We have many amazing campaigns on IndieGoGo, and sometimes we are lucky enough to have our campaign owners write a little about their experience and what they have learned through their fundraising efforts. Karen Seiger originally shared her thoughts on her Markets of New York City blog. I wanted to share them with you.
I was amazed and thrilled to exceed the funding goal on my IndieGoGo.com small business crowd funding project, See the Amazing Markets of New York City, to enhance the site with videos and add a whole new dimension to my writing about indie designers, dedicated farmers, and innovative food purveyors. I have purchased the equipment (see photos!), and I am learning more and more about the wonders and possibilities of creating videos.
I knew it would take a lot of effort for my crowd funding project to be successful. I also knew that I did not want to overdo it and cause the community that I’d been building with such care and effort to get tired of seeing emails about it. I sometimes felt that I posted too frequently on Facebook and Twitter. But in retrospect, I think I probably had a bit more leeway. Nobody ever said, “Stop bugging us already!” In fact, it was quite the opposite, and I was overwhelmed by the generosity of the people who contributed, shared the link, or offered a word of support.
I recently took a good look at my stats, which revealed some interesting lessons. Here are the cold, hard numbers:
Funding Goal: $1500
Project Length: 60 Days
Team Members: 0
VIP Perks Offered: 7 (with multiples of most of them)
Updates Posted: 10
Videos I Made with My Still Camera: 5
Videos I Could Actually Post: 3 plus one I borrowed (Thank you, Hester Street Fair!)
Photos Posted: 10
Times I contacted the IndieGoGo Customer Happiness Team: 5
Number of Emails Sent to My Mailing List: 9 to 3 different lists
Frequency of Facebook and Twitter Postings: 3-4 times a week under Markets of NYC, less frequently under my personal account.
And here are the numbers that comprised my project’s success:
Total Funds Raised: $1,690
Exceeded Goal By: 11.25%
Number of Funders: 35
Number of Funders Who Selected VIP Perks: 26
Total Siblings (including In-Laws) Who Contributed: 60%
Contributors Who Are Friends and Colleagues: 91.5%
Smallest Contribution Amount: $20
Largest Contribution Amount: $500 (I was so surprised, and incredibly grateful!)
Five Things I Would Do the Same or Differently for My Next Project:
1. Definitely add team members. IndieGoGo statistics show that projects with teams are significantly more successful.
2. Offer fun perks again. One of my perks was 10 lbs. of Peanut Brittle for a $50 contribution. People loved that one.
3. Do a single really great pitch video from the beginning, rather than 3 just okay ones. It is worth taking the time to get it right once, no matter how many times you flub your lines and need to reshoot! The Drink a Better Soda video includes funny outtakes, which I thought were great!
4. Send out at least one email every week to my mailing list, and even more frequently towards the end of the project. Predictably, the contributions came in clusters in response to emails and personal outreach. They also came in when others shared my link with their communities. And the largest number of contributions, 20%, came in the final four days of the project. So, as I’ve said before, it is important to stay the course till the very end!
5. Work with the IndieGoGo Customer Happiness Team. They are incredibly responsive and helpful – and nice. They know their stuff, and they want our projects to succeed!
I learned a great deal during my project, and I am incredibly grateful for the support I received from friends, family, colleagues, and even strangers. If you have an idea you’d like to fund, consider doing it with others on IndieGoGo.com