Asking for money (or help for that matter) has never been something I liked to do. I’m a “If you want it done right, do it yourself” kind of gal, and while this makes me busy all the time and stressed most the time, it has gotten me through a lot of hurdles in my life.
So when it came time to expand my company, Cooper Door Coffee Roasters, I knew I needed bank help to get the funds necessary to purchase equipment, secure a lease, and hire employees. The problem in asking for help is that you don’t always get it, and I didn’t. As a stay-at-home mom, banks didn’t see me as a good investment. My family doesn’t have a well of financial resources to draw from, so I was left looking at crowd funding to get the money needed to make my business happen. Checkout my Kickstarter page here.
Here are the top 10 things I’ve learned about running a successful (hopefully-I have 3 days to go) Kickstarter campaign:
1. It is all or nothing. While this offers great motivation and a sense that every dollar does matter, it can be stressful to watch the numbers daily.
2. Having a good video matters. You want it to be relatable but not too personal. You’re getting people to invest in your business, not your personal life.
3. Rewards are important. Think of people who might want to invest that aren’t in your community and have something that can be shipped.
4. Not everyone will want a reward. You can get backers who just want to support you, so don’t feel obligated to give them something, anything, if they don’t really want it.
5. Social media works. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, will get your message out!
6. Pull on secondary resources. I got promotions from outside my circle of friends by asking my customers in the industry to send out my link. When Barista Magazine blogged about me, my campaign reached thousands of people around the world.
7. Be relentless. Don’t worry about annoying people with your campaign. Most of us get busy and forget about something until it is in front of us consistently
8. Keep it up to date. Posting live videos and updating rewards to meet your backers is perfect for keeping them engaged.
9. Up the ante. Having an “increase” your pledge bonus might just get you over the hump.
10. Don’t take it personally. This one is hard, so I guess I’m saying it myself too.
**UPDATE: After the 30 day roller coaster, I was fully funded and fully grateful. $10,185 pledged from 146 backers; that is actually $185 over my goal! Now, there is a two week processing time before the funds are available. Of course, Kickstarter takes 5% as their fee, and Amazon takes about the same for their processing fees. Every dollar given will be put right back into the business, so I am so thankful to all 148 people who backed my dream.
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