other similar campaigns have fared. A big mistake a lot of people make is taking notes from the campaigns for different products from different niches. This is risky because what works for products from one niche is counterproductive for others, and vice versa. The best case scenario is having a product with existing market validation that still has something unique about it to make it interesting.

Once you’ve answered the question “Can your product succeed on Kickstarter?” then it’s time to proceed with your crowdfunding campaign. If you want to learn what to do next, like this video and subscribe to our channel for more insightful crowdfunding tips.

Nov 27, 2018

The Kickstarter popularity algorithm is probably the most overlooked factor for ensuring a successful crowdfunding campaign. If you want to know how to launch a new product on Kickstarter or IndieGoGo successfully the algorithm is something you need to be aware of!

The Kickstarter popularity algorithm is based on the idea of social proof. In order to have social proof a campaign needs early support before the majority of potential backers start to see and support it. In the crowdfunding world this means that we are more likely to support campaigns by unknown creators that have already gathered some support from other people. If we stumble upon a campaign that has been online for a week or more and still hasn’t gathered a significant amount of support, we tend to ignore it. It’s a perfectly natural and understandable response – after all, why would people support something that no one else has any interest in?

And because crowdfunding platforms take a share from successful crowdfunding campaigns they tend to feature and promote only those campaigns that show promise from day one. After all, there are so many campaigns running at any one time, the prime real estate of the home page needs to be reserved for the best of the best! The Kickstarter popularity algorithm includes factors such as the number of backers a campaign has gathered on day one, the number of transactions, the amount of traffic and amount of comments, and the general amount of activity that has happened for your particular campaign.

This is the reason why knowing how to launch a new product on Kickstarter or other crowdfunding platforms is so important – because most of the work has to be done before the campaign has even started. More often than not, to hit your funding goals a campaign has to gather support from the very first day. And for that to happen, you need to have built a significant portion of your audience beforehand.

Pro Tip: when building an audience ahead of launch, don’t overlook support from your inner circle (friends and family). Their support can be critical!

Nov 23, 2018

Knowing how to set your Kickstarter goal is a tricky but an extremely important part of your crowdfunding campaign. Funding goals for your Kickstarter project involve a lot of factors, but the bottom line is that the goal has to be reached.

The first thing to understand about crowdfunding goals, particularly on Kickstarter where your campaign’s goal needs to be reached for you to get anything, is that you actually have two goals to consider – the public goal and your personal goal. To properly identify those two goals you need to ask yourself two questions:

“How much do I * need * to raise for my project?”
“How much do I * want * to raise for my project?”

These are two very different questions.

More often than not, the trick to achieving your funding goals for your Kickstarter campaign is to set your goal at the level you * need * to raise. The higher sum – your personal goal – can still be reached, but you have a higher chance of reaching both goals if you use the smaller sum as your official public goal.

The reason for this is very simple – the lower your campaign’s goal is, the higher percentage of it will be completed with each consecutive contribution. If you have a goal of $10,000 and someone contributes $500, that’s 5% of your campaign goal!

However, if you’ve set your goal to $100,000, then those $500 will be just 0.5% of your campaign goal. The reason this is important is that fundraising platforms such as Kickstarter and IndieGoGo tend to feature “successful” campaigns on their main pages, exposing them to communities of millions of people. So, when wondering how to set your Kickstarter goal, choose the lower number – the one you absolutely need to hit. Once the contributions start rolling and you gain traction among the platform’s audience, you’ll find it much easier to reach and pass your initial goal. In fact, by doing this, you’ll have a higher chance of reaching your real funding goals for your Kickstarter campaign and bringing your vision to reality!

Nov 13, 2018

Dreaming of launching a kickass crowdfunding campaign for your project? There’s one common Kickstarter mistake you need to avoid at all costs. It’s super important that you keep this in mind when researching how to plan your Kickstarter campaign. Let me explain … The key to success on crowdfunding sites is to really understand the mindset of potential backers. That includes knowing when the right time is to launch your campaign. One thing I see over and over again – and in fact I’ve been guilty of it myself – is people often make the common Kickstarter mistake of launching their campaigns in the fourth quarter of the year. On the face of it, it sounds like a good idea, right? With Black Friday and Christmas around the corner, surely that means increased consumer spending and a greater likelihood of reaching your goals? Right? WRONG! The holiday season doesn’t mean more backers. In fact, it’s likely to be the opposite. Here’s why… When considering how to plan your Kickstarter campaign, scratch the surface and work out what’s going on in the minds of your potential backers. Most campaigns, if successful, will take months before the product is manufactured and delivered. Knowing that backers are reluctant to spend their holiday budget on something they may not see for six months. After all, they’ve got more pressing things to spend their money on, like gifts for friends and family! From a marketing perspective, there’s also an increased advertising cost you’ll need to factor in. Around Black Friday, marketing costs can spike to three or four times what they are during offseason. Why? Well, it’s the time of the year where there’s a feeding frenzy of competing advertisers all vying to get eyeballs on their products. All that competition drives costs up! Long story short - avoid making the Q4 Kickstarter mistake. Don’t do it! For more tips and strategies about how to plan your Kickstarter campaign and execute the perfect launch hit the subscribe button and stay up to date with all my videos.

