CFG 002 Innies (KS)

"Innies"

 

 

Welcome Crowdfunders!  Episode 002.  This will begin our journey into the depths of a new interesting crowdfunding campaign.  Bart from Innies is hoping to raise 10,000 on Kickstarter with his project that will improve the style and comfort of your laced shoes.

Be sure to check out Innies Crowdfunding Campaign here

Now I’m a big sneaker head so I actually backed this project.  You can check out the images and the crowdfunding video in our show notes on our website CrowdFundGenius.com While your there don’t forget to sign up for our email newsletter.  2 reasons why you should sign up

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Alright so I’m very excited to kick off this journey with todays guest.  Lets dive into this interview.

So tell us about yourself Bart, and Innies: improve the style and comfort of your laced shoes

Bart from Innies: I’m from Melbourne Australia, the project is called Innie, well the product as well.  Essentially It’s a product that’s being designed for laced shoes.  So whether you got a low cut converse, or vans style shoe, to your high cut kicks and things.  Designed for those who typically tuck in their laces.  And it also keeps them more comfortable.  We tread on our laces; we stand on them and its pretty uncomfortable and annoying.  So the idea of Innie is it’s a small plastic clip that fits on the inside of your shoe and it acts a knot so the lace tension can stay there and you can cut away the excess lace.

ZacBob:  Awesome!  I actually love this product.  For those of you that don’t know yet, I am a die-hard Oklahoma City Thunder fan.  I was born and raised in Oklahoma City.  I buy a new pair of KD’s every year from Nike.  And I’m always tucking my laces in, and it gets annoying to have to re-tuck them over and over.

And currently you’re sitting at about 7,000, only 3,000 from your goal.  You got about 22 days to go with your campaign.  Do you feel confident?

Bart from Innies:  Yea definitely.  Were not celebrating too much yet, but its looking good were only about nine days in or so?  And it’s got some really good traction.  Were fortunate enough to have a good following.  We knew it was good to build that early so I think we’ve pretty much exhausted our current network.  Now phase 2 is really trying to get it out to the mass public especially international being from Australia. Obviously our numbers are quite small compared to the US and other major countries.

ZacBob:  Now the first thing I notice when I get to your campaign page is all the High definition quality images.  I know the audience listening cant see these but they can find them on our show notes page of our website.  Did you have a professional photographer take these or did you do these yourself?

Bart from Innies: I was fortunate enough while doing my research of campaigns especially ones that succeeded that was kind of a common trend, some really good quality stuff.  And very more visual than text because were all very more visual these days with pitches and videos being more appealing.  I was fortunate to have some friends with nothing to crazy, they weren’t paid professionals, just some friends that sort of knew their way around a camera.  We just grabbed the camera for a couple of afternoons and shot some scenes in our local which opened up some laneways with great artwork and was cool and fun.

ZacBob: So how does the Innie actually attach to the shoe?  Does it clip to the inside or what?

Bart from Innies:  Well yes it’s more onto the lace.  It clips onto the lace itself.  And it kind of interlocks onto the lace and than the way it keeps in the shoe is purely from the foot that’s in the shoe itself.  So the plastic Innie inside the shoe is not letting the lace come through the shoe.  It kind of just locks it in.  the more pressure you put on the foot if your running around or going jogging and things.  Its kind of makes it a tighter fit as well.

"Innies"

ZacBob:  Does it come in a variety of colors?

Bart from Innies:  So we do it in the base white and black and then neon yellow and neon pink and then neon blue.

ZacBob:  Are you planning on future colors?

Bart from Innies:  Yea definitely I personally didn’t think color was much of an option, mainly because the product is inside the shoe so you cant really see it.  But After a bit of research, people like to customize things and feel that they could mix and match.  So the reason we went with neon is that neon and birth colors seem to be in at the moment.  So I guess colors can change with trends and fashion trends as well team colors and things like that, like football teams and things.

ZacBob:  So why did you decide to use Kickstarter instead of the other platforms out there?

