Foundr Magazine Podcast | Learn From Successful Founders & Proven Entrepreneurs, The Ultimate StartUp Podcast For Business

Simon Griffiths sat down for what he believed in and, it turned out, parking it on a toilet was an epic marketing win for a good cause.

Griffiths and the team behind Who Gives a Crap toilet paper employed a clever stunt in which they livestreamed their co-founder sitting on a toilet until they reached their crowdfunding goal, and it worked. The company gives half of its profits to charity to increase access to toilets and sanitation in developing countries.

But it takes more than a good cause and a good marketing ploy to have a successful crowdfunding campaign. The team also relied on thorough preparation and consistent messaging to blow away their goal.

Griffiths and his co-founder Jehan Ratnatunga did a first take on their video in January 2012, hoping to launch soon after. But they realized that it wasn’t quite what they wanted, so they went back and tried again, even taking the time to get advice from an ad firm in Melbourne.

The video wasn’t the only thing they had to prepare. The team wanted to be sure that their campaign would be a coherent, quality whole, and if that meant delaying the launch so that they would have time to refine things, that was OK.

“We thought we’d go live in February or March, and then it just kept on getting continuously pushed back, and then it wasn’t until July that the campaign did go live,” Griffiths says.

They were only working on the campaign part-time during the preparation phase, and it ended up taking six months for all of their ideas to come together in a way that they were happy with. Preparing an effective campaign isn’t like heating up a microwave dinner. It’s more like cooking a multi-course feast. It takes time.

In this episode you will learn:

  • What makes your campaign newsworthy and why people should care
  • How to make your campaign as shareable as possible
  • Why the first 24 hours are the most important in any crowdfunding campaign
  • Kickstarter or Indiegogo. How to pick the one that works for you
  • How to keep your message consistent across every media channels
  • & much more!
Direct download: FP119_Simon_Griff.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:38pm AEDT

The Canary team didn’t start their company with crowdfunding. In fact, they had been working on the idea for roughly a year before turning to Indiegogo.

“We decided that crowdfunding would be a great way for us to validate the market a little bit,” says Jon Troutman, co-founder of the company, which offers networked home security systems.

It took the team about a month and a half to plan and prepare the campaign, but Troutman notes that they had already developed a voice for their brand and a story for their product. They didn’t devote as much time to preparation as some campaigns because they could already picture the puzzle. They just had to fit the pieces together.

And getting users involved in the process would be key to doing so. After working on Canary for a whole year, they needed an outside view. “What we’re building is so much about filling a need for people, that it felt weird to go too far into product development without bringing more people into the process,” Troutman says.

One of the great things about crowdfunding is that it lets the market decide in real time whether or not to validate your idea. In Canary’s case, it did.

In this episode you will learn:

  • The right way to communicate your message to your audience
  • Where to go when you're looking for expert help
  • How to analyse the competition and what you can learn from doing so
  • What questions you need to ask yourself before you launch your campaign
  • How much time you need to devote to your campaign in order for it to be successful
  • & much more!
Direct download: FP118_Jon_Troutman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:59am AEDT

A team of doctors and engineers wanted a safer alternative to Q-Tips, so they created it. By understanding where potential users were coming from and staying on point with the idea that their product could alleviate those pains, the Oto-Tip gained the funding it needed to go big.

The lesson from Oto-Tip is, before you start any crowdfunding campaign, you must know how your project will improve people’s lives, and you must explain it in a way that resonates emotionally with potential backers. In this week's episode, Lily Truong, co-founder of Oto-Tip and manager of its crowdfunding campaign, explains how they did it.

“My key question I wanted to ask myself was … ‘Why would someone need this? Why would backers resonate with the story? What pain point are you really solving?’” Crowdfunding campaigns can reach their goals when they offer a clear way to deal with common struggles people experience.

In the case of Truong’s campaign, Q-tips, cotton swabs, ear sticks, they all shove wax deeper into your ear, make you itch, and can even puncture your eardrum. The Oto-Tip offers another, far less irritating approach to earwax.

It all goes back to that pitch: Look, there’s a problem, but here’s a way to fix it. Find out how your own campaign can tap into people’s emotions and offer a solution.

In this episode you will learn:

  • The importance of getting feedback before you even entertain the thought of crowdfunding something
  • How to figure out the best media platforms to reach your audience
  • Why you need a strong story and how to create one that works for you
  • The good, the bad, and the ugly when working with PR firms
  • Awesome hacks you can do with LinkedIn to boost your Kickstarter campaign
  • & much more!
Direct download: FP117_Lily_Truong.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:26am AEDT

The problem Eskil Nordhaug wanted to solve for people was simple. Videos taken with smartphones or small cameras are notoriously shaky.

So he simply looked at the needs. He asked himself what it would take to build a company selling a mechanical video stabilizer that exceeded expectations—the kind of product consumers needed, the amount of money he would need, the coverage help press outlets needed, the info his project page would need. 

The result was StayblCam, and it was precisely this needs-focused approach that led to a smash-hit Kickstarter campaign and the successful company that followed.

Nordhaug says that the same principle can guide the way for any great crowdfunding campaign. “The most successful ones, generally speaking, are the ones that, there’s a need for it,” he says. “It solves a problem. It’s not just some fancy, weird thing that’s made for the sake of being made.”

Crowdfunding appeals to ordinary people with limited funds, so they can’t back every project that breezes by. When people see your product, you don’t want them to shrug and think it’s neat. You want them to whip out their credit card and ask, “When can I get one?” If your product solves a problem that’s long-pestered people, they’re likely to do that.

Don’t make something that people will want in on—make something that people need in on. Nordhaug shared with Foundr this golden piece of advice, and so many more related to running a successful fundraising campaign.

“It’s about creating value for users,” Nordhaug says.

In this episode you will learn:

  • Why you need to start working on your campaign months before you even launch
  • The correct way to figure out what funding goal you should aim for
  • The best way to contact press outlets and start getting media mentions
  • Paids ads. How and why you should use them
  • What a great Kickstarter landing page looks like
  • & much more!
Direct download: FP116_Eskil_Nordhaug.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:57am AEDT

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