14: Crowdfunding Promotion: Cross-Promotions
In this episode, we’re going to talk about the single-most-effective way to generate the best possible conversions for your invention. After testing HUNDREDS of other methods and marketing mediums, this one simple strategy trumps all the rest—and it’s not even close just how well this strategy converts as compared to ANY other method we’ve tested. To do so, we’re bringing on another special guest, the jack-of-all-trades get-’er-done closer himself, Mr. Colton Bybee, the Director of Outreach at Funded Today.
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1. It’s important to update backers regularly—usually about twice weekly, depending upon exactly how communicative they want you to be, which they’ll generally tell you—at the time-of-day that’s best for wherever most of them live.
2. It’s helpful to end each backer update by introducing no more than five cross-promotions (which may also be called “cross-collaborations” or “CCs”) arranged with other campaigns, even if a few backers complain about it.
3. Cross-promotions should never feature competitors’ projects, but they fare best when featuring complimentary projects, although they still do well featuring unrelated campaigns, especially campaigns that have attracted high percentages of repeat backers.
4. Not all backers will read cross-promotions, nor click on them, but those who respond to them will normally convert at unusually-high rates of up to 20% or so, which is far more than the average rate of about 1%-3% (depending upon average pledge size)—and, conversely, if cross-promotion traffic doesn’t convert, then it’s almost guaranteed that no other traffic will convert, either.
5. Some popular campaigns have raised over $50,000 directly from cross-promotions alone—and, just like with other forms of crowdfunding marketing, increased pledges from cross-promotions generally encourage increased pledges from all other sources.
[01:29] Zach introduces Colton Bybee, who has achieved incredibly-high conversion rates for Funded Today by arranging cross-promotions between over 2,000 (and counting) rewards-based crowdfunding campaigns.
[01:59] Zach and Colton discuss how crowdfunding campaigners may arrange cross-promotions (which Funded Today calls cross-collaborations or CCs) between their own campaigns and others’ campaigns, which involve featuring each other’s campaigns in updates to their respective backers.
[04:48] Thomas and Colton discuss how cross-promotions may enjoy higher conversion rates between related projects, but are still effective between unrelated projects due to the nature of the crowdfunding community.
[06:06] Colton notes that it’s best to introduce cross-promotions at the end of an update, and shares some specific examples of how to introduce them effectively.
[07:28] Zach and Colton and Thomas discuss how cross-promotions are almost always a crowdfunding campaign’s highest-converting source of traffic, with rates as high as 20% or so—and that, if they don’t convert, then it’s likely that nothing else will, which is why Funded Today doesn’t normally continue with campaigns whose CP conversion rates are lower than about 4%, although this decision also considers average pledge sizes.
[11:36] Thomas and Colton and Zach note that only a fraction of other campaigns’ backers will click on any given cross-promotion, and that conversion rates generally rise in response to lower pledge sizes, higher percentages of repeat backers, and other factors.
[15:34] Thomas reiterates that crowdfunding campaigns normally enjoy conversion rates of about 1%-3%, depending upon various factors.
[17:20] Colton recommends that campaigners update their backers about twice weekly (especially either Mondays-and-Thursdays or Tuesdays-and-Fridays), depending upon how communicative they want to be, and also using Kickstarter’s community tab to determine where most backers live, which will help in choosing the best time-of-day to post updates.
[20:13] Colton notes that your backers will generally inform you if you’re communicating either too often or not enough, and that the benefits of attracting new backers generally outweigh the detriments of having a few backers who complain about cross-promotions.
[23:01] Colton and Thomas detail how most crowdfunding backers constitute a community of serial micro-investors who are interested in helping projects to succeed, more than being typical e-shoppers.
[24:44] Colton addresses campaigners’ concerns that cross-promotions might harm their branding.
[26:19] Colton presents suggestions for good content to feature in updates, and Zach observes how updates can help nurture trust.
[28:17] Thomas and Colton recommend keeping updates focused on your own campaign by avoiding updates composed of nothing but cross-promotions, along with never cross-promoting competitors.
[29:55] Zach reviews that, for a good campaign, cross-promotions can achieve conversion rates of 4%-20%, and can potentially raise over $50,000.
[30:27] Zach emphasizes that campaigners should focus their efforts on raising as much money as possible from as many backers as possible, rather than on their branding, which will come in due time.
[32:22] Colton summarizes that it’s important to update backers regularly, and to end those updates with no more than five cross-promotions each.
[34:06] Colton advises exercising good salesmanship to persuade fellow campaigners to participate in cross-promotions, offers to help compose such messages, provides his contact information, and notes that he’s constantly networking with crowdfunding campaigners.
[37:20] Thomas and Colton overview how to arrange cross-promotions during pre-launch phase, which can synergize with pledges from other sources.
[39:57] Colton and Thomas and Zach present this episode’s Projects of the Week.
Zach Smith: (00:00) Funded Today Nation welcome back to the Funded Today Podcast. Last time we had our Director of Pre-Launch in Cashback at Funded Today on Mr. Tevin Alvord, if you want a step-by-step systematic approach for how to prepare for your launch that episode is a must listen. Today we’re going to talk about the single most effective way to generate the best possible conversions for your invention, that’s a mouthful but after testing hundreds of other methods in marketing mediums this one simple strategy trumps all the rest and it’s not even close to just how well the strategy converts. Any other method we’ve ever tested to do so we’re bringing on another Special Guest jack of all trades get it on closer himself Mr. Colton Bybee the Director of Outreach at Funded Today.
