In this training I’m going to guide you through the exact steps that I use everyday to raise thousands of dollars through crowdfunding. You might ask, how come I know the in’s and outs of online fundraising? Well, after getting my degree from Stanford University, I founded StartMotionMEDIA, which has now become the worlds most sought after crowdfunding video & strategy studio. I’ve been personally involved in running over many many crowdfunding campaigns, consulting on everything from launch design, copyediting, and grassroots tactics to get more backers. Over the course of my Kickstarter launch career I’ve discovered the patterns and traits that are present in every successful campaign, and in total, the campaigns I’ve worked with have raised over $13 million dollars in crowd-funded revenue. I built this intro series as a chance to give you a taste of what we cover in-depth in the Fully Funded crowdfunding launch system, so that you can give your project a leg up when it comes to crowdfunding. If you want to join the community of people that have the proven know-how to launch their Kickstarter effectively, then sign up below to receive our essential launch secrets so that you and your project can be Fully Funded.
In the next few days you can expect to receive some exceptionally valuable knowledge for how to succeed with your kickstarter. I’m going to give you the exact steps you need to meet and exceed your goal and to have a high performing launch day, but first, we need to make sure you aren’t operating under any of the common myths and misconceptions about crowdfunding. In this video I’m going to go through the common errors that most uninformed project creators make, so that you can avoid the pitfalls of embarrassment that often spell doom for unprepared campaigns.
Here’s what you need to be aware of to safely guide your project through the tumultuous waters of this direct to consumer fundraising method:
-Most campaigns launch too early with poorly developed content and a sense of rush and urgency in everything they do.
I know your excited to get you product or creative idea out into the world, but going public with something is a real risk. The reason that 70% of crowdfunding campaigns fail, and why the ones that succeed only raise an average of $9000, is because most project creators are missing out on this major key step: adequate planning. The big successes in crowdfunding you have seen are not the norm, and it’s highly unlikely that any project will go viral. Isn’t it smarter to build a launch that is guaranteed to have modest success, rather than base your expectations on unpredictable metrics? Take a moment to journal on the following questions : Do you know who your launch community is? Are their names and contact info listed out? Do they consider you a member? What have you already done to establish yourself as an authority in this community? What pain point point does your product solve?
Follow up with old friends and family and let them know you are working on something special in your industry, and see who responds with interest. Take your prototype to a conference or metope and get industry feedback. Run an in-depth beta test and build the number of people who have had a touch point with your project. Direct ads to an early-bird opt-in contest or write blog articles to gain new leads. Focus on being generous with sharing a quality experience with people, and you will slowly begin to acquire actual fans. All of this can help build your list and increase social capital long before you launch, which is the most important thing for crowdfunding success. I hope that by examining the community that you are wanting to be your backers, and accounting for them ahead of time, you will discover the steps you need to take to get more organized, and you’ll be able to do the math about that your goal can reasonably be.
Another myth in crowdfunding is that the platform provides funding backers to you. In general, a campaign will receive no more than 10 or 15% of it’s funds from people who organically discover your project. Crowdfunding really isn’t something you do to discover new customers. It’s a way to capitalize on the people who already know you, a way of focusing your community to join together in favor of you bigger vision.
Another myth is that paid ads alone can get a campaign funded. With regard to ads, there are really only a few types of paid advertising that work for any campaign, and these are only possible once you have already made significant progress and raised at least 70-80% of your goal. The reason is that consumer trust is very low for crowdfunding, and no one who is meeting your project for the first time is willing trust you unless they see that many other folks have already given to the project. The conversion rate for ads only becomes meaningful once you have established that your project is already a success.
Finally, another myth is that social media will help your campaign. Selling through social media has never been harder - platforms like facebook, twitter, and instragram are automatically filtering posts that seem to be commercially minded. If you make mistakes in how you present yourself publicly, appearing needy and rushed, you will lose fans instantly. Self-promotion and desperation does not lend your brand a very attractive appeal, especially if that’s all your friends are seeing from you. We recommend using social media only for sharing milestones and interesting developments in your campaign, but save your “ask” for more private, personal methods. Again, don’t ask for money publicly - it makes you seem needy, and that does nothing for the inspiration of your brand. Instead, focus on more old-fashioned, direct methods of communication and relationship building for your campaign, such as email, as the primary way to ask backers for support.
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In the next few videos, I’m going to go in-depth into the launch system that we actually use to bring in more backers, and I hope learning these myths has helped you avoid some the biggest mistakes in the crowdfunding industry, so that you and your project can become Fully Funded.