Oct 9, 2018

In today's episode, we take a look at how MadnessPlanner.com, a current planner brand that's getting ready to release their latest planner, is using Instagram Giveaway contests to gain brand traction and build their audience.

Jocelyn Schade launched Madness Planner on Shopify earlier this year. Madness Planner, as I like to describe it, is the un-planner for creatives.

Planners seem to be one of the hottest products to launch on Kickstarter right now.

But when Jocelyn was searching for a tool to help her focus, she couldn't find one system that really worked for her.

And that's how she got the idea to create a planner for those Mad Ones. The ones that don't want to conform to a system... but want to create your own.

[Me = Guilty]

So, needless to say, she's sold out of her first 500 units fairly quickly.

Jocelyn decided to go to Kickstarter for Version 2.0 of Madness Planner. She decided to take the launch slow and treat that first "500 sold on Shopify" as a way to get customer feedback and focus on creating an even better product for round 2 (Kickstarter).

Part of her early success has been how she's used Instagram Giveaway Contests to build her email list + get early sales. 

Listen to our latest episode to see how she used Giveaways to build her list by hundreds in a few short months.  

 

Apr 3, 2018

Khierstyn’s guest for this episode of Crowdfunding Uncut is Paul Nadeau, skilled hostage negotiator and the person who is going to revolutionize how you think about stopping self-sabotage. He takes his knowledge of negotiating with people in crises and applies it to personal and professional situations, giving you the best chance at finding success and happiness in your own life. It’s an episode that is going to help you advance your career, find fulfillment, and learn how to prevent your subconscious from sabotaging your success. Don’t miss this insightful and inspirational episode.

How are hostage negotiations and business transactions connected?

Paul transitioned from his background in traditional police force work into hostage negotiations because he learned how to communicate persuasively with people - a skill that is necessary for any business environment. He frequently takes people who have reached the end of their rope and renegotiates a situation into one where everyone is given the best chance to succeed and find peace. These scenarios were not approached with an inflated sense of bravado and an abundance of pre-formed answers to the problems at hand. Rather, he followed a refined process that always kept the human factors in mind. On this episode of Crowdfunding Uncut Paul explains to Khierstyn that you can’t judge a person before you get into the situation and identify all the details. You must then ask them, "What is it you want? What is going on with you right now?" Making that personal connection with an individual (hostage or potential client) is key for the interaction to be successful. They must know you, like you, and trust you in order for any solution to succeed. Taking your time, having empathy for the individual, and working together towards a solution works for hostage crises and business interactions. Paul draws on his extensive experiences to offer you a great explanation as to why these two seemingly separate scenarios are linked, and it’s something you don’t want to miss.

The first step in stopping self-sabotage is learning how to recognize your own self-worth

Paul and Khierstyn are adamant on this episode of Crowdfunding Uncut that every individual is worthy of success, happiness, and fulfillment. These wonderful things only come after recognizing your own self-worth. In order to stop self-sabotage, you must take the time to recognize the areas of life that you are struggling in, identify the conscious and subconscious thoughts that are holding you back from succeeding, and eliminate those thought patterns. Khierstyn explains that reality is often 100% contradictory to what your subconscious is telling you. If you take away the bars that are caging you in, nothing can hold you back. For more great advice on learning how to recognize your self-worth, be sure to listen to this podcast episode.

Don’t let the negative defining moments in your life create a belief system that dictates your future

Everyone has those moments in our pasts that resurface and tell us we’re not worthy of happiness or success. Paul explains to Khierstyn that there are two ways of handling these moments in retrospect. You can choose to believe that the terrible thing that occurred was your fault, and because of that, you are not worthy. Or you can choose to understand that terrible things happen, it was not your fault, and that you don’t have to internalize it and let it define your future. Essentially, you can choose to be a victim or a survivor. The most important moments in your life are the ones that are happening right now, and Paul and Khierstyn want you to recognize you are worthy of enjoying these moments. Don’t miss the rest of their conversation on this episode of Crowdfunding Uncut.

