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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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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 

 
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

Dec 15, 2017

My guest today is David Roher. We’re talking about doing things that people may think you’re crazy for doing. We recently completed an Iron Man Triathlon. It was the hardest endurance activity I could have ever done.

 

[03:36] How David Knew He Wanted to do a Triathlon

 

David and his wife live an average life. When David was 38 his father had a heart attack. To help with his therapy he made his dad exercise. He started hearing about triathlon’s and it was something that interested him. He got into it and immediately began to love it. He determined that he was finally good at something outside of his work.

 

He went to North Carolina for a seminar on coaching. He then became a certified coach and began realizing what he liked about himself. He wanted to impart this feeling to other people. Most people when they complete a triathlon stop there. It’s more of a bucket list item for them. To David, it became more of a lifestyle. It transformed his outlook and approach to life.

 

Completing the iron man triathlon gave him empowerment. He dedicated a year of his life to achieve this goal. It was a very difficult task to the point where David felt like he was going to die. The end goal of reaching the finish line was his motivation to continue through. He set a goal that is beyond most people’s capacity and provide you can do almost anything you put your mind to.

 

 

[16:23] Prepare Yourself for a Triathlon. Same as you Would in Business.

 

It’s important to properly prepare when attempting a triathlon. It’s difficult to understand what is expected before going into it. Being prepared for what you can expect will bring you success. The same translates to business. When you’re more prepared in a situation the easier it is to execute.

 

You can feel defeated when you’re not properly prepared. Going into a situation where you’re not prepared can lead you to not wanting to do so again. This can be a barrier when faced with new opportunities. David set goals and prepared himself for the triathlon’s he’s completed. Remember, you can’t prepare for everything.

 

When training for a triathlon David was in an accident with a vehicle while on his bike. When he got home he realized there was an issue with his arm. After visiting the hospital, he found out he had broken his arm. Despite this David was still committed to doing the triathlon. He continued to work hard and train to complete the triathlon. He soon realized that his injury was causing him to take longer to complete activities.

 

He could have gone home and said at least he tried. Instead he continued and worked hard to reach his goal. The amount of training required is daunting. He was able to use his training tactics towards improving his life.

 

[25:48] Take Time to Train

 

An average training week for David isn’t a normal training week for other people. He doesn’t have a normal schedule as he teaches and tutors. Having a coach when training is important. Coaches will train you based on their experience and not yours. This is a good thing when you have limited experience.

 

A normal training time for people would be 5 out of 7 days. Each day would be set with different exercises to train on. You should have two long exercises, two medium exercises, then one small exercise. David’s training schedule is a bit more intense than that. He pushes himself beyond the frustration of discomfort.

 

[31:10] Celebrate the Small Accomplishments

 

It was terrifying to David to become an entrepreneur. The reason he went with teaching is because it was a safe bet. While it has its unique challenges it’s nothing like running a business. He started becoming an entrepreneur when he became a coach. He began to realize he liked working with people in a more freedom oriented environment. He wanted to encourage others to achieve their goals.

 

Mindset is huge. Your body can tolerate a lot of stress and frustration. Many entrepreneurs get stuck. They have mind barriers put up that prevent them from getting to their goal. We need to celebrate the moments where we feel we’re going to fail. Otherwise we end up sabotaging ourselves. Put benchmarks in place on your journey and keep yourself accountable to your goals.

 

[40:54] Bounce Your Ideas off Someone

 

Don’t get caught up on the narrative in your head. You could have the best product and put all you have into it. Yet, your strategy could be off. You might not be aware of the opportunities available to bring it to market. Have a sounding board where you can bounce off ideas. If you stay living in your head, you could miss many opportunities.

 

[42:20] Contact David

 

If you want to reach out to David you can e-mail him at davidroher@aol.com.

 

 

Episode Outline

 

Introduction: Being an Entrepreneur is Like Doing a Triathlon

 

[03:36] How David Knew He Wanted to do a Triathlon

[16:23] Be Prepared for a Triathlon. Just as you Would in Business.

[25:48] Take Time to Train

[31:10] Celebrate the Small Accomplishments

[40:54] Bounce Your Ideas off Someone

[42:20] Contact David

 

Resources and Sponsor

 

Gadget Flow

 

Follow David Roher @ ??

Facebook

Dec 4, 2017

 

My guest today is Ted Flemming. He’s used Kickstarter to raise awareness and funds to his non-alcoholic beer brewing brand. He raised a little under $30,000 for his project! He’s here to share why he used Kickstarter for his campaign.

 

[02:33] Why Non-Alcoholic Beverages?

 

Ted began getting into the craft beer scene in his late-20’s. His journey was cut short due to a diagnosis of Crones disease. he also became a father around the same time. It made him change his focus towards making his health a priority. Because of this he gave up alcohol. He missed the social aspect of drinking with family and friends. This was his motivation towards starting a non-alcoholic beer brand.

 

Ted’s background was an engineer and he didn’t know much about the space he was getting into. His E-Commerce platform has grown to alcoholic-free beverages such as wine and spirits. Creating a product based on what he liked and the feedback from customers was a huge asset.

 

[07:44] Kickstarter Campaign or Community Investment?

 

Ted used an e-commerce platform to reach his customers. He built a community of 10-15,000 people between customers and social media followers. He values the feedback he gets from his customers. He wants to increase the quality and diversity of their products.

 

Kickstarter showed extreme potential to Ted. It was an opportunity he didn’t want to pass up for his brand. For the future, he will most likely be taking fundraising internally. The cost for using these platforms adds up over time. Every percentage of revenue going out is important. About 25% of investors came from their Kickstarter campaign. The remaining percent came from their community. This showed Ted which path he needs to take in the future when asking for investments.

 

There wasn’t much hesitation to start a Kickstarter campaign for Ted. He had done the research needed to have a successful campaign. Preparation gave him comfort.

 

[14:30] Expect the Unexpected

 

Coming into a crowdfunding campaign with an engaged community or a lead-up is helpful. It helps get your product out there to a larger community. This was very important for Ted. He needed to have this system in place and take advantage of it as a tool. Next time Ted looks to do this, he would like to be farther along in the production process.

 

His first campaign had production delays. In the future he hopes to have more clarity on his path to production. When your campaign is successful it's stressful to fulfill commitments. Have a production process in place before your campaign is complete.

 

Ted developed a prototype and the recipe for beer. He didn’t have the next step of bringing it to a commercial scale. Pitching that it was a non-alcoholic product was also a difficult challenge for Ted. Being first to market created hesitancy from manufacturers.

 

Once the goal for the campaign was reached, Ted started conversations with brewers. In the brewing industry it’s very based on the season. He was coming in during springtime when business was picking up and people were too busy. Had he come in the fall it would’ve been better timing for his brand. Having an understanding of the industry and timing is important for any business.

 

When you decide to go the crowdfunding route, it’s important to have a structure in place. Have your fulfillment and processes in place to be successful.

 

[21:58] Accident Turned Success Story

 

Understand what your manufacturing time frame is to know your production time. Give yourself enough time in case there’s any unexpected surprises. Customer fulfillment when you’re first launching a brand is very important. Have the mindset that everything will be twice as much and twice as long as you expect.

 

It’s not easy to tell your backers there’s going to be a delay. Ted had a production issue with the product not coming out as he wanted the first run. While his design was for a hoppy and bitter beer, it came out too much so. He gave customers the option of receiving the beer they created or waiting for their brand beer. His customers showed happiness towards it and enjoyed the product.

 

The product is now a part of Ted’s brand. It became a happy and fortunate accident for him.

 

[30:03] From Kickstarter to Dragon’s

 

Within a month of the Kickstarter campaign, Ted had pitched for Dragon’s Den. He utilized his campaign to his advantage when pitching the Dragon’s. It gave his product validation and traction. Everything seemed straight-forward and simple after that. It was a great experience for Ted and he finds great value in it. It made pitching in front of other investors and crowds easier.

 

[34:15] What’s Next for Ted?

 

Next for Ted is developing an innovative pipeline of new products. He’s expanding his line of non-alcoholic beverages to bring the greatness of non-alcoholic beverages to this market. His goal is to transform this niche and make it better for the future.

 

 

 

Episode Outline

 

Introduction: Building an Unlikely Niche on Kickstarter

 

[02:33] Why Non-Alcoholic Beverages?

[07:44] Kickstarter Campaign or Community Investment?

[14:30] Expect the Unexpected

[21:58] Accident Turned Success Story

[30:03] From Kickstarter to Dragon’s

[34:15] What’s Next for Ted?

 

 

Resources and Sponsor

 Gadget flow

Premium Near Beer

Nov 22, 2017

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.

 

[01:50] 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.

 

 

 

[06:12] 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.

 

[07:34] 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.

 

[17:08] 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.

 

[22:42] 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.

 

[27:23] 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.

 

 

 

 

[30:36] 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.

 

[36:56] 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.

 

[01:50] Investing with Fresh Hospitality

[06:12] Matt’s Beginning

[07:34] Investment in Crowdfunding and the Entrepreneur

[17:08] Investment Decisions Vs. Investment Outcomes

[22:42] Network Towards an Investment

[27:23] Are VC Investments Right for You?

[30:36] Investments in the Food Industry

[36:56] Show Intensity, Intelligence, and Integrity

 

 

Resources and Sponsor

Matt Bodnar

The Science of Success Podcast

Fresh Hospitality

Toxic VC TechCrunch

 

Follow Matt Bodnar @MattBodnar

Facebook

Twitter 

 
Oct 31, 2017

My guest today is Tim Ray. He is the founder of Carnivore Club. An E-Commerce subscription based company that offers meat from different artisans around the world.