3. How Product Design and Community Build are One and the Same
Here’s some questions to ask about your product or creative idea, your market, and whether or not your project even stands a chance.
Why am I building this project? Is this a copycat of another successful campaign, or is it authentically my own idea? Is my product based on actual needs from my target market, or is this just a thought from my head that people will want?
The best way to make sure that you are heading the right direction is to get out of solopreneur mode, and to actually have conversations with potential funders about your idea. Maybe your prototype is ready. Can you find a way to let a hundred people actually hold it and test it? What is their reaction?
When you share about your idea to people who are in your target market, what is their response? How many people can you get to tell you “I want that” when they hear about your idea and get to test what you’ve created?
Also, be careful about who you receive feedback from. Close friends and family often be too encouraging. Do everything you can to seek out your actual ideal users, and engage them in open conversations about what their needs are. This ensures that you are building a solution for an actual problem, and your customers will provide you unique insights, they’ll request features you hadn’t thought of yet, and they might explain something about their lives and their needs that supports you to pivot what the project is or how you describe it. It’s much better to do these tests in depth before you launch a huge marketing campaign, because it will give you the valuable knowledge about the way to position and describe your project. These conversations are how you will discover how to price your rewards at and how to choose a goal, because you’ll have actual data around what someone is willing to pay, and actual numbers for how many people you know are willing to join.
The reason we do this goes way beyond product testing or building your marketing message. Early touches are often exactly the kind of pre-launch contact you need to convert a backer down the line. Campaigns that perform best are the ones that have a huge number of people who feel that they are stakeholders in the project, meaning that they’ve been consulted for feedback and offered you their intelligence before they are asked for money. The more you do customer interviews, the closer you get to someone who has already told you “I want this”, or “I want to help you”, and this makes them an easy sale down the line.
Here’s my assignment to you: Can you have 10 conversations about your project idea in the next day? Can you do that for the next 20 days consecutively? What would it take to be so devoted to the success of your product that you actually meet and talk with the people who you want to buy your thing? Every project needs at least a hundred backers to pledge on the launch day in order for it to have any credibility in the eyes of the general public.
I hope the strategy we covered today helps you build relationships slowly and with determination, so that you can benefit your marketing message, the quality of the finished project concept. In the next video, I’m going to go into detail about how we conduct the video production for your project, so that you have a whole community of people who are inspired your launch day, eager to help you get Fully Funded.
When I watch a video, here’s what I want:
-Don’t waste my time (keep videos between two and three minutes)
-Don’t make me look at a talking head (use the medium of video in more creative, detailed ways then that
-Think carefully about your background music (try searching for “most popular” on sites like audiojungle and pond5)
-Show that you invested in the video as much as your project (a lame video spells doom for a nice product, if you want to build consumer trust then you have to have nice sound quality for your interview, smooth camera uses, and good pacing).
I’ve compiled a few example videos for you below, including a fairly detailed description of how we prep for the filming day, what equipment to use, and some example videos that have the kind of quality, beauty, and energy that your project deserves. In the next video we’re going to go into exactly the communication steps that go into leading up toward your launch day, and I hope todays lesson was helpful in narrowing down the important pieces for video so that you can get that big budget feel at a fraction of the cost and present your community to a video that is interesting enough to get you Fully Funded.
5. Launch your campaign - The forgotten land
Welcome back to Fully Funded’s Introductory Launch course, I’m Michael Zeligs, founder of StartMotionMEDIA. By now you should have all you need to create a project that sells, with and evidence based marketing approach and a video that feels inspiring. In this video, I’m going to remind you of the most essential part of crowdfunding, the part that most project creators forget in the mayhem of designing their sales and marketing content: good old fashioned team building.
Your pristine project page, your amazing video, and your polished product or creative idea mean nothing if you don’t have qualified motivated eyes to view your project on the launch day. I’ve seen products and creative ideas that have beautiful and compelling presentations fail simply because the project creator rushed through this important secret: don’t launch until you have at least 35% of your goal verbal confirmed to be pledged on the launch day.
What? You mean I’m meant to delay my big announcement even more? Look, I know you are super excited to get this project out, but I want you to know, this is your one chance to succeed with this. And if you want social sharing to work for you at all, you need to follow this advice. Here’s why:
It’s called early adopter syndrome. And every single person in your target market has it, except for a few people. And it goes like this. If a normal person views your project, even if they are your perfect backer with the exact problem you solve, they will not give money until they see that it is already popular. Plain and simple. Your ideal backers need to see that you are 35% or more funded before they will ever consider joining, because without that it represents too much risk to them be appearing all on their own. To gain access to a more meaningful portion of your community of backers, it is exceptionally important to move as quickly as possible past this dangerous territory from 0 to 35% funded, because you have to bridge the psychological gap of success before any normal person will feel comfortable backing you. If you make a public announcement or a newsletter to your eager audience with a link to a project that has $0, there is nothing more deflating to someone who is your fan. It’s like inviting an investor to your big public demo and theres no one else in the audience. It’s disquieting and feels weird to be asked to act before its safe. And studies show that if you get 35% funded in the first 24hrs, you are 10X more likely to meet your goal.
