Crowdfunding is definitely harder than I thought.
1. "I HAVE A GREAT IDEA"
For those entrepreneurs out there who think that you can come up with a kick-ass idea, post it on Kickstarter, and make millions of dollars, you are wrong. Dead wrong. You're better off buying a lottery ticket.
2. "ONCE I LAUNCH, PRESS WILL FOLLOW"
Unless you have created a hover board or the Delorian from Back to the Future, then press will not follow. Reaching out and pitching to press starts months in advance. I have spoken with numerous founders and CEOs who have launched successful Kickstarter campaigns and every single one said that they began emailing and calling press way in advance so that their first few days on Kickstarter would be epic. Do whatever you have to do. Offer them samples, exclusives, or even to walk their dog.
3. "CROWD FUNDERS WILL BACK IT"
Every entrepreneur believes their product is the end all and be all. A lot of people think that when you launch a campaign, the rest is up to the crowdfunding community. That could not be further from the truth. There is no doubt that the crowdfunding community plays a major role, but in order for a campaign to really kill it, you will need your family and friends. Well over 50% of our pledges have come from close family and friends. Without them, we will not succeed. Your network is paramount. If they pledge, thank them immediately as they are keeping you afloat.
4. "Our Video is Sweet Though"
Videos are great and definitely important, but if you have a product that no one really wants, then they are not going to spend their hard earn money on it, unless they love you. Shares are great but in the end you have to convert that to sales, which is why pretty much everyone on the team turns into a salesman. In fact, I have seen some pretty boring videos get well funded because they really connected with their target market. Sales is one of the hardest jobs in the world, but every business has to do it.
5. "We got this in the bag"
Nothing is ever set in stone. At one point we contemplated setting our goal for $100k because we thought it would be easy. After doing a lot of research, we found that our chances of getting funded went down tremendously for goals higher than $9,999. We decided that $20,000 would be the minimum we needed and went with that goal. There are so many minor things that can influence your success. Apparently, Tuesday mornings at 9am are an optimal time to launch a campaign, while things like hardware have a higher rate of success over food and beverages. Also, you got to have creative and fun rewards as people definitely want some value for their buck. Our team included things like launch tickets, and pro sporting events to keep it interesting.
You can never guarantee success, but you can put yourself in the best possible position for it. Our campaign is trending well over its goal, we have already been named a Kickstarter Staff Pick, and we are the #1 Drink on Kickstarter, but until it actually reaches its goal, nothing is certain. All we can continue to do is control the control-ables. Film a great video, design a clean concise page, create awesome rewards, build your audience through social media, and have a cool product with a great team. Do this and you got a chance.
To increase our chances, visit our TRUEnergy Kickstarter page and pre-order today. We appreciate every single pledge and it goes a long way.