Announcer: (00:43) The Funded Today Podcast is hosted by World-Renowned Entrepreneurs and Business Experts Thomas Alvord and Zach Smith. To get a help with your next business idea or to take your business to the next level go to fundedtoday.com.
Zach Smith: (00:57) Welcome back to Today’s Masterclass I am Zach Smith.
Thomas Alvord: (00:59) And I’m Thomas Alvord.
Zach Smith: (01:01) And if you’ve not yet had a chance to listen to our last episode and you want to ensure you have the best chance for a successful launch give that want to listen we talked all about Pre-Launch Strategies I think you’re going to find that one really, really valuable. And one last thing before we get into today’s master class if you can spare just a minute or two and rate our podcast by telling us what you think of it we’d really appreciate your kind words every five star review helps us spread these tips, tactics and techniques we personally use to make a lot of money and create some great lives for ourselves, for you and others as well. So help us out give us a rating every little bit helps. Okay now with all of those preliminaries out of the way I am really excited for today’s master class this one is probably one of my favorite strategies we use at Funded Today and to do so we’ve got the Director of Outreach at Funded Today Mr. Colton Bybee on with us. He’s going to walk you through the single most important marketing strategy we use and that you can use to raise big money at the highest conversion rates for your next big idea. Colton welcome to the show, we’re so glad you could join us today.
Colton Bybee: (01:56) Hey thanks Zach, thanks Thomas for having me on, excited to be here.
Thomas Alvord: (02:00) Yes we are too.
Zach Smith: (02:01) So before we get into this strategy tell us a little bit about what you do at Funded Today? Your journey I mean really whatever you want to say?
Colton Bybee: (02:09) Yes so I’m coming up on here about three years with Funded Today it’s been a great adventure I love working with new products every month all the time. One of the things there’s a lot of things I do at Funded Today basically one of them is Cross-Collaborations which we’ll dive in here deeper. I also do a little bit of Business Developments as well as our Backer Network those are just a few of the things that I do but excited to be with Funded Today and working with projects all the time.
Zach Smith: (02:41) How many campaigns do you think you’ve worked with so far?
Colton Bybee: (02:42) Well over 2,000 I would imagine.
Zach Smith: (02:44) Very cool. Any favorites in that mix, hard to pick a couple but if you had to shout out to just a few?
Colton Bybee: (02:51) Yes “SpineGym” one we’re still working with that I worked with couple of months I believe after I came on that’s a Fun One Hyper, we worked with quite a few “HyperJuice” is one we’re working with right now great company.
Zach Smith: (03:04) Alright well with that out of the way you mentioned it briefly but what are “Cross Collaborations” or “Cross Promos” or as we call in at Funded Today CC’s, tell us little bit about what this strategy is and why it’s so effective?
Colton Bybee: (03:16) Sometimes it can be called “Cross Promotions” we call them “Cross Collaborations”. Basically, what they are is when you’re running a live campaign and even after your live campaign ends you’re still going to want to keep your backers updated through updates that go out in the form of an email that are also posted to your campaign. At the bottom of those updates you can take advantage of them by sharing other campaigns that you may like or that have reached out to you or maybe even similar products and share those in your update with a link that promotes those campaigns, and in return those campaigns will also promote yours in the bottom of their updates. It’s a great way because Kickstarter is more of a community a lot of the same backers will back similar products in similar categories so your backers like to get those Cross Collaborations and look at them, because they’re looking for new ideas to back that you’ll find all over Kickstarter but in short essence that’s basically what Cross Collaborations are.
Zach Smith: (04:19) So if I had like a backpack and you had a water bottle and my backpack had a slot for a water bottle I would approach you and say hey you’ve got a really cool backpack, I’ve got a really cool water bottle that looks like it fits perfectly here in this little slot you designed for your backpack, you tell your backers about my backpack, I’ll tell my backers about your water bottle and together we’ll make some money, something like that?
Colton Bybee: (04:40) Yes you’re exactly right that’s a great example of what a Cross Collaboration look like and one that would probably converts really extremely high.
Thomas Alvord: (04:50) Now, do the Cross Collaborations Colton need to have a synergy like that a backpack with a water bottle holder and then another campaign that’s a water bottle or say somebody who has a campaign for shirt and somebody else who has a campaign for a pair of pants do they – does it need to fit like that or?
Colton Bybee: (05:09) That’s a great question, so if it does fit like that you may have a slightly higher conversion rate but it doesn’t need to be in the same category or the same like headphones, and another set of headphones or it can something that goes at your computer and a computer mouse. You might see higher conversion rates but you could do a Cross Collaboration with a set of earbuds and a backpack, or a set of earbuds and a water bottle and you will - you probably won’t even see a difference in the conversion rate and that’s what makes Kickstarter Cross Collaborations still neat and unique is that it’s a community and they’re not just -- Kickstarter Backers aren’t just on Kickstarter Shopping for a specific item or only in one category. They’re looking to back this new cool different invention that come across the Kickstarter platform.