Your past does not define you, your future has not yet been written, and you are worthy of success and happiness

Perhaps the biggest takeaway from this episode of Crowdfunding Uncut is the fact that there is nothing separating you from success. The other people that you admire and view as successful are no more worthy of that success than you are. Paul explains that your past does not have to define you, you can learn how to renegotiate situations to your benefit, and that your future has not yet been written. You CAN stop self-sabotage, you CAN pursue personal and professional success, and no one can dictate how you choose to feel or react to situations in your life. This podcast episode is sure to make you rethink how you approach your past, present, and future, and it’s one not to be missed.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:53] Khierstyn introduces her guest for this episode, Paul Nadeau, skilled hostage negotiator and believer in self-worth
  • [4:49] Paul’s journey from police work into a hostage negotiation specialist
  • [10:04] Scenarios where Paul’s negotiation and persuasion skills become essential
  • [14:15] The predictable selling environment vs. working within hostage situations
  • [19:00] The challenge of getting people to open up
  • [24:06] The first step in stopping self-sabotage, utilizing hostage situation skills
  • [31:38] There is nothing separating you from success!
  • [35:12] Don’t let the negative defining moments in your life create a belief system that dictates your future
  • [40:50] Life is about the process, not the outcome
  • [43:54] Paul shares how you can get a copy of his new book
  • [46:18] Paul’s famous last words for "unhostaging" yourself

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Paul Nadeau

Connect With Khierstyn

Mar 27, 2018

Leadership, motivation, and entrepreneur are three of the biggest buzzwords in today’s business environment. Chris Thomson, business owner and partner for Canada’s Student Works Painting, has built a company that brings in over $17 million in annual revenue, has raised over $1.3 million for various charities, and plugs highly-skilled undergraduate students into a working business model. Khierstyn herself is an alumnus of the program and on this episode of Crowdfunding Uncut she and Chris discuss the most important leadership strategies for young entrepreneurs and why identifying your “why” is so critical. You don’t want to miss this inspiring episode, so be sure to give it your full attention.

How Student Works Painting creates future business leaders

Student Works Painting operates by giving undergraduate college students the opportunity to create a business plan, market, and sell a company. Participants can elect to work as a minimum wage painter for a single academic year or apply to be a part of the prestigious Summer Management Program. The summer program teaches students leadership and business skills that are transferable to any career path. By focusing on the mentorship and student development portions of the business model, not just the final painted product, Chris and his team are able to enable promising students to flourish in their personal development. Chris is “developing the next great generation of Canadian business leaders” and his insights are sure to inspire, be sure to check out this episode.

Identifying the “why” behind your work will motivate you to create more and take more action

Just as Student Works Painting is so much more than a house painting business, your business needs to be about more than just the final product. Identifying the true reasons behind why you’re doing the work you’re doing will pay off in dividends. Chris stays motivated and passionate about his work because it’s really about impacting young people and giving them the tools to succeed later in life. He explains to Khierstyn on this episode that you have to connect your business idea, your future life goals, and the needs/wants of your employees and customers for your entrepreneurial venture to really succeed. Identifying the “why” will motivate you to complete the business tasks that are necessary but aren’t that exciting. To hear how Chris discovered his “why” be sure to listen to this podcast.

The top essentials for good leadership and why you should apply the pay it forward technique in life and business

Servant leadership is a huge part of what Chris does at Student Works Painting, and he encourages listeners of this episode of Crowdfunding Uncut to always take care of people first - tasks and objectives can wait. If your employees aren’t being taken care of and don’t feel valued the important work won’t be done at a high-caliber level. Your conversations shouldn’t revolve around money. Focusing solely on the transactions of business cheapens the relationships you should be trying to develop. When there’s real alignment between vision, value, employees, and customers, that’s when your company and brand are going to be launched into success. Chris also mentions that you can attract high-quality people with a vision, but you have to keep them through mentoring.

