The Insider Secrets of a Successful $100,000 Kickstarter Campaign with Manuel Rappard
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The Insider Secrets of a Successful $100,000 Kickstarter Campaign with Manuel Rappard

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The Insider Secrets of a Successful $100,000 Kickstarter Campaign: How to run a successful Kickstarter ...

The Insider Secrets of a Successful $100,000 Kickstarter Campaign: How to run a successful Kickstarter

Your Kickstarter Preparation And Launch Guide

The details of hard work Manual Rappard used to reach his $20,000 Kickstarter goal in under 24 hours, that went on to raise $104,430! Get the steps to launch your own successful Kickstarter campaign.

In this 8000+ word guide Manuel Rappard covers:

+What projects have the best chance of success
+How to develop a powerful message people will share
+The steps you need to follow BEFORE your Kickstarter launch to reach your goal
+A small trick to make your fans believe your campaign is going to be huge
+What pre-campaign targets you should focus on before launch to make sure you don't fail
+What to do during your launch to keep your fans raving
+How to build and keep the momentum going

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The Insider Secrets of a Successful $100,000 Kickstarter Campaign with Manuel Rappard The Insider Secrets of a Successful $100,000 Kickstarter Campaign with Manuel Rappard Document Transcript

  • Editors  Notes Kickstarter  is  a  more  and  more  popular  way  of  funding  your  own  business.   $854  million total  dollars  were  pledged  to  Kickstarter  projects  ?ll  now,  that   went  to  50,994  successfully  funded  projects.  This  is  impressive  but  there  were   also  65,330  unsuccessful  projects.   Scary,  especially  if  like  me  you  are  working  on  a  project  and  plan  to  raise   money  through  crowdfunding.  To  up  my  chances  of  success  I  decided  to   interview  a  person  behind  a  successful  Kickstarter  campaign.  Somebody  who   not  only  raised  way  beyond  what  they  asked  for  but  somebody  with  a  project   that  didn’t  look  like  an  obvious  winner. I  came  across  RPMWEST  and  although  I  am  not  in  the  fashion  industry,  I  got   intrigued.  Selling  jeans  did  not  look  like  an  inspiring  Kickstarter  campaign   project.  Not  un?l  I  started  digging  a  bit  deeper  and  discovered  the  magic  and   momentum  Manuel  Rappard  created  around  his  project.  Momentum  that  led   him  to  reach  his  campaign  goal  of  $20,000  in  under  24  hours  and  go  on  to   raise  over  $100,000! Manuel  shared  his  vision  and  demonstrated  his  strength  as  a  leader,  marketer   and  a  strategist  in  our  conversa?on.  Uncovered  was  his  approach,  strategies   and  secrets  behind  his  successful  campaign.  The  real  truth  is  that  a  successful   Kickstarter  campaign  is  not  a  maQer  of  luck  but  of  careful  prepara?on  and   execu?on  of  solid  strategies  before  and  during  launch.   If  you  are  considering  Kickstarter  campaign  as  a  part  of  your  project,  then  this   is  a  must  read  issue. Hope  you  enjoy, Agnieszka  Nazaruk  (aka  Aga) PS.  Find  more  about  me  at  sheisonfire.com
  • Our  Hero  Manuel  Rappard  (RPMWEST) I  had  a  pleasure  reaching  out  to  Manuel  Rappard,  the  visionary  behind  jeans   brand  RPMWEST  and  its  Kickstarter  campaign.  Manuel  did  something  truly   incredible.  He  broke  into  the  highly  compe??ve  market  of  jeans  with  a  simple   vision  “to  sell  the  best  jeans  in  the  simplest  way  possible.”  With  this  simple   vision  he  crowdfunded  his  Kickstarter  goal  of  $20,000  in  under  24  hours  and   eventually  raised  over  $100,000  from  the  campaign.  How  did  he  do  it?  Keep  on   reading. Manuel’s  Story:   Originally  from  Germany,  Manuel  came  to  the  United  States  when  he  was  18.   Being  exposed  to  many  different  opportuni?es  he  quickly  realised  that  he   wanted  to  build  something  meaningful.  Thinking  about  what  he  really  cared   about,  he  wrote  down  two  things...  Technology  and  Fashion. Technology  because  of  its  ability  to  change  everything.  And  fashion  as   someone  who  cares  deeply  about  quality  -­‐  especially  in  the  essen?als.
  • Manuel’s  first  entrepreneurial  experience  was  while  he  was  s?ll  at  school.  He   started  a  fashion  social  network  for  people  to  express  their  fashion  interests.   Acer  a  couple  of  years  with  mediocre  success,  he  decided  to  move  on  and   relocate  to  Silicon  Valley. In  a  short  ?me  Manuel  found  himself  working  for  Google  which  he  describes  as   a  phenomenal  experience  that  opened  up  his  eyes  to  different  technologies   and  work  ethics.   Acer  2  years,  he  and  another  colleague  at  Google  started  working  on  an  idea   they  had  back  in  school.  Product  Graph  as  they  called  it  was  supposed  to  put  a   layer  on  google  maps  with  product  informa?on. “Google  Maps  are  great  if  you  know  where  you  are  going,  but  you  can’t  really   put  in  a  search  query  which  says  ‘give  me  a  great  pair  of  shoes.’”  -­‐  explained   Manuel.   Acer  12  months  of  building  the  product  day  and  night  they  decided  that  it  was   not  meant  to  be  and  they  needed  to  learn  more.  Manuel  found  himself  back  to   square  one  with  two  failed  ideas  but  even  more  determina?on  to  make  things   happen.   He  also  found  himself  asking  the  same  ques?ons:  What  is  it  that  I  really  want   to  do?  What  is  it  that  I  care  about? For  him  it  has  always  been  the  intersec?on  of  technology  and  fashion.  With   not  much  direc?on  and  not  sure  what  he  was  looking  for,  Manuel  started   researching  denim  and  making  jeans  for  himself.  San  Francisco  had  a  long   history  of  jeans  making  because  of  Levis  Strauss.  And  soon  he  got  introduced   to  mul?ple  people  in  the  industry  as  someone  passionate  about  crea?ng  jeans.   Friends  even  started  asking  him  to  make  jeans  for  them.   Coming  from  a  technology  background,  he  instantly  started  to  think  about  how   to  distribute  them  over  the  internet.  Acer  two  failures  that  combined  for  more   than  3  years  though.  Manuel  realised  that  he  never  wanted  to  build  a  product   View slide
  • that  nobody  wanted  again  and  definitely  didn’t  want  to  waste  years  in  the   process.   With  that  found  apprecia?on  of  valida?ng  an  idea  and  seeing  many  successful   ideas  being  launched  into  companies  on  Kickstarter.  Manuel's  vision  would   begin  the  next  step  of  valida?on  on  Kickstarter  too  just  to  make  sure  his  idea   was  a  winner. Ups  and  Downs When  asked  about  the  biggest  challenge  in  being  an  entrepreneur  Manuel   explains  that  it’s  understanding  that  entrepreneurship  is  a  roller  coaster.  It’s  a   journey  constantly  changes  with  ups  and  downs,  failures  and  successes.  Right   when  you  think  you  are  at  the  peak  of  the  mountain  and  you  can  relax,  you  are   being  put  right  back  into  the  valley  where  you  need  to  climb  up  again.   Managing  that  knowledge  in  a  conscious  way...  just  being  aware  that  you’re   not  doing  anything  wrong  and  this  is  just  the  way  it  is  and  being  okay  with  that   is  probably  the  biggest  challenge  in  star?ng  and  growing  a  business  -­‐  Manuel   explained. Entrepreneurship  -­‐  A  Tool  To  Make  A  Change  In  The  World I  asked  Manuel  why  he  chose  entrepreneurship?  His  reply  was  very   straighkorward.  “I  want  to  make  a  change  in  the  world.”  He  cites  Elon  Musk  as   his  inspira?on.  According  to  him  entrepreneurship  is  about  tackling  big   problems  in  the  world,  it’s  a  journey  of  making  an  impact.  He  says  that  there   are  a  few  people  in  the  world  who  build  a  plakorm  to  bring  change  to  the   world  and  Manuel  wants  to  be  one  of  them. You  might  ask  how  selling  jeans  fits  in,  but  Manuel  is  already  thinking  about   how  to  ?e  his  entrepreneurship  to  really  impact  the  world  in  a  posi?ve  way.   Manuel  is  especially  passionate  about  educa?on:  “I  think  that  I  am  privileged   that  I  can  sit  with  you  and  talk  -­‐  and  power  of  knowledge  is  something  I   personally  care  about  and  I  will  be  building  a  company  towards  it.” View slide