Zach Smith: (06:06) Very cool. Now Colton you mentioned with Cross Collaborations to do the update at the bottom so if again using the backpack analogy hey guys – yay we’ve hit a 1,000 backers now we are on track to be able to ship and deliver three months after this campaign ends thanks for listening now what do I do in my update? like where do the Cross Collaborate -- where do I post them or how I just throw them in at the bottom or is there certain language or strategy like what’s the approach to make it not come across it as promotional or spammy so that it kind of fits in unison with what you’re trying to do, or is it just because the Kickstarter Community is so nice and engaging they kind of appreciate dimension to check out these other products that might be on Kickstarter.
Colton Bybee: (06:50) Yes great questions, Cross Collaborations are somewhat newer to Crowdfunding, I would say they’ve been around for about three or four years they’re really last two years, year and a half they taken off, and I would just throw them at the bottom and hope your backers know what those are about I would say majority of them would know but I always like to put some sort of introduction in there like, hey checkout some of these other great campaigns we think you might like, or here is some campaigns that are helping us reach our goal lets return that favor and help them reach their goals as well.
Zach Smith: (07:27) I like that one a lot.
Colton Bybee: (07:28) There is some sort of transitional line usually helps better.
Zach Smith: (07:30) Alright well let’s get to the point then, what do you want to do with Cross Collaborations, why do them, why are they so important, why are we spending an entire podcast episode talking about Cross Collaborations and Outreach maybe we can get into why these are so important?
Colton Bybee: (07:47) Yes one of my favorite reasons and why did you Cross Collaborations even though Ads running Facebook Ads or other things like present you’re may drive more pledges and you will drive more traffic, Cross Collaborations I would say 95% of the time are going to be your highest converting source of traffic.
Zach Smith: (08:08) When won’t they be your highest converting source you say 95% on the 5% what’s ever going to convert better than Cross Collaborations?
Colton Bybee: (08:15) Sometimes we’ve seen ads convert higher on those on rare occasions and that’s why we have 95% rather than saying a 100%. Other times you’ll see we had a campaign like TushMedia where press was rewarding extremely high, higher than Cross Collaborations even so most of the time it’s going to be Cross Collaborations that are converting to heights.
Zach Smith: (08:36) So you’re saying if you start with Cross Collaborations and you don’t get a good conversion rate chances are there’s something wrong with one of your 7-P’s because if Cross Collaborations don’t convert nothing’s going to convert as a pretty good mantra to live by in the Crowdfunding World.
Colton Bybee: (08:51) Yes I would agree with that.
Zach Smith: (08:52) Okay, gotcha. Talk about Conversion Traffic like what are we talking about percentagewise when we say that the highest converting what would be a good conversion rate if I were to do Cross Collaborations?
Colton Bybee: (09:02) On average our Cross Collaborations even now as I’m looking at a dashboard a few of our campaigns convert anywhere from 4% all the way up to 20%.
Zach Smith: (09:12) Now walk me through that a bit what does that mean 4%, 20% for somebody who is brand new and let’s just use some simple math a 100 visitors come to their page, what does that mean?
Colton Bybee: (09:25) Yes so take that example 100 visitors if we send a 100 visitors they click on that link of Cross Collaborations it takes them to your page. Out of those 100 people anywhere from four to 20 of those will convert meaning they’ll back your product.
Zach Smith: (09:40) Wow.
Colton Bybee: (09:42) That’s on average usually as we start doing those Cross Collaborations in the first week we’ll see that anywhere from 4% to 20% range and then we usually end up being closer to anywhere from 5% to 12% we can keep that steady throughout your whole campaign.
Zach Smith: (10:00) Is 20% the highest you’ve ever seen, or have you seen higher?
Colton Bybee: (10:03) We’ve seen higher, we’ve seen and I think it was actually on the one of the Hyper Campaigns I heard it for about two weeks at 24%.
Zach Smith: (10:12) Wow, very cool and the lowest about 4%.
Colton Bybee: (10:15) The lowest that we usually keep on is about 4%.
Thomas Alvord: (10:18) The 4% conversion rate on the lower end is that across all campaigns you’ve ever worked with or just on a typical campaign?
Colton Bybee: (10:27) That’s across the last three years that I’ve been doing these that I’d seen the average is about that 4% on the blog.
Thomas Alvord: (10:34) Oh so the average okay - I’m curious it seems like I’ve seen here there are a campaign where the conversion rate was like sub 1% or something lower?
Colton Bybee: (10:43) When we first started testing things however using different images we may see those lower than 4% on average the ones that we pass through, we continue on to do Cross Collaborations with well usually maintain that 4% or higher.
Zach Smith: (10:58) So was that kind of your threshold 4% where you want to be and if it’s anything lower based upon all the metrics that you’ve looked at over three years this isn’t going to be a good campaign, this isn’t going to work is that kind of the mindset you have?
Colton Bybee: (11:11) Yes in a sense sometimes we have to look at -- dive a little deeper and look at their price one if you have a really expensive campaign you’re up about $150 well sometimes see that conversion rate lower, but you’re converting lower but you’re also driving up higher dollar pledge and so we can make those work.
Zach Smith: (11:32) Okay that makes sense.
Thomas Alvord: (11:33) To clarify Colton that conversion rate what number is that looking at, for example let’s say I have a campaign and I see a shoe campaign that I want to do a Cross Collaboration with, and I go to that shoe campaign and they have a 1,000 backers if the cross collaboration has a 4% conversion rate, can I expect to get 40 backers new backers by doing a cross collaboration with them and the math on that would be 4% of a 1,000 backers from their campaign would be 40 new backers. Is that what you mean?