The most important part of being an entrepreneur and Chris’ famous last words of motivation

The first step in becoming a successful entrepreneur is passionately seeking out your own strengths, weaknesses, and communication styles. After you determine your authentic self, fill your team with people who will encourage your strengths and support your weaknesses. Chris explains to Khierstyn that people work better in teams because no one is great at every task or leadership style. However, incredible things can happen when passionate, dynamic people tackle a common goal. By always learning and being willing to take the first step into a new project, you’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish. “The world bends to those who are in action,” exclaims Chris, and you definitely need to hear the rest of his advice for aspiring business leaders. Don’t let this episode of Crowdfunding Uncut go unlistened.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:53] Khierstyn introduces her guest for this episode, Chris Thomson, business partner for Student works
  • [3:27] How did Khierstyn go from a biochemistry major in college to working with Chris at Student Works Painting?
  • [5:38] What exactly is Student Works Painting?
  • [7:14] Chris’ journey from individual to business partner and owner over 30 years of working in Student Works
  • [10:34] Developing future business leaders through Student Works
  • [14:00] How can you realize what your passion is, even while working on your business?
  • [19:04] The magic behind why Student Works has returning participants year after year
  • [21:46] The essentials for good leadership and applying the pay it forward technique
  • [27:25] We work better in teams because no one is great at every task or leadership technique
  • [34:53] Creating a network is so critical because you become like the 5 people you spend the most time with
  • [36:21] Chris’ famous last words for entrepreneurs

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Chris Thomson

Connect With Khierstyn

Mar 13, 2018

With nearly 50% of all e-commerce sales occurring on Amazon, many crowdfunders are asking the question, “how can I take my product and sell on Amazon?” On this episode of Crowdfunding Uncut, Khierstyn has a conversation with Ben Arneberg, founder of Product Fuel and creator of crowdfunding giants Willow & Everett and Terra Mat. Ben shares his top tips for crowdfunders looking to move into the e-commerce space after a successful campaign, how to rank highly within Amazon’s categories, and many more trade secrets that you don’t want to miss. Be sure to listen to this episode - your product will thank you.

Crowdfunding platforms and Amazon are delicate partners - here’s how Product Fuel makes it work

Turning a successful crowdfunding campaign into an equally successful brand online is hard work. That’s why Ben created Product Fuel - to help entrepreneurs move their products from crowdsourcing platforms into digital marketplaces. While it may be easy to list products on Amazon, it’s extremely difficult to allow that product hit its full potential. Product Fuel has successfully taken campaigns such as Wilcox Boots that earned over $140,000 through Kickstarter and helped them bring in over $80,000 monthly Amazon sales. When a campaign is nearly complete, Ben and his team will begin conversations with the client to determine product flows and shipping methods. This allows both parties to fully understand the desired outcome for the product and make a game plan that is tailored to each product, target audience, and sales goals. To hear how to get your product on Ben and Product Fuel’s radar, be sure to listen to this episode.

The art of combining a crowdfunding campaign, a stellar website, and selling on Amazon

Product Fuel attracts clients who already have a successful crowdfunding campaign in progress. Ben encourages aspiring creators to go to a crowdsourcing platform first, rather than trying to launch solely on a website or directly to Amazon. There’s a trifecta that leads to the most success: a successful crowdfunding campaign, an interactive website, and ranking highly on Amazon (leading to more sales.) The campaign is the first integral piece in the process - aside from having an innovative product that fills a market gap. Campaigns create “an amazing halo effect” as Ben explained, and when harnessed properly the momentum drives organic traffic to Amazon and pushes your rankings higher. Without all three of these pieces, your efforts will be much more difficult. For Ben’s full explanation on this cohesive approach, be sure to listen to this episode of Crowdfunding Uncut.

Why accurate keywords and appropriate pricing is key for Amazon success

To explain the importance of great keywords and appropriate pricing, Ben uses a hypothetical coffee mug scenario. Even if you have a stellar coffee mug that sells well for $50 on your website, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will sell well on Amazon. When compared to $7 competitor mugs, if your $50 mug only has a 5% conversion rate on Amazon, it will be pushed down in the rankings and be seen by very few customers. This is the point of critical balance - your product needs to be priced accordingly to not be immediately written off by the client, and it needs to be matched with the right keywords and categories. Product Fuel can help you with this process. For all of the insights on Amazon success, don’t miss this conversation with Khierstyn and Ben.