 

[02:04] Stories That Drive Crowdfunding

 

Carnivore Club is a subscription e-commerce business launched in 2013. Tim was working a 9-5 during the time of the dollar shave club hitting the scene. Tim tells us how wine clubs are a great example of subscription e-commerce based businesses. Because of their stories and delivery, it can be very successful

 

The different ingredients and interpretations really interested Tim. From a business perspective, he’s in a lightweight and durable industry on e-commerce. He launched in Canada and US with a crowdfunding campaign. Being aware of the crowdfunding space before he got into it, he took an unconventional approach to his marketing video.

 

He finds that most crowdfunding projects go with tear-jerking stories and something deep to create an emotional connection. The unconventional video was able to get Carnivore Club past the noise. After the launch of the video, the campaign blew up overnight in the US. He spent 13 grand on the video but got back 20 from crowdfunding.

 

[09:00] The Meat Isn’t Your Product, It’s Your Brand

 

About 50% of people when they find out about how much it costs to conduct a campaign don’t realize they won’t make money on the campaign. You may break even but chances are low you will make money. You need to look at it as launching a company and not just a product. Crowdfunding is not a get rich quick scheme.

 

The video Tim created it creates brand awareness. It got his vendors and customers excited for what was to come. Fulfillment and costs will continue to increase for crowdfunding. As the industry begins to mature there’ll be more brands utilizing crowdfunding to launch a product. Ultimately you need to remember you’re starting a business. You can kickstart a product but not become a successful business. Think long term.

 

[12:20] The Search for Meat

 

Tim doesn’t have international shipping. Each country he services has its own club. The artisans he works with don't have good websites or SEO. To find them he had to use guerilla tactics. He began searching Google using keywords to find his suppliers. To be successful you need to ensure you have everything lined up before launch.

 

Tim was on Dragon’s Den despite the saturation of the subscription box market at the time. However, it hadn’t really hit TV yet. Tim took advantage of this and ended up increasing his sales short-term due to this. He knew the value proposition but didn’t get any box features in line at first.

 

From once the campaign was closed he allowed himself time to figure out what they were going to give people. It ended up being put together on the fly when it came to getting monthly boxes together. This helped when it came to multi-month subscriptions as well as he was able to provide discounts.

 

[18:37] Start of Crowdfunding

 

Tim didn’t want the pressure of only having 20 orders for his first month. His first month and a half of the business was media and PR. He created brand awareness before Christmas to be able to tap into that market. His media and PR piece was about crowdfunding in general. He’s now launching a new company in the spring without crowdfunding. He feels a more traditional business launch would pull more heartstrings, considering his tenure as an entrepreneur.

 

Social media marketing is huge when it comes to crowdfunding. Getting your name out there to increase your brand awareness will show you success.

 

[21:14] The Bugs in Your Meat

 

When Tim launched his website, there was a lot of bugs. He had long painful nights to figure out his processes and systems. He launched the website and crowdfunding campaign without very much thought into the little things. He taught himself by virtue of necessity how to execute and have superior customer service.

 

Tim was able to fulfill on time. He may have broken a few rules to get there but he learned different strategies from this. He expanded into Australia and quickly realized that more research needed to be done to get into that space. He didn’t even realize he needed a registered business number.

 

He began to expand into the UK and began to quickly discover some copycats. He found a company that had ripped him off in almost every way. Packaging, inserts, etc. They ended up going under a few months later because they didn’t know how to effectively run a business. This happens when you’re not knowledgeable on how to fulfill.

 

[26:07] Importance of Fulfillment

 

Tim spent approx. $25,000 on the video marketing in Australia. They exceeded their targets in the first month launching organically by 25k. Quickly they realized they’re deliveries in Australia weren’t very transparent. When Tim’s products shipped to US and Canada he was easily able to receive a tracking number. However, in Australia, it was similar to a black box. There was no identification as to where the parcels were at any point. They also were limited in terms of where they could ship to. Tim was unable to deliver in Australia during Christmas because of this.

 

Tim revamped his business model in Australia. He’s now using Australia Post which has found to be much more transparent in their fulfillment. If you don’t have a good 3PL it’s going to present it’s own problems down the line.

 

[30:50] Cutting the Fat, Keep The Meat

 

Crowdfunding was a good start for Tim and his company. His most successful decisions were around investing in prestigious packaging for their boxes. He’s paying more for this, but he wants his customers to feel regal with their subscription. He continued to do videos which continued to prove to be successful.

 

Tim didn’t want to penny pinch or cut corners on his branding. He believed having a unique and stand out brand would get him to where he needed to be. However, he ended up spending way too much on unprofitable ad spending during Christmas.

 

He began podcast advertising which didn’t turn out successful for him. He noted that ads in podcasts follow to regular of a space. This results in a lot of people just skipping over the ads. Tim found his profitable routes of marketing are social media and videos. Working with a subscription business and artisans provides that unique touch to his business. Tim is looking to be the go-to for these types of artisans to display their product.

 

Tim got a lot of inquiries about specific products. A lot of his artisans also didn’t like the infrequency of purchasing, however. He wants to evolve his subscription model to a more on-demand model for his customers.

 

Episode Outline

 

Introduction: Finding the Meat In Crowdfunding

 

[02:04] Stories That Drive Crowdfunding

[09:00] The Meat Isn’t Your Product, It’s Your Brand

[12:20] The Search for Meat

[18:37] Start of Crowdfunding

[21:14] The Bugs in Your Meat

[26:07] Importance of Fulfillment

[30:50] Cutting the Fat, Keep the Meat

 

Resources and Sponsor

@Timmyeray

https://carnivoreclub.co/

https://thegadgetflow.com/

I want to thank our sponsor Gadget Flow which is the #1 platform to discover the best products and crowdfunding projects on the market. Over 25M people per month stay up to date with the latest product releases and crowdfunding projects. They are the 3rd largest Indiegogo Partner and listed on Kickstarter as experts and they have worked with over 4,000 crowdfunding projects since 2012. Their platform also supports AR & VR! Head over to thegadgetflow.com/submit/ to list your crowdfunding project today and use coupon code ROSS10 to get 10% OFF. 

 

Oct 17, 2017
 
 
Introduction: Get Your Time Back
 
My guest today is Sacha Brant. There was a point when I was in desperate need of someone to help give me back my time. I had outsourced multiple times and ended up having to micro-manage every thing. Through one of our business groups I was able to find Sacha who is the founder of Sassy Lasses. A business built to optimize and take care of your pain points as an entrepreneur. This allowed me take back the time I was losing doing back end things I did not want to deal with.
 
 
 
[3:35] Identifying Areas of Support
 
 
 
Sacha’s business is to help support small business owners and entrepreneurs. It's about the little guys. Sassy Lasses is her way to help others utilize their skills to maximize their potential. She does this by taking on the support pieces so owners can focus on what matters most; The Business She started out wearing every hat a business owner has to wear. It was through this process, she is able to identify areas where you need support. There are even areas where you Might not see you need support. When you’re in a fast-paced environment it’s easy to not see what you’re missing. Sassy Lasses is completely diversified so they can help you in every area you need. When you strengthen your businesses team it begins to strengthen your inner core. Sacha wants to give you a better sense of self and a better sense of direction.
 
[06:02] Rebuilding Yourself
 
Sacha hasn’t always had as much control in her life and business as she does now. She led a life of struggle and only began to take control in her adult years. She’s gone through therapy and was trapped in an abusive relationship. Despite this being a life of traumatic experiences, she looks at it as one of the most formative things to happen to her.
 
Broken down both emotionally and mentally. Sacha learned how to rebuild herself through her business and being a entrepreneur. She was than able to apply those same techniques to helping others businesses.
 
In a world where to many people chose to blame every one else for the state of there lives. Sacha chose to rise above her past and us it as fuel to propel herself into the future.
 
 
[09:43] Keeping To Your Values
 
Sacha was employed full-time before taking on her business. She identified that she was working undervalues that just didn’t fit her. Small Business clients weren’t getting the same treatment as higher paying clients. This was a driving factor to starting her business.
 
Sacha wants to help these small businesses that seem to get pushed to the wayside. She wants to provide an experience. One where you look as good as you feel. You need to move forward and grow to be successful. Sacha finds inspiration by giving new life to their businesses.
 
[10:57] Managing High Volume
 
A high volume of business can sometimes cause issues with quality. Sacha is always on the hunt for new talent. Sacha utilizes a network of contractors to ensure work always gets done on time. Regardless of incoming volume, she is able to continue to provide high-quality service. You need to be able to inspire and lead people. Nurturing your network will provide high-quality talent.
 
[14:00] Struggles of Entrepreneurs
 
A lot of businesses struggle with getting their messages out. Everybody knows in their mind what they think they’re brand should be. However, it’s difficult to put yourself in the place of the consumer. Your brand needs to have a core of yourself so you can connect with your clients.
 
Consistency in messaging is key. Once your brand is heard you need to ensure it is on multiple platforms. What the message is and how it is delivered needs to be tailored to that platform and demographics. Include your values in your messaging to make that connection.
 
Your message also needs to deliver value. Ask yourself what you have to give to your consumer.
 
[17:14] Branding
 
When you have a product to market you need validation and proof of concept. You need to start with your core audience and who you can connect with the best. This is why it’s very important to have a clear brand message.
 
Once you have your followers you can amplify your brand and your message will spread. You shouldn’t try to reach out to a broad audience too early. You need to specialize in a niche, determine what your target audience needs and provide that to them.
 
[19:12] Journey to Finding Your Passion
 
Sassy Lasses originally began as an event planning and virtual office company. Sacha used to plan events and identifies this as one of her biggest mistakes.
 
She learned that event planning wasn’t something that was passionate for her. She had partnered with someone who she ended up having to talk away from. It’s very important to not only do something that you're passionate about but to surround yourself with people who have that passion.
 
