Fourteen months or so on from the initial idea and I’m feeling pretty good about things at this stage. I’ve been working myself through the mindshift now from developing the product, to getting it into people’s hands. We know what we have for sale, and we think we know who would want it. Now how do we connect the two? Perhaps the hardest part of any business is actually making that first… (and hopefully many more)…sale.
I had initially thought it would be a relatively simple game of build a following, post the product to our site and let the masses in through the digital front doors. As happens moving deeper into any project of course, you slowly and steadily realize that things will be a little more complicated, and that there are a few more issues and concerns at play since the idea was fresh, new and simple.
Just as earlier I wanted to check with “The Market,” and see what they thought. By no means was it an extensive market research test. It mostly amounted to getting together for coffee with a handful of folks who roughly fell in and around my target customer bracket, and who were kind enough to give up a half hour of time to chat.
Some of the concerns I heard from them were the ongoing security concerns of buying online, buying from a new, relatively unknown company and so on. In short, they would have reservations about buying the product directly from our site for feat that perhaps the product would never materialize, maybe it’s a scam of some sort, and is the payment / their data secure? Technically we can take care of all of those things and make sure it’s safe and secure…except for the matter of perception and trust. We can do our best to communicate and show that, but we recognize that we’re new and have to earn trust. So how do we overcome that?
The best suggestion was to run our launch through Kickstarter. There, people feel safe buying online from a trusted source, and there are some key pieces in place to help build trust. 1) If we don’t raise our minimum, they get their money back and Kickstarter handles all the logistics. Secure for customers, easier for us. The more I checked it out our project really is an ideal fit for Kickstarter as we attempt to launch a new media/music service, recording and producing original, live, acoustic performances.
From there I went back to a podcast I produced several years ago with Eddie Boxerman of Hemisphere games who ran a very successful Kickstarter campaign for his new board game. It was an is a wealth of advice in how to plan and run a successful Kickstarter campaign. I made a ton of notes listening along, and began to plan… What is our minimum? What are our reward levels? How many people realistically will support the campaign and buy in? Can we pull this off? If so how?… And so began the work of answering some challenging questions.
The good news? To break up the launch plan work, we connected with old friends (who actually played at my wife and I’s wedding 6 years ago when we could still afford them) Shred Kelly to record a couple of killer acoustic versions of their songs, and learn more about the intriguing stories behind them. If you haven’t heard Shred Kelly before, their unique sound is build for moving your body. If you could pick one band to be playing while you’re holding a beer with friends, and dancing on a cottage deck with friends… that band would be Shred Kelly.
So Kickstarter it is. We’re signed up, I’ve just about got our profile and campaign ready to go, and am working through the finishing touches of the campaign plan.
We’ll be launching the campaign on Monday, June 4th!! You’ll soon be able to get access to what we’ve been working so long and hard on.
At this point it’s all excitement leading up to the launch, but I can already feel the butterflies warming up as launch day approaches.
T-10 days and counting,