Colton Bybee: (12:13) Yes and no. So the 4% average is out across all of our campaigns that we’re working with. We may have a few that are lower than that 4%, a majority of them are above that 4% and that’s about the average. The other thing to keep in mind is if you’re doing a Cross Collaboration with a shoe campaign and there’s a lot of factors that go into Cross Collaborations one of them is if you click on your Community Tab or any Community Tab of other campaign some of them will have well like a 60/40 split meaning 60% of them are new to Kickstarter and 40% of them are returning to Kickstarter. Usually anytime you have a campaign that has a higher conversion or a higher backer number of returning backers versus new backers Cross Collaborations convert at a higher pace and a little better, so if that shoe campaign has 80% returning backers versus 20% new backers the Kickstarter I would say you could expect about 4% conversion rate off of that.
Zach Smith: (13:19) And returning backers means people who backed the Kickstarter Campaign in the past, that community tab is pretty insightful actually, it’s on every single Kickstarter page?
Thomas Alvord: (13:28) And also what I wanted to highlight and I love what you just shared another item that I think is important to understand is you might have a Cross Collaboration with another campaign that has a 1,000 backers not all 1,000 of those backers are going to click on the link and the update and come to your campaign right so maybe out of the 1,000 backers you would get 70% who open and read that update and then of those people who read it you might get 30% of the people or 20% of the people who click through. So even though you have a Cross Collaboration with a campaign that has a 1,000 backers you might only get 200 people to actually click through to your page right?
Colton Bybee: (14:23) That’s a really important metric and one that I’m glad you covered is just because there is a 1,000 backers for easy numbers here doesn’t mean that all 1,000 are going to click on that some may have a faulty email address, some may not even look at the email and so those numbers have to go off who has clicked on that link not hey I have a 1,000 backers I guarantee all 1,000 are going to click on that link. So you got a 1,000 backers you only have 400 who can click on the link just for easy numbers here then you can expect that 4% from those 400 who have clicked.
Zach Smith: (14:59) Yes that makes sense, so just a walk a back for everybody listening since that’s a lot of math if your campaign that you want to do Cross Collaborations with that shoe campaign that Thomas used to have a 1,000 backers and you say hey shoe campaign do a Cross Collaboration with me, they message their 1,000 backers, of those 1,000 backers 200 of them end up clicking through on the low-end you’d have eight conversions on the high end you might have 40 conversions and that’s how the math kind of breaks down between that 4% to 20%. So that’ll give you some realistic expectations as you go into Cross Collaborations to kind of know what to expect. Alright so now we know why did you Cross Collaborations? You’re going to do Cross Collaborations because 4% to 20% conversion rate is amazing, extremely amazing. I mean Thomas speak to conversion rate just generally speaking I think you might have done this on an earlier episode but just for those new listeners that we have what is a good conversion rate overall for a campaign, and why is this such an anomaly when we’re talking about 4% to 20% conversion rates as related to Cross Collaborations?
Thomas Alvord: (16:02) Yes typical campaign on Kickstarter is obviously going to vary by a number of different factors. But if you were to just take all of your traffic sources across the board, across every campaign you might be between 1% to 3% on your conversion rate. And again that number varies so much depending on the conversion rate of your page, the traffic source, your price point etcetera, etcetera. But 1% to 3% is what you’re looking at on average and I just pulled up in our backend a dashboard that shows the conversion rate since the beginning of this year across all of the campaigns for Cross Collaboration it’s 5.71% and one of the top performing campaigns was “Total Glue” at 15.31% campaign there’s an others that’s like 25%, there wasn’t as much traffic but in terms of a campaign that had a lot of traffic you’re up 15%, 20% and then on a low-end you’re going to be averaging 3% to 6%, 7%, 8% on average so.
Zach Smith: (17:08) And that’s factoring all the campaigns that didn’t pass the test, that didn’t qualify as well so yes and Colt’s numbers are right on par with what we’re seeing very cool. Alright Colton so now we know why to do them, how often should you be doing Cross Collaborations? Is there a burn out limit or should we be doing them every day or what’s the Rule of Thumb there?
Colton Bybee: (17:28) I would say the best quality of updates to do a week is pick a Monday or a -- like a Monday, Thursday or a Tuesday, Friday and do your updates then, twice a week.
Zach Smith: (17:41) Any idea what times of day, times of week why those days versus other days have you noticed different conversion rates on versus a 9:00AM versus a 9:00PM that sort of thing?
Colton Bybee: (17:51) Yes that’s a great question another thing you have to look at when you do your updates is where is your like clicking on your Community Tab again where is the majority of your backers from, so are they overseas or they in the US and that will kind of tell you the best time to do those updates.
Thomas Alvord: (18:08) That’s smart.
Colton Bybee: (18:09) I’ve seen them more going out at 9:00AM just as well as I’ve seen them or posting them at 3:00PM or 4:00PM in the afternoon.
Thomas Alvord: (18:17) I love that, I love that insight you’re sharing into the Community Tab I had never considered that like okay well 80% of my backers are European why am I publishing at 9 o’clock AM Mountain Time or Pacific Time or Eastern Time I should be posting at 4:00 PM or 5:00 PM or something you know.