Sacha’s past gave her an advantage towards finding her passion after rebranding. Failure isn’t an option for Sacha because you only fail if you stop trying. You assume that if you don’t get the end result you want on your first try, that you failed. Whenever you think you’ve failed, you’ve actually succeeded.
 
You need to take your failures and look at them as an opportunity and learning experience. They’re also successes because now you can build a new process around them.
 
You need to have the proper mindset. Instead of complaining, you need to change your mindset to identifying the problem and finding the resolution. Find out what makes you happy. Grab on to what you enjoy and apply those talents to monetize yourself. Everyone has something that someone else wants or needs.
 
[25:40] Self Improvement
 
Most people are afraid to bring their idea to market. Whether that be because of rejection or plagiarism.
 
Sacha is launching a new program called Re-Self University. Individuals will be given the building blocks to find themselves and improve themselves. You get lost in what everyone else wants you to do or thinks you should do. Sacha wants to help you find yourself again.
 
Sometimes you hit that comfort zone and as an entrepreneur you need to learn to re-train yourself to grow and challenge yourself. If you don’t your past mindsets could cause you to sabotage yourself.
 
We are responsible for our self-improvement and being proactive about it. This will begin to pour out into your relationships and business. Sacha found that there weren’t many outlets for emotional regulation and logic mind. She wants to help you find that balance between the two.
Sep 12, 2017

Insider Lessons Gained from Launching Successful Products

 

Dale Backus has a story with ups and downs, hard work and wins, and some really amazing entrepreneurial lessons. He’s won crash the doritos contest not once but twice. He used some of these earnings to help fund his startup. That startup is now doing over $20m a year in revenue. That business is  SmallHD, a camera accessories company. Big wins for a young man of 31 years old.

 

Khierstyn and Dale are working together on a new project and it’s really exciting. Real world experience of taking a company from nothing, self funding, and growing an impressive revenue stream.

 

That’s why Dale  was invited on to the podcast. To give you a chance to hear from someone who has built from ground up, from 0 to 8 figures, and is now starting at 0 again.

 

[04:30] 10 Year Journey in a Nutshell

 

Dale tells us that he had an entrepreneurial spirit from young age. When it came time to graduate high school, he wanted to take his own route. He didn’t want to follow what parent’s desired path. He knew he had skills and that it was just a matter of making money.

 

“It’s always a matter of money right?” Dale laughs.

 

He started a production company called 5 Point Productions and shares that it’s not something he would recommend. Products make more sense  and it’s inherently harder to sell services. It was like a weight bearing down. They created some car ad, but he tells us that those are the worst. Then, the super bowl contest came along and they were inspired. It was only 4 days from deadline when they saw it, but they decided to go all in.

 

It was the first ever consumer sourced ad content contest - and they won. It was a pretty revolutionary marketing strategy at the time. A unique concept. That was the first of 10 years they ran the contest. It was unbelievable.

 

“We didn’t get a lot of money but we got a lot of credibility and an increase in business.” They leveraged that for 5 Point Productions. “We had some fun making things that WEREN’T local car ads.” Eventually the fame wore down and they were back to the grind. It just wasn’t working for them anymore.  

 

In the process of running that company, they had to keep improving quality as they were getting bigger and working on accounts.  It was during this process that they discovered a need for this display to be able to plug in their HD camera into something they could monitor with. It wasn’t out there at the time, and decided to go out and build it.

 

Dale loves creating physical products, likes it more than sevices, and edged everyone towards launching the product. They launched SmallHD which was building these displays.

 

[10:40] Meeting Sales Without Inventory

 

It can be tough launching  product and meeting sales needs when you don’t yet have a physical product. Dale tells us that they tackled it head on. They threw together a few prototypes and crowdfunded themselves on their own website. Kickstarter wasn’t around because crowdfunding was still a new concept. They ran a 24 hour campaign pre-order and sold 60 units which opened up the possibilities. When they got money, they ordered parts. Orders would trickle in but it was slow. Then they developed a real product, something developed as the next step.

 

There were many lessons learned in the process. At first, Dale tells us that they fought against MOQ (minimum order quantity) for a new board for which they couldn't afford the MOQ investment. It so happens the Doritos contest popped up again around this time, though the prizes had increased dramatically.

 

Against wishes and recommendations from those around them, they decided to enter again. Long story short, they created 2 ads and both were selected as finalists.  One became the second best commercial and they won $600,000. This was the boost they needed to meet those MOQs.

 

It’s a Cinderella story, Dale shares, and it doesn’t always happen, but it did for them. That’s how they launched the company and grown it so much over the past 8 or 9 years.

 

What they learned is that going and meeting the producers in person, especially in overseas cultures like China, it goes a long way. “They build their sales on relationships” Dale explains. If you make these connections you can often work them down and get the MOQs to something more manageable.

 

[24:54] Best Decision for SmallHD

 

Every thriving businesses experience highs and lows. For Dale, the best decision was to stay focused. Along the path there were many opportunities to branch off or expand, but they stayed the course. Dale explains that the displays can work with and touch a lot of other technologies within the same vertical, so it’s natural to want to dabble in different opportunities.

 

Dale gives us some general advice. “It’s easy to get distracted by perceived opportunity. “ Until you dominate the space you are already in, why would go off and do something else? You must first achieve the primary goal of the primary focus first. That’s what they did.  Dale and his team wanted to make the best countertop displays in the world and they believe they’re almost there.

 

[27:15] To Swag or Not To Swag

 

When discussing focus,it stands to reason that the topic of swag comes up, because it can certainly take tame. The thing is, swag works.

 

You’re not trying to be the world leader in t-shirts, it’s an accessory. There should be limitations though.

 

There’s not a lot involved in swag like t-shirts. It’s about how much time it will take away from the main project and what resources it will divert. It shouldn’t slow you down from reaching that primary goal, it should be a support feature.

 

As an entrepreneur you need to, everyday, decide to work on the most impactful things. “I strongly recommend making sure there’s good people around you.“  Dales stress that having the right people around you is how you accomplish those supportive tasks without splitting focus. You are the leader. If you are working on mugs and t-shirts all the time, it may not be a good thing, but if you have someone to do it for you, it’s likely a good deal.

 

[29:38] Lessons Learned: Part One

 

Like most entrepreneurs, Dale insists that he has made an enumerable amount of mistakes. Reflecting on those mistakes is something he does frequently. Still, there’s the number one lessons Dale feels we should all learn.

 

Hire with purpose and have a hiring strategy. There are lots of things that could be problematic, but hiring properly can take care of 80% of those things.  Dale says, “Most of your time should be spent on hiring and developing people.” Only hire when necessary, not because it’s fun.

 

When they started, hiring was fun. It was a sign of growth, but what he didn’t understand was that you need to hire the right people. This is the number 1 thing. You see (and can clearly hear) that Dale has been burned which is why he is so passionate about it.

 

As a founder, you need to get people to believe in your vision. The smaller you are, the harder it is to do that. As a result, you hire those that are easy, that you’re comfortable with; friends and family. They know you and it’s easier to hire them as they are already supportive. However, they aren't always the best fits for your company.

 

Dales shares, “We hired the first 5-0 people and the were all friends or family.” When he hired his first team, he hired fast and hard, and didn’t get the right team. It meant major delays and nearly bankrupted them.

 

After learning that lesson, they have a great team now, and it’s helped grow the company by leaps and bounds. Bottom line, hire the right people.

 

[40:21] Lessons Learned: Part Two

 

Though since we got Dale rolling, we thought his second and third most impactful lessons would be good to dive into.

 

Dale’s number 2 -Don't over optimize too early. He shares that it’s very easy to want to do things the right way, almost to a fault. You can spend too much on big shiny systems before you need them.

 

Develop and spend as you need it. You shouldn't be bleeding because of a system. Before you start spending money on a system, you should be desperate for it. Keep your overhead as low as you can as long as you can.

 

Lesson 3 for Dale, is be more data driven, know your numbers. When they started, they didn’t have any idea what the number really were ever. Often they wondered where the money was. They were making money but there never seemed to be enough when it was needed. Know your margins, your costs of goods, your KPIs. It sounds corporate but it's’ really valuable. You don’t have to be rigid but you need to know what it’s going to cost you to get a customer. This helps you better know where to spend your time.

 

[42:13] Something Nifty This Way Comes

 

Before he signed off, Dale helped get us hyped up. He’s getting ready to launch a simple product business. He invented this product, and wants to get it out fast and hard. Dale’s working on learning more about online marketing. It’s time to get back into entrepreneurial side, the startup side.

 

Dale is launching Oh Snap, a cell phone accessory. Want to know more? We urge you to visit getohsnap.com.Dale can hardly contain his excitement about getting it out to the world.

 

As part of the new venture, Dale says that they are looking for a marketing person, looking for a marketing strategist so if this is you send email to dale@fornom.com

 

Nothing beats listening to the episode, so if you're reading this and you haven't tuned in, check it out above.

 

 

Episode Outline

 

Introduction: Insider Lessons Gained from Launching Successful Products

 

[04:30] 10 Year Journey in a Nutshell

[10:40] Meeting Sales Without Inventory

[23:42] Backetkit

[24:54] Best Decision for SmallHD

[27:15] To Swag or Not To Swag

[29:38] Lessons Learned: Part One

[40:21] Lessons Learned: Part Two

[42:13] Something Nifty This Way Comes

 

 

Resources and Sponsor

SmallHD

getohsnap.com

Crowdfunding Product Launch Guide

Crowdfunding Product Launch Academy

 

Sponsor: BackerKit - use the code “uncut” to get 50% off setup services

Sep 5, 2017

We’ve been looking forward to this week’s guest for some time. Khierstyn joined James on a panel listening to Amazon sellers. She listened to how he was able to grow organically through influence marketing. Brands can fast-track by doing paid advertising however influence marketing is long term.

