ZacBob Interviews Peter from Liquid Wallet who was looking to raise funds on there minimalistic wallet on Kickstarter! He shares great details about how a last minute launch can still turn out amazing. Peter also shares some great insights on how to handle a press release.
ZacBob: Hey everybody ZacBob here with a new episode of CrowdFund Genius. On todays show we have Peter from Liquid Wallet. And Peter was able to double his crowdfunding goal on Kickstarter with is innovative, heavy-duty new wallet.
But before we start I want to ask everyone to leave me a five star rating if you feel necessary. One lucky winner every week will receive a pair of SkullCandy headphones courtesy of me here at CrowdFund Genius. This is a new show and it will only get better. I appreciate all the support from my listeners and hope you will stick with me throughout this journey. Now lets get started with our interview.
Peter, tell us about yourself and your crowdfunding campaign The Liquid Wallet.
Peter from Liquid Wallet: So we started The Liquid Wallet in July 2013. We participated in a Hack-a-thon even where we were given 30 hours to build something worth building, so we quickly prototyped an idea. The way we came up with the idea was, while we were at the airport, well I was taking out my keys and wallet. It was very bulky and chunky. Sometimes my keys would actually rip my pockets, which was quite annoying. Normally I would only carry around a few main cards and 1 or 2 keys, like a house key or a spare key. And a common mantra I found using that other common guys use is when we check our pockets is: Phone, Wallet, Keys. So the idea came to me and I thought why not just reduce it to phone and wallet. So we quickly prototyped this at the event and we received amazing feedback from the judges, participants and the general public. So after the hack-a-thon we decided to go ahead with it and bring it to a reality. That’s when we started looking to Kickstarter.
ZacBob: Where was the Hack-A-Thon at?
Peter from Liquid Wallet: The Hack-A-Thon was in Sydney, were down in Melbourne Australia. Which is about a 1 hour flight from Melbourne. Our friends were the host of it so that’s why we went to participate and help out.
ZacBob: Did you win the Hack-A-Thon?
ZacBob: Who won the main prize?
Peter from Liquid Wallet: There were actually heaps of different prizes; there were different categories, 3D modeling, and graphics design, something to do about this new Internet connection in Australia. There were lots of different sub-categories.
ZacBob: So how many members of your team were working on the Hack-A-Thon?
Peter from Liquid Wallet: There were four members
ZacBob: And you have grown your company from there is that right?
Peter from Liquid Wallet: Actually we worked on another startup project together; there is nine of us in total. We work on another startup its an online Ecommerce store. For the Hack-A-Thon just four of us went and we utilized our skills. One of the guys that we worked with is a industrial designer, and the rest of the team had a lot of skills that compliment this project as well. Marketing, strategies, graphic design, programming and all those things, so we brought it all together to branch out to this second project which is Liquid.
Peter from Liquid Wallet: So before Kickstarter we were actually thinking about a name. So we asked ourselves did we want to turn this into a log term business or just do one project and end it. So we decided we wanted to build a brand a launch many more products. Because we had quite a few in mind, and there was a color called Liquid black and one of the guys said why don’t we just call our business Liquid. Its sleek and beautiful and it flows like the vision we had for the business. So that’s how we came up with the name Liquid. All of our future products we plan to brand with the word Liquid. So Liquid Wallet, Liquid Key Caddy, etc.…
Peter from Liquid Wallet: Yes that’s right we still got plenty more. Already we’ve been working on two of them that are soon to come.
ZacBob: Can you tell us anything about it or is TOP SECRET?
Peter from Liquid Wallet: Yea sure, so the next product. With the Liquid Wallet we find quite a few flaws from feedback with people. Which is good thought because its great learning experiences for us. Because with the wallet it depends on the person. Because some people like to keep their wallets in their front pockets and some people like to keep their wallets in their back pockets. Some people think the idea of having your keys with your wallet is an amazing idea and very efficient when you go out. Some people hate the idea because their scared of when they lose their wallet they lose everything. So what we came up with next is we decided to change the angle that we market it at. So instead of a wallet and key unit. Were calling it the essentialist wallet. So that’s a new name that we crowned our product. So first it was traditional wallets, then came the minimalist wallet, now were introducing a new trend called the essentialist wallet. So plan to have accessories that go hand in hand with the wallet. A USB, a bottle opener with a screwdriver head, LED torch. Things that people would like to carry around and use a lot. So they have the freedom to mix and match it and not have to use keys if they don’t want to. So they can use the wallet and have a USB and bottle opener if they don’t want to use keys. So those are a few more accessories that we plan to launch. The next projects that were planning to launch is the Liquid Key Caddy. So this is like a Swiss army knife inspired design for your keys. So imagine a Swiss army knife, but instead of the tools you replace that with your keys and the accessories I just mentioned, LED, USB, Bottle opener, and torch. So it keeps your keys from being clunky, being jingly or noisy and ripping your pockets. So it’s very slim line neat units that were creating for that.