Colton Bybee: (18:17) And that’s just one of my go in but as I explained earlier I’ve seen them work at 9:00 AM or 3:00 PM or 4:00 PM and especially going into the weekend I have seen when you post them on Thursday in the afternoons or Friday in the afternoons people have time over the weekend to look at your updates instead of just this is another email I got to read and it’s a busy Friday and I’m wanting to go home for the weekend, so those weekend going into the weekend updates can be valuable as well.
Thomas Alvord: (19:02) So aside from geographical components, time of day, day of the week those things don’t matter too much?
Colton Bybee: (19:11) Yes not as much as I thought they would as many case studies as I’ve done on these I think really any day of the week I personally like doing them and seen probably the best results a Monday, Thursday update or a Tuesday, Friday those were great if you have the content and again these all depend on your backers, if your backers are really engaging a great example of this is the “Soto Massini Slipper” that we ran, their backers for some reason were extremely engaging and loved I mean absolutely loved to get updates, so we would do three a week, and it just depends on how engaging your backers are, do they like to get a lot of the updates or not really and they’ll be pretty vocal and tell you if you’re doing too many or you’re not doing enough but I would start with two week and then if you have the content and your backers like it you can try a Monday, Wednesday, Friday.
Thomas Alvord: (20:05) And what if you’re doing two a week and you start getting one or two people every update hey why – stop sending these messages I don’t want these messages what do you typically do there?
Colton Bybee: (20:16) Yes I typically say if you’re going off of 1,000 backers again, if you’ve got a 1,000 backers expect anywhere from two to four people complaining about doing Cross Collaborations. But if you go back to your conversion rates the first time you do an update or the first two times you do an update you’re going to double it not quadruple how many people you’ve gain from doing Cross Collaborations or new backers versus, versus how many are complaining.
Thomas Alvord: (20:44) So it's really like a net loss type thing then, and my net positive, I’m net negative and where’s the cutoff for you is that really what you based it on, or do you look at customer, backer, feedback as well?
Colton Bybee: (20:56) Yes base it of the - how many are complaining versus how many are you gaining type of bill but at the same time even if you’re not doing Cross Collaborations those two to four people are probably going to be vocal about you did this wrong in your update or your net gain should be this or that, and so sometimes there’s people you just don’t be able to please even if you are doing those Cross Collaborations or not.
Thomas Alvord: (21:23) And that’s really interesting you say that Colton because I think a lot of people who are launching a business or putting themselves out there or their idea or their brand out there there’s the negative people who say critical things and they think oh no I can’t be saying this I can’t be doing this but it seems like in any marketing medium where you’re able to get feedback, you’re always going to have negative comments and I just think of when we run ads on Social Media or on Facebook sometimes we’ll have a campaign that is absolutely crushing it and literally every single comment is negative and so it’s like well the negative people they’re just one want to place to vent, but the people who like it they’re not even spending their time there and they’re actually you know voting with their wallet so it’s interesting that you kind of evaluate in terms of the Cross Collaboration how much negativity to the positivity?
Colton Bybee: (22:23) A lot of times I’ll tell our backers or creators that we’re working with - if you think about it not everybody loves iPhone but there’s millions and millions of people who have iPhones and there’s probably a million or so who absolutely despise iPhones. So if Apple always cater to that millions versus the 30, to 40, 50 million who love them there -- it be a totally different company.
Zach Smith: (22:45) There is something to be said about the silent majority isn’t there? I love that that’s those are two great examples. Alright well Colton I know you have a saying that you kind of goby and we’ve hit on this just a little bit but you say Kickstarter is a community what do you mean by that?
Colton Bybee: (23:01) Kickstarter one way to think about it is when you’re backing a product a lot of your backers feel like they’re mini-investors. There are some companies that come on Kickstarter there are full-fledged and then well-known companies well established, a majority of them though are getting their start on Kickstarter. This is kind of where they’re taking off an example is the (0:23:24) running right now this is their start to their eventual business if they want to run and so backers know that there are many investors rather than its established, we know we’re getting an iPhone for sure this is more of an investment, and it becomes more of a let’s see how we can help these creators bring companies to life, and so it’s more of a community rather than oh I’m just going to back it and get it and get a product right away, a lot of these are three to six months sometimes even a year down the road you don’t get the product.
Zach Smith: (23:58) That might explain a little bit why the conversion rates for Cross Collaborations are so high it’s one of those intangibles where they’re like oh! they thought of me they want me to come and look at this and help them out with this campaign I definitely have to pledge, I definitely have to back this campaign that’s a good insight I like that a lot.
Thomas Alvord: (24:15) Another irony is that there are the people who don’t even realize it’s Crowdfunding and actually think it’s an e-Commerce Store right, and they don’t realize that they’re helping put money in now that’s more a typical because most campaigns especially large campaigns unless they have this huge press success where they get press everywhere really is that community that’s coming and rolling behind it and they understand that on Amex.
