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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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Now displaying: January, 2016
Jan 26, 2016

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:

  • [0:35] Khierstyn’s introduction of Bryce Fisher of Ravean, who shares how he built a successful Kickstarter campaign in a short period of time.
  • [1:35 Bryce explains his current project status.
  • [2:10] Understanding Ravean and the inspiration behind the Ravean Heated Jacket.
  • [3:33] Why Bryce started his campaign later in the process than most, giving himself less time to raise funds.
  • [4:58] The process of marketing the campaign and spreading the word within the 2-week window.
  • [6:22] What is the #1 reason for the success of the Ravean Kickstarter campaign?
  • [9:59] Bryce explains how he drives traffic to the Ravean site.
  • [10:39] Overcoming the marketing limitations present in a short-term campaign.
  • [13:42] The #1 best practice during the Ravean campaign.
  • [16:03] What is the #1 mistake made on this campaign Bryce would avoid in future campaigns?
  • [17:22] What insight into customers does Kickstarter give you after project completion?
  • [18:25] Bryce’s reasons for choosing to run an Indiegogo campaign after his Kickstarter campaign.
  • [19:19] The resources Bryce used in the push to get his campaign off the ground.
  • [20:41] The importance of understanding the competition in finding traction as you approach your campaign.
  • [21:54] Setting a realistic marketing budget for a campaign.
  • [23:13] The top 3 things you should be spending your marketing budget on for a Kickstarter campaign.
  • [25:40] Indiegogo versus Kickstarter as a crowdfunding platform.
  • [26:54] What’s next for Ravean?
  • [28:02] Why did Bryce choose to continue using crowdfunding to launch new products after having a successful Kickstarter campaign?
  • [30:00] 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: K(at)crowdfundinguncut(dot)com

 

Jan 19, 2016

If you needed more evidence that crowdfunding can propel a product into a massively successful future, look no further than mifold. The innovative creator behind mifold, Jon Sumroy, takes us through the years-long journey from idea to prototype to product launch. The idea for mifold was born out of necessity, but evolved into an idea parents around the world are behind. As a parent of 4 children, Jon saw first-hand how child safety was overlooked in too many cases. Although it took him over a decade to move from idea to product launch, Jon knew the concept was strong and believed it could help parents everywhere. As Khierstyn discusses all aspects of the mifold Indiegogo campaign, we discover the importance of attention to detail every step of the way.

The evolution of an idea.

When the idea for mifold first came to mind, Jon was the parent of 3 young children. After seeing his children car-pooled without the use of proper restraints, Jon came up with the concept that fuelled mifold. Although it took over a decade to bring it to life, Jon always had this idea in the back of his mind. He explains the “a-ha” moment that propelled him to make a prototype for the very first mifold Grab-and-Go Booster Seat. Although his first design was crude, it was clear his idea had merit. From prototype to final product, the mifold evolved into a sleek, safety-conscious product that parents everywhere would embrace for its convenience and portability.

Attention to detail and safety was essential to the success of mifold.

Jon Sumroy knew he wanted to ensure the highest level of safety for mifold. After going through the process of creating the final product with industrial designers, Jon sought out a high-level crash test company to see what the booster seat was really made of. It was during the process of testing mifold that Jon saw the unlimited potential of the product. After passing the crash tests with flying colors, mifold was ready to hit the market. It was at this stage Jon knew crowdfunding was going to be the key to the success of his truly one-of-a-kind child safety product.

The 3 stages of crowdfunding for mifold.

Like all crowdfunding campaigns, that of mifold started with spreading the word about this niche product. In order to connect with an audience that would be willing to back the product, Jon found a social media expert to build a following. This brought unparalleled success to the mifold campaign and ensured he would significantly exceed his goal of selling 1,000 units. Jon explains to Khierstyn the 3 stages of his Indiegogo campaign and how he’s raised nearly $1,000,000 to date. Converting potential customers into campaign supporters was key, says Jon, and that’s how he paved the way to success.

Jon explains the main lessons of his first crowdfunding campaign.

