Crowdfunding through FundedByMe – Early report on the Bar-deli campaign “Topple the Peanut Empire”

Overwhelming response. Massive spread through social media. A significant amount of cash in. Unexpected spin-off effects – and unexpectedly warm, supportive reception. With just a few moments left before closing the campaign, here is a brief presentation of my work behind Bar-deli’s experimental campaign with crowdfunding through FundedByMe and the results we have.

Campaign page for Bar-deli at Fundedbyme

(“Input”: What activities have I spent time / money on before and during the campaign? 

“Output”: Which quantitative and qualitative results can I show for all the work?)

Ok, let’s go! First: Input.

How much work really lies behind a successful crowdfunding campaign? I dare say it was successful – wait until you read the output section and see if you agree …

Before the start of the campaign:

  • Knowledge of the crowdfunding phenomenon. I had knowledge about Kickstarter since maybe a year back, and had been frustrated that the site did not allow projects based outside the United States. (At least as far as I understood their rules!) When I met Daniel Daboczy in February, who was about to launch FundedByMe, I KNEW that I wanted to use his platform, and I started looking more actively for successful case studies from Kickstarter. Perhaps 5-10 hours of research?
  • I needed a video. Through my presence on twitter, I had come into contact with the talented Tomas Nihlén , and when he announced that he was looking for reference customers to launch his new site MicroVideoMe I obviously jumped at the opportunity. In this way he effectively became a sponsor for my campaign, something I’m super grateful for. The effort for me was to be filmed for about two hours, then I had to wait about a week for the editing to be finished. Total time, including e-mail exchanges with changes and additions from the first video draft: about 4 hours.
  • I decided to start completely from my own social network, meaning not to approach larger communication channels such as traditional media or large, relevant blogs. Somewhat disorganized as I am, I had a bad conscience in the form of a BIG pile of business cards – I had been mingling networked intensively in contexts of entrepreneurship, web startups and food/restaurants for the last 18 months, and it was high time to sort out my established contacts. Manually punching data from about 400 business cards into a google spreadsheet, total time: about an eternity (it felt like). Nah, but easily around 6 hours.
  • The last step was writing and putting together the video presentation + text + links and images + all the different levels of rewards. Again, I bounced drafts back and forth to get it all formatted on the presentation page in a reasonably neat way (I’m notoriously “undergifted” at everything related to layout / visual design), and Arno at FundedByMe was very helpful with this. Let’s say that it took 1 hour to write text, 1 hour to fix the look of the page, and 1 hour to piece together how the reward ladder would look like. (My business partner Gunnar Frykfors was helpful as always and gracefully agreed to sponsor the higher reward levels with exclusive gift packages from Rent a Chef – thanks Gunnar, you rock!) A total of 3 hours’ work.

Having done all the preparations, I felt anxious to get started. I clicked the submit button on FundedByMe late on Monday night, 14th of June. The next couple of days, I had a bunch of tasks, errands and meetings out on town so I could not devote much time to the campaign. Before we proceed I’ll go ahead and present you with some figures to keep in mind… I had the opportunity to / chose to turn directly to the following number of recipients for my message:

  • Facebook Page for Bar-deli : 400 people
  • Twitter followers : 1450 persons
  • Mailinglist comprised of Swedish-speaking subgroup from my business card collection mentioned above + my Swedish-speaking Facebook friends: 850 people

Which brings us to my activities after the start of the campaign:

  • Automatically scheduled updates on Twitter + Facebook. On Friday the 17th of June, I wrote the updates all at once then set them to be published by HootSuite three times daily until the end of the campaign, to ensure that I would be top of mind among followers and fans. Using the tool crowdbooster I had been informed that I could reach most of my Twitter followers, at 11am and at 1pm, so I scheduled the updates (including the link of course) to be posted around 11 o’clock, at 1pm and at 7pm (to reach visitors from their home). Writing three different updates and scheduling them (must done manually in HootSuite for each posting) took about 1 hour.
  • E-mail to my mailing list. I signed up for an account on MailChimp (they allow 12,000 mailings per month free!) and had to spend some time to learn to navigate through all the features there. I did two mailings: Monday 20th, and then again on the 27th. When preparing the first mailing, I went through my list and divided it into six different segments:
  1. - Mentors / advisors / senior business people
  2. - Entrepreneurs / “influencers”
  3. - “Fans” / People already engaged in Bar-deli
  4. - Friends / acquaintances
  5. - “Network”, ie those who generally know of my existence
  6. - Customers / prospects / contacts from food industry & restaurants
  • After that I formulated six different emails starting from a first general draft, completed with a logotype, a couple of pictures and links. Time learning the Mailchimp system, doing segmentation, writing and sending e-mails: about 6 hours. For the second mailing I modeled the contents from a successful case I did during the campaign, and I sent the email to the entire list, so it went very smoothly. Total time for mailing 1+2: about 7 hours.
  • Steadily and continuously responding as soon as possible to backer report emails, tweets/retweets, blog posts, facebook comments, etc., and various small administrative issues / contact with FundedByMe support: Difficult to do a time estimate, but let’s say 2-3 hours per day from Monday 20th up until now. Total time: 20 hours (?)

Ok, let’s add up all the “input”: About 50 hours of work! (And zero expenses!)

Was it worth it? What kind of “output” did it result in?

  • 12,695 SEK collected from 52 backers
  • 5695 page views on the campaign page
  • 201 fb-shares + retweets (counted from sharing buttons on the campaign page)
  • At least 4 blog posts … ( Matgeek , Driva Eget , Brave New World , MorganFreedude)

… And that’s probably in line with what I might have anticipated beforehand, right? Just wait, there’s more …

  • TWO new restaurant customers. Closed deals with my main target group!
  • THREE opened dialogues with event organizers seeking partnerships/suppliers
  • THREE people who have shown serious interest in doing angel investing in Bar-deli.
  • Again, fifty-two people with a positive, supportive actions have shown that they believe in the idea and want to be involved and help it forward.

In addition, I have a hunch that the brand for my business and entrepreneurship got a boost – but that’s difficult to measure, especially now before the campaign has even ended . That said, you should decide for yourself if you think it sounds “worth it” to run this kind of campaign. I can only fully recommend it.

In conclusion, I am touched, happy and grateful for all the positive feedback I have received – and really motivated to keep moving forward with sales and concept development for my dreams business, where we will elevate the drinking experience, promote joy of living and stimulate involvement of customers, consumers and partners through unique openness, transparency and innovation. And that’s where we are now, in “The Bar-deli saga”.

I invite you to join and support us towards new successes!

Best regards,

Niclas

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