Colton Bybee: (24:45) To build off that point Thomas we bring up a lot of people don’t realize this is Kickstarter and they’re not going to get a product right away, and a lot of these companies are building brands. One of the things and a lot of people they’re listening to this podcast, creators may say well I’ve heard that doing Cross Collaborations is going to hurt my brand, but building the brand on Kickstarter it’s definitely not going to hurt your product and here’s why? These backers like we mentioned earlier in this podcast are not on here shopping for one specific item, they’re just on here to look for what’s fun, what’s cool, what new, what’s different so if they’ve backed your campaign 90% or 80 % of the time they backed somebody else’s campaign as well and they’re receiving Cross Collaborations from them so they’re already getting them and by you doing them isn’t going to make them mad at you, or angry they’re already getting and you might as well be doing Cross Collaborations on your campaign as well, and gaining the fruits from doing those. A few examples I mean recently that we’ve raised $50,000 or more just through Cross Collaborations our campaigns like “EverCam” “SMART BELT”, “Soto Massini”, I would imagine “HyperJuice” is going to be one of those and those are just recent within the last couple months.
Thomas Alvord: (26:10) 50,000 bucks I mean that’s a lot of money.
Colton Bybee: (26:12) All through basically 10 minutes of your time twice a week doing an update.
Thomas Alvord: (26:18) That’s great, is there a difference Colton in the quality of an update that you see creators do and if so what’s good and what’s bad in terms of an update?
Colton Bybee: (26:30) So Kickstarter actually came out with an article about a year and a half ago and it’s 50 Ideas for updates.
Zach Smith: (26:37) We’ll link to that in the show notes by the way so we’ll put that in the notes for everybody.
Colton Bybee: (26:40) Perfect maybe seeing yourself as a creator if I run for 30 days twice a week that’s more updates in content that I think I can come up with. Quality updates you don’t have to write a novel for your update it doesn’t have to be a two page thing, I think always adding images inside of your updates or gifs they serve them. And then also putting in there’s tons of things to do updates about that are great updates like Stretch Goals, Milestones Press or PR whenever you land those you’re probably going to have information about production along the way.
Zach Smith: (27:15) We just got featured in Tech Crunch checkout the article here, by the way here is some other campaign supporting us, check them out that kind of thing.
Colton Bybee: (0:27:23) Exactly yes and more than just hey guys we hit $50,000 raise thanks and then here is some campaigns add some pictures in there, add some gifts, maybe shoot a video there is a campaign that we worked with a sock campaign that’s all that’s all they ever do is do videos, the “Bamboo Socks” they only did videos and I really think their backers love that as more of personal aspect rather than just text across the screen so.
Zach Smith: (27:51) I like that a lot I think that’s a way to add an element of personality while also conveying some trust because a lot of times people are scared about backing a Crowdfunding Campaign because there is a chance you don’t ship, there’s a chance some stuff goes wrong and your backers lose their money. So if you can show your face if you can demonstrate your capability and your credibility by showing your face and doing a video I think that adds a lot of trust element to your backer update so that’s a good point to go.
Thomas Alvord: (28:21) I mean people are putting their money into your idea as much as they are to you as the creator and Colton is it okay to do a Cross Collaborations where it’s literally just sharing other campaigns and you don’t have anything about your own campaign it’s just hey here’s an update checkout these campaigns, can you do that is that okay or what have you seen if anything?
Colton Bybee: (28:46) Again and I think it comes back to how well you know your backers how well are they responding to your previous updates. On campaigns we talked about earlier “Soto Massini” where they just love to get information in and they actually this wasn’t something a creator did the backers got together including the Facebook Group that still goes on to this day a year later about their “Soto Massini Shoes”. He could get away with that doing just those Cross Collaborations updates I would recommend making it more about the campaign rather than just here is some other products we hope you like.
Thomas Alvord: (29:20) So would you say that Cross Collaboration at the bottom of the message is kind of an afterthought or P.S. that’s after an actual message your sharing is that the idea?
Colton Bybee: (29:30) Yes definitely you never want to drag away and that’s something we could cover as well. You never want to drag away attention from your own product so that’s why I would never recommend doing if you have a set of headphones doing another Cross Collaborations with another set of headphones, you don’t want to drag the attention away from your campaign these Cross Collaborations are like added bonus of other campaigns that your backers might like.
Zach Smith: (29:58) So Colton we’ve talked a little bit about some stats and some different myths just to recap for everybody listening Cross Collaborations are going to convert anywhere from and again these are if they actually work there’s of course you might have a product that doesn’t convert at all and it doesn’t raise any money, and no man at Cross Collaborations are going to fix that that’s ones of your 7-P type issues but generally speaking if you have a good campaign you’re CCs are going to convert between 4% to 20%, another stat you can raise $50,000 or more from Cross Collaborations if you have a really good campaign, and then the idea of branding and I hear this a lot too and I’ll just share my two sentences that you talked about I love what you said, you don’t have a brand you’re on Kickstarter, and that’s not a bad thing but you don’t have a brand I was looking at a company called “PopSocket” and they happen to raise $18,000 bucks several years ago on Kickstarter and if you don’t know what PopSocket it’s the little thing that you can put on the back of your phone that makes it easier to hold the big phones or to stand your phone up so that you could like watch a movie or something on it, and they’ve done extremely well now, so well that they’ve done $160 Million and they’re one of the fastest growing companies I think number two or something on the “Inc 500” this last year. So here’s the point you don’t have a brand and so when you’re on Kickstarter you need to be doing everything you can to raise as much money as you can in the easiest way to prove you have a brand or not go on Google type in your name type in your company name type in whatever you have chances are nothing’s going to come up go look in the new section chances are nothing is going to come up, you don’t have a brand, and so your job just like “PopSocket” that only raised $18,000 bucks and now I don’t know five, six years later which is pretty sure you think about things is doing $162 million and definitely a brand that’s how you have to go about thinking of things is that kind of what you try to convey to people as you do Cross Collaborations Colton?