  • How   To   Run   A   Successful   Kickstarter   Campaign  with  Manuel  Rappard Is  Your  Project  Right  For  Kickstarter?   Before  you  jump  on  the  Kickstarter  bandwagon  its  very  important  that  you   understand  what  kind  of  project  is  suitable  for  a  crowdfunding  campaign  and   whether  or  not  yours  fits  the  criteria. Why  launch  a  Kickstarter  campaign Kickstarter  can  definitely  be  a  great  place  to  raise  money  for  projects.  For   Manuel  though,  Kickstarter  was  not  only  a  place  to  raise  money  but  also  a  way   to  put  his  idea  to  the  ul?mate  test. Does  the  market  really  want  what  I  have?  And  how  badly  do  they  want  it? The  money  in  this  case  is  the  indicator  that  can  tell  you  these  two  things.  But   being  successful  on  Kickstarter  also  gives  you  something  else,  it  enables  you  to   build  a  community  of  early  adopters  who  are  excited  about  your  product  and   can  help  you  along  the  way.  Two  things  startups  need  the  most. So  if  you  are  thinking  about  launching  a  Kickstarter  campaign,  think  about  it  as   a  test  for  idea  valida?on,  build  a  community  and  realise  that  if  successful  your   life  may  never  be  the  same. Before  You  Start... Before  you  even  decide  on  running  a  crowdfunding  campaign  there  are  lots  of   things  you  need  to  think  about.  Manuel  cites  four  key  components  to   launching  a  successful  campaign.  These  include:   • Great  Idea • Really  Simple  Message • Execu?on,  and • Great  Timing
  • Do  You  Have  A  Great  Idea? Not  every  idea  will  be  a  success Let’s  get  something  clear.  Not  every  idea  can  be  a  success  on  Kickstarter.   According  to  Manuel  though,  there  is  a  specific  type  of  idea  that  works  best. The  Kickstarter  audience  is  looking  for  ideas  that  inspire.  They  want  to  be  part   of  something  different  that  challenges  the  status  quo.  When  you  look  at  the   most  successful  campaigns,  these  were  the  ones  that  inspired  an  army  of   people  and  focused  on  changing  something,  disrup?ng  something,  or  serving  a   bigger  purpose. The  Kickstarter  audience  don’t  want  to  put  up  their  money  towards  something   that  is  slightly  beQer  or  different.  They  want  to  support  people  that  need  their   help  to  succeed.  The  Kickstarter  audience  needs  to  know  that  they  are   suppor?ng  this  guy,  girl  or  team!  Thats  why  it  is  so  important  to  show  how  you   are  different  to  what  already  exists  and  how  you  are  going  to  make  a   difference.  Your  idea  is  the  founda?on  of  your  campaign. What  won’t  work? An  example  Manuel  gives  is  something  that  isn’t  for  the  general  public.  So  if   you  are  in  a  medical  field  and  you  are  building  something  for  doctors,   Kickstarter  isn’t  for  you.  There  is  a  very  simple  reason  for  it.  The  general  public   would  not  buy  this  product  and  doctors  are  not  on  Kickstarter.  Kickstarter  is  a   plakorm  selling  directly  to  early  adopter  consumers.
  • Is  your  idea  a  Kickstarter  success? To  see  if  your  idea  has  a  chance  of  being  a  big  success  you  should  ask  yourself:   • How  is  what  I  am  doing  changing  the  status  quo?  How  is  it  different? • What  is  the  big  vision  behind  my  product?  How  will  it  change  or  improve   people’s  lives? • Is  the  idea  that  I  have  relevant  to  a  specific  audience  on  Kickstarter   (basically  general  public  of  early  adopters)?  Or  is  there  an  audience  I  can   tap  into  that  will  be  willing  to  pledge  for  my  idea? Think  about  what  you  are  doing,  what  the  idea  is,  how  it  inspires  people,  and   then  if  there  is  an  audience  of  consumers.
  • How  to  choose  a  plaUorm  to  launch  your  campaign When  you  know  that  your  idea  is  suitable  for  crowdfunding  your  next  step  is  to   determine  which  plakorm  you  will  use  to  achieve  your  goal.  There  are  plenty   of  different  plakorms  you  could  poten?ally  launch  your  campaign  on.  The  two   biggest  ones  are  Kickstarter  and  Indiegogo.   What  do  you  need  to  consider  when  choosing  your  plaUorm? Although  it  might  sound  simple,  there  is  lots  to  think  about  when  choosing  a   plakorm  to  raise  your  money.  Here  are  a  few  considera?ons  to  help  you  with   your  decision. 1.  All  or  Nothing  /  Keep  it  All  funding   For  the  All  or  Nothing  model  you  either  raise  your  target  from  your  backers   and  you  get  access  to  the  money  OR  you  don’t  and  backers  never  get  charged.   It’s  straighkorward  and  easy.  The  tricky  part  is  how  much  to  ask  for  with  this   model.  This  is  where  you  need  to  put  some  thought  in.  It  needs  to  be  a   reasonable  amount  based  on  your  project  and  expecta?ons  of  your  audience   but  big  enough  to  actually  finance  your  project. With  the  Keep  it  All  funding,  you  get  to  keep  all  the  money  raised  minus  fees.   This  can  make  things  a  bit  trickier  and  also  increase  the  risk  for  both  you  and   your  backers.  Just  imagine  that  you  raised  20%  of  your  costs.  Most  probably   you  will  have  to  fund  the  rest  from  your  own  pocket  to  fulfill  your  promises  or   abandon  the  project.  Will  you  have  that  money?  There  is  also  no  guarantee  for   your  backers  and  that  can  also  decreases  the  number  of  poten?al  backers.
  • On  the  other  hand,  if  your  goal  is  $20,000  and  you  raise  $18,000  on  an  All  or   Nothing  funding  model,  you  will  be  disappointed  to  be  so  close  and  not  receive   any  funds.  If  your  business  or  idea  can  be  done  without  reaching  its  full  goal,   then  Keep  it  All  funding  might  be  a  good  op?on  for  you.  In  both  cases  be  wary   though  and  explain  the  situa?on  fully  to  your  backers. 2.  Assistance  given   Different  plakorms  offer  different  levels  of  assistance.  And  although  this  is   more  of  a  personal  decision,  it  is  important  for  your  project.  Some  plakorms   offer  comprehensive  support  system  to  help  you  create  the  best  campaign   possible.  In  this  case  your  project  may  go  through  mul?ple  reviews  and   changes  before  its  even  launched. Other  plakorms  will  leave  you  with  tutorials  and  blog  posts  to  help  you  make   the  most  of  your  campaign.  To  determine  what  is  best  for  you,  simply  ask   yourself  how  confident  you  feel  about  puqng  together  your  campaign.  Also   review  different  op?ons  of  different  plakorms  and  what  types  of  projects  best   fit  their  plakorm. 3.  Your  target  group In  recent  years  we  have  seen  lots  of  new  plakorms  popping  up  which  are   focused  on  different  niches.  Here  are  a  few  according  to  the  genre  and   exper?se:   RockThePost  is  focused  on  entrepreneurs,  startups  and  small  businesses   CrowdSupply  has  been  created  for  projects  shipping  physical  products   Ar?stShare  will  fund  music  projects Causes.com  and  Razoo  are  focusing  more  on  causes  than  profitable  projects GreenUnite  gathers  projects  around  sustainability,  focusing  on  crea?ng  a   connec?on  between  conscious  individuals  and  corpora?ons.
