Posts tagged tech startup
Posts tagged tech startup
So - this is exciting. Today I read an article by @usertesting - Steven MacDonald on UserTesting.com
And in it he mentions www.ScreenPopper.com so I’ve built a pop up to direct our traffic to the Indiegogo Campaign that we are running. We get a lot of traffic on our site and I being able to send any of it to the Indiegogo site would be a good win for us and might boost our GOGO Rating which would mean Indiegogo would feature our campaign - which would be a huge bonus and help drive our eventual success.
I’m really excited about seeing how the ScreenPopper might affect our campaign. The site has a free trial so I have tried that out. If it works well - it might make perfect sense for us to use it in other ways on our site as well. They have a very cool option that lets you put a tab on the side of the screen and I think we might use that to push out coupon codes for affiliates on our site. We’re an affiliate for Diapers.com which is a great site for our users, and being able to send them there with a coupon code could be a really good thing. My mind is already swimming with things that we might do with it.
What else have I done in the past few days? We got an answer from our local Westfield Patch.com editor and she asked us some questions about our fundraising campaign. Hopefully they will carry and article on our campaign and that might help too.
So - we’ve still got high hopes for this - as we close in on 35 days.
So late last night we launched an INDIEGOGO campaign.
I’ve decided that it is the perfect thing to write about - because as there are many articles and how tos on what to do when running a crowdfunding campaign - I really did not see too many that followed someone running a campaign as they did it (and as they learned on the fly). I figure that if I am going to be religious about doing one thing every day in order to promote or market our INDIEGOGO campaign - then I should hold myself to also writing about what each of those efforts are in the spirit of keeping my focus, and helping anyone else who happens to stumble upon this series of posts.
How I Created My IndieGOGO Campaign
Our IndieGOGO campaign can be found HERE
Truth be told, I originally started out creating this on Kickstarter. I am loathe to admit that I somehow overlooked the fact that any sort of Social Network is not allowed to raise funding on Kickstarter. That was really dumb on my part - because I jumped through a million hoops to get our Amazon Payments Account up and running. That “We have declined your Kickstarter Campaign” email was a real kick in the teeth. BUT after so much work - there was no way I was going to slow down.
Plus - John Biggs, a Tech a Tech Crunch reporter had just posted his own crowdfunding campaign on IndieGOGO and had success with that - so I was feeling like maybe these were all signs that IND#mce_temp_url#IEGOGO was a better platform for us anyway (or trying to convince myself of that fact).
These are the things that I did to prepare (my campaign took a good 3-4 weeks to really perfect).
1. Multiple drafts of our sales pitch. I had a few people read through it to make sure that it made sense. I tried to make it fun and simple to understand and I included a mock up drawing of how we envision our Local Events and Activities Calendar to work.
2. A good video. I used a few tools to make our video. I’m a huge fan of Camtasia - so that is what I used to put the whole thing together. Its well worth the (pretty cheap) expense of buying the software to use it - and you can always try it out for FREE - I’ve DEFINITELY gotten my money’s worth out of it between short videos we’ve done for conferences, and instructional videos we have made for the site.
I also used VideoScribe in order to change things up - and spent a few dollars on a Getty Video snippet to try and give the video a more professional look. I had to re-do my voiceover (which was very easy thanks to Camtasia) to try and sound less soothing and more ENERGETIC (lol) and to shorten it because I was running long. Everyone says keep your video to a minute and a half or less.
3. REWARDS!! I admit this was the most difficult part for me. We don’t have an ITEM to sell - which makes it a lot tougher. I did decide to offer a few tangible items - and then it occurred to me that we DO have a great deal of power in our existing site. I figured I would make advertising offers, offers for free link exchanging, anything I could give away in terms of reaching the thousands of people that already use our site in return for a donation for our big dream/Phase Two. I don’t know if I would have thought of all those freebies if I hadn’t taken so long to develop the campaign and then had to switch everything over to Indiegogo from Kickstarter - so that was another blessing in disguise.
I would urge anyone trying to come up with rewards to try and think about offering something special. What also seems to go over well is early access to things.
What I see as our biggest challenges are:
Our target audience is women/moms - and I don’t know how active that audience is or how experienced they are at Crowdfunding. They are also notoriously difficult to reach online - they will do anything for their kids, but rarely just spend money on something like investing in crowdfunding.