Colton Bybee: (31:47) Definitely and one of the things even mine to the more backers you can get and as we talk about here this is going to be your highest converting source for traffic, so likelihood you’re only going to get a lot of backers from it, is these are little mini ambassadors for your campaign basically they’re going to go share their word all of over Facebook look what I just purchased and then that spread so every backer matters and Cross Collaborations is one of the greatest ways the gain that.
Zach Smith: (32:14) Let’s wrap this up then Colton if you could summarize I don’t know enough in a few sentences or so this idea, this concept of Cross Collaborations what would you leave as parting words of wisdom to the listeners of the Funded Today podcast?
Colton Bybee: (32:35) Great question I always like to think of every campaign as I’m working on it as if it were my own. I’m now working on so many it was my - if I was running a campaign today why I would use Cross Collaborations is the question, number one it’s you’re already you should be if you’re not start with doing up those, one of the worst things you can do is not keep your backers updated I see products go 45 days and they have two updates, that’s another worst things you can do, so keep your backers updated it takes you 10 to 20 minutes to write an update, it takes you five minutes to have those Cross Collaborations and you’re having campaigns if you’re not working with us which we hope you are your campaign creators are going to reach out to you. I guarantee you any creator listening to this that is live right now with at least 250 backers or more as several messages in their inbox that creators reaching out to them to build updates.
Zach Smith: (33:35) How many should we have is there a rule like three, four, ten, twenty how many should be posted to at the bottom of each update.
Colton Bybee: (33:41) I wouldn’t add any more than five, I would say three to five if you’re just starting with Cross Collaborations add no more than four, test it out see what happens and then you can progress to five, I wouldn’t add any more than five. To be honest with you if you are a creator and you were added to a campaign lower than five you’re not going to get that much traffic, and so it doesn’t really any good to do that.
Zach Smith: (34:04) Thanks, that’s cool, one last question for you on that and then I’ll let you finish that thought sorry to interrupt you but I have one more idea come to mind, you talk about creators having their inbox flooded with people to do CCs but what about Outreach, what about trying to get people to do CCs for you because I’m sure there are some campaigns you like oh man if this guy would just post about me it would be so amazing and I could have offer perfect synergy for his campaign? What do you do there is there any approach or process to get people to write about you and do a CC with you who maybe aren’t flooding your inbox asking to you scratch my back I scratch yours?
Colton Bybee: (34:38) Yes one of the things you have to take is you’d have to use your best sales tactics here, but if you’re a lower campaign with 300 backers, or lower below a 1,000 and that’s not bad anything above 200 backers that’s a great campaign in my opinion, but I would reach out to them you may like a hyper campaign that’s got 10,000 backers, if you reach out them you may say we’ll post for you, but I want you to post for us now and then in two weeks. If they have 10,000 backers that’s-that’s a no brainer go for it. But doing outreach to those campaigns the worst thing they can say is “No” and you’d back to square one where you’re at, so form some sort of message together or contact me and I’ll help you form messages together right.
Zach Smith: (35:28) We called you the closer originally when we started this episode and I think that name is pretty affectionate because within your Cross Collaboration Network is I don’t know more than a 1,000 campaigns what’s the number added any given point in time of who you can tap into to apply this strategy Colton and maybe leading in you answer that question but then how can people get in touch with you if they want to work some CCs together?
Colton Bybee: (35:52) Yes so a great way to get in touch with me is Colton so it's C-O-L-T-O-N firstname.lastname@example.org I’d be happy to hear whatever questions you have or help you as best as we can, but we always have at least anywhere where from 400 to 500 campaigns that I like to keep in contact with on tab that maybe a little high but that’s usually about what it is. But we always call upon and then everyday we’re doing Outreach my team and are doing Outreach to other campaigns to create more relationships so that our network is always growing, that’s why Funded Today one of the advantages is Funded Today and working with us rather than doing or figuring out Cross Collaborations on your own is even if you do get good at doing a one for one meaning you post about a product, and then they’ll post about you is Funded Today has such a vast majority or vast campaigns that we can work with that we can usually get you in two or three for ones, so if you post about two or three of our products, you’ve got a few more backers we can usually get you in five or six products in return.
Zach Smith: (37:04) The logistics of that just must be insane Colton?
Colton Bybee: (37:08) Yes that’s definitely the more I always like to think of UPS’s commercial where we talk about lowering the logistics deliveries that’s how I feel every day it’s all logistics so.
Zach Smith: (37:20) I can only imagine, but let me add one other comment “Pre-Launch Strategy” if you’re thinking of launching a campaign we talked about FFF but CCs should be a part of that how could somebody aside from what they might do with Funded Today if they were to engage with us or do something else? If they were doing it why can people do themselves on launch day to have a strong CC Day how would they go about that Colton?
