Selling a product that you actually do not even have yet, and doing it intensively for 40 days in a row is definitely not an easy task, and even though we did not reach our full goal in Indiegogo I am brave enough to say that actually we did quite well with our crowdfunding campaign- 221 people (all of them can be seen here) who chose to trust and believe in us!
I have never run a marathon, but I would imagine that it feels kind of the same as running a crowdfunding campaign- long time for preparations (a whole lot more than I would have thought), then you really push everything out of yourself to power through and finally the feeling of accomplishment when you reach that 42 km mark...
Have to have those nose-plucking days
We started with more focused preparations for our Indiegogo campaign about 3 months before the launch date- main message, video, perks, social media materials, finding ambassadors to spread the message, press releases… And when we were at the target launch date I was ready to go. At least I thought so. And then we decided to wait a little more. To think things through. To be sure that nothing is missing. To make sure our first sentence of the pitch is perfect. After all, we are out of the corporate life where the clock is always ticking and to do something by the right time is more important than to do it well. I can never tell what the result of our campaign would have been without this extra week, but for sure the additional week made the whole thing a lot less stressful.
We ran our crowdfunding campaign for 40 days straight. During this time we sent 45 Instagram posts, 32 Facebook posts, 11 YouTube videos and probably hours full of Instagram stories out to the world. And that’s excluding all the posts each of us made on our personal networks. Some of these posts were great, some of them were good and some were just fine, but they were all there, reminding everyone that there is a crazy bunch of people with the goal of reviving tea fields in Georgia and every post reached at least someone who had somehow missed the previous 30. So for anyone who is planning a crowdfunding campaign- don’t be afraid to post a lot. Try to keep the pictures fun and texts slightly different though- the first audience for all posts is mostly the same circle of devoted fans and you probably don’t want to spam them.I’d like to take this moment to thank all of my friends in Facebook (and I am sure all the other Renegades join me in this), for bearing with us with the constant flow of post in this 40-day Indiegogo marathon! Thank you all- we really did try our best in finding the balance between quality and quantity! My grandmother, for example, had to see probably over 50 posts related to our campaign and she devotedly liked each and every one of them.
Somehow in my head, I thought that getting our topic to spread is going to be a piece of cake- we just need to make a few great posts, find bloggers and Instagrammers whose topic relates to ours, introduce our great plan and voilà! Came out though that even if you have a great cause it might not always work that well for several reasons. Maybe the blogger was in a bad mood when they read the letter, or the letter didn’t go through at all, because you have been marked as a spam robot due to all the almost similar letters you are sending out. Or maybe the blogger was super happy to collaborate but dropped out after realising that you can’t actually send free tea yet. All of this and more happens. Still, I am super glad we tried our best and didn’t give up- many great collaborations and new friends, even with only a few per cent success rates. For anyone who is interested in numbers- we addressed a few hundred people around the world.
Over 3,500 shares for our Indiegogo campaign! 😱
All the love from the tea community
Talking about bloggers and Instagrammers, I would not have believed that we will get such a warm welcoming from the tea community! Seemed that news travel super fast and the support we got was beyond all hopes. The help from this side was far beyond financial- cheering for us and helping to share the message is even more valuable! Special greetings to all the people from the Netherlands are adequate at this point! It’s one thing when people who know you believe in you and your abilities to do something, but it gets to a new dimension when people who don’t know anything about you choose to support your cause and push you forward.
So like in a marathon- it looks like you are running alone, but actually, every step is powered by many people who support you on the way. One big difference between our crowdfunding project and running a marathon though- after one is finished I am not looking forward to another. I just want to continue on the same track, maybe with a slightly different activity. Let’s call it a Renegade-ultra-triathlon. 40 days of Indiegogo done, building the factory and producing some tea coming up!
Full steam ahead! 😉