Ben’s best advice for achieving success selling crowdfunding products on Amazon

In addition to all of the selling strategies Ben discusses on this episode of Crowdfunding Uncut, he encourages crowdfunders to always communicate with a campaign’s backers. You want to avoid launching on your website or on Amazon before your most loyal supporters receive their product. You can also use this window of time for feedback - see what your backers like and dislike about the physical product and then make slight adjustments before releasing it to the general public. He and Khierstyn also discuss the importance of always fulfilling sales through Amazon and why you should stay away from Amazon Launchpad. To hear more of Ben’s expert advice don’t miss this episode of Crowdfunding Uncut.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:53] Khierstyn introduces her guest for this episode, Ben Arneberg, founder of Product Fuel and Amazon seller guru
  • [3:59] Why Amazon and crowdsourcing are delicate partners
  • [7:17] Why Ben was hesitant to use Kickstarter for Terra Mat, and what changed his mind
  • [8:38] The difference between product selection for Kickstarter and Amazon
  • [12:20] Pros of putting an established brand on Amazon
  • [17:45] Ben’s best tips for future Amazon e-commerce sellers and why you should stay away from Amazon Launchpad
  • [20:44] Ben’s suggestions for organizing product fulfillment
  • [22:57] The timeline for creating your e-commerce process
  • [31:21] How to get connected with Ben and Product Fuel

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Ben Arneberg

Connect With Khierstyn

Mar 6, 2018

If there’s one area of business all entrepreneurs and crowdfunders need to understand, it’s the art and science of investing in relationships. On this episode of Crowdfunding Uncut, Khierstyn interviews Jayson Gaignard, founder of Mastermind Talks, about the story behind the Talks, how he maintains influential relationships with his network, and the best questions to ask to spark great conversations. You don’t want to miss Jayson’s passionate insights, and your network will greatly benefit from hearing his advice.

The fascinating story behind how Jayson overcame threats of bankruptcy and founded Mastermind Talks

After spending the early part of his career building Tickets Canada, traveling the world, and netting $6-7 million per year, Jayson realized that he wasn’t happy with the direction his career was headed. He avoided talking to his clients, started having stress-induced health issues, and wanted to start over and go in a new direction. Rather than sell the company, he decided to downsized and unfortunately was met with debt upwards of a quarter million dollars. That’s when the idea for Mastermind Talks was born. He tapped into a niche market for high-ticket networking and entrepreneur launch events and began working within his passion for connecting people. Mastermind Talks was immediately thrust into success when Jayson purchased a book and speaking engagement package from Tim Ferriss, and Ferriss was in the audience for the first Mastermind Talks event. But how did Jayson manage to purchase this package? He simply made three phone calls. The first two looked promising, but it was the third call to a personal contact that changed the game for Jayson. To hear about how this phone call turned out, and why this contact “invested in Jayson, not the business idea,” be sure to listen to this episode of Crowdfunding Uncut.

How Jayson selects the participants for Mastermind Talks events and why he refunded over $40,000 in ticket sales for his first event

When Jayson switched gears from e-commerce into the art of connecting people, he knew he wanted to be selective in deciding who would be invited to the Mastermind Talks events. The invite-only events that cost upwards of $10,000 per ticket allow Jayson to personally screen interested parties. He explains to Khierstyn that he wants to surround himself with people of integrity that he would personally be friends with - not just any business person who can afford the ticket price. Jayson is so committed to these high standards that for the first event, Mastermind Talks refunded over $40,000 in ticket sales because the fit between the event and the participant just wasn’t right. Mastermind Talks isn’t about event size or revenue, it’s about creating a space where stellar people can share great ideas and make connections that could change the course of their careers. Jayson is passionate about his story, and you don’t want to miss hearing him tell it on this episode of Crowdfunding Uncut.

The importance of investing in relationships and the art of connecting people together

Jayson tells Khierstyn that “it’s noisy at the top, and amazing people become increasingly amazing over time.” This is why he stresses the importance of connecting with people as they’re rising in their careers. You never know when someone might need a connection that you can make for them. Crowdfunding and relationships are deeply intertwined, and even the most successful Kickstarter campaigns with 60,000-70,000 backers only have around 100 exceptionally influential backers. This Kickstarter data proves the mantra Jayson lives by, which is “It doesn’t matter how many friends you can count, it matters how many friends you can count on.” The most influential and memorable moments in your life occur because of other people. You can’t afford to miss Jayson’s lessons on the art of investing in relationships, so be sure to listen to this episode of Crowdfunding Uncut.