With any business venture, it’s essential to look back and gain valuable insight into the lessons learned along the way. Jon delves into this by explaining the #1 thing he would do differently and the #1 thing that contributed to the success of his Indiegogo campaign. From his very first prototype to product fulfillment, the mifold product has truly evolved into a unique, game-changing child safety product. It’s no wonder parents around the world have eagerly backed this product. Jon allows us a peek into the process of choosing a crowdfunding platform that will ensure the success of a campaign.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE:

  • [0:24] Khierstyn’s introduction of Jon Sumroy, who has seen much success with his Indiegogo campaign for a niche product.
  • [1:15] The inspiration behind Jon’s reinvented child car seat.
  • [3:27] Jon explains the “a ha” moment that propelled him to bring his idea to life as mifold.
  • [4:45] Discussing the concept behind mifold and the evolution of the design from prototype to final product.
  • [6:52] The process of moving from crash tests to crowdfunding.
  • [9:15] The importance of industrial designers in bringing mifold to life.
  • [9:56] How crowdfunding helped Jon understand the market for his product.
  • [11:12] The 3 stages of approaching crowdfunding for mifold.
  • [12:45] How social media helped Jon find his demographics.
  • [14:47] How do you convert potential customers into supporters of your campaign?
  • [18:00] What is the #1 thing Jon would do differently if he could re-do the mifold campaign?
  • [22:05] What is the #1 thing Jon did to make his campaign successful?
  • [25:05] Managing fulfilment and ensuring quality.
  • [28:05] What is next for mifold?
  • [29:59] Jon discusses the role of crowdfunding in the future of mifold.
  • [31:00] The importance of using digital marketing professionals to market a campaign.
  • [32:10] How to connect with Jon.

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

mifold

mifold’s Indiegogo Campaign

mifold on Facebook

mifold on Instagram

mifold on Twitter

TRL Crash Test Center

Indiegogo

Kickstarter

CONNECT WITH JON: www.mifold.com or support(at)mifold(dot)com

CONNECT WITH KHIERSTYN: K(at)crowdfundinguncut(dot)com

 

Jan 15, 2016

The power of crowdfunding is clear and Bruce Borenstein helps unlock the potential of this robust fundraising tool. After having success with 3 previous product launches without the use of crowdfunding, Bruce explains the process of choosing to go this route with his 4th AfterShokz product. In this chat with the AfterShokz co-founder, Khierstyn discusses their unique product offering, Bone Conduction Headphones. Finding out how this product came to life helps us understand the role of crowdfunding in the success of the 4th AfterShokz product launch. Why crowdfunding? Bruce makes it clear that understanding how to set up a successful campaign can take a business to a whole new level.

The evolution of AfterShokz products before crowdfunding.

From the founding of AfterShokz in 2011, the product line has evolved through 4 rebirths. Today, AfterShokz offers a full line of Bone Conduction Headphones and accessories. In the first 3 offerings, Bruce and team opted to go with social media and other traditional methods to bring the products to market. While they saw success, they knew it would be essential to investigate new methods to keep current with market trends and see even more success. After establishing the AfterShokz brand and finding their niche, the team moved into crowdfunding to launch their 4th product.

Why crowdfunding was the right choice for the 4th AfterShokz product.

Bruce Borenstein knew the AfterShokz products could reach an even wider market if they found a new way to showcase their unique offerings. That’s why they turned to crowdfunding as they approached the launch of the 4th Bone Conduction Headphones product. Bruce explains why they chose Indiegogo and how having a coach helped them fine tune their efforts in order to find tremendous success with the campaign. Khierstyn explores the process of connecting with an existing audience with Bruce and how AfterShokz made the successful transition from traditional methods to crowdfunding.

Why AfterShokz chose a 60-day campaign and how they kept it fresh.

Bruce explains why they chose a 60-day campaign rather than the more common 30-day campaign. Keeping it fresh for 60 days can be challenging, but AfterShokz kept the audience engaged by having perks related to stretch goals every step of the way. The result? An engaging campaign that left everyone wanting more. Bruce delves into the importance of understanding the demographics of your market and gaining exposure via social media and other marketing methods. Maintaining a connection with your niche every step of the way is the key to success with a crowdfunding campaign.

The #1 thing Bruce would change about his campaign.

Seeing success well into the future comes from the ability to analyze previous campaigns and make improvements accordingly. Bruce explains the lessons learned from their first crowdfunding campaign and how he would apply these learnings to future campaigns. It’s clear AfterShokz nailed it on their first venture into crowdfunding, but would they do it again? Bruce Borenstein shares a glimpse into the future of AfterShokz and how they’ll continue to evolve well into the future.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE:

  • [0:12] Khierstyn’s introduction of Bruce Borenstein of AfterShokz, who will share the secrets of his success with crowdfunding.
  • [0:47] Discussing AfterShokz and their Bone Conduction Headphones.
  • [4:05] The start of AfterShokz and how Bone Conduction Headphones came to life.
  • [6:01] The evolution of AfterShokz products.
  • [6:28] The process of bringing the first 3 SKUs to market.
  • [8:11] How AfterShokz products were brought to market before crowdfunding.
  • [8:48] Would crowdfunding be the way you market future products?
  • [9:58] Why Bruce chose Indiegogo instead of Kickstarter.
  • [11:54] The process leading up the launch on Indiegogo.
  • [14:04] The importance of reaching out to his audience leading up to the launch and how to pique their interest.
  • [15:15] The role of social media and paid advertising in crowdfunding.
  • [15:45] The structure and longevity of a successful crowdfunding campaign.
  • [16:48] Why AfterShokz chose a 60-day campaign versus a standard 30-day campaign.
  • [18:00] The secret to keeping a campaign fresh for 60 days.
  • [20:10] Aligning campaign perks with stretch goals.
  • [20:35] The #1 thing the AfterShokz team did to keep the momentum going for 60 days.
  • [22:27] Finding your niche and connecting with your demographics.
  • [24:34] What other marketing/advertising was used to market the campaign?
  • [25:54] The #1 thing you would change about your campaign?
  • [28:06] Ways to connect with Bruce.
Jan 12, 2016