  • Why  consider  a  niche  plakorm  over  Kickstarter  or  Indiegogo?  Simply  because   they  may  have  a  very  targeted  consumer  base  built  up  for  you.  On  a  smaller   plakorm  you  could  have  a  much  easier  ?me  reaching  this  par?cular  group  of   people  over  trying  to  reach  the  same  type  of  audience  on  a  crowded  plakorm   like  Kickstarter. Browse  your  opZons To  see  the  variety  and  look  for  the  best  plakorm  for  your  needs  you  can  use   Crowdsunite  -­‐  a  great  site  enabling  you  to  search  for  plakorms  according  to  the   genre,  type  of  funding  you  are  acer  and  supported  loca?ons. 4.  Branding Last  but  not  least  is  branding.  Branding  is  connected  to  the  plakorm  you   choose.  If  you  put  your  project  on  GreenUnite,  you  are  automa?cally  puqng   yourself  in  this  specific  niche  to  indicate  that  your  project  is  about   sustainability. Why  Manuel  chose  Kickstarter Apart  from  Kickstarter  being  the  biggest  crowdfunding  plakorm  with  the   highest  amount  of  pledges,  there  was  another  factor  which  aQracted  Manuel’s   aQen?on.  It  was  branding.   “For  me  the  branding  is  the  key.  People  need  to  feel  inspired  by  branding,  have   something  they  can  iden?fy  themselves  with,  the  character  they  aspire  to  and   want  to  be  associated  with”  says  Manuel.   He  applied  the  same  reasoning  to  choosing  a  crowdfunding  plakorm.  The  goal   was  to  be  associated  with  the  best  plakorm  to  launch  the  best  product.  The   fact  that  Kickstarter  has  established  a  crowdfunding  movement  and  85%  of  all   transac?on  in  crowdfunding  goes  through  it  was  enough  for  Manuel  to  know   that  Kickstarter  was  a  great  fit  for  RPMWEST  jeans.
  • Your  Powerful  Message This  is  cri?cal.  You  need  to  have  a  very  simple  yet  powerful  message.   Ask  yourself...  What  is  that  one  sentence  that  you  can  give  to  somebody  that   they  can  tell  their  friends?  That  one  sentence  that  you  can  post  on  Facebook   that  will  be  reposted.  The  one  sentence  that  will  inspire  but  leave  people  with   the  feeling  that  they  want  more.  Find  a  hook  that  captures  your  idea,  it  doesn't   have  to  be  comprehensive  but  it  needs  to  aQract  aQen?on  and  make  people   ask  ques?ons. For  RPMWEST  that  was  “Perfect  Jeans,  Delivered.”  It  was  enough  to  leave   people  wondering,  asking  ques?ons  and  even  inspiring. Manuel  points  out  that  this  part  is  extremely  important,  par?cularly  in  the  age   of  social  media  and  very  limited  opportunity  to  grab  someones  aQen?on.  So   you  need  find  a  hook  for  your  audience.  A  simple  message  that  can  inspire   people.  These  liQle  snippets  and  ideas  that  get  aQached  to  people,  products,   companies  and  brands  are  what  we  do  naturally  when  given  the  chance.  If  we   give  people  a  paragraph  on  the  other  hand,  nobody  will  remember  it.  Having  a   clear  idea  and  very  simple  message  is  really  key. Along  with  a  simple  message,  RPMWEST  worked  hard  on  its  branding  and   communica?on,  crea?ng  a  special  feel  and  touch  around  its  product.  The  
  • teaser  video,  the  landing  page,  the  message,  everything  was  aligned  with  its   main  brand  ideas  of  quality,  raw  denim  and  honesty.   How  do  you  cra  your  message? Be  ready  to  spend  lots  of  ?me  on  it.  The  RPMWEST  tagline  went  through   tonnes  of  revisions  and  Manuel  even  involved  a  copywriter  to  make  sure  that   people  are  drawn  to  the  language  used.  What  he  suggests  is  to  have  an  ini?al   list  of  taglines  and  take  it  through  a  number  of  revisions.  Get  feedback  from   people,  ask  experts,  talk  to  marketers  and  of  course  ask  friends  what  they   understand  and  feel  acer  reading  your  tagline.  But  he  also  suggests  that  you  as   the  entrepreneur  and  biggest  believer  in  your  brand  must  feel  it,  you  must  feel   that  this  is  the  right  message  that  inspires  and  matches  what  you  stand  for.   Some  good  examples:   “A  BeQer  Way  To  Work.”  -­‐  37signals “Think  Different”  -­‐  Apple “Save  Money.  Live  BeQer”  -­‐  Walmart “Just  Do  It”  -­‐  Nike “Eat  Fresh”  -­‐  Subway
  • Execu?on  BEFORE  You  Launch As  Whit  ScoQ  covered  in  his  post  on  RPMWEST,  ‘Manuel’s  execu?on  on  his   campaign  was  flawless.  Clearly,  an  incredible  amount  of  work  went  into  its   launch.’  Making  it  clear  that  you  need  prepara?on  well  in  advance  to  have  a   chance  of  success.  Manuel  explained  that  he  prepared  2.5  months  before  he   launched  his  Kickstarter. Prepare  for  your  success Manuel  explains  “It’s  a  lot  of  hard  work.  I  have  seen  some  great  ideas  and   people  behind  Kickstarter  campaigns  launch  too  quickly.  They  basically  took   their  first  video  and  first  message,  went  with  it  and  failed.”   That  is  why  you  need  to  make  sure  that  your  campaign  is  well  thought  out,  so   everything  will  be  as  picture  perfect  as  possible  to  allow  your  idea  to  succeed.   Of  course  you  will  s?ll  run  into  challenges  and  things  will  not  go  according  to   the  plan,  but  by  puqng  in  your  150%  and  focusing  on  prepara?on,  you   increase  your  chances  for  success.  So  fully  commit! There  are  a  few  things  which  you  will  have  to  get  done  before  your  campaign   starts: 1.  Video  and  Copy:  RPMWEST  ran  its  video  and  copy  by  a  tonne  of  people  and   had  a  huge  amount  of  changes  and  itera?ons  before  they  launched 2.  Get  the  word  out  and  start  building  community  BEFORE  the  campaign  (A   part  which  people  really  underes?mate  that  requires  quite  a  large  amount  of   work) “A  lot  of  the  ?me  you  think,  oh  I  have  a  great  idea,  and  great  message.  It’s   really  not  that  easy”  -­‐  Manuels  explains.  Kickstarter  will  give  you  some  tools  to   gain  trac?on  but  you  really  need  to  fight  for  every  single  one  of  your   supporters.
  • How  To  Prepare  For  A  Successful  Launch? Step  1.  AcZvate  your  personal  connecZons Around  6  weeks  before  the  campaign  Manuel  exported  all  his  contacts  from   Gmail,  Facebook,  LinkedIn  and  any  other  place  he  could  think.  Then  he   arranged  them  into  three  ?ers.  He  knew  that  from  his  list  that  about  50  people   will  support  him  no  maQer  what  but  he  could  not  rely  on  them  alone. He  divided  all  his  contacts  into  3  ?ers: First  Zer  -­‐  Your  closest  friends.  This  bunch  of  people  you  may  have  known  for  a   long  ?me  and  are  in  touch  with  on  a  regular  basis  and  are  ready  to  contact   about  your  idea  as  soon  as  possible. Second  Zer  -­‐  Your  friends  who  you  consider  good  friends  but  you  are  not  in   touch  regularly.  You  are  probably  friends  on  Facebook,  have  their  email  and   you  follow  roughly  what  has  been  happening  with  them  but  you  may  not  have   talked  to  them  for  a  few  months. Third  Tier  -­‐  If  you  don’t  have  their  email  address  already  they’re  probably  third   ?er.  These  are  acquaintances  who  you  have  met  at  some  point  but  have  never   kept  in  touch.  You  might  have  their  contact  details  on  Facebook  or  Linkedin  but   don’t  know  them  well. According  to  the  categorisa?on  Manuel  would  decide  on  an  interac?on   strategy.  In  essence,  how  early  to  let  them  know  about  the  campaign,  what   message  to  ensure  involvement  at  the  right  ?me  and  how  to  maximise  sharing   within  these  groups.  Each  of  these  three  group  would  receive  a  different   message  from  him  to  let  them  know  about  the  Kickstarter  for  RPMWEST. Turning  your  closest  friends  into  your  biggest  advocates By  scanning  his  personal  network,  Manuel  was  also  able  to  find  people  to  help   execute  with  the  campaign.  Manuel  found  people  to  help  create  copy,  an  
  • amazing  video  and  high  quality  photos  for  the  Kickstarter.  He  involved  quite  a   few  people  and  gained  a  tonne  of  value  from  their  input  in  the  development  of   the  campaign.  These  people  became  his  biggest  supporters  and  advocates  as   they  became  part  of  the  project. So  how  can  you  do  it?   To  make  sure  that  you  turn  your  friends  into  raving  supporters  follow  these  ?ps   from  Manuel: • Give  them  everything  they  need  to  help  you.  That  includes  the  one   simple  message  you  craced  and  email  templates,  so  its  easy  to  share. • Send  regular  updates  on  the  project   • Ask  for  help  and  feedback  (but  don’t  overwhelm  them) • Ask  for  shares  every  ?me If  you  have  a  team  or  a  bunch  of  close  friends  who  are  keen  to  be  involved  and   help  to  make  your  campaign  a  success,  you  can  put  together  a  simple  guide  for   them  on  how  to  share  the  message.   It  is  actually  a  strategy  we  used  with  my  current  project  that  helps  you  grow   real  veggies  inside  your  house  from  your  smartphone!  We  used  this  strategy  to   spread  the  message  when  we  entered  a  compe??on  called  the  Global  Startup   BaQle. The  first  stage  of  the  compe??on  involved  public  vo?ng,  so  we  needed  to   convince  as  many  people  as  possible  to  vote  for  us.  We  had  a  team  of  7  and   close  friends  who  were  keen  to  help  us  spread  the  word.  So  to  maximise  the   effect  of  sharing  on  personal  networks,  I  put  up  a  simple  guide  for  our  team  to   spread  the  message.  This  guide  included  email  templates,  ?ps  to  share  on   social  networks  and  a  summary  of  ac?ons  to  be  performed,  as  well  as  an   explana?on  of  why  some  of  them  are  cri?cal.   It  made  sharing  and  spreading  the  RIGHT  message  seamless  for  everybody   involved.  As  it  made  such  a  huge  difference  to  help  us  get  votes,  I  decided  to   share  it  with  you  so  you  can  save  ?me  and  easily  adjust  it  to  your  needs.  Check   it  out  here.
