Actually, we may be wrong. It might be 95% preparation. Not exaggerating.
I’ve been approached by potential clients who have launched a campaign, are nowhere near their goal and need help. I like to rise to a challenge, but at that point it’s like deciding to quit smoking while you’re in the ambulance. It’s not a bad idea, but it’s not going to save you now.
Crowdfunding has been around for years at this point, and most people are aware of the concept. Missteps in the early days of crowdfunding have unfortunately cast a shadow on the concept for many people in the audience – they were burned on a previous campaign and they aren’t buying into the whole crowdfunding thing ever again.
How did they get burned? Lack of preparation by the campaign creators. (Sure, you’ll always find some dishonest people in any industry, but most issues come from a failure to prepare.)
On the other side of the equation, how do campaign creators fail? Lack of preparation. We’re confident based on our preparation so far (and continuing) that we will hit our goal, so failure is not solely defined by hitting your public goal, but whether your campaign reaches its full potential. This is a business.
So what does preparation consist of?
- Having a working prototype representative of the actual production model
- Having materials/process/procedure/costs/delivery dates (with padding) in place
- Having a significant reachable audience whose interests match your product and its price point
- Having a compelling campaign (video, photos, copy)
- Having an advertising budget and materials ready to go
- Having a press plan and materials ready to go
- Knowing how surveys and upgrades work before you launch
- Having fulfillment figured out (including shipping materials)
Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. You can have a wildly successful campaign, but if you don’t deliver (or deliver late, or deliver a bad product), it may be your last campaign… and we’re in this for the long haul.