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Launch a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign

Lesson 3 of 20

Is Crowdfunding Right for Me & My Project?

Christopher Hawker

Launch a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign

Christopher Hawker

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Lesson Info

3. Is Crowdfunding Right for Me & My Project?

Lesson Info

Is Crowdfunding Right for Me & My Project?

Crowd funding is an amazing, amazing tool and I strongly recommend it, but you want to go in with your eyes open about what could possibly make it more challenging for you in the future. So let's, talk about whether or not crowdfunding is right for you and your project, so you've got a project going on you're trying to side, sir, I'm not gonna take a little survey of you guys here in the audience and find out where you at with crowd funding, so I guess, why don't you there's this four of you? So I'm going to find out what's your status here you're working on a crowdfunding campaign tip or you thinking about running a campaign? What's your steps? I'm working on a crowdfunding campaign right now, and I'm actually just podcasting through my whole process so I can keep up with it because it's so complicated as you mentioned. So I'm just like talking to other people who are podcasts and doing that, but I'm in the beginning stages and just kind of starting over and what kind of product you o...

r is that it started it's in the health and fitness niche, so it is a proud is the hardware all right? And have you run a campaign before this year? First campaign? I've run the campaign before us, but this will be my second campaign and I'm just excited to do it because this just seems like the landscape is changing so quickly and I'm learning about the things that you're presenting here and he did such a great way so so well, like I've never I've been following kickstarter and indiegogo, but just to see what you presented so far has been just been amazing to kind of break it down to make it easier to understand, but all right, thank you and suzanne what's your story, right? So I am a digital marketing consultant and social media strategist I'm also a musician so many my clients have been twenty with crowd funding and how to use social media to get people and how to do that, and I really kind of in helping them scale back and really having them focus on e mailing, but I hope you get to that, but my own personal music is being crowd funded through patriot, which is a different model it's ongoing it's, it's really funding per product for pert like song released rather than just for an album, but I have worked with, uh I've worked with the client who's launching a jewelry line I've worked with the client who's, trying to open up a physical store credit from in in crowdfunding site indiegogo kickstarter that have also worked with a few journalism projects crowd funding for journalism work so I'm getting the whole kind of specter, yeah, yeah, and I'm working with so many different platforms, and I just wanted, like, scale back, and now that I'm doing my own it's, giving a new perspective to all of all of this, so I'm trying to get a broad sense of everything so I can help my clients as well as myself that's a good point that you made patriot, and then they're like, they're literally dozens and dozens of platforms, some of which are very specialized, and some of which are our broader so people are familiar with kickstarter and indiegogo, you know, and kick starter in particular, but then there's actually, like, you know, literally hundreds of platforms, and some of them are very good, depending on what you're doing for special, specific types of prizes, right specifically for creators to keep creating that, then just one project, patriot, actually is really helpful and also in the journalism field, if you're trying to do many stories and want to fund them, that kind of model is helpful, but you're trying to launch products or trying to get an album together trying to do film just makes more sense to do like big project, all right, thank you and marie, hi, um, I have never done a crowd a funding campaign but I'm a little bit like you, and I'm always I've got a million ideas of, like physical things and, like aps and all these ways to improve life, and I don't necessarily think that I want to do all of them, so but I'm always like just someone else could do it or or if I could spend some time making this one thing, but yeah, I'm always thinking about inventions, but I'm also thinking about, like, software to help our everyday lives and websites, and so I thought it would be a good idea toe I fear I gotta see if the supplies exactly. All right, well, that's, what we're gonna cover right now and, you know, so my wife has founded a rainwater harvesting a company where she's creating models to collect rainwater, okay? And we're in the prototyping phase right now, and by the end of this year we wanted launch a crowd funding campaign, so we've talked tio just consumers about the interest in the product and, you know, there's people that have open their wallet and given us a credit card. So we think this might be a platform that were worked for us, but I wanted to learn more and out of set it up, and I think now that we're in the prototype face it's good time to plan for the campaign yeah, perfect time perfect time and you really just as a note for us when we decide to run a campaign we like a three to four month runway like where we start working on the campaign to the time we launch and we can do it in a shorter time frame but the longer you have to prepare into your pre marketing get all the pieces right the more successful you're likely to be so you set up set yourself up for success it's not a small endeavor that you should just do casually like oh let's just get this thing out but doing it right dramatically impacts the scale and likelihood of your success so the timing is perfect. All right, well, thanks for sharing