  • Other  advice  from  founders  of  successful  Kickstarter  projects  include: • Offer  them  “sneak  peaks”  that  no  one  else  gets  eg.  product  renderings,   pictures  and  Kickstarter  videos  before  they’re  released. • Throw  a  launch  party.  This  is  a  very  effec?ve  way  to  engage  with  your   friends  and  make  them  a  part  of  the  project  instead  of  trying  to  email  or   call  every  single  one  of  them.  During  the  party,  you  can  show  them  the   video  and  tell  them  why  you  need  their  help.  The  energy  you  can  create   can  really  help  your  campaign  to  succeed. Step  2.  Set  up  goals  to  be  achieved  before  the  campaign  start Pre-­‐campaign  metrics  and  building  a  community  before  the  campaign Manuel  knew  that  building  a  community  before  his  campaign  is  what  could   make  or  break  him.  It  was  very  important  to  showcase  backers  that  the  idea   already  had  some  trac?on,  mostly  to  break  the  ini?al  trust  barrier.  He  did  not   want  the  first  few  backers  to  feel  like  they  were  actually  the  first  person,   instead  he  wanted  to  make  them  feel  that  they  are  part  of  something   meaningful  with  other  people. To  achieve  that  he  set  up  goals  he  needed  to  achieve  before  the  start  of  the   Kickstarter  campaign.  These  were: • At  least  1000  visitors  to  the  site,   • 100  sign  ups  for  a  newsleQer,  and   • 250  people  on  Facebook Step  3.  Develop  a  Strategy  To  Reach  Your  Goals According  to  Manuel,  it  all  comes  down  to  having  a  strategy  and  knowing  what   you  need  to  achieve  your  goals.  For  Manuel  the  most  important  things  to   determine  success  happen  before  the  campaign.   He  developed  a  comprehensive  strategy  that  enabled  him  to  not  only  reach  a   significant  number  of  people  but  also  cleverly  devised  a  plan  to  make  the  
  • RPMWEST  campaign  look  much  bigger  than  it  was.  He  put  a  lot  of  effort  into   understanding  human  psychology  and  the  value  of  momentum.  This  enabled   him  to  turn  the  RPMWEST  campaign  into  a  well  oiled  “momentum  building   machine.” Manuel’s  strategies  to  create  a  momentum  building  machine Manuel  is  clear  that  building  this  community  and  reaching  the  pre-­‐campaign   goals  were  not  easy.  As  a  founder  you  will  have  to  go  way  beyond  to  come  up   with  ways  to  spread  the  message  and  aQract  your  backers.  Here  are  some   unconven?onal  strategies  RMPWEST  have  used  to  aQract  audience: 1.  Teaser  video   Way  before  the  Kickstarter  campaign  started,  RPMWEST  released  a  teaser   video.  A  simple  and  short  video,  not  introducing  the  product  but  instead  the   idea  behind  reinven?ng  jeans.  You  can  see  the  video  here  .
  • This  short  video  sparks  curiosity  and  conveys  the  emo?ons  Manuel  wants   associated  with  his  brand.  The  minimalis?c  approach  focused  on  one  single   message  leaves  a  viewer  intrigued  and  wan?ng  to  learn  more. The  video  played  an  important  role  of  geqng  support  from  friends  and  family   and  bringing  them  together  under  the  same  vision.  It  was  also  proof  that  the   campaign  is  real,  professional  and  inspiring.   2.  Landing  Page.   The  landing  page  is  another  piece  that  is  an  important  part  of  the  campaign.   You  can  put  up  a  simple  page  using  Launch  Rock,  build  your  own  by  buying  a   Wordpress  template  or  hire  somebody  on  Freelancer.com.  Whatever  you  do,   you  need  to  make  sure  that  your  message  is  clear,  inspiring  and  easily  sharable.   The  main  thing  is  to  include  your  video  and  a  signup  form  to  capture  those   interested  in  your  campaign. 3.  Email  outreach  and  social  media. When  your  landing  page  is  in  place  you  can  email  your  first  and  second  ?er   friends  (with  a  personalised  message)  and  ask  them  to  share  your  landing  page   by  email,  TwiQer  and  Facebook  with  people  that  would  be  interested.  Make   sure  you  also  leverage  social  media  by  engaging  with  key  industry  influencers   that  would  be  interested. Addi?onally  be  wary  of  the  way  you  interact  with  your  audience  on  your  social   plakorms  to  maximise  engagement.  Here  is  a  quick  guide  on  what  works  best   on  different  plakorms:  The  Guide  to  Perfect  Social  Network  Pos?ng 4.  RemarkeZng a.  Cookies Manuel  wanted  to  have  a  way  to  track  everybody  who  came  to  the  RPMWEST   landing  page.  Understanding  the  psychology  of  human  behaviour  he  wanted  to   be  able  to  reach  out  and  remind  poten?al  backers  about  his  campaign.  To  do   so  he  built  a  tool  that  would  leave  cookies  on  a  browser  of  anybody  who   visited  the  site,  so  he  could  touch  base  with  them  if  they  didn’t  sign  up.
  • To  do  the  same  for  your  campaign  you  do  not  need  to  build  your  own  tool   (although  you  can  build  a  simple  html  snippet  if  you  are  familiar  with  coding.   Following  the  instruc?on  here)  to  be  able  to  leave  cookies.  Companies  that  do   retarge?ng  campaigns  will  be  able  to  help  you  out  with  that.   b.  Retargeted  adverZsing   Acer  leaving  the  cookies  and  having  the  ability  to  follow  up  with  landing  page   visitors,  Manuel  launched  a  hyper  targeted  adver?sing  campaign.  Using  the   services  of  the  company  called  Adroll  he  was  able  to  show  the  adver?sing  of   the  RMPWEST  launch  campaign  to  people  who  already  visited  the  site.   The  effect  was  amazing.  Those  who  visited  the  site  would  see  the  adver?sing   of  the  company  all  over  the  web.  This  tac?c  accomplished  a  few  goals: • Helped  visitors  feel  apart  of  something  big  and  generate  trust, • Acted  as  a  reminder  that  the  campaign  is  on,  and • Established  a  strong  brand  image  for  RPMWEST  with  those  who  visited   the  landing  page. Manuel  recalls  geqng  mul?ple  emails  from  friends  and  site  visitors  saying   “Man!!  I’m  seeing  you  guys  everywhere.  Amazing  campaign!” 5.  Email  Follow  Up According  to  Manuel  email  marke?ng  is  underes?mated  and  should  be  used  to   its  full  poten?al.  Send  frequent  updates  on  the  project  and  deliver  content   your  audience  is  interested  in  to  build  trust  and  connec?on.  Those  email   campaigns  will  also  come  in  handy  during  the  actual  launch  and  play  a  very   important  role  in  driving  and  maintaining  the  momentum  explains  Manuel.  You   need  to  make  sure  that  you  have  systems  in  place  to  follow  up  with  your   audience.  An  email  client  will  do  a  great  job  here.  Whether  Mailchimp  or   Aweber  or  another,  just  make  sure  you  are  make  the  most  out  of  it  with  great   communica?on  with  your  audience. 6.  ContacZng  the  Press Press,  bloggers,  journalists  are  all  cri?cal  in  geqng  the  word  out  but  its  much   harder  than  it  looks.  You  will  face  lots  of  rejec?on  and  most  will  never  respond.  
