The Silicon Slopes Consumer Chapter held the October event last week with a topic of How to Crowdfund Your Next Product. The panel included three crowdfunding veterans: Jacob Durham, Owner and Co-Founder of Nomatic; Bryce Fisher, CEO of Ravean; and Aaron Novak, Owner of Matix Labs. Combined, they have raised or worked on campaigns that have raised millions of dollars. If you couldn’t attend, here are some key takeaways.
Timing is important. Kickstarter’s best time to launch is between June – Aug (so you can have a delivery date by Christmas) and so you aren’t competing with Black Friday or holiday hangovers. Exceptions include seasonal items like Ravean’s heated jacket.
Kickstarters are usually best for products for men ages (25-35) unless you bring in an audience or following that will come to Kickstarter. It’s a much more crowded space, so it can be much more challenging to stand out. When it comes to Kickstarter versus Indiegogo, Kickstarter is best for the campaign and Indiegogo once the campaign has wrapped up. More below.
You must have a good video highlighting your product. Also, having a big email list is critical as virality alone is difficult. Plan on spending 10-30% of your raise target on marketing.
Understand your costs before launching. Shipping costs can be absorbed for domestic sales, but international shipping and VAT will kill you. Be explicit if shipping is extra.
Big mistakes can be a brand killer so plan for success or beware angry feedback.
During the Campaign
Facebook (and Instagram) ads are the best way to market a campaign while it’s active. If the product is sufficiently unique, a good PR campaign can help create buzz. Facebook retargeting isn’t possible, but you can with your own ads.
After the Campaign
There are significant opportunities to make revenue after the campaign is finished. Kickstarter has a better audience, but Indiegogo is great when the Kickstarter campaign is over. Redirect the campaign to your website or Indiegogo for instant purchase. You must be aware that many merchant services don’t like pre-orders, so Indiegogo can be the best option. Finally, if you say you will deliver by Christmas, do it or face the wrath of angry customers and potential brand damage.
This was a great event with great insights. It happens every month with details found at the Silicon Slopes Consumer Chapter page. We will be there and hope you are too.