It’s no secret that crowdfunding is a powerhouse tool used to aid in the launch of products and projects. What isn’t clear is how you can utilize a campaign for niche products. Approaching a wholly unique market with a crowdfunding campaign brings new obstacles. How can you make the most of your campaign when launching a product that may not have a broad audience? From inception to product fulfillment, attention to detail is key. In this chat with Viktor Grabovsky, Khierstyn discusses how ForeverSpin has approached its campaigns from the very beginning - going over details like marketing, manufacturing, and more. Learn how Viktor has taken crowdfunding by the horns in order to facilitate success for ForeverSpin.

Viktor Grabovsky saw success with crowdfunding from the start.

From the very first campaign for ForeverSpin 1.0, Viktor knew crowdfunding was the key to success for the unique spinning tops ForeverSpin was creating. With a niche product, following typical crowdfunding protocols simply wouldn’t work. By focusing on every last detail, the ForeverSpin team was able to pave the way to a successful first product launch, with others to follow. In discussing his first campaign in 2013, Viktor shares everything from list building to manufacturing. Success is in the details.

Learning with each crowdfunding campaign - and how to apply those lessons.

ForeverSpin was a passion project from the start - both for the creators and backers. When moving into new crowdfunding campaigns, it’s essential to gain insight from the opportunities found in previous campaigns in order to refine the process. As Viktor and team moved into the latest spinning tops project launch, they knew it would be essential to analyze previous campaigns and apply the lessons learned along the way. With passionate backers along for the ride, it becomes even more important to pay attention to details like quality and manufacturing to keep those backers happy. Finding top-notch manufacturers allows niche companies to maintain high quality standards and adhere to product fulfillment deadlines.

How do you manage quality control when dealing with manufacturers?

Quality control is certainly essential to the long-term success of any company. The question is: how do you ensure quality standards are maintained as you approach product fulfillment? According to Viktor, it’s all about the details. From finding the right manufacturer to communicating clear expectations, Viktor discusses how ForeverSpin is able to keep quality standards high throughout each crowdfunding campaign.

What is the #1 piece of advice for first-time project creators?

ForeverSpin has had success through 3 product launches - with the latest crowdfunding campaign achieving funding in just 38 minutes. Viktor shares the value of using social media for marketing, along with building an email list that follows you from campaign to campaign. According to Viktor, success comes from the details. From the very first project, it’s essential that project creators pay attention to finite details to maintain high quality standards every step of the way. Once you’ve established a reputation for top-notch quality, you’re ensured a loyal following that will assist in future campaigns.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE:

  • [0:20] Khierstyn’s introduction of Viktor Grabovsky, who’s seen a great deal of success with Kickstarter campaigns for niche products.
  • [1:47] Discussing Viktor’s product launches and how he started crowdfunding campaigns.
  • [4:20] The development of ForeverSpin spinning tops as their niche product.
  • [5:30] The first crowdfunding campaign in 2013.
  • [6:27] The creation of his first Kickstarter campaign for ForeverSpin.
  • [6:40] The process of building the email list to fund ForeverSpin.
  • [7:57] Analyzing crowdfunding through each product launch.
  • [9:37] Discussing the product fulfillment timeline following funding.
  • [11:42] The current ForeverSpin Kickstarter campaign and how it differs from previous campaigns.
  • [13:49] What is the #1 lesson in dealing with manufacturers.
  • [15:11] How do you manage quality control when dealing with manufacturers?
  • [16:16] The importance of having a strong start with a campaign.
  • [18:05] Discussing the value of creating a community around your brand.
  • [19:27] The #1 strategy that gets you a strong start with a new campaign.
  • [21:07] Where did most of your traffic come from in funding campaign #3 in just 38 minutes?
  • [21:50] Discussing the second strategy that helps you bring new backers to campaigns.
  • [23:46] The value of social media in marketing a campaign.
  • [26:49] The process of fulfillment.
  • [28:28] What is the #1 piece of advice for other project creators who are going on to Indiegogo or Kickstarter for the first time?
  • [30:08] Ways to connect with Viktor.