Khierstyn and Jayson share the best action steps for strengthening your personal relationships and why we’re all in the relationship business

There are a few key pieces of advice that Jayson shares in this conversation with Khierstyn. He explains that “You never know the value of your network until you need it,” and “You’re only ever left with two things, the integrity of your word and your relationships.” To continue to invest in your relationships after the initial meeting, Khierstyn and Jayson explain that connecting with them in unexpected ways is key. For example, how many times do people receive a video update email rather than the standard email asking “what’s new with you and how can I help?” You can’t be afraid to be the one initiating contact, and you also have to ask the right questions in order to draw out the right responses from your network. They list many great conversation starters on this episode of Crowdfunding Uncut that will dramatically improve your ability to connect to your network, and you don’t want to miss it.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:55] Khierstyn introduces her guest for this episode, Jayson Gaignard, founder of Mastermind Talks
  • [5:20] Jayson tells the story of how he worked with UJ Ramdas to launch the Five Minute Journal
  • [9:13] How Jayson selects the entrepreneurs that are invited to Mastermind Talks events
  • [12:07] Khierstyn shares why “clicking” with clients is one of the best motivating factors
  • [14:23] The story behind Jayson’s businesses prior to Mastermind Talks
  • [19:25] How Jayson got connected with Tim Ferriss and the importance of connecting with others
  • [24:40] How do you stay in contact with valuable relationships?
  • [30:00] Jayson shares the best action steps for maintaining your influential connections
  • [34:39] The best questions to ask to build connections within your relationships
  • [39:49] Why we’re all in the relationship business and the slogan Jayson lives by

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Jayson

Connect With Khierstyn

Feb 27, 2018

Many entrepreneurs start their company and launch their products because they want to implement healthy change in the world. Khierstyn’s guest for this episode of Crowdfunding Uncut, UJ Ramdas, and his company Intelligent Change is doing just that - encouraging people to embrace healthy change and document positive growth through beautiful personal journals. Their conversation takes you through the company idea formation process, product launch, endorsements, and the importance of infusing excellence into every aspect of doing business. It’s a conversation that you don’t want to miss.

The story behind Intelligent Change and the idea of encouraging healthy change through beautiful products

UJ recognized the fact that change is inevitable, and he was passionate about wanting to help people make it productive and enjoyable. He created Intelligent Change to make beautiful things that directly guide people through the change process in practical ways. The Five Minute Journal was born out of these core ideas. The six-month journal is based on leading psychology research that discovered expressing daily gratitude leads to a better overall quality of life and higher levels of positive emotions. UJ is passionate about his company and its products, and he tells his story in this interview in such a way that’ll leave you inspired and wanting more.

How The Five Minute Journal progressed from a lackluster Kickstarter campaign to an endorsement from Tim Ferriss

The Five Minute Journal began as a Kickstarter campaign but unfortunately, funding fell flat. Although their first crowdfunding attempt didn't succeed, UJ and his team successfully launched at Mastermind Talks in front of just 120 people. One of the guests in attendance was famed entrepreneur and author Tim Ferriss. UJ explains to Khierstyn that in a stroke of “unbelievable awesomeness” Ferriss loved the idea of the journal and within just a few months ordered over 3,000 copies to be shared with his own followers. UJ exclaims that it was a matter of being in the right place at the right time and a perfect testimony to the power of networking. Ferriss is now one of Intelligent Change’s biggest advocates. For more, be sure to listen to the full episode of Crowdfunding Uncut.

UJ shares how his Intelligent Change team balances an external launch with daily operation obligations and combating the #1 problem in business

Since The Five Minute Journal was launched, Intelligent Change is now working on a number of different products that continue to encourage healthy change in people’s lives. Khierstyn and UJ spend some time on this episode of Crowdfunding Uncut discussing the #1 problem in business - finding good employees. UJ could have never balanced external product launches and daily business operations without solid teammates by his side. But finding quality employees is the hardest struggle. He encourages entrepreneurs to prioritize their needs, seek out and hire the best people you can find, and move forward from there. For more of his advice, be sure to catch this episode of Crowdfunding Uncut.