your some online stories. We have people joining from all over the place I want to get some shout outs you have dwayne was watching in new york city miss lily and signs are both joining from the uk. Sandy is in florence, italy do you priest us joining from rio de janeiro, brazil marlene says hi from the netherlands I'm planning to do a crowdfunding campaign for a card deck that I made it's a deck to set an intention every morning for people in recovery wired and fired is the name the chat room he says I'm trying to raise money to build a ball field for little league and time capsule says, I'm trying to find a way to raise money, to go to trade shows where a small company and we need help to get the word out to retailers. And michaela, who says, I'm running a campaign to launch a line of organic, gluten free and vegan skin care. All right, great stories, I mean, that's, great and that's. One of the great things about crowdfunding is the diversity of projects that people are up to and the fact that there are collated into, like, a nice area so you can see all the different projects that people are trying to launch. So that's awesome. Thanks for sharing everybody. So, first off, common misconceptions about crowd from me, first and foremost, it's, easy money. So there's this idea that some people are like throwing up a campaign and it's blowing up, and these people are making lots of money, and it was like, easy success. Well, the truth is the vast majority of the major successes where the result of a massive amount of effort and over an extended period of time, occasionally there are, in fact cases where people just threw something up and it went viral. And by luck, it went crazy. The potato salad guy, actually, yeah, he actually I know him. He lives in columbus, so we know each other and he's super great guy and he put up a funny thing about potato salad and it ended up raising fifty thousand over fifty thousand dollars, which they ended up giving to charity and it, you know, is something of an accent, but it was actually a very intentional like he created he put a lot of energy into creating a beautiful campaign once the campaign took off like take took over his life for a while as he was running the campaigns a full time job. So it's not easy money it's something that you have to cause to happen, you have to put a lot of effort into it and the next misconception is just build it and they will come. So this is the question at the very beginning of the class that we talked about, people put up their campaign and then it's like day three and they've gotten zero contributions because they just threw it up there and I thought they just had to put it up on the platform and then it would happen. Well, it doesn't just happen automatically just because they're on the site, you have to drive traffic there, you have to catch people's attention and we're going great detail on how you caused that to happen, but it's not just build it, they will come, and then the last current misconception going around is people still seeing it? Is the domain exclusively of like small time start ups, so big corporations air getting involved quickly? They took notice when pebble raised ten million dollars from coolest raised thirteen million dollars. Believe me, there's, not a corporation on the planet that isn't seriously thinking about crowdfunding. Indiegogo just announced indiegogo enterprise to specifically work with large corporations on running crowdfunding campaigns, and my firm is working with several larger corporations people you've heard of to run crowdfunding campaigns for them because of all these benefits of the pros of running a crowdfunding campaign, the market validation it caused, the bigger your company is, the more cost you the launch products. But g e has run a campaign on a nice maker and sony's run some campaign, so this is quickly becoming just like the internet. You know start off is like a friend's thing for researchers and scientists, and then became a huge economic beast. Well, crowdfunding start off is a way to in power artists, and it will always be that but it's also a way for consumers to vote on what gets to exist and corporations are getting involved quickly. So if you're thinking about crowd funding the project, the way you can decide of crowd funding is right for you first of all is if your products are a fit, which we're going to spend time on in a minute, but first of all you got to be passionate about it. This isn't something you can do casual, you've got to be committed it's not easy, it's challenging it takes a lot of times you want to be excited about it passionate about it, not casual secondly, you'd be willing to put in the time and the money there's a lot of things that need to be done, you can do things on a shoe straining can enroll people in working for you for free, but you really got to be committed to getting people involved gotta love collaborating it takes a team it's not something you'll be able to do with yourself if you're alone wolf crowdfunding is not for you, you have to have the resource is and wherewithal to do it right meaning if you don't have the money, you have to be willing to either find it toe higher that like a video crew or you have to be able and have the personality willingness to enroll people in working for you for free for a piece of the action or just because they love you so that's just take that will power, and lastly, you have to be open to feedback about your idea you're putting yourself out there publicly. Some people don't want to hear a negative feedback. Well, if you've got thin scanning and I prepared for it, then crowd funding is not for you, because it's definitely part of the game very briefly. I want to talk about just products in general, not specifically crowdfunding. What makes for a great product in the world at large for star? Almost best ideas come from your personal experience, not from ideas you think are going to make money problems product ideas that don't solve your