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

Kickstarter

Indiegogo

ForeverSpin Kickstarter Campaign

CONNECT WITH Viktor: www.ForeverSpin.com
CONNECT WITH KHIERSTYN: K(at)crowdfundinguncut(dot)com

Jan 5, 2016

If you’re reading this you know that crowdfunding has revolutionized the first steps smaller companies or founders with big ideas need to take in order to get their products moving toward creation. Now anyone with the idea and the social influence can launch their product using the funds of those who want to see it come about. But once a product’s funded, what happens then? The company is left to get the product to market on their own. In this chat with Steve Tam, Khierstyn brings up the topic of crowdfunding’s future and Steve unloads an amazing idea that Indiegogo is currently pursuing: partnerships between crowdfunding sites and retailers. This could change everything.

 

Steve Tam has experienced Crowdfunding from both sides.

His first exposure to crowdfunding came through being part of some companies that used Kickstarter to get products funded and launched. He feels that the experience he had on that side of the platform has helped him have a greater understanding of the needs of campaign organizers, which he’s been able to bring to his role at Indiegogo. Now that he’s on that side of the relationship, he’s seeing the challenges the actual platforms face in making their tools most effective and beneficial for the user. In this conversation Steve chats with Khierstyn about his thoughts regarding mistakes and lessons learned from both sides of the crowdfunding platform. It’s a unique perspective you’ll be hard pressed to hear anywhere else.

 

Expanding Indiegogo into Canada.

Steve Tam was an essential cog in the wheel that brought Indiegogo into Canada. Not only was he on the Indiegogo team, he was also a resident of Canada, which gave him a greater understanding of the unique challenges the team was facing. That experience gave him a greater grasp of the larger hurdles but also showed him how essential it is that crowdfunding platforms like Indiegogo get into markets and countries so that up and coming developers and founders in those places can have the same opportunities as the rest of the world. Hear Steve’s insights on this interesting conversation episode of Crowdfunding:Uncut with Khierstyn Ross.

 

Which crowdfunding platform should you choose for your project?

In many ways the answer to that question is as individual and unique as your project. But there are things you can look to that are completely objective which may show you which way you should go. One of the most important, and a topic of a pretty lengthy discussion on this episode of Crowdfunding:Uncut, is the issue of customer service and ease of interaction from the company side. Both Khierstyn and Steve Tam of Indiegogo, believe that campaign organizers should be considering that issue more than they are. You’ll find out why on this episode.

 

What are the biggest mistakes and “right steps” Steve Tam sees happening in today’s crowdfunding campaigns?

In his role as Marketing Director for Indiegogo, Steve get’s a front row seat to every success and failure that happens in many of today’s crowdfunding efforts. As you might imagine, he’s got a lot of insight into the good and bad that campaign organizers to to make their campaigns successes or failures. In this conversation Steve shares those insights. On the positive side: he talks about effective email list usage. On the negative side: He chats about those who try to keep a low profile until they are ready to launch their campaign. You’ll enjoy hearing what this guy’s got to say.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE:

  • [0:20] Khierstyn’s introduction of Steve Tam, who’s seen lots of crowdfunding successes and stories.
  • [4:00] Moving through the manufacturing steps and marketing as a result of his first crowdfunding campaign.
  • [5:05] The acquisition of his company by a larger company.
  • [6:10] The creation of a small marketing agency that focused on crowdfunding.
  • [6:42] How Steve came to work at Indiegogo.
  • [8:32] The process of getting Indiegogo into Canada.
  • [9:56] The relational way Steve went about getting great projects on Indiegogo when it first expanded into Canada.
  • [12:08] Reasons Khierstyn recommends Indiegogo over Kickstarter and how people can know which platform is right for them.
  • [14:37] Best practices for crowdfunding companies to help its campaigners.
  • [15:29] What is the #1 mistake made when starting a campaign.
  • [16:51] How should campaign builders go about building an email list for promotional purposes?
  • [18:15] Creative ideas for rewards offered on campaigns and campaign pages.
  • [19:54] The #1 best thing campaigns can do beyond a great email list.
  • [21:38] What Steve thinks about the future of crowdfunding: where is it going?
  • [22:00] The new connections being made between crowdfunding platforms and retailers.
  • [24:15] How can the trust issues surrounding delayed delivery be addressed?
  • [26:17] Ways to connect with Steve.

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

Beacon Bike Light

 

Kickstarter

 

Indiegogo

 

CONNECT WITH STEVE: www.Steve-Tam.com or STam(at)Indiegogo(dot)com

 

CONNECT WITH KHIERSTYN: K(at)crowdfundinguncut(dot)com

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