Today I’m going to teach you everything I do to help any project to raise to your goal within the first 48 hours of going live with a campaign. What you do with it after that is up to you. Sound good?
Today’s Topic: Crowdfunding
I feel inspired that you chose to show up today, because what this community is already doing really amazes me. You are up to such incredible things. Being a startup entrepreneur is a unique calling - > you are creating solutions, you are thinking beyond the confines of normal day to day, and you are walking the talk by networking with each other to make your impact more powerful. I feel to lucky to get to share these keys with you, because I know you are going to be able to run with them and make a huge difference.
I’m here to share with you a unique skill set - I learned through trial and testing in over a hundred campaigns, it’s a marketing approach that combines telling your personal story and then direct community organizing - this is really different than an established company presenting a product - it’s a skill set that paves a way for you to introduce yourself personally as a founder and gather and train what we call “evangelists” - people who believe in you so much that they are willing to give up their money and their time to support YOUR dream. How on earth could you motivate someone to do that when you don’t even have a product yet? More on that soon.
I’m also going to talk about some examples of projects that succeeded. I’m going to give you the schedule that we use to launch campaigns, Finally, I’m going to show the exact four step conversation that is how we build evangelists and activate your community around your launch day so you can 10X increased likelihood to finish as a success. I’m going to cover what goes into video planning, as well as some tips for how to shoot and edit your video that makes crowdfunding sense.
I love, love , love this work, I’m so excited, because I know that sharing your crowdfunding project is one the most meaningful things I can do with your life - I see how it’s creates a funnel for prosperity and creativity to pour through everyone who does it. A crowdfunding project is so much bigger than the money you might raise, because the people you touch and inspire are going bring unheard of resources and exceptional ideas to your business , and then they will go on bring other people to you to do the same. I sincerely believe it’s the best way to gain momentum with your business regardless of what stage you are at.
But here’s the thing: Innovation is a speculative act.
As much as crowdfunding has democratized anyone’s ability to contribute or receive funding, I see that what is rarely discussed is the tremendous risk and the unknowns that are an ineherent part. You really won’t have any idea bout how your project will perform on the launch day, and you absolutely need to “spec out” your launch in advance to at least have a healthy understanding of how much risk there is. because after running hundred of projects and seeing the darker corners of this industry, there are just too many ways to blow it: secretive agencies charging outrageous amounts for nonperforming promises, Facebook and google don't care if your clicks convert, if you get to sales on social media they’ll sideline all your content - let’s face it: it’s really hare to sell something from scratch and not spend a huge amount of money doing it. - , I’m here to lower the water line for how we use grassroots community organizing to get stable outcomes everytime at a fraction of the cost of ads and PR agencies.
Your story matters
I believe that each and every one of us has an idea inside us, and that crowdfunding is one way to shaping the way you describe where you are and where you are headed. And now I know that crowdfunding is the best way to start getting into the bolts of your story, because it offers you a chance to test it in the actual marketplace, to talk to your customers when there is a real buy opportunity before them, and this can give you some valuable, actionable insights, which will totally chang how you position yourself in investor pitches down the line. And what other business method allows you to engage your audience first and build your product after? Here’s the key about story: people won’t buy what your selling, they buy who you are and the passion and enthusiasm you have for your way of life. I had a client reflect on his campaign - he said, you know, if I delivered the project on time but didn’t let my backers in on every detail of our business development practice, I would have failed, because now I see that the real reason people buy in to crowdfunding is for the experience of being behind the scenes with an entrepreneur. It’s a ride. And the thing that comes in the mal a year from now is more like icing on the cake.
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Where I came from
My Dad were entrepreneurs supplement called DIM that has powerful hormone balancing properties.
The google ads weren’t even converting enough to pay for themselves. People we met at conferences weren’t using the business cards that were handed to them to write us back.
It wasn’t until my dad went out on a limb and made a personal call to tell a friend about the research supporting the supplement, and then they partnered to get a write up in the townshend letter, that soon they found their first supplier agreement.
What’s so interesting about their experience? My parents company went from zero orders, enduring huge financial risk, and spending lots of money on costly useless marketing efforts to over two million dollars in yearly revenue in only a few years, not because of technology or marketing but because of two friend’s who they made contact with in the industry. Making a million dollars in your business had alot more to do with the power of friendship and partnership than any of the traditional mass visibility approaches you might think are today’s marketing must-haves.
The birth of p2p marketing
Fast forward to 2009 - I started StartMotionMEDIA because I saw so many entrepreneurs ready to profit from their passions through crowdfunding, and I was amazed at how it was the most direct route to small and medium levels of funding. Here’s an insight for the direction I took it: I was going to kick everyhing off with a mini workshop on a variety of topics. I sent out a Facebook invite inviting to my community, and I had about 50 responses for friends who wanted to come. I was really excited for the event, and I trusted the numbers that facebook gave me as “interested”. But when I went to the meeting location on the day of the event, not a single person showed up. I was devastated. In that moment I realized that Facebook’s generalized report on my community engagement had completely failed me. I vowed never again to rely solely on social media, and in that moment I saw that community is really just a mass of individuals, and to pursue actual personal contact with the folks who I wanted to showcase my idea to, would be the only way to judge if anyone in particular had enough buy-in to join.
