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3 Lessons from a 209% Successful Kickstarter Project

3 Lessons from a 209% Successful Kickstarter Project

Kickstarter is Awesome, But Not Miraculous

If you have a product you want to sell, Kickstarter is a great place to start. Maybe you need funds for the initial production run, or maybe you just want to test your concept – either way it’s a great platform. There are lots of posts and books about how to run a successful Kickstarter project, but after doubling our targeted goal for SnapLaces we did a few things a bit different than what others have recommended. Obviously every project is unique, but some of the principals we used should still be valuable.

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3 Simple Lessons for A Successful Kickstarter Project

  1. First and foremost, we worked our asses off. Running a campaign is more than a full time job, and even with people splitting the work there was still a lot to get done.
  2. We didn’t discount our product. Kickstarter is the one time in a products lifecycle where people might be willing to pay more just to help you out. Don’t make the mistake of discounting just to get backers. Most people underestimate what it will take to get a product to market, and even if you don’t, unexpected things can crop up.
  3. We contacted everyone that backed us. Literally everyone. Their responses to our questions ultimately led to valuable insights and shaped both the tone of our campaign and the direction of our company.

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A Successful Kickstarter Project is A LOT of Work

The amount of work a successful Kickstarter project requires is probably the biggest reason for failure. Having successfully managed a campaign and backed several others that were not successful, I can confidently state that there is a high correlation between the effort and result. The ones that didn’t interact with backers or actively engage, didn’t meet their funding goals.

We Didn’t Discount Our Product

Many Kickstarter projects offer discounts on the product being funded. We felt like that was a bad idea, especially at the under $50 price point we were in. We knew that we’d need over 1000 backers to be successful and lowering an already small price point would add to that number. More importantly the purpose of the campaign was to raise funds to pay for a new plastic injection mold, so we reasoned that backers would be preordering our product and helping us bootstrap the effort.

One thing we did do was offer a significant discount to a limit number of early backers to gain momentum. Your first week on Kickstarter is crucial because new projects are featured and people are much more likely to discover them. The “early adopter” reward allowed us to get the required momentum to become one on the top  projects on Kickstarter which led to additional backers, but the limit made sure that we weren’t sacrificing our overall funding objectives.

Communication is Key

Prior to launching we studied other successful projects and one data point stuck out. Successful projects updated an average of 1.8 times PER DAY! This is where the bulk of the work came in. In addition to sending messages to every backer and responding to their questions, we tried to post 2-3 times every day on Kickstarter, as well as maintaining an active social media presence (active as in cultivating relationships, not just carpet bombing posts) on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Communication is the key to success on Kickstarter.

Engage and communicate relevant information to people who have helped you (or would likely help you if only they knew you existed) is the most reliable way to have a successful Kickstarter project.

What Now?

The next project will definitely be better run and more organized, but if we can save you some time and misery by sharing than it will have been worth the time invested in reading.

As always, if you have a question or comment – just ask!

Ask Me Something

 

50% off a Social Media Makeover

50% off a Social Media Makeover

Social Media Makeover

UPDATE: For the rest of March, we’re offering our social media makeover for 50% off!

Social media is one of the first places prospective clients are going to “meet” you and your company. What will their first impression be? Make sure your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube accounts (yes you should have an account on each) are sending the right message, by letting the Workshed team create a custom profile and background image for each.

Social Media Makeover

What’s it cost?

Typically we charge $500-$600 for this service, but through the end of March we’re “slashing our prices” (imagine the guy with the crazy radio voice) and offering it for $300. For those within the range of our photographer, that’s an epic deal, for the rest of you…you’ll have to settle for a great deal!

What about the free giveaway?

To enter the “Great Social Media Makeover Giveaway” is easy. Just tell us in the comments below how you currently use social media (if at all) to market your business and share this post to the social network of your choice.

Share the social media makeover

Facebook Share link for the social media makeoverShare the social media makeover on Google+Custom Share link for the social media makeoverLinkedIn Share link for the social media makeover

[clear]If you are selected we’ll contact you with the rest of the details.

For the forward thinking types who want to proceed with the social media makeover anyway (because it’s such a great deal, and you know how important it is) we’ll refund your payment if you are selected.

What’s Included?

Photography

If you are within 30 miles of our office, we’ll send Brady over with his fancy camera to take pictures! If you’ve ever had professional pictures taken, you know this is a screaming deal. If you are not within range of our visual arts master, we take what you have and work with it. If it’s rubbish, we’ll do something with graphics instead.

Facebook Page

Custom Profile Image Custom Cover Photo

Google Plus Page

Custom Profile Image Custom Cover Photo

YouTube Profile

Custom Profile Image Custom Channel Art

Twitter Profile

Custom Profile Image Custom Background Image Custom Header

LinkedIn Page

Custom Header Image Custom Standard Logo Custom Square Logo

Universal (for your other pages)

Custom Background Image Custom Profile Image

Share the social media makeover

Facebook Share link for the social media makeoverShare the social media makeover on Google+Custom Share link for the social media makeoverLinkedIn Share link for the social media makeover

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Social Media Makeover Form

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What Does Workshed Do?

What Does Workshed Do?

