That’s it. It’s over.
The guest posts went live, emails sent out, Subscribers gained, subscribers lost.
We didn’t crowdfund the full $100,000 we were looking for, but I believe what we gained is more valuable.
As we were running our crowdfunding campaigning, one of our supporters offered to build diy versions of the camera rigs, someone else offered to put sweat equity into the website, and even Shay, our production guy said he would volunteer his services.
I’m incredibly grateful for this show of support, and it makes me appreciate Josh and my wife Megan even more for believing in my vision.
It’s humbling. 98% of the show’s sponsors are people I’ve never met in real life; blows my mind.
Anyhow, gushing aside – there have been 4 very valuable lessons learned from this crowdfunding campaign.
Much of what you’re about to read is an amalgamation of a long conversation with Linda Lopeke of Smart Start Coach, and my wife, Megan.
The first lesson, we’ll talk about here. The remaining 3 are going to be featured as guest posts for other sites.
Lesson 1 – What’s In It For Me?! – Communicating The Benefits
When I’m working with a client, this is always so easy to see.
However, communicating actual benefits (& not just dressing up features) is hard. Where you work so long assembling the features, it can be very difficult to remember the benefit those features bring.
In many of my communications I focused on “higher production values”, talking about how higher production values allow your brain to subconsciously accept the information.
Problem is, that doesn’t translate horribly well into a tangible benefit.
Something more tangible would have been:
“Your money will help us get better equipment and a full time professional editor.
This means you’ll get more & better marketing lessons, action items to apply to your own online presence, and a show so easy on the eyes, you’d swear you were watching cable.”
Of course, it sounds simple now.
Seriously, What Are The Benefits?
With marketing, it’s always about how it benefits your prospect, right?
Not only in my pitch media did I focus heavily on the “increased production values”, I glossed right over one of the main selling points for the major addition to Season 2, the membership site.
In the video I say the membership site will feature:
- Live Q&As with myself and other experts.
- Discounts on reputable programs.
- A ranking and reward structure for people who take action on their homework.
- And a network of other Inside the Mind viewers.
While all of these are great, this does not highlight the true benefits:
- Free Live Q&A Sessions – Ask people like Johnny Truant, Andrea Vahl, and Corbett Barr any questions you might have about storytelling, Facebook, or traffic building.
- Up to 50% off on social media applications like Buffer Premium, or training like Start A Blog That Matters.
- Get rewarded and recognized for getting major guest posts, hitting traffic benchmarks, and selling more products, all in a community that values hard work over gimmicky tactics.
Share Your Mission.
The main reason I use Richard Simmons as the example is because his mission (and his format) have real staying power. I can’t think of anyone else who has been viable competition for him to date. Whereas fitness figures who’ve sold “ROCK HARD SIX PACK ABS” have been and will always be a dime a dozen.
Involve Your Audience In The Rewards.
While I was generally pretty excited about our rewards tiers, one thing that would have made them sweeter would have been to include more involvement and to better communicate the level of involvement we were actually offering.
For example, the “editor’s tier” at the $1,000 mark offered you LiveStreaming access to our editor while he is putting together the episodes. Well what does that mean, really?
First of all, Shay has his Masters in video production, and has worked on Television shows for Discovery Channel and Travel Network. Second, there are 22 episodes in a season, and I am very demanding as to what goes into into an episode. That means you wouldn’t be learning basic jump cuts and transitions, but how to do animations, work with keyframes and everything it takes to produce a show at a higher caliber. Live. For 22 weeks.
That in itself was pretty cool, but when paired with the Live Stream of the set, you’d see how we set our studio up, learn how to light a scene properly, building a teleprompter, and pretty much all the behind the scenes in live format.
This is what we were already offering (but poorly communicated). If I were to take it a step further, I would have offered cameo appearances, voice overs during animated segments, and camera coaching for those who decided to sponsor at the $1k level.
Not only would the value have been clearer, but the “investment” becomes more than monetary.
And if you’re thinking, “Aw Man! That does sound cool! I wish you would have communicated it better.” We will be offering it again, just not at the same price point.
Like I said though, I am very happy overall.
Even though all of the “benefits” weren’t entirely clear, there were enough people out there who understood where we’re headed.
Sponsorship is nice, but knowing it’s because people believe in you makes it that much sweeter.
If you’ve made it this far, I am honored that you’ve taken the time to become a part of my story.
Please, leave a comment and introduce yourself, and perhaps share one simple thing you’ve learned from an (un)successful campaign. As I’m getting older, I realize that these are the ones that make us wiser and stronger.