Bart from Innies:  Mainly because of the masses, it has a lot more traction, things get a lot more community based as well, there’s a lot of forums and things, that really supported us and gave a lot of great feedback.  Some awesome feedback while I was planning the thing from some Facebook forums and things like that  really gave me some knowledge.  Rather than filing while I’m live with my Kickstarter campaign I could show them my preview and get some really quality feedback.  And so I found with the other platforms they didn’t really have that structure and support structure.  And mainly as well the people were going to it. Other sights were getting 3-4000 a month were as Kickstarter is getting millions a month.  So it was pretty much a no brainer in that sense.

ZacBob:  So how much are you trying to raise on Kickstarter?

Bart from Innies: The 10,000 which we set currently.  And that was to cover the packaging and get to the final mass production.

ZacBob:  Okay now lets dig into your pledge amounts!

Bart from Innies:  The pledge amounts started at ten dollars.  Which gets you two packets of the product.  Then goes into 18 and 30, which gives you more multiples of the products.

ZacBob:  I hear simpler is always better.  And with 3 pledge amounts that’s pretty to the point.

Bart from Innies:  Yea I just wanted to keep it simple.  We didn’t do any early birds, or 1-dollar pledges.  Again from research with the 1-dollar pledges if people are going to go through the effort to do a 1-dollar pledge than we might as well reward them.  Especially with it being such a low cost pledge to get some products.  So from similar campaigns people are only getting 20-30 dollars from 1-dollar pledges so I don’t think the value is there for that.

ZacBob:  That’s what I’m always telling people when I review their campaigns, 1$ is just not worth it, you would need 10,000 backers to get to a 10k goal.  But only 2000 at 5$

So tell me again what were your pledge amounts and the reward for each level?

Bart from Innies:  Yes the 10$ would get you two packets of Innies and each packet you get enough for two pairs of shoes.  So when you go to the 18-dollar pledge amount you would then get four packets and when you go to 30 you would get 8 packets of products.

ZacBob:  Which one was your best performing pledge?

Bart from Innies:  Probably the 10-dollar pledge at this point.  I think people still want to test the product out and see how it works.  At 10$ that’s enough to apply it to four pairs of shoes.  The average person has 3-4 pair that they use on a regular basis.  I think anything more than that is a bit of an overkill.  The ones getting the 30-dollar pack seem to be giving them to their friends or family members and things like that.

ZacBob:  Makes sense would be a great stocking stuffer come Christmas time.  Tell me about your crowdfunding video.  What went into the making?  Give our audience a breakdown and sort of Hollywood style behind the scenes look at it.

Bart from Innies:  Yea it was pretty nerving, I’m not someone that likes to jump in front of a camera but you have to do what you have to do when your trying to hustle a campaign and start a business.  But I didn’t have to much help from to many friends because I don’t know anyone that’s a director kind of scene.  It was a lot of research into other Kickstarter campaigns really, how they started it, how they ended it, what they included, how they showed the product and those sort of things.  Then it was to the point of scripting it, shot them in sort of little clips at a time, so I could mix and match them and re-order them.  Then I spent about a week of going back and forth between friends to see if they understood what I was trying to do by the end of the process.

ZacBob:  Wow you actually recorded it yourself.  Not to be rude, but its very surprising because the video is so well done that you would think you had an outside hire.  What did you use to actually record the footage?  A HD Camcorder or something similar?

Bart from Innies:  Well it was just a DSLR camera.  That’s what was used to take the photos, and it had video capabilities as well.  So yea just me and a friend, he was behind the camera shooting and we did different angles and things.  It was funny because we didn’t actually have a tri-pod at the time we just stacked a bunch of milk crates up and used that as a steady plank for some scenes.  And for the glide scene, we used a skateboard.  We had to use what we had around to get a descent video, which I think we achieved.

ZacBob:  I couldn’t agree more.  So for everyone listening, you don’t have to be a professional videographer, or a Hollywood director, or even have the right materials to shoot your video.  You just need to be driven and willing to get the job done.  The video is definitely a quality crowdfunding video.    Did you do the editing yourself as well?

Bart from Innies:  Yea I did that was just through, iMovie.  I was fortunate enough that I didn’t need any high-end software or pay anyone to do that.  So I thought I would play with it myself and I learned on the way I searched Google and YouTube to find different hints and tricks on how to use it.  And again with Kickstarter the whole reason I’m on there is because I didn’t have the funded or resources to make it a grand production.  So I had to use my own resources and skills to try and knock it together.