Getting press for our campaign. I think that most tech journalists are flooded with people pitching startups and crowdfunding campaigns. I think at this point it takes something really original combined with being in the right place at the right time to get written about.
Indiegogo’s blog has a lot of good resources on it for getting the word out and I intend to mine that for ideas. I have a list of about 20 things that I intend to do over the next few weeks - and I will keep you updated with how those things do or do not affect our campaign.
Fingers crossed - because I really do believe in the project that we are trying to fund. We have also completely bootstrapped our entire site so far - as well as the iphone and android apps that we developed. So this next step is something that we hopes results in our efforts meeting with our users enthusiasm.
Okay - I admit it - I was totally slacking.
Our FAQ page looked like CRAP. (I really should have taken a before picture). But TRUST me.
It was all WORDS!
I love words, but had I been a new user, I too would have thought - crap - if they have this much to tell me about how to use the site - I’m scared already.
In fact, according to our Google Analytics report an astounding 89% of new visitors DROPPED OFF the site after visiting the FAQ page.
So I spent the day doing a big revamp.
Now we SHOW - we Don’t tell.
I tried to keep it light. Fun. Pretty. Like our site.
I’m sure I can keep tweaking and improving it with time.
I’m also going to do a series of 30 second videos (30 seconds! that’s gonna be TOUGH!) and include those in different areas of the site when people might need to see all of the ways that they can leverage HATCHEDit.
Who says there is EVER a SLOW Time?
To See our FAQ page - go HERE
LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK!
We were so blown away by the results that we got advertising on StumbleUpon - that we couldn’t keep it to ourselves. We wrote about them in Forbes (HERE) and then were thrilled to contribute data so the company itself could do a case study.
StumbleUpon, Google and Facebook composed the marketing budget for the HatchedIt team. During the window from March 8-25, they allocated equally between StumbleUpon and Google, and half of the budget of each to Facebook. With each service, the team looked to target women who were 30+, seeking to hit the sweet spot with moms.
“As both an advertiser and a user of StumbleUpon, I believe that the mindset is what makes the difference in leveraging the StumbleUpon advertising platform,” says HatchedIt founding partner Kirsten Bischoff….Read Full Post HERE
Web 2.0 is a phrase that you may have heard before. It illustrates how rapidly the Internet is evolving, already moving on to its next iteration – even as some of us feel like we are just getting the feel for Web 1.0.
Truthfully, the leap to 2.0 is not so much about the bells and whistles of “cool things” that programmers can do, but rather the way in which the Internet is becoming a part of our every day lives.
Web 1.0 was really the first stage of the Internet, when sites began to interact with each other and people became familiar with sharing links, and the Internet began to really appeal to people who were well versed in jumping from channel to channel on tv, and were soon moving fluidly from site to site on our computers as well.
Web 2.0 is where we are now, where the Internet has become such an integral part of our lives that it makes sense to build mobile tools for improving the way we live. Online tools also have the added benefit of both mobility and the capabilities to make us more socially connected to the people in our lives.
Research by social networking tool LinkedIn has revealed that globally, men are more savvy networkers than women. In fact, Pew Internet Research found that nearly twice as many men use LinkedIn as women (63% vs. 37%).
Perhaps the best explanation for this lies in the definition of networking. It is the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business (Merriam Webster).
For men, leveraging relationships to achieve individual goals is second nature.
But what is second nature for women?
Collaboration. Working jointly with others to reach a common goal. This is the way that many women approach all of the aspects of their lives – personal and professional.
Women’s inherent desire to collaborate may explain why “mommy blogs” have become a force to be reckoned with on the Internet. Blogs are a place where moms can go for advice, to commiserate, and to help each other with the challenges they face in raising families and running households.
Every mom is the Chief Executive Officer of her family. In addition to the tasks we all think of immediately (cooking and cleaning), the responsibilities of “the mom job” include budgeting, scheduling, researching, staffing, and more. It has been estimated that were women paid for their role as “mom” they would earn $138,000 per year.
In addition to the control these women have over their own households, en mass they are the force driving the global economy. Women drive $20tln of consumer spending annually (Harvard Business Review, 2009). In the US they drive $4tln, which is two-thirds of the Gross National Product (WomenCertified).
The lack of online social collaboration tools being designed for women is surprising. Allowing women to leverage their ability to collaborate will give them the tools they need to perform at the executive level. For Web 2.0 – a stronger focus on collaboration-driven tools will go a long way in creating places for companies to reach the “mommy audience” that they so desire.