ZacBob: It sounds like your planning many more Crowdfunding Campaigns? Or at least one more?
Peter from Liquid Wallet: Yea definitely. Were planning on running 2-3, well probably 2 more Kickstarter projects to boost our brand and give it the type of recognition we want. Then we would launch our future products on our website without going through Kickstarter.
Peter from Liquid Wallet: Well with Kickstarter we found it was a lot more popular. It was a lot more trustworthy to people. Because a lot of our friends they didn’t know anything about crowdfunding. If we were to tell them about the other sites when they researched they didn’t find to much information. Where as Kickstarter they found information in the news everywhere about Kickstarter. So it was a lot more trustworthy. With Kickstarter we talked to a few other people who launched with Kickstarter, Indiegogo etc. and they said with Kickstarter it brought in a lot more traffic from people just browsing on Kickstarter and a lot more backers. So we decided to go with Kickstarter first because of the name. and the popularity.
ZacBob: So what was your original financial goal for your Crowdfunding campaign?
Peter from Liquid Wallet: Our original goal was just 8000 dollars which was the minimum that we needed to get our first production run going. We surpassed that by 122%. Given the chance to go back and do it again, I believe we would’ve been capable of reaching a much higher goal than that. Surpassing our goal by a lot more. What happened was before we launched our campaign we had hired a guy to do our video for us. He was a good friend. But he got delayed a lot by many other things. And it was delayed by up to three months. So nothing was really given. So one day we just gave up and found someone else. And he completed the video in just one day. The little funds we had left over were already drained, so we decided to launch straight away. That forced us to rapidly repair our marketing and everything within that first few weeks of launching. Given a chance to do it again we would actually prepare all of our marketing campaign about 1-2 months prior to launching to have the maximum impact and the maximum exposure for our project.
ZacBob: Was the first guy you hired to make your Crowdfunding video, your friend, was he a freelancer or a part of a company?
Peter from Liquid Wallet: He was a Freelancer
Peter from Liquid Wallet: He was actually a friend that did Videography. What happened was during that time he had a lot of personal issues like he had a baby, had to move houses. Things like that, which kept delaying it. We don’t really blame him but it did delay us and that’s why we had to find someone else.
ZacBob: Well you guys did an excellent job in your video. It was about 1 minute long and it shows literally from start to finish the process of making the Liquid Wallet. You showcased all the features while keeping it short and to the point. Alright, lets move on to your pledges. You only had about five pledges. Do you want to talk about that a little bit?
Peter from Liquid Wallet: Pledge amounts I believe on average were about $46. But what we learned from that were a lot of people wanted more options and were happy to pay a lot more. Since this was our first campaign we didn’t offer many options. So next time we do it we plan to add in other options like customization, different type of levels for the pledge awards, more variations, different colors, more things people can add on to the product. And they would be happy to do that.
ZacBob: Which pledge was the highest performing and what did that consist of?
Peter from Liquid Wallet: Our highest performing was our $41 dollar pledge. After that was the $49 dollar pledge the Liquid black wallet.
ZacBob: And the $41 dollar pledge was the “early bird” right?
Peter from Liquid Wallet: Yes that was a “Early Bird.” We thought if we used an “early bird” that would encourage people to get in quicker and help us reach our funding goal
Peter from Liquid Wallet: Yes That’s correct.
ZacBob: How much is the wallet currently?
Peter from Liquid Wallet: Currently for anyone pre-ordering the wallet is $49 Australian dollars.
ZacBob: I noticed you had a four-dollar pledge. Which is a bit unique. Usually you see $1 and $5. So tell me about he $4 dollar pledge and what happened to it?
Peter from Liquid Wallet: That was for the key ring attachment. When we launched the project we were planning on selling the key ring attachment separately. But then one of the backers messaged us, and gave us a really great solution that we never thought of before. For the people that don’t want to use it, why don’t you just flip it inside, so that the key ring portion is hidden inside the wallet. We never thought of that before so after the suggestion we decided to go ahead with that and then we just removed the pledge.