ZacBob: Well it came out great

Bart from Innies:  Thank you

ZacBob:  Did you have any blogger or media attention?  I noticed on your campaign page you had a few media outlets on their like Sneaker Freaker?

Bart from Innies:  Yea we were fortunate enough, that was through some friends of friends.  That was a big stage even before the Kickstarter launched.  Pushing back to the people we knew personally because they would probably be the ones to help out a bit more beyond strangers that don’t really know us personally.  It was due to friends, and who they knew, and who their friends, friends knew.  Fortunately out of that there were some people in publications that could give us some early traction and give us something to talk about.  Which is excellent.

innie-cut-loose-2

ZacBob:  Just to be clear that was established ahead of time, before the launch of your crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter?

Bart from Innies:  Yea we established those relationships, there hasn’t been a whole lot yet, 2 or 3 on sneaker freaker were through a friend network.

ZacBob:  Did you create any email lists going into your campaign or during your crowdfunding campaign?

Bart from Innies:  Yea we launched the website and the social media pages 6-8 weeks out from actually launching our crowdfunding campaign.  And on the Facebook page we had a tab were you could leave your email if your interested and we would keep you updated.  Had it on our website as well.  From that we didn’t get a massive response as we were updating Facebook quite regularly as well.   But we did get about 25-30 people on that email list.  They were complete strangers, which was good.  Most of it was just cleaning through social media.  WE ended up building… I think about, 500 new likes in 48 hours just through friends of sharing and releasing strong content and teasing people about what’s coming!

ZacBob:  So you spent a total of 6-8 weeks on Facebook before the launch of your campaign.  What were you doing with Facebook to start building your audience?

Bart from Innies:  I was on Facebook personally just posting.  When I started I didn’t know to much about it because a business page on Facebook works different than a personal page.  So I spent another 3-4 weeks before that Just to understand how to link posts from other pages, how to post different types of materials from articles, to videos to images.  I also wanted the page to have content on there so when I launch the campaign it doesn’t look like it’s a fresh page.  People are going through and flicking through different articles and stuff.  It was up and going for about three months but only publicly about two.

ZacBob:  For everyone listening, this is what I was talking about, you have to get out there and DO!  Start those social media outlets and get a feel for your crowd.  Did you pay for any promoted posts, or Facebook advertisements?

Bart from Innies:  Not previous to the campaign no.  But during the campaign we did promote some content, things like Sneaker Freaker, a few other supports that we had.  We promoted those and paid for those ads.  But in terms of likes and all that, that’s just being organic.   And harassing friends to keep sharing and liking our content to their friends or network so they can see it as well.

ZacBob:  What about twitter” title=”Twitter,”>Twitter did you capitalize on that social media outlet as well?

Bart from Innies:  Yea we used it, I never used it before the campaign, so I didn’t have a strong knowledge of how to best use it to support us.  So essentially is more being a feed from our Instagram accounts that we share photos and stuff through it.  Recently now we have something to talk about, Its been more during the campaign that we used it to sort of let people know if we hit our goal.  Used twitter to try and get to the 5000 mark before week one.  It was a bit of a push on twitter to get people to rally behind the campaign.  I’m using it more now during the campaign, but before the launch of the campaign no.

ZacBob:  Did you give any thoughts to running any contests.  Especially on Instagram.

Bart from Innies:  Yea we just did one, especially on Instagram.  We just finished one, giving away some shoes and sample products as well.  It gained some pretty good traction as well.  It was an Instagram contest but we promoted across our Facebook audience as well.  We didn’t do twitter because we find that twitter is a lot more international and we wanted to keep the contest local to Australia.  We wanted to do that to see how much interaction it gets from people, and how much their willing to give to the brand.  It was quite successful and we just drew the winner a couple days ago.

ZacBob:  With your Facebook ads were you just targeting Australia?  Because I noticed you were interested in keeping it local?  Or did you target a worldwide audience?