Why building a great business is all about systematizing excellence and gathering 1,000 true fans

Intelligent Change has been met with such great success because of their stellar ways of doing business. Wowing your customers repeatedly within the first 100 days of a launch, gathering and maintaining 1,000 true fans, and systematizing excellence are all methods that UJ lives by. Without these strategies in place, it’s much harder to have a successful product launch. If you’re struggling with your crowdfunding ideas, or just want to hear a great success story, be sure to listen to UJ Ramdas on this episode of Crowdfunding Uncut.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:53] Khierstyn introduces her guest for this episode, UJ Ramdas, founder of Intelligent Change
  • [3:45] UJ shares the Intelligent Change story and how The Five Minute Journal was launched
  • [8:29] How UJ took his personal system for positivity and healthy change and turned it into a successful product
  • [11:29] The Five Minute Journal’s progress from Mastermind talks to a Tim Ferriss endorsement
  • [13:30] What UJ attributes his Intelligent Change’s growth to and how to wow your customers within the first 100 days
  • [16:50] How the idea behind Productivity Planner got started and the growth of marketing videos for Intelligent Change
  • [21:36] Why UJ and his team chose Kickstarter for the Productivity Planner launch
  • [23:11] The art of balancing an external launch with daily operation obligations
  • [24:42] Why UJ wasn’t 100% pleased with Intelligent Change’s recent Kickstarter project and how they’re troubleshooting the issues for a successful relaunch
  • [32:01] How UJ secured Intelligent Change’s first 1,000 true fans
  • [37:53] Final thoughts on Intelligent Change and the importance of “scratching your own itch”

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with UJ

Connect With Khierstyn

Feb 20, 2018

On this episode of Crowdfunding Uncut, Khierstyn interviews crowdfunding success mogul Evan Varsamis, founder and CEO of Gadget Flow. He has built a platform that puts innovative products in front of over 25 million people per month, runs an international team remotely, and has some great advice for aspiring crowdfunding professionals. You don’t want to miss their energetic and informative conversation, so be sure to catch this episode.

The story behind crowdfunding platform giant - Gadget Flow

What started in 2012 as a part-time project quickly grew into a crowdfunding giant that now hosts over 10,000 products across 140 categories. Gadget Flow is the third largest Indiegogo partner and they have successfully worked with over 6,000 customers thus far. Evan and his team recognized a niche market need for technology and design products that may not get picked up by large platforms such as Amazon and Etsy. They are able to host a wide spectrum of products and give backers exactly what they need to know (tech specs, images, brief descriptions, etc.) in a beautifully simple way. To hear Evan tell his engaging story, be sure to listen to this episode of Crowdfunding Uncut.

How Evan’s Gadget Flow team gauges the potential crowdfunding success of a campaign

Not every campaign or product idea that comes across Evan’s desk will be successful. Gadget Flow currently has an acceptance rate of 78-80%, and the team is highly trained to differentiate the gems from the duds. By using an internal evaluation process they look at the top campaign specs: funding time remaining, the quality of the presentation, and if the product’s team has been following established steps for crowdfunding success. Evan’s employees look for those unique teams that aren’t just shooting in the dark when it comes to marketing and campaign efforts. Their #1 red flag? If a campaign has less than 10% of their goal raised after five days of campaigning. Be sure to hear the full story behind the evaluation process by listening to this episode - your campaign can’t afford to miss it.

 

How Evan built a global remote team for Gadget Flow and his strategies for overcoming telework challenges

The current Gadget Flow team is comprised of 25 people in 8 countries. How does Evan manage to lead such a diverse team? And why did he choose to pursue remote teamwork rather than a traditional office setting? The answer is found in commute time - he was tired of wasting precious productive hours commuting to and from a physical workspace. He found that highly skilled employees and contractors often do their best work in their own environments. By allowing (and even encouraging) his team to remain in their hometowns and countries, and utilizing remote work tools such as Slack, Evan created a global team that is passionate about Gadget Flow. He tackled the issue of creating a strong company culture by implementing weekly video calls with each one of his team members. Evan’s desire was to encourage personal connections, even though miles and time zones separated each individual. It’s such a great story and a testimony to dedicated team members, you don’t want to miss it.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:53] Khierstyn introduces her guest for this episode, Evan Varsamis, founder and CEO of Gadget Flow
  • [2:29] Evan describes his professional background and the idea behind Gadget Flow
  • [5:10] Gadget Flow’s ideal customer, and how Evan’s team gauges potential campaign success
  • [8:59] The ideal timeframe for submitting a product to Gadget Flow and the biggest red flags Evan’s team looks for
  • [11:24] The 5% and 3-5 day timeline Gadget Flow follows
  • [13:43] The balance between internal and external funding goals
  • [15:31] Khierstyn asks Evan what he would do if a campaign failed to meet its internal goal, but met its external goal
  • [17:31] Khierstyn shares her thoughts on digital marketing for crowdfunding success
  • [20:49] Evan shares his best piece of advice for creators
  • [21:14] How Evan built a successful remote team, and why he chose to go virtual
  • [30:09] The one area in which Evan has seen remote work go wrong

