The success of Drive, Eat, Blog campaign saw two old friends from Washington DC embark on a cross-country culinary adventure from their hometown to San Francisco.  Wanting to turn their baking blog into a boutique bakery they needed to conduct necessary research to launch their small business.  Armed with a hungry belly their travel quest spanned local foodies cities including Savannah and Portland, along the way interviewing chefs, unearthing recipes, writing, video blogging and tweeting from coast to coast.

We talk to Julie from Apple Bottom Bakery and ask her six questions:


Q1.  Tell us about your campaign…. your inspiration, goals, why it’s important to you…
Our campaign funded a cross-country road trip focused on researching the most interesting, local bakeries and other foodie destinations across the United States.  As aspiring bakery owners, we used this opportunity to do preliminary research for our own business, Apple Bottom Bakery, by conducting interviews, exploring space concepts, and most importantly, tasting our way from coast to coast.  Our seven week adventure is chronicled daily on our blog.

Q2.  What were your ultimate goals with your funding campaign?  Who should care and why? 
We wanted to raise enough money to go cross-country and back, with the ability to indulge in as many local flavors as possible.  The hope was for this trip to be a shared experience with our readers, and we posted daily on the blog about what we ate, saw, and thought about it all.  The blog not only served to entertain, but also as a guide for those who plan to visit the numerous cities we had the opportunity to tour ourselves first. 

DSC_0125 Q3.  How were you reaching, engaging and involving others?  Share your tactics, please! 
We tried to cast as wide a net as possible in recruiting donors, so we used social media (Facebook & Twitter), as well as email and asked our friends and family to pass along our campaign to anyone and everyone that might be interested.  We put a link to our fundraising campaign on our blog, and told as many people as we could about it.  Use all the social networks you can think of, and get the word out! You'd be surprised at the response you can get from people you don't even know.

Q4.  You're rocking the fundraising on IndieGoGo?  Congrats!  What was working?  What was not working?  
Persistence and consistent communication with funders was key to meeting our goal.  Small gestures like updates, blog and twitter shout outs, hand-written thank you notes, and personalized emails go a long way in creating loyalty and promoting your idea.  Engaging your network of family and friends is an efficient way to spread the word about your campaign as well, as they will work in tandem with you to generate buzz about your unique idea. 

DSC_0332Q5.  Any surprises or especially fun moments during your campaign that you'd like to share? 
The first time we got a donation for our top tier incentive, $500, we were absolutely elated.  We didn't even know if anyone would donate on that level, so when someone did it was one of the most exciting moments of our campaign.  We went on to get three other $500 donations!  However, the first one affirmed for us that we had a good idea and that we were capable of successfully reaching our fundraising goal. 

Q6.  Any tips / advice for other aspiring entrepreneurs, creators and project leaders like yourself?
Be creative with your incentives.  Incentives don't have to cost you any money to be good or attractive to other people, and that way you'll be able to keep almost all of the donation.  People who donate to your campaign do so because they think your idea is good and deserves to succeed, so the best reward you can give them is to raise the money and make it happen!