Crowdfunding is WORK. I can honestly say I wasn’t prepared for the amount of emotional exertion that would go into running a campaign; the highs and lows, the successes and failures, but I have also loved it. A lot. While not prepared, I was forewarned – throughout building this business I have been a sponge, so I listened intently to all of the advice given to me by my coaches at iFundWomen, quietly monitored the #slack channel inclusive of other crowdfunders, and planned via the “Coaches Playbook”, as suggested.
I picked a launch date, started making fun graphics on Canva, set aside time in my schedule to be ready to “work” this once we went live… and then, a bit of a surprise hit – I was asked to participate in the Governor’s press release about iFundWomen coming to Vermont. This fast-tracked my plans as I was given an amazing opportunity for free PR and needed to get my campaign live, or at least have a landing page, so that as people heard about what I was doing, they would have a legitimate place to go to contribute to the campaign. Oh yeah, and I need a website. Anyone looking me up needed to be able to see that my business existed. No small feat for this learning-as-I-go techie.
This all began in August. I recall sitting with friends days after learning of the upcoming press release (to happen THAT Friday) and feeling so excited that it was really going to happen. I wasn’t nervous at all. I just wanted to get my message out to the world and make it real – to share what I’ve been working so hard towards and see what kind of reaction I received. I was also completely shameless about beginning to ask friends and family to contribute to my campaign. On the one hand, asking people you know for money can be very awkward, but it is also very necessary, and the latter point far trumps any negative feelings around the ask. No ask, no money, no business. Self-funding can only take you so far, as I’ve learned. Whilst shouting from social media that my campaign was going live ahead of schedule, I neglected to realize that I wasn’t actually supposed to be “launching” the campaign just yet… it was supposed to be in what we call an “incognito” stage – that where the page exists but can only be found if you share the link with others. It’s not searchable. Oops. I may have blasted this private link to my entire social family.
After that faux pas, I went quiet for a couple of months. I worked at having more of a social presence, but via informative posts on running, fun quotes, snippets of videos and photos from the past year. I wanted to build an awareness around my area of interest before re-launching the campaign. I also traveled to NYC and shot a real-deal videoabout why I’m crowdfunding. I took Avery out of school to come with me so she could be a part of the experience – we had a blast!
Fast-forward to today, and we are halfway through the REAL campaign, and are currently at $5,350 of our $35,000 goal. That $5,350 has allowed me to reconnect with my original engineer and work towards the prototype that we plan to have ready for our beta testers! This is the part I am most looking forward to! As we continue to increase our contributions through friends, family and the community, our next action will be to make the prototypes and begin getting them out to the testers. With their feedback, we can then finalize our product and begin selling. I am so excited to hear what others think and take their ideas to make this an even better accessory!
We have less than a month to go and about $30,000 to raise! If you have already contributed, you are AWESOME and I thank you for being a part of this! If you have not, please consider doing so – every dollar helps no matter how big or small.
You can find my campaign here. Would you do me a huge favor and share this with 5 of your friends?
Running parents – get ready to reclaim your run.