So....crowdfunding it was. I pretty much knew I would go through Kickstarter. They just seem like THE crowd funding platform to use nowadays. It seemed simple enough. Figure out how much you need, make a video, make a write up telling your story, what you want to do, how you plan to do it, what the money's for, etc. Figure out what your funding goal is, what your rewards are going to be, how much it's all gonna cost....ok...not so simple! I always excel at the creative parts. The video was the first thing I made. In retrospect I should've solidified my rewards first because I ended up having to back and edit the video because I changed my mind about certain rewards and I didn't want to mislead anyone. Putting something visual together makes it feel real so thatʻs why the video got made before anything else.
Trying to figure out what something costs without really knowing how much you're going to need to purchase. Kickstarter says that your funding goal should be the cost of the project + rewards. In my case that's the cost of a heat press + rewards. That's really hard to figure out because how the heck do I know what people are gonna order?!? I still to this day don't really know how much money I need. My funding goal of $2,500 was a combination of things:
1) The estimated cost of rewards.
2) The length of time I was going to run the campaign (just over two weeks so it had to be a number I thought I could hit in that time)
3) The size of my reach - I don't have a huge following, so it had to be a number that my limited audience could come up with for me. There's no way that 300 instagram followers could come up with $10,000. 4) Kickstarter/Amazon fees: Kickstarter takes 5% and Amazon takes 3-5% for each card transaction. I know. Ew.
5) Oh yeah - the cost of the heat press. Fortunately my parents offered to purchase a cap press for me, so that was a HUGE relief and I didn't have to include that in my funding goal.
I had to be realistic. When the campaign wrapped up, I ended up with almost $2,800 and that extra $300 covered the cost of all the fees so I'm actually ending up with my complete funding goal of $2,500. Woohoo!
I'm getting ahead of myself.
So anyway I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what my funding goal should be, and eventually after taking all of the above things into consideration, I went with my gut and picked $2,500 LITERALLY minutes before going live.
I was done putting my campaign together long before going live however. Like I said earlier, I was petrified. I literally could not move on it. I needed something to give me a boost, and it came in the form of my husband:
On a whim, he had submitted a piece to the Good Men Project. He hadn't heard of them before but I knew they were a HUGE blog and I had seen them put out a call for sports writers. He love sports and would love to pursue a career in writing so I encouraged him to send something in. This was his FIRST time pitching a piece to a blog and the editor loved it and told him they were going to run it. Fun new fact: If you google "Keola Birano" the third hit says "Keola Birano, Author at the Good Men Project." HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!?
So there I was, sitting at the computer at war with myself over whether or not to hit "Launch" (no, I hadn't even announced a launch date to my followers just so I had an out, an option to stop the madness before it started) when he called me with the good news, and in my euphoria over his success, I thought to myself "Well, if Keola can get published in the Good Men Project, I can raise $2500 in a little over two weeks. I love how my inspiring him ended up inspiring me.
And I launched.
...to be continued...