own problem. And then you know, the reality that there are other people like you. Second of all you want, we talk about the perfect product pyramid innovation function to design the innovation is like the basis you got have something better than what's currently exist, and we talked about instantly recognizable benefits. It can't be something that takes a lot of explanation, but people see it and they get it right away, so they're like, oh, onion goggles so I don't cry when I chop onions, now you get it, I didn't have to spend ten minutes explaining that to thirdly, the function has toe work great when people get it, they have to be pleased. If they're disappointed, they'll tell their friends if they're pleased they won't, but at least they won't tell their friends that they were disappointed they want more five star reviews to the product has to work well and lastly, a design that's a mostly engaging there's, a lot of noise and if people see the problem, why did nest blow up? You know, it wasn't just because the functionality was because it created a super emotionally engaging experience for consumers. So the perfect product chairman you have all three of those things and you're paying attention to them, then that's what's going to create a successful product and we like to talk about value density meaning in crude, improved value density over options from other products, meaning you're getting more value for your dollar it's not cheaper. The nest isn't cheaper, but it throws someone's value into it because of the consumer experience and because of the design and because of those features that has that you're no longer even looking at it in the same scale as he used to look at thermostats so valued dense the ultimately is the key to why a product is successful, not low cost but increased value this it could be lower cost the same value, different things so and then lastly, it's within your means we say like not every idea is an economic opportunity so just because you have a great idea doesn't mean it's an economic opportunity if it's going to cost you a million dollars to develop and you don't have a million dollars so like there are a lot of great ideas that I have for space travel, but those aren't my economic opportunities, my economic opportunities there for like quickies, I can handle that like we decided to a remote control airplane carbon fiber airplane you saw earlier that was like, barely in our comfort zone, and it certainly has stretched us to our maximum capacity. So for crowd funding, you got to go to the next level because product is king the product. Ultimately, you can have the best campaign in the world, but if people don't like your product, it doesn't matter and that's one of the great advantages of crowd funding this could help you find out if people care, but ultimately you've got to have a product that appeals to people on what appeals to people in crowdfunding is sexy sex appeal. People are buying toys they're pre paying, they don't want problem solvers, they don't want things that are super practical, they don't want a new broom, they want stuff that they're excited about having because either emotionally engaging like a rain collector might work really well because the target on its is very passionate about it. Like stuff, but stuff that's focused on niches and hobbies where people are passing it about it or stuff that's a super cool and looks good, so it can't just be super cool intellectually, they have to see it and get it that it's cool right away so it's gotta have great design. So that's really what flies that emotional appeal that taps into desire, and the product needs to be ready to go, meaning you have to have a good functioning prototype if you just have referenda rings of it. It's not gonna work, so the product has to be at a certain level of readiness, meaning demonstrably compelling prototype people do campaigns where they're not that far ahead. Typically they don't do well, but you're also taking a huge risk, because now you got to deliver on something that you haven't really proven. So you want to park to be ready to go with a great working prototype before you crowdfunded, and then the next thing is that you want to make sure you're the coast is clear in the terms of the market in the patent landscape. So people, ninety five percent of the people, one hundred percent of people who come into our office there like I've got this idea, and I promise you it's unique, I've looked everywhere. And it doesn't exist already and seventy five percent of them are one hundred percent wrong in often we could find out in like ten minutes I'll turn around let me just check that I mean, that product right there you know they're like what I swear I looked so have you guys heard of confirmation bias? Okay, so confirmation bias is like you look for proof of your foregone conclusion so I know it doesn't exist when I'm looking and doing my research online I'm looking to prove that the thing doesn't exist well, you need to look to prove that it does exist so it's like I just saw it at the store so I know it exists now I'm coming home, looking for it online if it doesn't show up in the first search then I'm going to get like, try more searches and get more creative and search and search the surface search because I know it exists I saw it in the store you need to search like that not like oh, it didn't show up on the first base coast is clear so you gotta look also not just that the marketplace but you gotta look the patents because even though a lot of people are like wow patents that's old fashioned until someone sues you and that's not old fashioned that's still very invoke and people will soon you if they're violating their patent and so you need to be able to look at the patent base there any of you have any of you looked at google dot com slash patents? He spent some time so patents air a super important piece of developing products and actually one of the bonus materials to get with this class is our patent one oh