  • Manuel  reached  out  to  a  couple  hundred  outlets  to  gain  their  commitment  to   write  about  RPMWEST  on  the  day  of  launch.  He  eventually  got  commitment   from  10-­‐12  outlets. According  to  Manuel  there’s  no  magic  trick,  it’s  just  lots  of  hard  work  and  there   is  no  simple  answer.  It  takes  a  lot  of  ?me  to  reach  out  to  the  press,  write   personalised  emails,  research  each  one  of  them,  find  a  personal  touch  and   make  them  feel  that  you  care. Geqng  media  coverage  for  your  launch  is  both  science  and  an  art.  Leo   Widrich,  from  Buffer  in  his  blog  post  How  To  Get  Media  Coverage  For  Your   Startup:  A  Complete  Guide  gives  some  incredible  advice.  Check  it  out.
  • A  few  more  things  for  thought... Timing What  day  and  what  ?me  is  the  best  to  send  out  the  message?  It  will  very  much   depend  on  your  audience  and  their  loca?on  but  here  is  a  great  visual  guide  on   when  you  should  be  pos?ng  from  Buffer. Manuel  decided  to  launch  strategically  on  a  Tuesday.  He  considered  Mondays   to  be  when  people  were  just  geqng  into  work  mode  acer  the  weekend  and   geqng  through  tonnes  of  email.  Acer  that  ini?al  Monday  email  chaos,  Tuesday   seemed  perfect  when  combined  with  a  launch  ?me  of  8am  when  everybody  is   munching  on  their  morning  press. Similarly,  you  have  to  be  on  the  top  of  things  by  monitoring  your  men?ons  on   blogs  and  in  the  media.  You  might  not  want  to  share  that  post  immediately  if   it’s  in  the  middle  of  the  night  but  rather  schedule  a  tweet  or  Facebook  post  for   the  morning  for  more  exposure.  For  monitoring  you  can  use  plakorms  like   men?on.net. PercepZon As  covered  in  Whit  ScoQ’s  great  post:   [...]Manuel  suggests  that  you  appear  to  be  90%  done  and  only  need  the  money   for  the  last  10%.  This  gives  your  donors  the  impression  that  you’re  well  put   together  and  this  is  going  to  happen  for  sure.  PercepIon  goes  a  very  long  way   in  crowdfunding[...] Reward  Structure From  Manuel's  experience  the  reward  structure  you  put  in  place  is  a  two  sided   coin.  What  differen?ated  the  RPMWEST  campaign  among  many  other  things   was  the  wide  range  of  rewards  prepared.   “I  think  we  were  successful  because  we  had  a  lot  of  rewards  and  got  people   really  excited,  but...  its  a  real  pain”  -­‐  he  says.  RPMWEST  offered  16  levels  of   rewards,  offering  everything  from  a  denim  swatch  (fabric  sample  from  the  first   produc?on  run),  handcraced  leather  belts,  premium  T-­‐shirts,  and  of  course  
  • different  types  of  jeans  (classic,  slim,  black  denim  and  various  limited  edi?on).   They  even  offered  a  “Jeans  for  Life  package”. But  the  exci?ng  structure  came  with  pains  when  the  RPMWEST  campaign   turned  out  to  be  successful.  If  you  are  commiQed  to  too  many  special  rewards   it  can  really  hurt  your  opera?ons,  so  make  sure  you  take  that  into   considera?on  early.  It’s  just  something  to  keep  in  mind  at  the  end  of  the  day,   you  s?ll  have  to  do  whatever  it  takes  to  be  a  success  explains  Manuel. So  what  works?  Offer  something  of  value Your  reward  should  be  something  special,  a  limited  edi?on,  a  one-­‐of-­‐a-­‐kind   experience  or  even  personalised  items.  Something  that  brings  pride  and  the   feeling  of  sa?sfac?on,  yet  be  exci?ng  and  useful.  For  RPMWEST  that  was   personalisa?on  like  marking  each  pair  of  jeans  with  a  produc?on  date,  and   unusual  rewards  like  this  one: There  is  no  magic  bullet  here,  nor  rules,  so  you  can  and  should  be  crazy   crea?ve.  Here  are  some  ?ps  to  help  you  out: • Have  a  brainstorming  session  with  your  friends,  ask  people  on  TwiQer,   and  ask  your  community!  You  are  guaranteed  to  get  some  good  ideas.   •  Put  yourself  in  your  backers  shoes:  ‘Would  you  drop  the  cash  on  your   rewards?’  The  answer  to  that  ques?on  will  tell  you  a  lot  about  your   project’s  poten?al.
  • • Keep  it  simple.  According  to  quan?ta?ve  research  done  by  Craig  Mod  on   the  most  lucra?ve  fundraising  levels,  $50  is  the  sweet  spot. • Factor  in  the  cost  of  your  reward  when  seqng  the  reward  level;  do  not   promise  something  for  $20  when  it  costs  $15  to  produce  and  deliver   each  one! Here  is  10  of  the  Most  Clever  Kickstarter  Rewards  by  Carol  Pinchefsky  for   inspira?on.   Step  4.  Automate  for  hecZc  Zmes  during  launch. Building  your  community  before  the  launch  is  one  thing,  but  developing  a   strategy  of  what  to  do  during  launch  is  a  totally  different  story.  “We  have  heard   it  from  other  people  we  talked  to  but  I  would  never  expect  it  to  be  as  hec?c  as   it  was”  -­‐  explains  Manuel.   During  launch  you  will  be  consumed  by  tonnes  of  things  you  did  not  expect  eg.   people  asking  you  ques?ons  you  would  never  see  coming,  press  contac?ng  you   and  interview  requests.  So  before  you  know  it,  your  day  is  full.   This  is  why  you  want  to  have  a  strategy  in  place  to  you  know  what  you  are   doing.  Otherwise  you  might  lose  momentum,  and  momentum  is  something   you  can’t  afford  to  lose  in  any  startup  or  Kickstarter  campaign.  Making  people   feel  that  this  thing  is  going  crazy  and  actually  taking  advantage  is  one  of  your   most  valuable  early  assets. How  to  make  sure  you  are  completely  ready  and  covered?   • Write  all  your  email  templates  way  before  and  set  up  everything  in  a  way   that  all  you  need  is  a  push  of  a  buQon, • You  will  be  contac?ng  addi?onal  press  during  the  campaign  -­‐  so  make   sure  you  are  ready  for  that  and  not  spending  ?me  looking  for  contact   details  or  researching  bloggers,  and • Try  to  predict  all  the  ques?ons  people  might  ask  about  your  product,   company  and  your  vision.  
  • 4  hours  to  success  -­‐  another  reason  why  preparaZon  is  everything Researchers  at  the  Swiss  Federal  Ins?tute  of  Technology  in  Lausanne  can   predict  the  likelihood  of  your  campaign  success  within  4  hours  of  its  launch   with  the  accuracy  higher  than  76  percent.   The  method  takes  into  account  detailed  informa?on  about  backers  as  well  as   TwiQer  men?ons.  By  tracking  these  two  variables  along  with  more   conven?onal  data,  such  as  campaign  dura?on.   Why  is  it  important  to  you?  Because  according  to  this  research,  how  your  first   4  hours  look  will  determine  the  rest  of  your  campaign.  In  your  prepara?on   stage  you  need  to  plan  and  get  ready  so  those  first  four  hours  set  you  up  for   success.
