This is the second in a series of posts from a first-time crowdfunder – an insider’s perspective of the before, during and after of creating and running a crowdfunding campaign … from the surprises to the challenges to the milestones throughout the life of the campaign from beginning (April 5) to end (May 3). The Boys at Grillin’ and Chillin’ launched their first crowdfunding campaign Tuesday on Kickstarter for The Ultimate BBQ Grill Cleaning Brush – the Grillinator, the world’s first BBQ grill brush that doesn’t completely suck.
THEY REACHED THEIR GOAL IN THE FIRST 12 HOURS. SEE HOW THEY DID IT.
Find the Grillinator on Kickstarter: http://kck.st/1RMuzDT
Wowza!!!! What an incredible launch. Guess what? We hit our goal. We planned to reach our goal in the first day and we were fully funded after just more than 12 hours. Now, it wasn’t easy or magical, but we put in the ground work and figured we’d reach our 1st goal pretty quickly. That, of course, isn’t our ultimate goal, but a pretty big one that felt good to hit. I previously mentioned that we were picked up in a tweet by a pretty strong influencer (and that was a bit of manufactured luck) but our ground work went much further to prime the pump and start us off with a bang. Here is more about what we did:
- We found, researched, interacted and contacted almost 300 blogs that were either related to our products or interested in crowdfunding or both. We did this well in advance of our launch to give us time to share their content on our FB page or comment on their articles and just get into their field of vision. So, we didn’t get a ton of response from the whole list, but the response we did get was helpful, welcomed and appreciated. I think we would do more of that earlier if we had to do it again.
- We scrubbed our personal email lists and sent out more than 500 emails combined. The response from that was much more robust. I wouldn’t change a thing on this … I think it worked like a charm and the surprising thing was that I had people on my list from grade school and they were fired up to help even though we had no current relationship other than social media.
- Our personal emailing blew up on social media. We didn’t ask anyone to buy or back us. We just asked them to share … and boy did they. We made it super easy to share and engaged in everything we saw across the web to keep the buzz going. Once again, people you know are excited to share in the momentum that you build, even people you haven’t seen in awhile, and it made me think of a great story about how I knew the people that were participating. It was a great stroll down memory lane 🙂
- Last but certainly not least, we love FB ads and we hit them hard about a month before launch. This built our list up like crazy and brought new life to our list with people that would be freshly teased once we launched and were looking for our emails. Our open rate was well over 50% on the email blasts that we did with our list and the click rates were anywhere from 10-30%. The thing we learned here was that we might have started that a little early because we started getting feedback that people were tired of waiting. We had a fantastic response from our list.
So … those are some of the key things that we did to get off on the right foot, but we learned some other good “stuff” along the way.
- We started getting love directly from the platform, but most of the getting to the goal was driven by what we did. We wanted to show that we could bring our own mojo without any help or begging for help 🙂 . We expected to get a little more help before, but now we are getting support because we’ve shown strong success out of the gate. Hitting that Day One goal is very important.
- After we hit our goal, we hit another 60-some bloggers to “brag” about our success. That definitely piques interest because it’s no longer about needing something from them, but it’s about look at how fantastic we are … you’re gonna want to get in on the action. Let’s face it, we’re all looking for engaging content and we now could bring that to the table.
- There is an EMAIL AVALANCHE that crushes your system. So, be prepared. This is good and bad. The good is we are getting offers from everywhere for help and support. This is friends, people we know, family and people that genuinely want to help. The bad news is we are getting “offers” from everywhere for “help and support.” These are people that see our success and offer to “help” us as long as we pay for their help 😉 . Just be ready to have to filter through all of this and find the gems.
- The first 24 hours were incredible, but the campaign is still up for the rest of the month. Momentum slows after that first rush. We are now working on cross-promoting, engagement contests, viral sharing, updates to our campaign, a whole different FB ad campaign and kicking around new ideas that weren’t a part of our initial ideas. So, we have a plan in place to keep the ball rolling once it starts because our external traffic piece of the pie is shrinking and our internal piece of the pie is growing because we show success and ongoing engagement.
Well, what’s the point of all of this regurgitation of data? Does it seem like a lot of work? It is. Get help and you will be helped. As the Nike ads say, “Just Do It!”. We didn’t start as experts, but we knew some things and took action and made it happen. The “how to do it” is out there a thousand fold. The belief in “we can do it” and “we will do it” is the secret. You don’t have to be a tech guru or a marketing wiz. As I said last time, find your voice and use it. There are other people out there that think like you and want to hear you and what you have to say. Pour some passion into it and now you’re cookin with gas!!!!
Now go grill something!!
–Brad and The Rest of the Boys at Grillin’ and Chillin’
“If life gives you limes, make margaritas” — Jimmy Buffett
READ FIRST ENTRY IN SERIES:
Diary of a First-Time Crowdfunder: Countdown to Day ONE