 

Many business owners and entrepreneurs don’t understand how to leverage influencer marketing. Therefore, James is the perfect podcast guest. He’s going to help us better understand his journey, and in turn, yours.

 

[03:38] Who is James Swanwick?

 

James didn’t take the shortest path to success, but certainly a colorful one. He worked in Brisbane Australia,  where he stared as a newspaper reporter before moving to the US. James tells us that he tried to start PR company in 2008 during the financial Armageddon. In fact, he had to shut down in 6 months. James ran to South America to lick his wounds for 6 months before returning for round 2.

 

This time, James started learning about biz and online marketing. Like many, he recants that he struggled for a few years. He didn't’ make much money and that was hard for him. It drove him to get a business mentor, which was his turning point for success.

 

A couple years ago, he was introduced to the idea of no blue lights at bedtime. He heard that blue light could inhibit production of melatonin. James sought a solution. He knew a friend who had a pair, but they were really ugly, which lead him to develop the stylish Swannies. Now he’s had over 1 million dollars sales in 11 months all grown organically (no paid ads).

 

[06:20] Riding the Mainstream Curve

 

When the idea for Swannies first came about, it was ahead of the now mainstream blue light glasses curve. James shares that when he got into the vertical, he was able to catch the wave. Catching the wave means to jump on an idea, not when it’s mainstream, but right before. At a time when people were starting to pay attention and eager to become more educated on the subject. The danger is that, at any time, a bigger company can come along (think a huge sunglasses brand) and come in and crush.

 

For instance, there was Friendster a before there was Myspace. That was before Facebook eventually took over. You don't want to be a Friendster. James shares, “We might be a Friendster, there's always that danger, but I think it was a good thing to start when we did.”

 

With Swannies, they utilized a different angle. The company is not Swannies Sunglasses it's Swanwick Sleep. They aren't just glasses, they are a sleep company selling glasses. That differentiation makes an impact. They may not be able to compete against the large glasses companies but they can compete as a sleep company. It allows them to sell glasses as an additional product to support the overall goal. It’s a niche of its own.

 

[12:43] To Niche or Not to Niche?

 

James laughed with us, he wanted to tell us that he knocked it out of the park first thing, but that’s not reality.

 

There’s a lot of stuff James threw at the wall to see what would stick and it was the bio-hacking community that got behind the product. Once he saw that, he doubled down on that community to be the biggest proponents, the cheerleaders, to help spread the message to a larger audience. Free marketing so to speak.

 

Biohackers are so particular about their health. James stresses that if you get them behind you, they are going to tell their mothers, their friends, anyone who will listen, how great the product is. That’s the real power of influencer marketing and niches - you don’t have to spend money on advertising.

 

[20:08] Top 3 Ways James Boosted Swannies’ Revenue

 

Khierstyn asked James what the biggest proponents to boosting initial revenue were. Here’s what he came back with.

 

Reviews:

 

When Swannies first launched, they were only on Amazon; No website or online presence. James knew reviews were important to managing the visibility metrics. He did everything he could think of to generate reviews. He tried giving some away for honest reviews. He asked friends, family, anyone, he could think of, to share their feelings online. He was persistent -. Stayed on top of them, pestered them, because getting the reviews were paramount.

 

Associating with Influencer:

 

James says he made an effort to ensure that he was associating with influencers already paving the way in his vertical. He connected with Dave Asprey, founder of BulletProof, because he knew that Dave’s audience of bio-hackers would love the glasses. James sent Dave a message and offered to help educate listeners about dangers of blue light. James gave him benefits for his viewers, for his audience, in his field of interest. Dave responded by text and was all over it.

 

It wasn’t without work though. James waited 2-3 months for the interview. He ended up scheduling the interview while in midtown, at a conference. They managed it though, Dave interviewed James over Skype in this hotel room. 2 months after that, Dave published the episode on YouTube. [Watch it here]

 

Sales quadrupled overnight. Within 3 days, Swannies they went from selling 15 pairs a day to 50 or 60 pairs a day. This truly opened James eyes to the benefit of being on a show with influencers in the right market. James reached out to other podcasts, got interviews, and continues to do so now.

 

The Selfie Ask:

 

James tells us that he would ask customers to take selfie photos of themselves using the product. He asked that they send them and post/tag on Instagram. It’s the ultimate marketing tool because customers would wear and share and talk, and it grew. That’s free marketing.

 

[26:47] Influence Marketing When you Don’t Have a Product

 

Don’t have a physical product to give away? That’s OKAY! Do as many videos as you can. Cool, fun, demo videos and get influencers to use the product. If you only have one prototype, have them use it and then return it, the point is to capture the experience visually.

 

Show people, not tell. People are well known to need to see before believing, so make videos and give them something to believe in. If they can’t touch, at least let them see.

 

[29:26] Hot or Cold - James’ talks Media

 

James shares that he did both warm and cold connections, but NEVER cold pitches. He had folks like Dave Asprey who he was friends and felt comfortable with. He showed anyone who had a podcast or platform using existing relationships to build conversations. He always talked in their benefit and made it about their listeners.

 

There were times when James tells us he had to reach out to cold media contacts. His strategy was to talk about their interest. No mass emails though. He made sure to research first and made the pitch about them, their work, and how he could support their growth.

 

From his experience, cold, impersonalized pitches didn’t work. He made sure to tell us that he throws them out all the time. James recommends that you Google the media person you're pitching to. Read the last three articles they published and then connect your pitch to them. Craft the pitch around their interests and why they should be interested.

 

[34:00] Growing Pains

 

Like any other business owner, James has dealt with his fair share of challenges. For Swannies, it’s growing pains.

 

"The first few months, everything is moving up, growing and expanding. Then, you get to 1 million and you realize you don’t have systems and process in place." James had to hire because, all of a sudden, he was managing people. He had to work with staff, customers, and more. They've experience plateaus, inventory shortages, as well as a host of other complications.

 

There are all these little things that, in the beginning, you’re not worried about because you’re trying new things. If you don’t have systems, and things like KPIs for staff, you end up putting out fires.

 

As the CEO, James feels what he did poorly was not prioritize processes and systems enough. Swannies had to slow down, put out fires, add systems and processes, to pick up and start moving forward again.

 

[42:13] The Future Starts Now

 

Where is James headed? He shares that he has 2 distinct visions in the coming years.

 

Swanwick Sleep he intends to grow to a 100 million dollar business while on track to selling. He’d like to see it grow to be something big and the sell and walk away with a great payout.

 

James shares that with his 30 Day No Alcohol Challenge business, he wants to grow forever, so that it can be his perpetual income machine. It’s the lifeblood, something that will always support him.



 

 

Episode Outline

 

Introduction: Influence Marketing; Expert Secrets to Fast, Inexpensive Growth

 

[03:38] Who is James Swanwick?

[06:20] Riding the Mainstream Curve

[12:43] To Niche or Not to Niche?

[20:08] Top 3 Ways James Boosted Swannies’ Revenue

[25:40] Backetkit

[26:47] Influence Marketing When you Don’t Have a Product

[29:26] Hot or Cold - James’ talks Media

[34:00] Growing Pains

[42:13] The Future Starts Now



 

 

Resources and Sponsor

James Swanwick

James’ Inner Circle

30 Day No Alcohol Challenge

Swanwick Sleep

James Swanwick on iTunes

 

Follow James on:

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

YouTube

 

Sponsor: BackerKit - use the code “uncut” to get 50% off setup services

Aug 22, 2017

Unsure where to start?

 

Too many email marketing platforms to choose from?

 

Then this podcast is for you. This week I’m joined by Chris Davis who is the Educational Director of Content of Active Campaign. We’re going to take a deep dive into what active campaign is doing behind the scenes, how you can go about selecting an email service to provide, and how to get started with email marketing and automation.

 

Where You Were and Where You End Up Might not be so Different

 

It’s important to understand where you came from and why. Chris tell us, “A lot of times you’re doing something and just don’t know how important, or know how what you’re doing now can be impactful, perhaps in another area or industry.”

 

You see, Chris started out as an engineer, studied formally, and worked for 7 years programming microprocessors. The nitty gritty 1’s and 0’s coding in a laboratory with no windows.

 

Before long, he found himself asking, “What am I here for?” That’s when he left to start a web development firm. It was short-lived, but he came to understand that the magic wasn’t in the website but what was behind the website. That’s when Chris was introduced email marketing and soon after email automation.

 

He mentions learning a tool many small businesses were using but struggling with. The goal was to take this difficult and hard to manage tool and make it easier on clients by managing it for them. The tool? InfusionSoft

 

Chris quickly learned that InfusionSoft wasn’t catered for SaaS companies but learned how to use it. It was that knowledge that lead him to dominate the space.

 

It was then that it hit him, “I’ve been in the automation space the whole time, but never connected the two.” When the opportunity came to take on the role of education and building out content came up with Active Campaign, he shares that he jumped on it and hasn’t looked back

 

What Is Marketing Automation?

 

Chris defines marketing automation as the process of employing technology to continually execute your marketing strategy. It’s not new, but it’s new to the small business owner. Technology replacing human beings hadn’t been available to small business to this scale, but big businesses have been using automation a long time.

 

With the advancement of technology, it makes it more accessible to all levels of business ownership. A small business owner can operate as an enterprise and thus dawns a new day for the small business. Instead of hiring staff to do your marketing, employ technology to do it for you.

 

Chris explains that there comes a point where you pay the price for ignorance. How realistic is it that every business owner can respond to every customer inquiry manually within 5 minutes? As business increases, it becomes a near-impossible task. Therefore, Chris counsels that you want to use the platform, a marketing tool like Active campaign, to alleviate some of that.

 

If you want to have an email go out within 5 minutes of someone signing up, it’s as easy as a  checkbox using Active Campaign. That’s how easy it becomes to ensure it happens.