A Simple Question

What do we (Workshed) do? The imprecise answer is that we build websites and help businesses with marketing; it’s also an oversimplification of what’s really going on. The reality is that these are just outcomes – solutions to a challenge, but not really what we are actually doing. If you were to start asking why we do various things, you’d quickly realize that the why, is what Workshed is all about.

Why?

Asking this one question (why) over and over allows us to understand the core issues facing our clients; even if they don’t. In the day to day running of a business, it can be difficult to discern areas of inefficiency. Our objectivity allows us to observe operations without the biases that come from years of experience.

In addition to understanding the how’s and why’s of your business, we also have to acquaint ourselves with your customer. During this get-to-know, you phase of a project we are (among other things) seeking to understand your customers. Who are they, why do they buy, what need are they attempting to satisfy, and how you can optimally serve them (taking into account your own goals and values).

Now What?

Once we know what you do and whom you should be doing it for, we start to craft solutions to bring the two of you together. This is where the websites, social media, and marketing come in. They are specific methods crafted to connect you with your ideal client. The outcome is the focus, not the tool. We are solution agnostic.

When you’re a hammer, all you see is nails.

When the tool takes precedence over the objective (to sell stuff) it’s easy to waste time and money. If you start with a clearly defined objective, the probability of success is dramatically increased.

What’s the Difference?

It all boils down to perspective. You might be tempted to assume that because our process usually ends up in a website that our websites are just like that of any other web design firm.

You’d be wrong.

I Thought You Built Websites for Business

Workshed is a team of passionate problem solvers who help businesses succeed as a way of expressing that passion. Contrast what we do with the typical web design company who build websites as an expression of their interest in technology.  The technology might be cool, but if it doesn’t attract paying customers it isn’t getting results.

We get results because we focus on them.

The Simple Answer

So what does Workshed do? We get you the right kind of customers and more of them!

How do we do it?

By focusing on the solution rather than the tool.

Do you need more ideal customers?

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Websites That Cost Nothing & Baking Pies

Websites That Cost Nothing & Baking Pies

What do you do?

Part of what we do at Workshed is help our clients distill their value to potential customers into bite-sized chunks that are easily understood. It’s a lot easier to do for other people than it has been for our own business. In truth, we do a bunch of different things that are all intended to do one main thing – make you more money (not in the Ebenezer Scrooge sense, but in a healthy, sustainable sense). Communicating that succinctly has been challenging.

In nearly all of our initial meetings, the question of the cost comes up. While this is perfectly normal question, it’s not very helpful in making a decision about retaining our services. In reality, we perform our services and build websites that cost nothing. No, we don’t work for free, but the additional revenue and cost savings we create more than pays for what we charge.

Enter the analogy

Imagine the revenue of your business as a delicious pie (or a pie chart if you have no imagination). To explore the cost issue in this scenario, we’d essentially be asking you to give us a slice of pie. For some businesses, $5-10k might be a significant chunk of that pie, and with pie being so delicious, they don’t want to share. We understand your aversion to pie sharing in this situation…we are businesses owner too and have been asked to share our pie many times. That’s why we became bakers.A slice of pie

Rather than ask for a piece of your existing pie, we help you bake a bigger one. A pie large enough to give us a slice and still have more leftover than the pie you started with.Pie is like the sales of your business

We bake bigger pies

What’s our recipe? Simple, we focus on the result rather than just one or two ingredients like the flour or baking soda (which are not delicious on their own). We combine our ingredients (websites, design, photography, marketing, social media, video production) to bake a delicious pie for your customers.

Now you know what we do.  Anyone hungry?

Order a Pie

Day 22: A New Mission

Day 22: A New Mission

A Little History

For those of you unfamiliar with my (Joe’s) other life, I’ve spent the last 12 years (until Tuesday that is) as an investment adviser helping clients prepare for and maintain their retirement.  While researching investments, I had the opportunity to acquire knowledge about a wide range of topics from a diverse mix of sources. Initially the focus was specific companies, then it expanded and I began to look at entire industries, and ultimately the economy as a whole.  Along the way, I started sense that something was missing; an important piece to the puzzle that was being ignored.

That missing piece was and is local investing.

The Key

Most of the reasons for local investing are beyond the scope of this post, but one important factor is the re-circulation (or local multiplier) rate. The re-circulation rate is one measurement used to determine how long money stays in a community (and gets reused over and over); since the turn of the century it’s fallen from 25-30, to less than 10.  A declining rate is like ajr slowly leaking from a tire, if not fixed it goes flat.  With a city or town, it’s how they lose their vibrancy.  Reversing that trend is why I decided to leave my primary profession and why I bought Workshed with Brian.

How Will That Help?

You might be wondering how a website/ marketing company can help fix the economy.  By working with local businesses and entrepreneurs directly (at Workshed) we are able to see first hand what is working, what is missing, and what’s needed to operate a sustainable (as in earning enough money to stay in business) business. Access to capital is part of that equation, but so is access to the knowledge, wisdom, and experience of others. With every project, we learn a little more about how to make that happen and can share it with past and future clients. So far, we’ve achieved modest success with the client’s we’ve worked with, and our work is positively contributing to their sales!

If you need help with something business related give us a call, we don’t have all the answers, but so far we haven’t been stumped.

But Wait There is More!

And another thing, don’t let cost be an issue. We won’t do a project if we don’t think it will generate a positive return for our clients and we are willing to offer payment arrangement to accommodate most budgets.

GIVE US A CALL