Friday, January 24, 2014

6 lessons learned (so far) from a struggling Indiegogo campaign

We are a company called the SatoriWest LifeClub…and we have an Indiegogo campaign. I am the operations director and I wanted to share with you a few things we have learned, so that you might avoid the same pitfalls.

Our company vision and mission statement are transformative. We want to start a global movement because we have a formula that helps people change the wiring of their brains to be more content, peaceful and calm.

Like many small businesses, we have the idea…we just don’t have the capital. We explored many ways to acquire funds and landed on crowdfunding. Our vision was that crowdfunding would offer us 3 things: Money, exposure and new customers.  We have 25 days left of our 40 day campaign and we have only raised 5% of our goal. Ouch. We haven’t given up, at all – instead we are taking a step back to assess (and share) what we have learned so far.

1)   Launch when you are ready, even if that means pushing your original deadline. Planning is not a joke. We were focused on getting our campaign out by the beginning of January. We stuck to the deadline rather than waiting until we were really ready. There is a ton of information on how to plan for your campaign and get ready…we kinda jumped the gun.

2)   The campaign will not market itself. This lesson goes hand in hand with making sure you have planned. People won’t just happen upon your campaign. You need to reach out and you need to be putting up new and fresh content. The campaign needs to be your top effort everyday of the campaign and other work projects need to be postponed.

3)   Your network of friends and family may not donate like you thought they would. Our team is small (4 people). We started counting up our combined personal contacts and we were confident at least 20 or 30% of our personal contacts would donate something. That has not been the case. It is not that they are unsupportive, but we made a mistake in estimating such a high conversion rate of close contacts. 

4)   Put on your sales person and marketing hat. We are a team of visionaries, creators, makers, implementers etc…  Marketing and sales are not something that comes naturally to any member of our team.  We feel like we are being pushy, or rude, or spamming.  This has led us to not reach out enough. We need to check our egos at the door and become sales people. Asking for money can be hard. Remember that you are offering people the opportunity to be part of something – not just pan handling. 

5)   Big ideas should be boiled down to an actionable list. Our concept is big (we have a monthly membership club that is designed to help people manage their complex lives and rewire their brains). We focused on getting people to understand the high level goals of our business model. What we offer is transformational and we hope to start a global movement. But, our campaign message isn’t tangible enough for potential contributors to understand what exactly they are funding.

6)   You lose 10% of contributions made through PayPal. Yep…we should have read the fine print, but we didn’t think much of it. We wanted to offer campaign viewers as many options as possible to contribute. We wouldn’t change our decision to offer PayPal as a payment option, but we should have budgeted that into our contribution projections.

All of that said…Check out our Indiegogo campaign. Contribute to our campaign and be part of this global movement. (Of course we had to put in a shameless plug – see, we are practicing being sales people.)

We would love to hear your ideas for how we could have, or still could improve the chances of our campaign being successful.

I also want to say a sincere thank you to our backers so far. Thank you for getting our campaign started and believing in our mission.

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