Since then, anytime I’m doing outreach for anything, each person gets a personal message from me…I’m even willing keep track and follow up if they don’t respond to my first message. I demonstrate that I want to show up as a friend to someone before I make any kind of ask of them, and people really appreciate how much personalized hand holding I give them to support them to make their investment amid the billions of other things that are on their mind.
Now when promote things I get huge response and tons of actual supporters, AND I get the pleasure of having ongoing, warm relationships with the people I care about most. Here’s what I discovered. - and they take the time to write me back. Seriously. When I send a typical run of the mail newsletter to 3,000 people, I get 25% opens, 3% clicks, and maybe two to five people will write me back. When I send a personal message campaign, where the recipients feel singled out as if I just hit “compose”, Personal message = 100% open rate and 30-40% reply rates (!!!) I can send a mail to my 500 closest friend and I’ll have 200 people write me back! This kind of engagementis what can actually contribute to my bottom line once I go live, and it always come from one on one relationships, personal conversations happening through direct message.
Why is this important?
When it comes to crowdfunding, especially for the first 20 to 40 thousand dollars, the people that matter most are your actual friends, family, acquaintances, colleagues, coworkers, and anyone else who you have even the slightest amount of personal connection with in your life. Whoever you convert with ads and PR after that is up to you, but I can tell you that ads and PR wont convert AT ALL unless you have a secure grassroots funding base of people who care for you.
Some people say “I don’t want to market to my friends, that feels sleazy” - but actually, everyone in your life misses you and, they want a chance to connect with you about anything. Plenty of people will back you not because they love your project, but because they love you. And people that love you are a hundred times more valuable to your crowdfunding campaign that your “ideal market segment”.
core teaching 3- Your video:
Now we are going to look at what makes a video really shine. There are three components to any video that create an immediate and lasting impression on the viewer - sound quality, background music, and image quality. Many viewers will bounce immediately from a piece that doesn’t meet these qualities, so it’s very very important to get your instantly recognizable quality characteristics nails - this is more important than story, more important than product. If it feels cheesy with boring or corporate background music, if the visuals are shaky or if you show them only a talking head, if the interview audio is echoey or boomy - these will destroy credibility very fast. You’ve invested so much in your project. Why would you risk all that by proclaiming to the world that you didn’t invest in your video? Here’s a special equation that viewers are always using to measure whether they will donate to a project - investment in video equals investment in a quality project.
I know I can become a backer to a project when it has an amazing video, because I see that the creator has good attention to details and that they really care about my experience.
So I’m going to have you look at a few video examples, and to see what a top shelf video really looks and sounds like
-Here’s and Example of a good video: HOPii (5 min)
Notes about color, audio quality, preview the production doc, explain about canon lenses - wide angle and 50mm, glide cam
One more detail about length - many project creators want to “fit it all in”, but actually the video needs to be brief and inspiring. Any longer than 3 minutes and you will lose 10% of your audience ever ten seconds. For some creators they are fine with that, but if you put out a 4 minute thirty second video and you see that one 30% of your viewers are watching all the way through after you launch, you might be sad that 70% of your viewers are never going to hear your call to action. The sweet spot is between two minutes to two minutes and thirty seconds. Even I struggle with this kind of brevity, but that is what the research shows and I think we should stick to it.
A note about scripts: We rarely use them for video.
Now I want you to reconnect with what you are creating, just go within and create a clear line to the essence behind your desire to create this project.
I see again and again how entrepreneurs can really blossom when they are celebrated and given the tools and encouragement to go all the way. If you launch a crowdfunding campaign, it can can be a huge coming outfor you. I want you to feel supported as you step out on to the great stage of online marketing.
How to connect with me
I want you to have more breathing room, for your launch to feel easy and effortless. And so I’ve made something that will let you always have access to me no matter when you plan your launch.
I’ve got tons of free materials and our in depth online crowdfunding system available now, you can see it live now oncourse.startmotionmedia.com, here it is, tools to launch and grow your kickstarter. Feel free to review my research articles and enter your email to subscribe to my video series.
Fully Funded a online community and a 5 week course of what I’ve taught you today and so much more, it’s super cool, it includes all of the tasks you need to do to launch a campaign, organized in an intuitive course center, plus weekly support calls, my online community, and links to the apps and resources that help most.
Go our there and connect with the people you already know, and share about you project, give a one line intro to what you are up to, and ask their permission if you can send them a preview link. And after you send your first mailing , write to me with your reflections from how mail merge worked for you. Did it improve your sense of connectedness and help you business gain momentum in unheard of ways?
And even if you don’t do that, or if you never, ever launch a crowdfunding campaign, if you leave today and remember only one thing, remember this: That you are here to make a meaningful contribution to the world, and this spark of inspiration that you have around your business can grow and become so much bigger than you. You are contributing to us by serving the world with your creative Idea, and when you invite me participate in the creative process of starting your business, no matter how that looks, you will see that the answer to all your questions is contained in your willingness to believe in the power of human connection.