 

Most business owners don’t have that box to check, and they simply don’t know how much money they are leaving on the table.

 

Choosing the Right Marketing Automation Platform

 

Did you know that there is an invisible ceiling with most platforms? Chris explains that there is a point to where you can’t go any further. To where you'll have to adopt a new technology or platform to move forward. If you are just starting out, it’s all synonymous to you.

 

Don’t read reviews, it’s specific to that situation. If you aren’t using it like they do, then it's worthless. Best thing is to try it yourself.

 

As found in Dr. Stephen R. Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Chris says you need to “Begin with the end in mind”. You know, at some point, you want to be profitable. You want your business to have growth.

 

Active Campaign is a platform that allows you to come in, as a beginner, and grow with the tool; no need to convert to a new platform with each growth spurt.

 

For example, if you are a Mailchimp user, there will be limitations. It’s designed for the beginner to intermediate user. Then you used to jump to Infusionsoft which is advanced level . Very few make that jump successfully. Active Campaign can stretch the entire spectrum. Now you don’t have to make the leap, you take gradual growth path.

 

Top 3 Automations Every Business Owner Should Start With

 

If you follow Chris’s training on Active Campaign, or if you pop into his office hours, you’ll hear he constantly tell people to reduce the audience and cater the message. Instead of building one giant, fancy automaton on one page, he likes to break them up.  

 

Chris’ favorite? When a user submits a form, and the automation sends out an email 3 or 4 times, spread a few days apart, always leading them to the bottom goal. If they buy at email two, it automatically cuts off the rest of the emails and moves them into a paid subscriber list.

 

If you understand the buyer process, you know right after purchase the buyer's remorse kicks in. After a big purchase, we first become emotional. This is when we feel the most unsure. Later we become rational, and we’re walking through the rationalizations to ease our minds. You don’t want to send your message at the wrong point.

 

Engagement automation; Watches what you do, sees if you’re engaged, and if not, it checks in when unengaged at 30 days. Those 30, 60, 90 day engagement tags can be helpful because it can help isolate where the hot leads are.

 

Khierstyn mentions that she uses a system that automatically unsubscribes folks when they haven't interacted within a period of time. It keeps the list clean from inactive users.

 

Chris agrees that if you need to do something, adapt Khierstyn’s approach. Popular teachings go that you need a huge list, and how to get your next huge chunk of leads. What they don’t tell you is that maybe 1200 are engaging. Since you pay to do every seat, why would you pay for dead leads?

 

The bigger your list, the higher the chance people will not be engaging. 25-30% open rate is the target. An open rate below that says your messaging isn’t aligned with your audience.

 

Chris proclaims he is a champion of the idea that,  “we don’t send broadcast emails, ever. We make it easy to send a targeted message to your audience.” When you send targeted messaging, your open rate jumps 10%.

 

Example, let’s say you sell apparel for both men and women. You have a new fall line and you want to show it to your customer base. Instead of sending one blast to all individuals in one list, he recommends you separate them into 2 emails and target to each gender specifically. It’s easier to create and email for women that they will like, and another for men which will appeal to them, rather than an email that has to appeal to both simultaneously.

 

Segmenting, How Do We Do It?

 

Chris explains that there are a few different ways to implement your segmenting. For starters,

when you import your pre-existing subscribers you can map each column to a custom field. This gives you control right at the point of importing. Now that all the contacts are in, you can use the custom fields to segment your messaging.

 

Many don’t know the power of speaking to smaller groups. We’re not saying discriminate or ostracize any section of your viewership, just tailor your message to smaller audiences to increase engagement.

 

If you have to spend 5 minutes to create a few more segments and send targeted messages to get a higher open rate, it’s worth it. It’s more mature automation.

 

Templates are Starting Points not Solutions

 

Clickfunnels, and other such software, have pre-built funnels, but you still need to customize them. There is a lot of customization that has to happen.

 

Chris advises, “A template is a starting point, a light frame-work for you to work within.” When you don’t have them, it becomes overwhelming, you have unanswered questions, and you're prone to analysis paralysis kicks in, and you don’t do anything.

 

Templates are necessary but some people have taken it too far. It’s not just plug and play and BOOM success. When you do best practices, you are always going to win. That’s the hardest thing for people to understand. Marketing automation isn’t the solution, you are the solution and automation is the strategy.

 

You are the business owner. It’s up to you to know your audience and to know what offer to place in front of them. Chris says, “We (Active Campaign) will support you, help you, and get that message out, but we don’t do it for you.”

 

Going in, you need to watch your numbers and edit your message until it hits the mark. Watch the results, tweak the words and images, so that it continues to be more and more appealing to your specific audience.

 

Up Your Split-Testing Game

 

Khierstyn asked a golden question - How can you use split testing to up your game? Chris breaks it down.

 

If you want to send a broadcast, or campaign, with a message to your list or group of people, you can split test the headline. After 2 hours, once one of the titles has a higher open rate, it resends the winner to the other 50% automatically. However, it’s not just headlines Active Campaign lets you split test.

 

Let’s say you want to implement this into an email series. You can use the automation builder to split paths. You can monitor and track send times. Set one run up for every day, the other for every 3 days, and the read-open rate winner automatically takes over the process. It’s next level awesome.

 

Split path is a recent launch and you can do so may things. You can split paths for promotions too. Such an automation that delivers a coupon until Friday and you don't’ have to worry about turning it off. It becomes set it and forget it.

 

Where do Most People get Stuck Starting Up?

 

Chris warns, “Not realizing how much they already know. Technology introduces a barrier.” Everyone knows how to write on paper. Take that and put it onto an iPad Pro with that new pen… writing with the Pro is totally different than writing on paper. Technology ads a layer of complexity to make it uncomfortable.

 

Many business owners understand marketing and know what to do, but add the technology and they lose their way. Once you know what you want to achieve, you can build a blueprint to achieve it. “That’s what I spend most of my time working with business owners on” Chris shares.

 

You need a blueprint. Most already have the blueprint though don't’ know how to convert that into a working process. Some don’t even know how to get it down. I recommend you get to the point where you have your blueprint and you’re positioned for success. Then it's all about execution.






Episode Outline

 

Introduction: Expert Secrets to Leverage Email Automation and See Results

 

[04:23] Where You Were and Where You End Up Might not be so Different

[08:40] What IS Marketing Automation?

[14:20] Choosing the Right Marketing Automation Platform

[20:15] Backerkit

[21:20] Top 3 Automations Every Business Owner Should Start With

[28:54] Segmenting, How Do We Do It?

[33:43] Templates are Starting Points not Solutions

[38:15] Up Your Split-Testing Game

[41:25] Where do Most People get Stuck Starting Up?

 

 

 

Resources and Sponsor

Active Campaign Guides

Active Campaign Training

Free 14-Day Active Campaign Trial (Special for UNCUT listeners ONLY!)

Clickfunnels 14-Day Trial

Dot Com Secrets - Russell Bronson


Sponsor: BackerKit - use the code “uncut” to get 50% off setup services

Aug 15, 2017

They met at Tropical think tank in the Philippines and now they are ready to sit down to podcast 12 months in the making!

 

Who is Janet Murray

 

Janet Murray is the founder of soulful PR specializing in helping small business owners sculpt and pitch their ideas and stories to the media. She’s a freelance writer/editor who runs a successful Paid web group called Soulful PR Studio. Alongside a booming podcast and masterfully written blog, Janet is always on the go. I must also mention she has an amazing book called Your Press Release is Breaking my Heart. Let's not forget her Facebook group Soulful PR going almost 10,000 strong.

 

"I guess the most important thing about my story is that I teach PR but I have never worked in PR," Janet explains.

 

From The Guardian to The Independent and The National posts, Janet has spent the last 16 years freelance writing and editing for some of the biggest publications in the UK. Never mind the handfuls of magazines; Janet has been there and edited that!

 

One thing that Janet learned early on in her freelance years is that bad pitchers are everywhere. She began to grow sick of a number of bad pitch emails filling her daily inbox; Hard working people throwing their money into PR firms that just don't get it.

 

She was inspired to take a stand. It was time for a change, and Janet decides to set out to teach others how to get noticed.

 

Janet runs the event Your Year in PR, where she takes 8 national journalists and roughly 80 small business owners, stuffs them in a room, and teachers. They learn what it is that consumers look for in a pitch and what sets a good pitch apart from a bad one. Janet says, “You don't need a big budget or fancy PR firm to get top Notch media coverage.


The importance of standing out.

 

Khierstyn cleverly asked which pitches Janet had heard over the years that she still remembers being the worst. Janet skillfully responds that she really can’t recall any terrible pitches. Instead, the ones that that stand out she said are the good ones. Here are the 3 criteria to use to get noticed!

 

First, you need to show evidence that you actually read or listen to a publication. If it's radio or the newspapers take the time to do your basic research. Journalists have such a small area they can fill and endless crap to sift through.

 

Second, you must have really strong header/subject. It is important to be direct and to the point, Journalists work fast and read even faster. Avoid trying to be witty or the use of puns in your header. You want to keep the body of the text short and to the point as well adding strong visuals or audio clips. Janet gives us the tip of trying to picture yourself in the shoes of the journalist you are trying to reach.

 

" In Journalism, we have a term called the 10-word top line." Janet explains that this means if you can't summarize your story in 10 words or less you are not ready for launch.

 

Third, knowing the different types of media content is very important as well.

 

  • News: Reporting on something new that is happening.
  • Opinion article: Published in a newspaper or magazine, that reflects the author's opinion about the subject.
  • Personal article: A story that leads to the point, can be the reason for why you made what you are pitching.

 

Janet tells us that, rather than starting with your story, tailor each outreach to every different publication.

 

What advice would you give to the first time entrepreneur trying to find their pitch?

 

" First off! Anyone that owns a business can get media coverage."