Bart from Innies:  We tried it a few different ways.  One was the different types of content we were posting, one was a video based content the other was just an image with a link in the posts.  This is to see what people are clicking on, As well as different locations.  We targeted both those types of content, within Australia to a younger demographic that we think would be more inclined to purchase this type of product.  We also targeted people of New York with interests of Kickstarter.  That was based on doing some research on Kickstarter website and other sites that have statistics on Kickstarter and that New York has been the biggest backer of Kickstarter campaigns.  So we sorted of targeted that there.   We found that it got quite a few views and interactions and that the post with an image and a link received more action a lot more than videos.

ZacBob:  I’m almost at a lost for words right now because this is exactly the type of information I want to share with entrepreneurs and Crowdfunders that are listening to this show.   I’m grinning from ear to ear right now because it sounds like you really had it figured out. And I’m very impressed Bart.

Bart from Innies:  The biggest thing I want to stress more is you cant really post these things and you only have one shot at it.  I just spent weeks and weeks and weeks researching each section of it.  There’s that much information out there and the web opens you up to the world and I was reading all the failed campaigns, and all the successful campaigns.  Statistics on Kickstarter itself, the demographics of people that use it.  I just really wanted to nail it and make sure it takes off with a bang because they say the first week is really important to gauge the success of the campaign.  I think so far we’ve executed it really well.  It was probably two to three months later that I had to launch it but again purely for the fact that you have to make sure that your confident that you know where your launching it, who your launching it to and whose going to pick it up.  Because even with all the preparation we’ve done.  That launching it the demographic of people that will buy the product in store are likely not the ones to back it on Kickstarter.  Seems to be our backers are backers that have backed many projects before from all of the world.  And all ages as well.  You need to make sure that your flexible enough to change your goal posts during the campaign as well.

ZacBob:  To wrap up the time frame, from the idea, to this very moment, how long would you say its been?

Bart from Innies:  I’m one of those people that have a lot of great ideas, we probably all have a great idea of a product that could probably solve a problem we have in life.  So I used a hacked up sort of existing product that does a similar job for over about two years now.  And I always said I’m gonna gonna gonna start it and do something and with Kickstarter being so fresh to Australia.  I only knew about Kickstarter a year ago and seeing that, seeing projects get funded and what stage the projects were at.  And for them to be able to try and get funded when just in the prototype stage.  I thought wow it’s a perfect opportunity to give something a go.  I was studying business at the time and I thought this would be a great way to apply what I’ve been learning into a product and it would be great knowledge as well so, it all started from that.  And that process was probably about 12 months ago when I really started digging in.  it didn’t progress as well as I liked  with working full time and studying full time and trying to develop this as well.  Its only been this year were I’ve stopped my studies and deferred them for a year to give this a good shot.  Now I’m getting much more progress out of it but it was a pretty intense stage.  I’ve used a lot of online freelancing websites so being on the Australian time line I can set some jobs for people to do and go to sleep and when I wake up.  Whether its graphics or designs it’s all completed and ready to go for me to work on the next day.    Which is brilliant to take advantage of.

ZacBob:  Brilliant, or pretty much genius id say! Bart, were you able to get Innies on the Staff picks, or popular projects portion of Kickstarter?

Bart from Innies:  Yea we’ve been on popular projects portion for a while now.  We’ve floated for a while on desktop from the top section to a few pages down for the last week.  But were fortunate enough to be sort of hovering in and out of that popular section.  Because Kickstarter gives you feedback as to where the backers originally came from and were definitely getting some from the popular section.

ZacBob:  Did you attend any Kickstarter schools, Or any webinars on crowdfunding before launching your campaign?

Bart from Innies:  Yea I did the Kickstarter school, on their website.  I went through all that and noted down the relevant information all the important things.  Then I went to a Kickstarter event that was actually the day after I launched my campaign.  It was just last week but, it was more of an introduction as to what Kickstarter is to Australia as opposed to key things to do with your particular project.  I did get more out of the online school that they provide.  But it came from that just noting the relevant points for my particular project.

ZacBob:  Did you use Kicktraq or any other tools to monitor your crowdfunding campaign?