one video siri's which is something that you get with her two thousand dollars deep dive trident sue hire us to do a deep dive where we do market research and pat research and get a video siri's that educates you on patents and that will come with this course and the just gonna walk you through the basics you have a work, the knowledge of patents and how to search them and how to search google marketplace the way we do it when people pay us that money to do the searching so that you could be confident before you spent all the rest of the time energy and money that you're not going get sued at the end of it that your huge success becomes a huge drama for you. So in patents are widely misunderstood people think that their armor they're not armor their sword meaning they're not something that passively protects you have to use them actively to enforce them and it's not just a sort of very, very heavy sword, meaning they're extremely expensive toe wheeled and you had to be prepared and understand what it looks like to enforce them and be educated in intellectual property law, at least at a basic working level and how to read and understand patents if you're going to play in the space of products because it is an essential piece of information for people in that space, and I'm shocked truly shocked at the number of people who come in who never once looked at it and won't take the time to educate themselves even a little bit about this super important area. And I'm a huge believer in patents and the value they bring to encourage innovation in the world is kind of a controversial topic these days, but I'm clearly on the side of strong patent protection, too incentivized innovation. What does it take to win? How do you win at crowdfunding? Let's say you've decided it's right for you, your products perfect. This is what you're going to do, and you're moving forward. So now you know what's the recipe for success? Well, first of all, you have to cause it to happen and then starts with your own personal network, so the first day of the campaign you need to have a big success because that creates the momentum that carries through the whole rest of the campaign and we're gonna go into great detail on that but you have to be willing to activate your personal network meeting calling on favors reaching out to people aggressively and enrolling them in your vision so ultimately there's a lot of doing we're in cover a lot of things that you get to do but there's a lot more important thing which is who you're being you gotta be excited be committed be enrolling so that when people hear you there like I want to be a part of whatever he's up to or she's up to so it's not just in the doing this stuff but how you're being while you're doing it so that people are excited and enrolled and your vision and they make it their vision like I want to see this product exist and I'm going to back it and I'm going to promote it so you can't just like hey do me a favor and do it but like you got to take the time to explain to him why you're doing it and how it's going to benefit them and how it's part of your vision for your life such that they want to support you and put the time and really focus on getting people excited about you like a ground team who's supporting you in creating your vision because this is your dream, this isn't something you should do casually or if it's, just a little side project is something your focusing a lot of energy and for a big push to give yourself on opportunity and give the world an opportunity to benefit from whatever it is you're creating third putting in the time this is a full time job for several months, getting ready and then pushing it into production, the campaign and then getting the thing passed through. You've got to be willing to put in that time if you're trying to do a casually on the side again, it's not going work, so you'd be willing to put in the time you have to have an attractive financial model. So a lot of people come up with great ideas, but they don't really want to take the time to look at the numbers and make sure it's going to work. So we're gonna look at some financial analysis a little later, how to look at your goal setting and make sure that there's money to be made and what you're doing, because in order to put a lot of energy into something you want to make sure there's a good chance is gonna pay off what you don't want to do is end up in the situation where the more you sell the more money you lose because they're selling at a loss because he didn't really understand the finances finances so anyhow, your I want to make sure that you have a proper attractive financial model and if you are yourself the person to establish that and one of the people you'll get to find and enrolling your team is someone who's good at that and so you khun do the analysis make sure it makes sense to move forward and you can confidently invest time, energy and money into it and then lastly preparation what it takes to win his preparation, spending a lot of time on the front and getting ready to do it right your question yeah, I had a question the first bullet point actually talked to a lot of clients about activating the personal network who haven't had that kind of personal network that maybe can of ford, you know, some some upcoming folks who may not be as connected do you have any tips for people to grow that personal network that they needed to put in place to start a crowdfunding campaign? Yeah, in another lesson, we're gonna hit on that extensively, so absolutely we'll get some tips and at you know, at the end of the day start now start now building out your network networking is super valuable part of success and any endeavor that you're doing in your life absolutely so take the time now to start reaching out and making connections with people in networking. But we'll get into more detail on that a little while. There's. Other ways. People don't support you other than just financially. So we'll spend a little time on that.