 

One tool that reigns supreme is HARO, Help A Reporter Out, a place where journalists go to find stories to write about.

 

Janet takes the time to recant a story of a current client that is working on a app for people with food intolerance. Now, the App is not quite finished but that has not stopped her client from being all over media publications for the last year. Even if you can't get the coverage you want, get any coverage you can! By the time you are ready to launch you have made the bridges and started your following.

 

Be where the journalists are. There are always events going on; Find a way to be apart of them, set up booths, ask for coffee meetings. You need to find ways of getting into the public eye.

 

Above all else don't write a press release! You are basically saying you have already sent this story to every other publication you could find. Journalists want a scoop, tailor, tailor, tailor every email you send. Continue listing as Janet teaches you some simple steps to follow when tailoring your pitches.

 

Episode Outline

 

Introduction: Pitch Perfect; How to Get Media Coverage at Any Stage

 

[02:25] Who is Janet Murray

[13:12] The importance of standing out

[23:00] BackerKit

[24:00] What advice do you have for new business owners

 

Resources and Sponsor

Tropical Think tank

Janet’s book: Your press release is breaking my heart

A Soulful PR Studio

HARO

http://www.janetmurray.co.uk/

Crowdfunding uncut

Jan_Murray Twitter

Soulful PR Facebook

 

Sponsor: BackerKit - use the code “uncut” to get 50% off setup services

Aug 8, 2017

For episode 100, Khierstyn wanted to do something big. Bigger, better, and cooler than ever! What’s better than bringing back the podcast’s most downloaded guest? Nothing, that’s what. Especially when the guest is  Max Temkin of Cards Against Humanity!

 

Max and his team, they aren’t like everyone else, nor do they want to be.  They wear their honesty and integrity on their sleeve. It's about good products selling, no matter how you market them.

 

Sit back and enjoy as Max shares his unique views and opinions - ones that rocketed him to the top.

 

Marketing Strategies? We made a damn good product.

 

Max doesn't believe in hack or tricks or guarantees.  In his mind, when someone markets a magic hack for something, it's like selling lies.

 

People are hungry for shortcuts. What they want is the easiest way to get the biggest payout. Life isn't like that. There IS no magic secret way to achieve your dreams.

 

Cards Against Humanity didn't use tactics like "artificial scarcity".  It's about having a great product that people want, selling at a steady rate, and spending less than you make. Max says it's that simple.

 

Staying top of mind and marketing on a limited budget.

 

Traditionally, a marketing budget is the monetary sum you intend to you to advertise. Traditional marketing is something Max states they avoided. They don't spend money on Facebook advertising, or radio adverts.

 

They do spend money on doing cool and unique things. Things that people would enjoy and would want to watch and share. In this way, they do spend money to market, but it's not where others might first turn.

 

Cards Against Humanity, and Max, have developed a cult following. People identify with and embrace the alternative means of marketing they use.

 

Max quotes, "If you want people to talk about you, it's on you to do something worth talking about."



If Obama was our CEO...

 

Speaking of doing something people want to talk about, Max shared his experiences. Specifically, he told us about an ad they ran on Craigslist in January 2017.

 

Max said that while enjoying a brainstorming session, they came up with an idea. Wouldn't it be amazing if Barack Obama was our new CEO?

 

Many of the ideas they throw around don't make it to public consumption, but this one did! It's a perfect example of the power of alternative advertising. They made a post on Craigslist and it got loads of attention.

 

You know what that cost them to run? Nothing. Sure, they haven't picked up Obama yet, but there is still hope!

 

(Note to Barack Obama, if you're reading this, give Max a shout, he'd love to hear from you!  mail@cardsagainsthumanity.com )

 

Blackbox - Our not-so-secret new business for crowd funders!

 

Blackbox, ever heard of it? It’s a new shipping company from the creators of Cards Against Humanity.  Max tells us that they had to go through the motions when it came to shipping the game. They ended up having to build and infrastructure to do it.

 

It's now spinning off as it's own service. Blackbox takes their existing experience and connections to make it accessible. It's geared at crowd funders too.

 

Max tells of how he made a critical shipping mistake that ended up costing him. With certain campaigns, you need to know an exact shipping cost up front, or you're charged for it. That's why they want to make it safe, easy and fast. Enter the details online and get an accurate, guaranteed shipping price.

 

Oh, and they take care of everything so that you don't have to; Customer service, shipping, storage, returns, exchanges you name it.

 

The strategy behind marketing Secret Hitler

 

Let's talk about something else that Max Temkin knocked out of the park. Have you ever played Secret Hitler? It's a brilliantly marketed board game of hidden identities.

 

The website describes it as:

 

" Secret Hitler is a dramatic game of political intrigue and betrayal set in 1930's Germany. Players are secretly divided into two teams - liberals and fascists. Known only to each other, the fascists coordinate to sow distrust and install their cold-blooded leader. The liberals must find and stop the Secret Hitler before it’s too late."

 

It was also wildly successful on Kickstarter. We asked Max what drove the success of this game, and he imparted some real gems.

 

He's done design for more than 15 years professionally. He works with and designs branding for political campaigns. He insists there is a visual database in his head of styles and ideas that he can pull out on command, a benefit of experience.

 

Secret Hitler was a dream project, one that he had the money to fund. He had money to put into testing and it became a balance of art and science.

 

Max made sure to emphasize that, despite money, there is never a guarantee on return. Sometimes not having money can make for a better product because you have to work harder to achieve it.

 

Ever heard Max talk about Star Wars and the reason that they became a classic? You should tune in to the podcast to hear more.

 

If you could do it all again, what would you do differently?

 

Khierstyn prepared a few questions in advance for Max. The first being from Zach Smith, founder of Funded.Today. He asked - "if you had to do it all again, what would you do differently?"

 

He tells of how he charged only for the cards and not shipping at first. While it was during a time when that was more common, he said it was a nightmare. This nightmare was part of what fed into Blackbox.

 

He did mention one regret - that he let inexperience push him away from the design he truly wanted. Everything worked in the end, but he wishes he had the courage to make the choice that felt right.

 

Max warns listeners, "Fail because you make it too good, not because you made it too bad."

 

Where’s the line? Let’s talk being offensive.

 

There is no line per say, but there are rules. The goal is to make people laugh and feel good when they play. It's not to make anyone feel bad. Sometimes the enveloped gets puts but Max tries his best to ensure it's within these rules.

 

There was a time, Max recants when he was young and in college. There was a cheap transsexual joke he still regrets. It came about after he saw a post on Tumblr. Someone expressed feelings of being bullied. They said when the card came up, the transsexual player was bullied, and it was no longer a fun time.

 

"It's all fun and games... until we become bullies." Max explains "We have a social responsibility."

 

Super Happy Fun Time Uncensored Bonus Content

 

Fun and games you say? It's about that time! Max chats with Khierstyn about crowdfunding platforms. At the same time, they chat about (and dissect) campaigns seen on Funded.Today.

 

**Warning - This is uncut for your listening pleasures! Max Temkin in full swing!**

 

 

 

Episode Outline

 

Introduction: Max against Humanity; I did it my way.

[08:28] Marketing Strategies? We made a damn good product.  

[14:28] Staying top of mind and marketing on a limited budget.

[21:50] If Obama was our CEO...  

[30:42] Blackbox - Our not-so-secret new business for crowd funders!      

[35:58] Backerkit   

[37:05] The strategy behind marketing Secret Hitler

[43:03] If you could do it all again, what would you do differently?      

[48:46] Where’s the line? Let’s talk being offensive.

[52:30] Super Happy Fun Time Uncensored Bonus Content       

 

 

 

Resources and Sponsor

 

Cards Against Humanity

Secret Hitler

Prototyping Secret Hitler (Blog)

Funded.Today

Khierstyn’s Product Launch Checklist

Crowdfunding Product Launch Academy

Khierstyn’s e-mail

Best of Craigslist - Cards Against Humanity CEO Ad


Sponsor: BackerKit - use the code “uncut” to get 50% off setup services

Aug 1, 2017

How to Harness the Power of Your Story

 

Have you ever met a travel digital nomad?

Have you ever wanted to be one?

Have you ever wanted to use your life experience to shape your e-commerce future?

Chris Rawlings joins Khierstyn on a deep dive into his experiences. A tale which leads him to San Francisco in search of new VC (venture capital) investors for his next big idea.

 

The Spice of Life; Using Story to Elevate Products

 

Three years ago, Chris was working in the solar industry as an employee. He started as a scientist though he felt like he needed to know business to control his destiny. He found himself gravitating towards roles that were more and more business related.

 

Business tired Chris and left him wanting more. In a rush of adrenaline he looked up the most beautiful country in the world. At that time, with that search feature, New Zealand topped the charts. Like that, he booked a one way trip.

 

The journey began, and what a story! 2 and a half years ago he sold all his possessions, quit his job, shifted into a minimalist lifestyle. Chris moved to New Zealand, bought a motorcycle and started wandering.

 

Traveling Digital Nomads

 

Chris captivates with his stories of the network of traveling digital nomads. He met individuals who operated mobile businesses like him, going from coffee shop to coffee shop. People running digital marketing, e-commerce, SEO and Amazon business like his.

 

The Philippines, Bali, Indonesia and other areas see a high volume of these digital nomads. Individuals who enjoy traveling and working for themselves. A network of experiences waiting to happen.

 

"Is this your thing?" Chris asks of the audience, "Then book it and just go."

 

Luck + Hard Work = Success

 

From humble and alone to capitalizing on a network of knowledge Chris began to build his team. His first business went from nothing to a two million dollar evaluation, nothing to snort at.

 

It was captivating to see this new and unique market that he hadn't before. Small, niched, fast growing businesses that cater to small to medium sized businesses. The same niche he was in.

 

He tells us about the amazing diversity and ingenuity. Nearly anything you could think of had it's own niche and service.