  • During  the  campaign  Launch... Manuel  launched  the  campaign  at  midnight,  a  few  hours  before  the  official   launch  ?me  given  to  the  press  to  give  himself  some  ?me  to  adjust  for  any   errors  that  could  happen.  Within  3  minutes  he  had  his  first  pledge,  25  minutes   in  he  reached  $700  and  by  8am  (the  official  launch  ?me)  they  had  $35,000  in   pledges.  “It  showed  me  what  is  possible.“  -­‐  Manuel Your  focus  during  the  launch  is  to  keep  the  momentum  going.  This  might  be   the  only  opportunity  you  will  ever  have  to  get  so  much  'easy'  ongoing   aQen?on.  Manuel  shared  some  insights  on  how  to  achieve  this.   How  to  keep  the  momentum  going Be  super  responsive Manuel  made  sure  that  he  was  answering  backers  ques?ons  within  minutes.   To  do  so  he  downloaded  the  Kickstarter  app  and  literally  spent  hours   responding  to  comments  on  the  project  page.  It  really  paid  off  as  people  felt   that  somebody  cared,  and  they  really  valued  the  transparency  from  the   founder.  Being  there  on  Kickstarter  for  backers,  following  up,  upda?ng,   engaging  and  keeping  the  conversa?on  going  is  a  major  factor  to  keep  the   momentum  going. In  the  same  manner,  Manuel  advises  that  you  follow  up  with  press,  blog   comments,  Facebook  men?ons  and  the  Reddit  community.  There  are  a  few   tools  which  can  help  you  stay  on  the  top  of  that.  Two  of  my  favourites  are   Social  Men?on  (free)  which  scans  and  monitors  100+  social  media  proper?es   for  your  brand  and  Brand24  (paid  with  free  trial)  which  scans  not  only  on  a   social  landscape  but  the  whole  online  environment.  
  • Here  is  an  example  of  a  Reddit  thread  Manuel  started  when  he  launched  his   campaign.   During  the  campaign  itself  Manuel  also  recorded  a  few  videos  like  this  one   answering  various  ques?ons  people  were  asking,  explaining  the  process  and   asking  them  to  share  the  message  all  over  the  place.
  • Keep  hustling   To  keep  the  momentum,  you  really  need  to  keep  on  thinking  about  what   strategies  that  can  help  you  achieve  that.  Acer  the  ini?al  launch  RPMWEST   introduced  a  special  denim  campaign  and  reached  out  to  another  few  hundred   bloggers  to  tell  his  story. They  also  ran  an  “Invite  Your  Friends”  contest  and  selected  the  winners  on   Facebook.  To  do  so  for  your  campaign,  you  can  use  Contest  Domina?on  which   is  a  simple  contest  socware  that  can  help  you  create  an  online  contest  to   generate  leads  and  reward  people  that  help  you  out.
  • And  they  even  created  s?ckers  to  help  spread  the  word  among  many  other   things.   There  is  always  more  to  do  Manuel  says  and  you  need  to  keep  on  finding  new   ways  to  tell  your  story  while  remembering  that  people  really  want  to  be  a  part   of  something  bigger  than  themselves.  
  • The  Days  Acer  Your  Kickstarter  Success. What  if  your  Kickstarter  goes  absolutely  nuts?  What  if  you  raise  1000%  of  the   money  you  thought  you  would?  How  will  it  change  your  world?  To  Manuel  this   was  so  much  more  frightening  than  his  campaign  not  working  out.  It’s   frightening  because  everything  is  changing  so  quickly,  your  life  will  change   forever,  the  way  that  you  have  to  deal  with  the  money,  what  kind  of  person   you  will  need  to  be  with  a  team  and  even  the  way  you  talk  to  your  suppliers.   RPMWEST  outdid  its  produc?on  facility  in  2  days.  “I  had  no  clue  where  to  go,  I   drove  down  to  LA  and  I  met  with  produc?on  facili?es  and  I  didn’t  expect  to  be   here”  -­‐  Manuel  recalls.  He  encourages  people  to  think  about  the  huge  upside;   what  if  this  Kickstarter  goes  crazy! If  successfully  funded,  this  is  just  a   beginning  of  your  journey  and  now  its  the   ?me  to  deliver  on  all  the  promises  made   as  a  part  of  your  campaign.  Many  of  the   Kickstarters  campaigns  miss  their  delivery   deadlines,  which  can  be  fine  but  many   lose  the  trust  of  their  backers  due  to  lack   of  communica?on.  And  the  same  power   and  the  momentum  which  generated  you  support  when  not  handled  acer  the   end  of  your  Kickstarter  campaign  can  turn  against  you  with  press  and  whole   communi?es  of  people  losing  your  trust  and  turning  against  you. Although  its  okay  if  you  have  a  slip  on  your  deadline,  you  need  to  make  sure   that  you  are  transparent  and  communicate  regularly  with  your  backers.  Ensure   that  you  update  them  frequently,  send  videos,  pictures,  tell  them  where  are   you,  be  open  about  the  challenges  you  face  and  even  ask  for  help  if  you  need   it.  All  the  more,  just  treat  them  as  your  investors  who  you  are  accountable.  If   you  do  that  well,  they  will  come  back  and  support  you  more  than  ever  before,   even  if  you  do  miss  a  deadline  or  two.
  • One  last  piece  of  advice When  asked  to  give  just  one  last  piece  of  advice,  Manuel  replied:  “Do  your   homework,  do  a  lot  of  prepara?on,  be  pa?ent  and  most  importantly  show  your   backers  that  you  really  care  and  you  will  be  alright”
  • Your  Ac?on  Summary  and  Goals Step  1.  Determine  whether  your  project  is  right  for  Kickstarter Not  every  project  will  be  successful  on  Kickstarter  and  you  need  to  determine   whether  crowdfunding  is  a  good  plakorm  for  you. Ask  yourself  a  few  ques?ons  before  you  jump  into  the  Kickstarter  madness:   • How  is  what  I  am  doing  changing  the  status  quo?  How  is  it  different?   • What  is  the  big  vision  behind  the  product?  How  will  it  change/improve   people’s  lives? • Is  the  idea  that  I  have  relevant  for  a  specific  audience?  Either  that   audience  already  exists  on  Kickstarter  (general  public  of  early  adopters)?   Or  is  there  an  audience  I  can  tap  into  easily  that  will  pledge  to  my  idea? • Is  your  idea  big  enough  to  raise  the  amount  of  money  you  want? Step  2.  Create  a  strong  inspiring  iniZal  message  and  video  (consider   doing  an  extra  teaser  video  too) As  Manuel  kept  on  emphasising  this  ini?al  message  is  an  extremely  important   part  of  your  campaign.  It  needs  to  be  short  and  to  the  point  and  inspiring.  Your   tagline  can  be  the  most  important  words  you  will  create  for  your  Kickstarter   campaign. How  do  you  do  it? Grab  a  pen  and  paper,  sit  down  and  follow  the  steps: 1. What  is  your  value  proposi?on,  the  benefits  you  are  providing?   2. What  is  your  bigger  vision?  what  impact  do  we  want  to  have  in  the   world?   3. What  is  your  brand?  (note  down  feelings  and  emo?ons  you  want  people   to  associate  with  it) 4. For  10  minutes  brainstorm  as  many  taglines  as  possible.   5. Choose  3  you  like  the  most 6. Get  feedback  from  friends,  family  and  your  community
  • Going  through  this  process  will  help  you  to  nail  down  a  really  good  tagline.   Step  3.  Recruit  a  team  of  supporters  from  your  contacts Put  all  your  contacts  into  a  spreadsheet Follow  Manuel’s  advice  and  extract  all  contact  details  of  people  you  know  from   any  network  you  have.  Put  it  into  a  spreadsheet  and  divide  them  into  three   ?ers. First  Zer  -­‐  Your  closest  friends.  This  bunch  you  may  have  known  for  a  long  ?me   and  are  in  touch  with  on  a  regular  basis. From  this  ?er  iden?fy  friends  who  will  be  able  to  help  with  puqng  together  a   campaign  (video,  copywriters,  marke?ng  guys,  PR,  designers,  coders).  Put  them   in  a  separate  document.   Second  Zer  -­‐  As  stated  before  these  are  those  of  your  friends  who  you  follow   roughly  on  Facebook  but  you  have  not  talked  to  them  for  a  few  months,  yet   you  s?ll  consider  them  good  friends  and  you  think  may  contribute. Third  Tier  -­‐  These  are  acquaintances  who  you  have  met  at  some  point  but  have   never  kept  in  touch. Reach  out  strategy The  next  step  is  to  create  a  strategy  to  contact  each  ?er.   Start  with  ?er  one,  your  closest  friends  and  contact  them  as  early  as  possible.   Present  the  idea  and  ask  for  feedback. The  Tier  two  and  three  contacts  you  will  be  contac?ng  closer  to  the  launch  day,   you  need  to  make  sure  that  the  no?ce  is  not  too  short  and  allows  them  to   share  and  contribute.