Here’s how we do it at StartMotionMEDIA:
We have you start a conversation with all the fans, friends, and family who you have in your contacts list, a month before you launch. Your first touch point is simply to build social capital: write to them and say hello, share a brief update about your upcoming dream, and ask personally about their lives. Then, a week later, send them another message with the preview link: can you help with this? I’d love your advice and feedback. This gives your followers a chance to feel like you love them for their intelligence and not just their money. Then, a week before your launch, to anyone who was responsive to your first two outreach conversations, you teach them about why early funding in the first 24 hrs is so important, and ask them a simple question: can I count on you to become a backer on the launch day? If so, hit reply with “yes” and I’ll be sure to get you a link on the launch day.
Then you count the number of confirmations, multiply that with your main reward price, and wallah, you have a way of actually accounting for the first 24 hours. Keep up the conversations until you can reasonably account for verbal confirmations to get to 35% funded on the launch day, and if your not seeing a response, then it’s time to rethink your goal or even your project concept.
In the next video we’re going to go into exactly what we cover in the comprehensive fully funded launch tutorial, and what the course modules include. I hope today’s lesson give you a clear way forward for guaranteeing the success of your project, because when you prepare ahead of time to demonstrate big momentum on your launch day, you secure your best chance at becoming Fully Funded.
6. Course Modules / FAQ / Registration information
Welcome back to Fully Funded’s introductory launch series, I’m Michael Zeligs, founder of StartMotionMEDIA. Over the last week you’ve learned all our secrets for what goes into a successful campaign. If your someone who can have the initiative to work with the suggestions we gave, then perfect, more power to you. But if you are someone who wants more support, a place to ask and answer questions, and detailed step by step walkthroughs for every part of the process, that’s why we’ve built the Fully Funded Crowdfunding Launch system. In this video I’m going to go into detail about what our comprehensive training includes, so you can have a better idea about if it’s a good fit for you.
In our comprehensive Launch System, we’ll cover everything that successful campaigns do for the following subject areas:
Module 1: Design the right product
Module 2: Activate your community
Module 3: Create an amazing video
Module 4: Rewards and Goals - how to account
Module 5: The definitive pre-launch schedule
Module 6: How to crowd fund (once you go live)
Plus, participants will gain access to our enormous library of resources, recorded walkthroughs, guidebooks, templates and checklists, persuasive copy for how to market your campaign via email and web, a slack channel where you can ask the consulting team questions, and a whole series of guides and checklists that make every part of the process easy and straightforward so you don’t miss a beat.
Here’s some questions that students usually ask about the tutorial:
-How much course content is there?
The entire tutorial can be complete in about 15 hours of class time, and about 20 hours of lab where you are doing the assignments that help prep and develop your campaign. You’ll gain access to the whole course all at once, so if you want to absorb all the info an run with it that’s great, but also it’s best to be done over about 8 weeks.
-What does the tutorial cost?
The value of the content is priced at $2000, but we are offering a special introductory price at a huge discount. You can see the details on the registration page.
-How long will I have access to the content?
When you sign up, you’ll have lifetime access to the course members website and the knowledgebase, which we will continue to update with the latest research for crowdfunding success.
-Is there support?
Yes! We offer both email & slack support for questions you have regarding the course materials. While we’re not able to review each project individually, we can at least help make sure you know exactly what the next step is.
-What if I’m not ready to launch yet? Can I sign up later?
To do crowdfunding right, some campaigns spend months or even years preparing their lists and developing buzz. Even if you’re not launching right away, the course system will provide useful information so that you can build your foundation. Also, we can’t guarantee that the introductory pricing offer will be available next time we offer the tutorial
I hope this helps you have an idea about what the tutorial includes and what goes into the comprehensive training. I’d love the chance to support you to create the best crowdfunding product ever. If you have any more questions about the program, feel free to message me. The dates for the next course are below. If you are ready to take your crowdfunding project to the next level, have a look at the options below and register today. I look forward to meeting you inside and sharing everything I can to help you to get your project Fully Funded!