 

It was the process of building his business and expanding abroad that lead to his most well-known venture - Judolaunch.com

 

Judolaunch.com - The launch platform for e-based brands.

 

Chris explained that there are generally 2 ways to expand your business.

 

Horizontally

  • By releasing product after product to continually generate new income.

Globally

  • When you have a channel that works, it's easier to recreate the same platform in other markets.

Fundamentally, JudoLaunch gets your product into the hands of customers in the global Amazon market to jumpstart your products' rankings.

 

Would Judolaunch.com be a SaaS (software as a service) or an Agency?

 

Chris indicated that his intention with Judolaunch.com was to offer a full service agency. By starting out with this model they were able to get business and fill quotas.

 

They began investing in the systems and processes needed to automate and improve. Chris ventured into San Francisco and software development as Judolaunch.com developed into an SaaS tool.

 

"That's where all the real growth is!" Chris exclaimed.

 

What to give up to raise what you need.

 

In San Francisco,starting from scratch, Chris has been working to get as many meetings as possible. He explains that it comes down to only a few things.

 

Do whatever the #$%& you want - you make the rules.

  • You have to set the rules. You will run into the occasionally VC or Angel investor who argues. However you are more likely to get those who just jump all in.

Set a time-period to raise funds.

  • Setting a goal with limits makes things feel more achievable. Get together a proposal, ideas and figures to help your presentation.

Chris shared that in his opinion, you can calculate evaluations 3 ways:

  • Revenue/Net Profit Review
  • What was another company at a similar stage evaluated at?
  • Pulling it out of your ass.

In fact, number 3, was the one he sees most often.

 

How Much Equity Do You Give?

 

Chris really breaks this down in a great way. As a general rule, each time you raise investments, you hand out 20-30%

 

(Give a listen to the podcast to hear him explain this!)

 

Round 1 Fundraising

  • Collecting money from friends and family and your own personal savings.
  • Generally you raise between $0 -$100,000

Round 2 Fundraising

  • The seed round.
  • Generally you raise from $100,000 to over $2 million dollars.
  • This is the first real round.

From there you can have as many series as you want though it dilutes each individual's holdings each time.

 

The Spinal Tap

 

While he doesn't divulge, it's mentioned that a spinal injury is actually what sparked one of his most recent successes.

 

Chris started working with his father on a new way to meditate comfortably for longer periods of time. It's an amazing posture pillow which re-invent the meditating position. He's ventured into an area he almost praises as a sweet spot in his story. A product that builds off of his spinal injury which also fills a need.

 

He validated his product.He liked that it was in a boring category and it wasn't sexy. There was much room to improve and impress.

 

Your products should resonate and tell a story.

 

Chris says he had a basic, flat white label product for a while. It didn't take long to learn that the best campaigns have the best stories behind them.

 

How does he know his new posture pillow will sell? A leg up; His dad is a meditation instructor and travels around with the product testing on his students. The reactions have been very positive.


(Pop in right about now in the podcast and Chris will start sharing how he easily validates a product. Tap into that experience!)

Episode Outline

Introduction: How to Harness the Power of Your Story

[06:15] The Spice of Life; Using Story to Elevate Products     

[08:50] Travelling Digital Nomads     

[11:53] Luck + Hard Work = Success  

[13:51] Judolaunch.com - The launch platform for e-based brands.       

[18:34] What to give up to raise what you need.   

[21:28] How Much Equity Do You Give?    

[22:54] Backerkit

[24:00] The Spinal Tap      

[32:35] Your products should resonate and tell a story.        

 

Resources and Sponsor

 

JudoLaunch.com

Hello@JudoLaunch.com

Noah the Bullmastiff

Khierstyn’s Product Launch Checklist

Crowdfunding Product Launch Academy

Khierstyn’s e-mail

 

Sponsor: BackerKit - use the code “uncut” to get 50% off setup services

Jul 25, 2017

 

When Jason Tafler switched from the world of corporate start-ups to designing his own product, he purchased technology and an e-mail list from a company who had a product similar to what he wanted to create. But rather than just move forward to design his product the way he wanted it, he did a survey of the customer base to find out what was important to them, and let their feedback influence his product design. On this episode, Jason shares the fascinating story of his journey toward creating an interactive meditation product and the role that his customer base played in both the design and the launch of Unyte.

 

Using NPS (Net Promoter Score) to help you fine tune your product

When Jason Tafler was developing the Unyte interactive meditation product, he found that using NPS (Net Promoter Score) helped him figure out where to improve and where to focus. On this episode, he explains what NPS is and how he used a single question survey of his customer base to get the feedback that he needed, including real time transactional NPS. List to today’s interview to learn about this tool that can provide the feedback you need for successful product development.

What is the best source of traffic and sales for your crowdfunding campaign?

There are many online sources for traffic and sales for your crowdfunding campaign. Jason Tafler was surprised by some of the sources that did better, or not as well, as he expected. On this episode, he shares the percentages of his backers that came from various sources. Listen to find out how the percentage that came from his existing customer base was the biggest surprise of all.

 

Kickstarter vs. Indiegogo - Which should you choose?

For those who are new to crowdfunding, it can be difficult to choose which platform to use. In today’s interview, Jason Tafler explains why he chose the platform he did, what he likes about it, and what makes him wonder whether he made the right decision. Listen in for an honest discussion about the pros and cons of Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

 

Jason Tafler’s advice for entrepreneurs new to crowdfunding

Jason Tafler has had a successful Kickstarter campaign for his Unyte interactive meditation product. On this episode, Jason shares a couple of warnings for others who are looking to do the same. A Kickstarter campaign doesn’t necessarily result in a successful, sustainable business. Listen in to find out how much work it took for Jason to launch his product, and what he needed to do outside of the Kickstarter platform to achieve success.

 

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:16] Introduction to our sponsor, BackerKit, and today’s guest, Jason Tafler.
  • [3:06] Jason’s story - how he decided to focus on an interactive meditation device?
  • [10:38] How the ability to calm your mind can help you in other areas.
  • [12:58] How Jason acquired technology from another company and developed it into a new product.
  • [17:09] Using your customer base to get the feedback that you need.
  • [20:26] What is the Net Promoter Score, and how did Jason Tafler use a survey to figure it out?  
  • [24:10] Thank you to our sponsor, Backer Kit.
  • [25:13] Kickstarter vs. Indiegogo.
  • [28:16] What is the best source of traffic and sales for your crowdfunding campaign?
  • [35:49] Jason Tafler’s advice for entrepreneurs new to crowdfunding.
  • [41:02] Jason’s plans and Khierstyn’s advice for the last three days of the campaign.
  • [46:35] Using Indiegogo In Demand for passive income.
  • [48:54] What crowdfunding can do for your brand launch.

Resources Mentioned

 

Sponsor
BackerKit - use the code “uncut” to get 50% off set-up services

Jul 17, 2017

Would you like to rise above your fears to live a life without limits? In today's podcast, Khierstyn talks with Joel Runyon, of Impossible HQ, about how you can conquer those fears and achieve what seems impossible.

 

Joel shares his inspiring story of how he turned his “can’ts” into “cans”.

He stopped clinging to excuses and acted; Started running. Joel trained for and ran marathons, triathlons, and eventually, an ultra-marathon in Antarctica! The tough physical discipline required to master these tasks led him to develop a winning mindset that can be applied to any area of life. In this episode, we will learn how he did it so we too can go beyond what we thought was impossible. We can go limitless!

 

The First Step: Accept NO excuses and Act    

Joel candidly tells the story of how he was at rock bottom in his life. Everything seemed impossible to him. His first step was to allow no more excuses in his life. He was finally sick of his own excuses, and that's what it took. Sick enough to be motivated.

His second step was to find something he could do. Then he did it. He took control of his physical accomplishment. He did not choose what most would deem a reasonable goal. No, Joel went for the impossible. He knew he could run so he set his sights on running a triathlon. Then he started running. and did what others are afraid to and went for it. He trained, did it, accomplished it, and then set the next goal higher.

Along the way, he developed a winning mindset that now allows him to live without limits in every area of his life.  You can too... if you ditch excuses, go limitless and determine to do the impossible.

 

 If You Can't Do This, You Don't Have What It Takes to Go Limitless

Joel fills us in on his 30 Day Cold Therapy Challenge. It is a challenging feat for most, though not impossible for anyone. It is, however, highly uncomfortable. That is the key to how it works its magic. The cold therapy gives you daily practice at “cowboying up”, taking a deep breath, and doing that which you REALLY do not want to do.

What is the challenge? It’s simple. You intentionally take a five-minute-long cold shower, daily, for thirty days. The purpose is to learn to discipline yourself to do the things you naturally don't want to do. You are purposefully creating discomfort, then working through it. That's empowering. That conquers fear by helping you realize the head mess you experience beforehand is the worst of it. No more need to fear. Without fear, you don't need limits. You can live a limitless life of your dreams.

It could be just a few cold showers away!

 

Joel Applied These Same Strategies to GO LIMITLESS and Compete in an Ultra-Marathon, in Antarctica!       

Here, Joel tells the tale of how he applied the strategy of doing the impossible to eventually compete in an ultra-marathon. That is a total of 100K… 10K, ten times. Also, it was in Antarctica, where it is so cold, there is no wildlife. It's a fascinating story of how anyone can go limitless and make their dreams come true.

 

How Does Choosing the Challenge Train Your Mind to be Limitless?

The real value in the cold challenge is in how it trains your brain to ignore fears and persevere until you have done the impossible. The battleground, in those moments before you turn on the cold water, is in your mind. You're scared. You don't want to do it. More than that, you REALLY don't want to do it. It’s easy to come up with dozens of reasons not to.