  • Step  4.  Know  your  audience You  are  launching  your  own   business.  Your  success  will   par?ally  depend  on  how  well  you   know  who  your  audience  is  and   where  you  can  reach  them  easily.   Leave  nothing  to  chance.  Define   your  ideal  Kickstarter  backer  by   following  Noah  Kagan’s  advice  and  answer  these  two  most  important   ques?ons:   1.  Who  is  your  ideal  customer?   2.  Where  are  they? Step  5.  Set  Up  Clear  Pre-­‐Campaign  Goals   Look  carefully  at  the  numbers  you  need  to  raise  for  your  campaign  to  be   successful.  Think  about  it  as  sales,  how  many  people  do  you  need  to  reach,   who  would  pay  an  average  of  eg  $50  at  a  5%  conversion  rate.  That  means  that   if  you  need  $20,000  divide  this  number  by  $50.  That  equals  400  backers  at  $50. $20,000/$50  =  400  backers Taking  a  5%  conversion  rate,  this  means  you  would  need  to  reach  8,000   people. (100*400)/5  =  8,000  targeted  people So  with  those  assump?ons  your  efforts  need  to  make  sure  to  reach  at  least   8,000  during  your  campaign  to  raise  $20,000.  And  although  its  a  rough  number   it  gives  you  a  good  idea  of  the  scale  of  your  efforts  and  will  help  you  determine   your  pre-­‐campaign  goals. The  pre-­‐campaign  goals  enable  you  to  plan  for  this  outreach  and  do  some  of   the  work  before  the  campaign  starts.  
  • Your  pre-­‐campaign  goals Decide  on  your  target: -­‐Number  of  email  signups  (email  addresses  you  want  to  collect),  and -­‐Social  media  metrics  -­‐TwiQer  followers,  Facebook  likes  (Depending  where   your  target  audience  is  located) So  you  need  to  determine  what  communi?es  you  want  to  reach  and  consider   how  this  may  translate  to  backers.  The  ques?on  you  need  to  keep  asking   yourself  is  how  many  of  these  people  will  become  backers. Step  6.  Create  the  Strategy  to  Achieve  Your  Pre-­‐Campaign  Goals a).  Create  a  landing  page. This  is  important.  As  Manuel  says,  lots  of  people  send  their  poten?al  backers   straight  to  a  Kickstarter  page  when  they  are  not  ready  to  back  you  up.  You  have   to  build  trust  with  these  people  first.  To  do  so,  send  your  poten?al  backers  to   your  landing  page  even  before  you  start  your  Kickstarter  and  capture  their   email  address  to  contact  them.  The  landing  page  also  serves  as  an  opportunity   to  do  a  retarge?ng  campaign,  track  the  number  of  visitors  and  also  build  trust. You  should  use  an  email  client  (eg  MailChimp  -­‐  it’s  free  for  your  first  2,000   subscribers)  to  be  able  to  create  and  send  follow  up  messages  to  your   audience.  You  can  offer  something  for  free  in  order  to  encourage  people  to   sign  up  to  your  list  such  as  an  ebook,  exclusive  offer  or  an  auto-­‐responder   series  related  to  your  product,  whatever  you  can  come  up  with  which  is   product  related  and  provides  value  for  your  audience. To  set  up  a  landing  page  simply  go  to  LaunchRock  (which  is  free)  or  use   Unbounce  (paid)  to  put  up  your  landing  page.  Second  register  for  MailChimp   and  integrate  it  with  your  landing  page. b).  Email  outreach Email  is  your  secret  weapon.  Use  it  well.  When  the  landing  page  is  ready,  your   first  step  is  to  send  an  email  out  to  all  your  personal  contacts  asking  them  to   check  it  out  and  share  it  with  friends  and  family.  To  do  this  you  are  using  the  
  • list  of  contacts  you  have  created  in  step  three.  Tell  them  about  your  project   and  the  site  you  have  put  up.  Then  ask  them  to  do  just  one  thing:  Share  that   page  with  anyone  and  everyone  they  think  would  be  interested. Your  next  step  is  to  set  up  an  email  sequence  for  those  who  go  to  your  landing   page  and  sign  up.  You  need  an  email  campaign  that  sends  messages  on  a   regular  schedule  at  ?med  intervals  to  keep  your  product  or  service  top-­‐of-­‐mind   and  people  interested. Here  is  a  fantas?c  guide  from  the  guys  at  Crazy  Egg  that  walks  you  through   how  to  create  an  awesome  email  sequence.   Use  your  own  judgement  on  what  should  be  included  in  the  emails  to  build   trust  and  interest,  so  when  the  ?mes  comes  your  poten?al  backers  will  take   ac?on.  Addi?onally  to  your  email  sequence  remember  to  send  updates  on   your  project,  ask  for  help  and  personal  messages  related  to  the  project  eg.  You   can  reveal  some  details  about  the  project  and  drive  your  list  to  a  separate   landing  page  and  ask  them  to  share  the  Kickstarter  to  unlock  an  extra  level  of   rewards.
  • c).  Social  Media Here  is  an  incredible  resource  from  Hybrid  Vigor  Project  team  showing  exactly   how  the  project  got  funded  on  a  Kickstarter  with  most  of  their  backers  being   TwiQer  followers!  He  covers  everything  from  seqng  up  TwiQer  account,   building  your  audience,  engaging  with  followers  to  some  advanced  techniques   and  strategies.  Make  sure  you  watch  the  video  included  on  the  page! Determine  which  plaUorms  you  will  be  using  to  promote  your  campaign. Where  is  your  target  audience?  Are  they  on  Facebook?  TwiQer?  Pinterest?   Where  can  you  reach  them? Again  keep  in  mind  when  you  will  be  pos?ng  and  how.  Determine  the  strategy   by  using  these  two  guides: 1.  A  great  visual  guide  on  when  you  should  be  pos?ng  from  Buffer.   2.  The  Guide  to  Perfect  Social  Network  Pos?ng d).  Get  CreaZve.   Gather  your  friends  and  brainstorm  all  kinds  of  crazy  ideas  .  Not  only  they  will   feel  involved  but  this  will  also  help  you  to  execute  on  these  ideas.  Here  is  a   quick  guide  on  how  to  run  a  brainstorming  session. Step  7.  Reach  Out  to  Press Reaching  out  to  press  is  an  important  part  of  your  campaign.  As  Manuel   men?ons  you  want  to  do  it  well  in  advance,  first  to  build  a  rela?onship  with   them  and  second  to  lock  in  some  of  them  to  write  about  your  launch  day. Saying  that,  there  is  probably  hundreds  of  blogs  and  online  magazines  you   could  poten?ally  contact.  Do  not.  To  maximise  your  efforts  use  80/20  rule   which  teaches  you  that  20%  of  stories  will  yield  80%  of  your  press  results.