Class Description

Crowdfunding is becoming a more widespread way for passionate entrepreneurs to fund their projects, and yet the process of creating a campaign that engages, sells, and excels can be overwhelming. Now is the time to learn how to do it right in Launch a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign with Christopher Hawker. Chris has been so successful crowdfunding that his first campaign was funded 5538% over its goal.

Chris and his team have brought dozens of products to market – setting records in fundraising and earning accolades in The New York Times, Fast Company, and TechCrunch. In this class, Chris will help you develop a winning strategy for each and every stage of the crowdfunding process – from ensuring your product or idea is ready, to choosing the right platform to launching, maintaining, and marketing a campaign. Not only do you get the incredibly valuable financial calculator bonus material that breaks down the numbers for so you can figure out the exact dollar amount for your campaign goal and campaign perks. 

You will also learn how to:

  • Develop, set and reach your funding goals 
  • Craft a compelling campaign page to help sell your idea 
  • Make a compelling video and build buzz on social media
  • Attract new backers and develop stand-out marketing for your campaign 

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a designer, an inventor, or an artist, this class will help you give you the strategies and tactics as well as the confidence you need to make your campaign a huge financial success.


Dyan deNapoli

Really helpful class for anyone planning to launch a crowdfunding campaign! Christopher was a great presenter (very comfortable and relaxed), and he clearly knew the topic extremely well. His presentation was very thorough and well thought out. One thing I would've like to have seen is more questions taken from the virtual audience. There were quite a few on the thread, but the moderator only passed along a few of them to Christopher to answer. Another thing that would have been very helpful is advice about creating successful crowdfunding campaigns that are for projects or experiences or ideas, rather than for physical products (which this class was focused on). Maybe Christopher can do a short crowdfunding part II class?? But I still give this class an A+!

Elizabeth Best

This was very helpful. I feel like it answered so many of my questions. It made me realize what a huge commitment crowdfunding is! As an entrepreneur I can see how this video saves trident a lot of time on calls and emails explaining what needs to be done. Great idea! I am amazed at how much technology is involved and online or social media marketing. I better develop a stronger team with millennials who know how to make it happen. Thank you.

David McNichols

Chris goes into the depth required to own this material in a way that is both essential and inspiring. Although my best friend launched 10 out of 11 successful Kickstarter projects, I could not learn from him through osmosis all the amazing material Chris has covered here in detail! The patent research information alone makes it worth the price! I highly recommend this course.