In that moment of no turning back, you decide to fear not and go for it. WOW! Yes, it is shocking, but you did it. You did not die and you can do it again. The wonderful thing is, the next time, conquering those fears will be a little bit easier. You tested your mental capabilities and won!

That is how Joel did the impossible over and over again. You can go limitless too, if you accept the challenge.

 

How Adding Hours a Day of Workouts to His Schedule Increased Joel's Productivity

Joel tells how adding intense physical training to his schedule made his him more efficient and productive. It forces you to step up and get serious about how you manage your time because it pushes your limits.

 

It develops character, consistency, and self-discipline. When you learn to push yourself physically and exceed your own limits, nothing seems impossible anymore. In the process of all the physical training, you find you have disciplined your mind to give you the edge you need to go limitless in every area of your life.

 

Do You Need Help to Keep Moving? There’s an App for That!

The Move Well App will help you to stay mobile, increase mobility after injuries, and undo some of the damage sitting at a desk all day long can do. Each simple 5-10-minute routine is almost as good as having a physical therapist at your beck and call. If you are going limitless and need help to start moving more, this app is for you.

 

What is YOUR impossible goal?

Khierstyn would love to hear about your impossible goal. You don't have one yet? Throw out the box, forget having limits, and reach for your dreams.

When you have it...that one special, impossible thing you will do.... please, email her at [ obviously, insert it]. She can celebrate your commitment to a limitless life and doing the impossible with you!

Episode Outline

Introduction: How to Conquer Fears and Live a Limitless Life

[04:46] Joel shares his inspiring story of how he turned his “can'ts” into “cans”.     

[08:37] The First Step: Accept NO excuses and Act     

[11:28] If You Can't Do This, You Don't Have What It Takes to Go Limitless   

[25:07] Joel Applied These Same Strategies to GO LIMITLESS and Compete in an Ultra-Marathon, in Antarctica!       

[30:08] How Does Choosing the Challenge Train Your Mind to be Limitless?     

[35:49] How Adding Hours a Day of Workouts to His Schedule Increased Joel's Productivity     

[40:30] Do You Need Help to Keep Moving? There’s an App For That!      

[42:04] What is YOUR impossible goal?

 

Resources and Sponsor

impossibleHQ.com

Impossible.org

Movewellapp.com

Khierstyn’s Product Launch Checklist

Khierstyn’s e-mail

Leave a review on iTunes

 

Sponsor: BackerKit - use the code “uncut” to get 50% off setup services

        

 

Jul 13, 2017

Crowdfunding to raise money for a film or creative project is a bit different from crowdfunding for a physical product. On this episode, Kasia Kruk shares her experience of crowdfunding for several film projects and provides insights into the process that she used successfully. Listen in to get great tips on building and engaging your audience, communicating with them effectively, and providing creative rewards for a non-physical product.

Kasia Kruk’s story - from film festival volunteer to crowdfunding and social media strategist for filmmakers

Kasia Kruk has always been attracted to film. Over twelve years ago she came to New York and started collaborating on projects either directly or indirectly related to film. On this episode, Kasia shares the story of her journey from volunteering as an event coordinator for a film festival to discovering that Kickstarter could be used as a platform to raise money for a film, to becoming a crowdfunding and social media strategist for filmmakers. Listen to today’s podcast to hear Kasia’s story and to learn from her experience how to raise money for your creative project.

How to create an engaged audience for your creative project

Establishing and engaging with your audience is a crucial foundation for crowdfunding to raise money for a film or other creative project. On this episode, Kasia Kruk describes how to use social media to engage with people who are interested in the theme or topic of the film, and how to create your audience from there. She also explains the need to invite your audience early (a paradigm shift for many filmmakers). Listen to this episode for valuable ideas for creating and engaging your audience.

How to use creative communication to keep your audience engaged

Consistent and engaging communication with your audience and your backers is essential as your film or creative project moves forward. On this episode, Kasia Kruk shares how she uses content and questions to invite the audience into the world of the artist. She describes how to use a video blog to update your audience on the progress of your creative project, and how to keep your content and communication consistent on all of the pages an audience member might visit. Listen in to learn how to creatively engage with your audience!

Innovative rewards that backers of a creative project will love

Rewards for backers of a creative project are very different from those for a physical product. On this episode, Kasia Kruk shares innovative ideas for rewards that have worked well for her clients when raising money for a film. From autographed photos to in-person experiences and everything in between, today’s podcast will get you thinking about great ways to reward the people who are helping to fund your project.

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:05] Intro to Kasia Karuk and this episode on raising money for a creative project.
  • [6:16] How Kasia got started and what she does.
  • [8:59] Kasia’s journey to finding that Kickstarter could be a good angle for filmmakers.
  • [14:35] Thank you to our sponsor: Backerkit.
  • [15:39] How do you get an engaged audience for a film before the film is made?
  • [20:03] How to use a blog to create engagement.
  • [27:32] Why and how to create a recognizable pattern in your communication with your audience.
  • [31:04] Innovative rewards that backers of a creative project will love.
  • [37:30] Be a better listener in your community.

Resources Mentioned

Sponsors

  • BackerKit - use the code “uncut” to get 50% of of set-up services
Jul 12, 2017

Do you have a great Kickstarter product and a small budget? Many people don’t realize that you can be successful on Kickstarter even if your project isn’t huge. It is like a video game, and you get to set the difficulty level based on your goals. Tyler James, of ComixLaunch, has worked with projects of many sizes. On this episode, he provides insights into how to build your Kickstarter audience, regardless of the size of your budget. Listen in to learn how to activate your existing power base, effectively use giveaways, and use storytelling to keep people engaged in your project.

Why you should become a part of the Kickstarter community before attempting a product launch

If you want to be successful on Kickstarter, it is important to become part of the community first. On this episode, Tyler James explains why backing other projects is essential to launching your own, and how other projects can be your best assets instead of your competition. Listen to this podcast episode to find out how to build your credibility on Kickstarter so that your launch has a better chance of being successful.

Activate your existing power base to begin building your Kickstarter audience

Your existing power base is the people already in your world who know, like, and trust you. These people provide the foundation for building your Kickstarter audience. On this episode, Tyler James describes how to activate your existing power base so that you can build an audience of people who want you to succeed and who want the product you are offering. Listen in to learn how the people you already know are some of your best assets for your Kickstarter launch.

Provide value in advance of your Kickstarter to grow your audience and create excitement

A pre-launch that gets people excited about your product is just as important as the launch itself. The bigger your pre-launch, the bigger your launch will be. On this episode, Tyler James explains how you can effectively use a giveaway to build your Kickstarter audience during your pre-launch, even on a limited budget. Listen to learn about starting early, how the giveaway works to create energy and excitement, and the crucial role of storytelling in this stage of your project.

Nobody has a monopoly on good ideas

Nobody has a monopoly on good ideas. The value of interacting with others and getting coaching cannot be underestimated. On this episode, Tyler James provides a bit of live coaching for a specific project, and the result is a great example of how working together with others is a great benefit to creators. Listen in as Tyler gives Khierstyn some great insights on a specific project, and discover how the principles he employs can give you insights into how to build an energized and excited Kickstarter audience for your own project.

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:03] Welcome to the Crowdfunding Uncut podcast!  Intro to Tyler James and this episode.
  • [8:20] Kickstarter is like a video game.
  • [9:16] How you can be successful on Kickstarter even if your project isn’t huge.
  • [15:04] How sharing other people’s projects can help build your audience.
  • [19:55] Thank you to our sponsor: BackerKit
  • [20:59] Start by activating your existing power base.
  • [25:18] Pre-launch viral giveaway contest.Why you should become a part of the Kickstarter community before attempting a product launch
  • [27:07] Understand the power of storytelling in communicating with your audience.
  • [30:34] Live coaching: How to get people to engage with your product and offer.
  • [42:25] Nobody has a monopoly on good ideas.

Resources Mentioned

Sponsor:
BackerKit - use the code “uncut” to get 50% off of set-up services

Jun 14, 2016

Imagine you are a general looking over a battlefield and you want to launch a devastating artillery attack.

In the 1800’s, this wasn’t so difficult. The enemy was lined up on one side of the battlefield and you were on the other.

You’d know where to aim.

 

Marketing is significantly more complicated.

Your potential customers aren’t lined up in the middle of a field ready for you to introduce yourself, show them your product, and have 100% of them buy it immediately. You have to go out into the world and find them.

They could be in their homes, in the park, on the subway, on a farm, at the climbing gym, or watching a ball game.

Turns out that finding the people that need your product or service is the single most important problem you as the entrepreneur have to solve.

Why?

Without a paying customer, by definition, you don’t have a business.

And if you are just starting your business then you probably can’t waste too many “bullets” on ineffective advertising campaigns that target the wrong people!

How do you find just the right customer and effectively position your product to that customer so that they make the decision to BUY?

You must discover your Customer Avatar.

In this episode, you will meet the author of Saas Marketing Essentials, cofounder of Harpoon App, freelancer, and kick ass stay at home dad, Ryan Battles.

Ryan was a computer science high school teacher until his wife became pregnant with twins. Day care prices being what they were, he decided to become a stay at home dad and take on freelance web development in between his children’s naps.

After a lot of wasted time cold calling and going to networking events, Ryan took some time, defined his own customer avatar and his business took off.

In this episode, Ryan will walk you through how he did it then and how he does it now.

You will learn:

  • What is a Customer Avatar?
  • Why your Avatar is so crucial for your business and crowdfunding success
  • How to go on a Sales Safari to learn more about your Customer Avatar
  • The one simple tool Ryan uses every time he is building a new product or service
  • Why you should test all of your assumptions (hint: because they are probably WRONG)

 

Show Notes:

Ryan’s Blog

Ryan’s post about Defining Your Customer Avatar

SaaS Marketing Essentials

Harpoon - Freelancer Finance

Ryan on twitter: @ryanbattles

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