  • a).  Make  a  List  of  the  Biggest  Influencers   Now  what  you  need  to  do  is  to  find  and  create  a  list  of  the  biggest  influencers   in  your  area.  There  are  many  ways  to  iden?fy  influencers.  Here  is  a  few  tools   you  might  want  to  use:   • FollowerWonk  is  a  nicy  program  by  Moz  that  quan?fies  TwiQer  influence • Topsy  is  a  search  engine  that  ranks  content  based  on  social  shares. • Alltop  to  look  for  biggest  venues  in  your  niche. • Klout  Topics  is  a  great  place  to  find  influencers  on  a  specific  topic.  Here  is   the  instruc?on  on  How  to  Search  Klout  Influencers  for  Your  Brand  by   Topic • Twellow  is  a  TwiQer  directory  enabling  you  to  add  yourself  in  3,000   categories  and  connect  with  people  who  are  influen?al  within  these   categories.   • Google  your  main  keywords  and  use  SERPS  Redux  Bookmarklet  to  scrape   the  urls  into  a  spreadsheet
  • b).  Determine  which  from  the  list  are  most  valuable Mike  Del  Ponte  from  Soma  in  his  case  study  has  a  simple  recipe  for  your  media   outreach.  Advising  that  you  should  focus  on  these  4  elements  while  doing  your   outreach: 1. Relevance  -­‐  Is  the  audience  of  the  blog  you  are  trying  to  reach  relevant?   Will  the  readers  LOVE  your  project? 2. Readership  -­‐  How  many  unique  visitors  do  they  have  monthly?  (You  can   use  SEOMoz  Toolbar  to  help  you  determine  that) 3. Rela?onships  -­‐  Do  you  know  anybody  who  can  make  an  introduc?on?   Personal  connec?ons  have  amazing  power.  Make  sure  to  check  for  any   mutual  friends. 4. Reach  -­‐  Will  this  blog  promote  your  post  on  launch?  Will  they  genuinely   get  excited  about  your  project?  What  is  their  Facebook  and  TwiQer   following?  What  about  RSS?  It’s  not  enough  to  get  coverage.  It’s  about   how  this  coverage  will  be  distributed. When  you  have  a  list  of  your  poten?al  contacts  rank  them  according  to  these  4   criteria.  You  can  use  a  scale  of  1-­‐4  (1  being  week,  4  being  very  strong).  Your   excel  sheet  should  give  you  a  good  list  of  blogs  with  the  biggest  poten?al  that   you  should  contact  at  first. Mike  gives  you  an  example  how  the  spreadsheet  will  look  like: When  the  list  is  ready  and  sorted  the  last  thing  you  need  is  the  contact  details   to  reach  out  to  a  blogger  or  a  journalist.  If  your  list  is  big  you  can  use  Cita?on   Labs  and  their  Contact  Finder  Tool.  It’s  paid  but  it  can  save  you  a  lot  of  ?me.  
  • c).  Reach  out This  is  a  tricky  part  as  you  do  not  want  to  out  of  the  blue  contac?ng  them.  The   first  thing  you  need  apart  from  your  list  is  to  make  a  detailed  but  short   research  about  the  par?cular  blogger  and  crac  a  personalised  message. If  you  have  more  ?me  I  highly  suggest  that  you  use  the  approach  suggested  by   Neil  Patel  in  his  Guide  To  Advanced  Link  Building  a  Chapter  on  Rela?onship  Link   Building.  You  will  find  there,  a  step  by  step  approach  from  geqng  no?ced  by  a   blogger  and  providing  a  value  to  email  templates,  rela?onship  management,   all  the  way  to  scoring  a  blog  post.  Neil  explains  it  in  the  link  building  context   but  the  process  outlines  a  way  to  build  rela?onships  and  trust  with  people.   This  can  be  magic  when  you  are  trying  to  get  coverage  at  the  right  ?me. If  you  are  on  a  limited  ?me  and  do  not  have  weeks  to  build  that  rela?onship  I   suggest  checking  out  the  guide  from  Leo  Widrich,  How  To  Get  Media  Coverage   For  Your  Startup:  A  Complete  Guide  to  help  you  up  the  chances  of  geqng  the   best  PR  coverage  possible.     Step  8.  Plan  Your  AcZons  During  the  Campaign As  Manuel  men?oned,  when  the  campaign  goes  live,  you  will  experience  a   level  of  chaos  you  have  never  experienced.  It’s  important  that  you  keep  calm   and  just  push  buQons  to  reap  the  benefits  of  months  of  prepara?on.   An  incredibly  useful  tool  which  can  turn  your  life  around  is  Boomerang  -­‐  a   simple  Gmail  plugin  which  enables  you  to  schedule  emails.  What  you  want  to   do  is  drac  and  save  all  the  emails,  so  on  launch  day  you  can  just  press  a  buQon   the  minute  you  launch  and  focus  on  other  areas.
  • An  example  of  a  first  email  you  might  want  to  send  to  your  friends: FINAL  PHASE:  Ac?on Now  you  know  the  secrets  of  a  successful  crowdfunding  campaign,  you  too   have  the  tools  and  strategies  you  can  use  to  give  yourself  the  best  chance  to   succeed.  Now  its  all  about  execu?on. Go  and  crowdfund  like  your  life  depends  on  it!   Good  Luck!
  • Tools  and  Resources LaunchRock  -­‐  simple  landing  pages Klout  -­‐  measure  online  influence,  you  can  use  it  to  iden?fy  the  biggest   influencers  in  your  network Email  MarkeZng Boomerang  -­‐  A  Gmail  plugin  that  allows  you  to  schedule  emails.  You  can  also   receive  reminders  to  follow  up  on  an  email  you  sent  if  the  other  person  does   not  reply.  (Free) MailChimp  -­‐  A  service  to  design  and  send  mass  emails.  (Free  if  you  have  less   than  2,000  subscribers  and  send  less  than  12,000  emails  per  month) How  to  create  an  awesome  email  sequence  -­‐  A  guide  from  the  guys  at  Crazy   Egg Social  Media  MarkeZng   How  to  get  your  project  funded  with  TwiQer  followers  is  a  resource  from   Hybrid  Vigor  Project  team Contest  Domina?on  is  a  simple  contest  socware  that  can  help  you  create   online  contest  to  generate  leads  and  reward  influencers.   A  great  visual  guide  on  when  you  should  be  pos?ng  from  Buffer.   The  Guide  to  Perfect  Social  Network  Pos?ng IdenZfying  Influencers   FollowerWonk  is  a  nicy  program  by  Moz  that  quan?fies  TwiQer  influence Topsy  which  is  is  a  search  engine  that  ranks  content  based  on  social  shares. Alltop  is  a  plakorm  gathering  all  the  top  headlines  from  popular  topics  around   the  web. Twellow  is  a  TwiQer  directory  enabling  you  to  add  yourself  in  3,000  categories   and  connect  with  people  who  are  influen?al  within  these  categories.   Klout  Topics  is  a  great  place  to  find  influencers  in  a  specific  topic.  Here  is  the   instruc?on  on  How  to  Search  Klout  Influencers  for  Your  Brand  by  Topic
  • SERPS  Redux  Bookmarklet  scrapes  the  urls  from  the  search  into  a  spreadsheet Media  Outreach Moz  Toolbar Neil  Patel  in  his  Guide  To  Advanced  Link  Building  a  Chapter  on  Rela?onship  Link   Building Contact  Finder  Tool  for  mass  finding  of  contact  details Hacking  Kickstarter:  How  to  Raise  $100,000  in  10  Days  -­‐  incredible  ar?cle  from   Mike  Del  Ponte,  the  person  behind  the  successful  Kickstarter  Soma How  To  Get  Media  Coverage  For  Your  Startup:  A  Complete  Guide  by  Leo   Widrich  from  Buffer Managing  Your  Campaign   Custom  Kickstarter  dashboard  -­‐  This  is  an  incredible  liQle  tool  build  by  guys   who  launched  Soma  on  Kickstarter.  It  simply  helps  you  to  manage  your   Kickstarter  campaign  by  giving  you  real  ?me  insights  into  Facebook,  TwiQer   and  press  metrics  all  in  one  place.
  • Thanks  For  Reading Please  thank  Manuel  Rappard  (@manuelrappard)  and  Agnieszka  Nazaruk   (@agaonfire)  for  such  an  in  depth  and  valuable  issue.  Can’t  wait  to  see  the   amazing  projects  you  create. Enjoy  the  hard  work, Jamie  Cheng PS.  Know  someone  that  will  benefit  from  this  issue?  Please  share  it  with  them. PPS.  Go  check  out  RPMWEST  for  perfect  jeans,  delivered  and  the  brilliant  job   Manuel  con?nues  to  do  with  branding.
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