Colton Bybee: (37:48) Two answers to that question. Number one let’s start out and say that this is your second or third campaign and you’re just listening this podcast and learning about Cross Collaborations, utilize your previous campaigns I cannot stress that enough. So if you have a previous campaign that’s got 300 to 400 backers on it reach out the campaigns and say hey I know my campaign is a little bit older but I’ll post about your product on this 300 or 400 backers campaign, if you’ll post about my product on launch day one or two, and then in return you can also if you don’t have a previous campaign which a majority of you probably won’t reach out the campaigns that are live or will be live when your campaign launches and say hey I know I don’t have any backers right now here’s my products it’s you know it’s a quality product I imagine I’ll have 300 to 500 backers or more, and if you post from the launch day I’ll post about your products when I have you know 200, 300, 400 backers. So we do that for all of our campaigns that qualify for it for pre-launch and you always lineup anywhere from 10 to 20 plus campaigns depending on the products you post free on launch day and it helps drive you up in the Kickstarter Algorithm which moves you up on pages and that’s the advantages Cross Collaborations are not going to be a trickle effective pledges it can residual but it’s going to be waves of pledges that come once and those updates don’t go out which helps you shots you move and fix out those algorithms which basically moves up the just organic traffic.
Zach Smith: (39:37) I love that, that ties in nicely to last episode with Tevin as well some different pre-launch strategies that you can combine so that you can have a good launch very, very, powerful and we’ve seen that work to the tune of raising $100,000 or more within those first 48 hours of launch day, so Colton thanks again for being on our show today and we love having you. Okay it is that time again for the Funded Today products of the week because we have a special guest we’re going to have Colton jump back in and share his product of the week Colton?
Colton Bybee: (40:08) Yes so my product of the week is “Clic-Fit Belt” they’re live on Kickstarter right now go check them out they’ve got about 21 days left “Bryan Thacker” and his team have great to work with and their belt is a product that must for sure.
Zach Smith: (40:25) Thomas what’s your product that week?
Thomas Alvord: (40:27) My product of the week is a campaign called “PITAKA”, P-I-T-A-K-A it’s an all in one charging dock, it’s probably the coolest charging dock I’ve I legitimately have ever seen. The coolest part about it is it sits maybe three or four inches tall, and you can set the phone on top to charge it's kind of like the other charging pads that you’d get at the store, but this one actually swivels around so that it will actually prop-up, imagine putting the thing in your event in your car or, on your window when you’re driving so you can see the phone the whole time that’s basically how it looks like but it sits on your desk and it’s charging the whole time. And then you can also put like your smartwatch around it have a charge and then there is zip-and-go bag it’s a really cool dock for charging anything wireless check it out that’s PITAKA, I might be saying it wrong but P-I-T-A-K-A Charging Dock.
Zach Smith: (41:29) Awesome thanks Thomas, and finally my product of the week this one is very, very, exciting it hasn’t even launched yet so you’re probably going to be able to get right in on the Pre-Launch it is called “ANTI” A-N-T-I and this is the world’s first “Beanie” you heard that right “Beanie” I don’t know what they call that in Canada but I’ve listened to Nathan for you before and he calls it something else. But it’s basically a little hat wear when you go skiing or snowboarding, the world’s First Beanie that’s as safe as a helmet. They’ve got a patented design this Beanie is going to harden on impact then go back to being soft. So you get the comfortable Beanie you can shred the slopes but then you have the safety of a helmet. Pretty cool pretty exciting they’re taking signups on their website right now antiordinary.co that’s antiordinary.co you can sign up there to get exclusive news updates and earlier discounts they are planning on launching here in 2018 before the end or so. You want to check that one and I’m really excited about that because we are from Utah and we’ve got the greatest snow on earth so “ANTI” check it out, that is my product of the week. We were so glad to have Colton Bybee the Director of Outreach at Funded Today on our show today, I love the nitty-gritty detail and data he brought the demonstrate and improve his points if you might need to go back through and listen to this to capture some of the data points and come with us on the action items but I would highly recommend putting everything he talked about today into practice for your campaign, and if you love this episode please give this one a five star rating will continue to bring even more all-stars on the show to help you bring your next big idea to life, Speaking of which next time we’re going to fill in the “missing gap of marketing” with another one of our tried and true methods. Have you ever wanted to learn how to convince the press, media, journalists, bloggers and YouTube influencers to get excited and actually promote your company or invention If so you’re not going to want to miss out on our next masterclass we’re going to walk you through everything we’ve done to raise millions of dollars for thousands of campaigns, leveraging this one secret. You’re not going to want to miss it so until next time remember don’t wait until tomorrow get Funded Today.
Announcer: (43:43) Funded Today is the worldwide leader in Rewards-Based Crowdfunding on Kickstarter and Indiegogo combined today have raised over $200 million and counting for thousands of new ideas and inventions worldwide if you got an idea for a new product or invention visit fundedtoday.com to speak with one of their experts.
References and Resources
- Funded Today: Blog: “If You Build It, They Won’t Necessarily Come - The Power of Promotion”
- Funded Today: Blog: “The 7 P’s For Crowdfunding Success”
- Funded Today: Blog: “Why You Should Raise As Much Money As Possible While Your Kickstarter Campaign Is Live”
- Funded Today: Marketing Services
- Funded Today: Podcast: “The 7 P’s for Crowdfunding Success”
- Funded Today: Podcast: “Crowdfunding Promotion: Earned Media (PR)”
- Inc.: PopSockets
- Kickstarter: 50 Ideas for Sending Great Project Updates
- Kickstarter: eufyCam
- Kickstarter: HyperJuice
- Kickstarter: PopSockets
- Kickstarter: Smart Belt 2.0
- Kickstarter: Soto Massini
- Kickstarter: SpineGym
- Wikipedia: Cross-promotion
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