ZacBob: That’s pretty awesome. And kudos for the backer for sharing some insights. Sometimes you just need an outside view to solve a problem. Now you only had 5 pledges total. Which is a trend im starting to notice with successful campaigns. The simpler the better when it comes to pledges. Do you think if you had added more pledges you could’ve done better? I know earlier in our pre chat you were talking about “add ons.”
Peter from Liquid Wallet: No not more pledge amounts. That would’ve made it more complicated and gave people to many options. Add-ons for example, If they wanted to pay 49$ for the black wallet, in that description we would also say add on an extra $10 to get it customized with laser engraving or something. Or add on an extra $7 to get the bottle opener. But we wouldn’t have extra reward tiers, because with Kickstarter each backer can only back 1 pledge tier. So for example if they backed the $7 for the bottle opener, they would have to add on an extra $49 for the wallet. So in the description we would just put other add-ons that they could ad to increase the pledge amount.
ZacBob: I hope our audience is keeping notes right now. If not they can find all this information in the shown notes on our website CrowdFundGenius.com When I was in the military we had a acronym for this, KISS. Or Keep It Simple Stupid. Not really polite for this circumstance. But there are others like Keep it Short and Simple which applies here as well.
Peter from Liquid Wallet: Yea I think if they have to many options the backers get confused and cant make up their mind and are not sure what’s best for them.
ZacBob: So true to, because some of these crowdfunding campaigns have endless pledges, and I’m not saying that’s horrible, I’m just saying at some point I do get tired of reading each and every pledge. Sometimes I cant even make it to the end of them. Not saying you cant have a lot of pledge amounts, just be aware if your pledges start dragging on and on. Each campaign is different and you should go with what works best for your campaign
Peter from Liquid Wallet: Right. So during our first week of launching we quickly made a list of bloggers that had talked about or posted about similar projects that we researched on. We reached out to them after launch. We rapidly did it with the first week. So the first week we had very little sleep. We know we should’ve done it before but given our circumstances we couldn’t. That’s why we had to do it after the campaign. If anyone else were to launch a Kickstarter campaign we strongly recommend preparing all that prior or before launching. Way before! 1-2 months before to have the maximum impact on the campaign.
ZacBob: Okay so you compiled a list of bloggers and writers then what did you do?
Peter from Liquid Wallet: We wrote a few really short pitches, We contacted a few journalist and people we saw wrote on similar Kickstarter projects. Also we sent out a lot of tips to the top media places like TechCrunch. Not many picked us up, but a lot of the bloggers and a few media places picked us up, and that helped as well.
ZacBob: What exactly did you send? I guess what was the pitch? Do you remember it?
Peter from Liquid Wallet: In our pitch we gave them a link to our website which had our press release and our media kit. In our media kit we had all of our high quality photos, and low quality photos so they could choose which one they wanted to use. Also in our media kit was an outline of what our project is, what were doing, pretty much all the information they needed to know about our project.
ZacBob: So you actually had a link to a press release on your website. That’s a really good idea, that way you don’t have to draft up an entire email you can just send whoever your contacting, whether it’s a blogger or a writer from TechCrunch, you just send a quick link to the website, or landing page and they can download it themselves. Makes it simple.
Peter from Liquid Wallet: Yea it makes it simple and easy for journalist and bloggers. Because they’re very busy and they don’t want to spend time going back and forth through emails. They just want a quick solution. So if you send them a tip that they like they want to have all the information ready to write about it.
ZacBob: Simple. And a lot of Crowdfunders don’t have a team, they’re a one-man shop, so this would be a tremendous time saver for them while running their crowdfunding campaign.
Peter from Liquid Wallet: Yea, that’s another thing. A lot of people try to do it all themselves and it’s a very daunting task running a Kickstarter campaign. There’s so much worked involved in planning and answering emails. Even as a team we had about 5-6 main people working on it all the time. We found it quite tough to manage everything. Especially keeping contact, sharing updates, working with the manufacturing, everything it was so stressful. We couldn’t understand how so many people do it on their own. It would’ve been a major task to do it on their own.
ZacBob: Im sure it is, and hopefully anyone listening thinking about doing a crowdfunding campaign will opt for doing a press release the same exact way you did Peter. Did you have an email list coming into the campaign? Or were you able to build one before launch?
Peter from Liquid Wallet: No we didn’t. we built a small fan base on Facebook but that’s it. But now after the Kickstarter campaign we started doing all that. Started building up an email list. Really putting a lot more effort in building relationships and getting people into our email list. Having a strong social media presence and updating people more regularly.