Bart from Innies:  Yea we just started using Kicktraq.  It takes about a week to really sort of get some numbers to project where you will end up.  Its also a great tool where you can submit any publications like “sneaker freaker”.  There’s also a small community on there as well showing you statistics of how well your performing.

ZacBob:  So where is majority of your traffic coming from?

Bart from Innies:  Were finding a lot of it is just through organic search from Kickstarter itself.  That’s people going through the search or popular new projects and things of such, but I think it may be how were promoting it socially as well.  It didn’t seem to be as much through Facebook as we would’ve thought, we think people are going from Facebook to Kickstarter and searching Innie itself so that could be the organic search from Kickstarter.  But it originally came from Facebook and our social media efforts.  But majority seems to be from people just organically searching through Kickstarter new and cool information.  But its definitely showing from the backer’s background information that people have backed from 5 projects up to 100’s of projects.  They seem to be the ones that are more eager to help fund a project opposed to trying to educate people on what Kickstarter is and how the process works.

ZacBob:  How could Kickstarter have made your experience better on their platform?

Bart from Innies:  For every person that runs a project it would be nice for them to help promote more but, coming form a Kickstarter angle.  They got thousands and thousands and thousands of projects where they got limited resources where they can promote different things.  So if they do it for one they have to do it for all.  So it’s probably a pipe dream that I don’t think it’s a pipe dream that I don’t think is business sense possible.  I think in terms of support with Kickstarter School, tons of videos, and the statistics and things like that.  I think they’re doing as good as they can probably do.  I think more of the key information that they wouldn’t know is from the people that have information and are doing blogs, and doing forums and doing this kind of stuff that are sharing their experiences.  That’s the place I think people that are doing this sort of thing need to focus their attention on.  You can find projects that are similar to what your doing and see where they went wrong and were they went right and you can try to mimic everything you can to give your best chance.

ZacBob:  And that’s exactly what I’m trying to do with CrowdFund Genius!

Bart from Innies:  Yes exactly, that’s why I’m happy to get involved in doing this and hopefully you guys share my success story.

ZacBob:  What’s the best advice, tip, or secret tool you can advise anyone listening and thinking about running their own campaign

Bart from Innies:  Research, research, research, its really learning off everyone else, what they did right what they did wrong.  Everyone has hindsight, what do these people think they could’ve done better, who could they have partnered with, who could’ve helped promote certain things.  And I think people in rural crowdfunding who don’t have those types of resources is being smart about getting help with online freelancers.  You know it would’ve cost me a quarter of what it cost me to get where I am now by simply outsourcing internationally and getting support locally, and as much as you want to solicit support local.  I think to get started, you need to do what you need to do to get started.  Research and take advantage of the web.

KS-17

ZacBob:  Well that concludes the interview for todays show.  Be sure to tell my audience where they can find you, also don’t forget to tell them where they can get a pair of their Innies

Bart from Innies:  They will be available online straightaway after the campaign.  That’s at Innies.com.au  I do free worldwide shipping.  They’re a light plastic thin product.  We can put them in a standard post envelope and be sent anywhere in the world.  Hopefully we will go into retail stores and be available worldwide as well.  So hopefully you can just jump online and choose your quantity and colors from there!

ZacBob:  And where a people connect with you?

Bart from Innies: You find me on Facebook by searching My Innies, because Innies was taken.  My Innies will get you to the Facebook page and same thing across the board on Twitter and Instagram.

ZacBob:  Well I want to thank you Bart for coming on the show you have been the perfect guest and shared incredible insights that I’m sure my new audience will find valuable.

Bart from Innies: Thank you for having me.

(Here are links to all of Innies Social Media and website)
Twitter
Facebook
Instagram
Website

ZacBob:  Well ladies and gentleman, thank you so much for listening to CrowdFund Genius first interview.  Feel free to let me know what I could do to make the show better on Facebook and Twitter.  Just search CrowdFund Genius.  Be sure to give us a 5 star feedback if you have time and hit that subscribe button.  Also make sure you register for our email list so you don’t miss out on a chance at free headphones by beats or skullcandy.  I only have a certain amount before I run out.  Thanks again for listening to CrowdFund Genius.  Remember to get out there and start doing and as always, Happy Crowdfunding.  ZacBob OUT!