Resources & People Mentioned

  • SPONSOR: Gadget Flow - get your project in front of over 25 million people per month and receive 10% off your service with code “Uncut10”
  • Remote work tool Slack

Connect with Evan

Connect With Khierstyn

Feb 16, 2018

Few entrepreneurs are as unique, engaging, and great at creative networking as Sol Orwell, founder of nutrition advice empire Examine.com. He is also the creator of websites garnering over 200,000 visitors per day and a fanatic chocolate chip cookie enthusiast. On the first official Crowdfunding Uncut episode for 2018, Khierstyn interviews Sol and asks him key questions about his successful empire, why he thought to connect his love of cookies with creative networking events, and his top advice for entrepreneurs who want to do things a little differently. Their conversation will leave you intrigued, laughing, and wanting more so don’t miss this episode.

The success story behind Sol’s Examine.com nutrition advice empire

What started with a desire to know the facts behind nutrition supplements morphed into an independent analysis company with the sole goal of “reading the research, making sense of it, and putting it online.” From being the sole creator of the company to now being a consensus-building leader and visionary, Sol has built the most trustworthy source for accurate information on supplements - minus any hype, agenda, or ulterior motives. Khierstyn uncovers the human story behind a website giant, and it’s a story sure to inspire. You don’t want to miss it.

How Sol’s Examine.com team thoughtfully engages with their market and the most underrated feedback tool on the market

Sol’s current position as a leader of Examine.com allows him to have a clear picture of what works (and what doesn’t) when his team connects with their audience. By empowering his employees to do what needs to be done, he can watch them successfully interact with visitors via email and actual phone conversations - a rare phenomenon in today’s digital world. By trusting their niche market and the quality feedback they received over the years, they were able to organically grow into new market segments. They utilized Google Surveys, one of the most versatile and user-friendly tools on the market, to connect with what their audience was actually looking for. He found that if you expose your company’s personality more, people are more likely to engage with your content and communication. Be sure to listen to this episode for more of his stellar advice.

What do cookies, creative networking, and ridiculous amounts of fun all have in common?

When Sol grew tired of predictable coffee networking meetups, he wanted to create an exciting new way to bring people together. That’s when #CookieLife was born. Rather than buying someone a simple cup of coffee, Sol started inviting people to try the "world's best chocolate chip cookie" with him. In just two years the idea moved from a small Toronto chocolate chip cookie shop to $30,000 fundraising and networking events. Khierstyn talks with Sol about how he discovered that people will come together for any reason that’s new and engaging. By simply encouraging people to follow their own unique passions, he has set a new standard for how people develop a comprehensive personal brand - rather than focusing only on one aspect of themselves. To hear more about #CookieLife, how it gives back to communities, and its expansive reach, give this episode a listen.

Sol’s best advice for having clear career end-goals, making influential friends, and living the lifestyle YOU want

Being an entrepreneur should be about a few key ideas: intentionally create lifestyle freedom, give back while creating an impact, and pair fun with passionate hard work. In his interview with Khierstyn, Sol explains that there’s no single “right way” to build your career and that you shouldn’t forget to enjoy the steps along the way. When trying to create a network of influential friends, Sol recommends “Actually do something interesting - you don’t connect over business strategies you connect over personal interests.” One of his best pieces of advice is, “Do things that personally drive you forward, and don’t be afraid to let go of a project once it solves the problem you set out to eliminate.” To hear about Sol’s top 3 career tips, you’ll have to check out this episode of Crowdfunding Uncut.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:53] Khierstyn introduces her guest for this episode, Sol Orwell
  • [4:00] Sol tells his story of he got started as an entrepreneur
  • [8:11] Sol’s current role in Examine.com, and how he empowers his employees
  • [10:30] How Sol expanded Examine beyond one supplement line, and how his team engages with their customers
  • [17:52] The number one thing Sol did with Examine.com that led to its success
  • [19:32] How Sol connected ridiculous fun, chocolate chip cookies, and networking
  • [26:07] The place that #CookieLife has in Sol’s personal and professional universe
  • [28:49] Going beyond the product launch for your company and why planning 3 years in advance is insane
  • [32:02] Khierstyn asks Sol how he illuminated his career end-goals
  • [34:58] Sol’s 3 best habits for making influential friends and a solid network
  • [43:23] The best notebook Sol relies on to capture his ideas

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Sol

Connect With Khierstyn

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