ZacBob: I noticed you had a pretty epic bag of fireworks that you set off! It was one of your videos. Did that help create a little momentum for your campaign?
Peter from Liquid Wallet: Yea that was just something fun. One of our family friends they were a pyro technician for a Asian new years festival here in Australia. He gave us a bag to use and we thought that would be great to get people excited. Midway through the campaign momentum died down a bit and we wanted to pick it up by introducing something fun, just to keep followers something excited and interested and basically give everyone something to talk about.
ZacBob: I also seen an update at 50% that you put out asking people to help out and how they could help out. Can you elaborate a little more on that particular update?
Peter from Liquid Wallet: Yea so what we did with that is we created a landing page, and talked to our closest friends and said we wanted to start a viral thing could you help us out. If you help us out by clicking share or tweet on Facebook and Twitter and telling two of your friends about our project and asking those two friends to do the same thing etc. etc. That worked really well for us, because we had over 4,500 Facebook shares for our project. So that worked really well, and it was just a quick simple page that took one or two days to set up.
Peter from Liquid Wallet: No like I mentioned early with our team we have a lot of different people with different expertise’s, graphic designer, programmer and all that. We asked him to quickly put a page together and our graphic designer designed it, and our programmer, programmed it up to make it functional. We quickly put it up and asked our friends to share it.
Peter from Liquid Wallet: When we first started, as soon as we launched it was like 180-200 people. But it grew to over 2000 during the 37 days of the campaign?
ZacBob: where you running ads or was it all organic?
Peter from Liquid Wallet: we were running ads, we were running pay per click ads. A lot of that was from organic as well. We didn’t put to much into the ads.
ZacBob: Could you explain a little more what you mean by you didn’t put to much into the ads?
Peter from Liquid Wallet: Because you have to pay for the ads per click, we didn’t put to much money into that, majority of the clicks and likes were organic.
ZacBob: So I presume you didn’t have a marketing company correct?
Peter from Liquid Wallet: No we did it all ourselves within our team.
ZacBob: Did you run any social media contests?
Peter from Liquid Wallet: Contest? Actually no, we tried to run a contest, but we found out that doing it on Kickstarter is actually against the terms and conditions. So next time we will do it on social media rather than on Kickstarter.
Peter from Liquid Wallet: No not really, we just looked at other popular projects or people that talked about Kickstarter and sent them a tweet to help tweet about our project as well. Actually with every social media email, Twitter and all that we did prepare a pitch to make it easier for people to share a like for us. We prepared a template that they could quickly use so they wouldn’t have to think much. They could just place their name something quick and small.
Peter from Liquid Wallet: We did get on the popular projects portion for a little bit
ZacBob: Was there a particular turning point in your campaign when the pledges just started pouring in?
Peter from Liquid Wallet: We saw a huge increase right after reaching our funding goal. We set off the firecrackers, made a lot of noise and buzz about it. So we saw a lot of attention right after we reached that funding goal.
Peter from Liquid Wallet: I believe the survey part, could be done a lot better. And the updates part, it was a bit annoying sometimes because they wouldn’t allow you to edit it. So after you sent out an update you might find something wrong with it, but you couldn’t edit it after thirty minutes. We would post something and then there’s a change, but instead of a simple edit, we had to post a whole new update.
ZacBob: What is the best piece of advice, or tool that you can give to any Crowdfunders that might be listening today
Peter from Liquid Wallet: Spend as much time as possible building an audience or an email list before launching your campaign. That would be the best tip. That makes or breaks the success of your campaign.
Peter from Liquid Wallet: If they want to purchase more, we’ve actually posted on our second startup sight. Moolahd.com They can find the pre-orders on their. We also have an affiliate program for those who want to promote our Liquid Wallet and and future projects get commission on each successful referral. We haven’t offered it yet, but right after we deliver all of our Kickstarter Liquid Wallets we will be offering that solution for people who want to promote it further.
ZacBob: Well that concludes the show, Thank you peter for coming on.
Thank you Crowdfunders for listening. And if you have any questions be sure to contact me on Facebook. Just search CrowdFund Genius two words, and we will pop up. Also don’t forget to sign up for my email list so you can have a chance to win some headphones and you will also get excellent content to help you with your upcoming crowdfunding campaign. As always Happy Crowdfunding. ZacBob out.
Liquid Wallets Links:
Elance.com – Freelancers
Liquid Wallets Press Release