“Amazing Crowdfunding For You: Giving You Top Power Secrets The Pros Use To Raise A Million Dollars in Only 30 Days!” Presented by Tony Reynolds

Zintro Webinar

Presented by Tony Reynolds, Founder at A KickIn Crowd LLC.

Presenter’s Note:
“Crowdfunding has become a great way for entrepreneurs to raise money for projects fast. There are no requirements other than a great concept and knowing the tips to execute a successful crowdfunding campaign. Reynolds provides you with the basics to understand crowdfunding and how you can use it to successfully fund your projects.”

About Tony Reynolds: 
Yahoo News called him a “Crowdfunding Pioneer” in an article about the JOBS ACT. (http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/smallbiz-vote/questions-remain-equity-crowdfunding-rules-231339623.html)
Tony Reynolds is founder of A KickIn Crowd, LLC, an education based crowdfunding platform currently being incubated at Tech Columbus at The Ohio State University. They recently signed The Reynoldsburg School System as their first client. Reynolds was a member and is listed in the final report for the SEC Forum On Small Business Capital Formation. He was a member of the Crowdfunding Breakout Group for the JOBS ACT implementation.

National Public Radio (NPR) Recognized Reynolds as one of the top Blacks in Tech for his work in crowdfunding. Reynolds was president of a social group, Crowdfunding Columbus from January 2014-June 2014, when members raised more than $385,000 for their projects in 2014.

Reynolds has a B.A. In Journalism/Public Relations from The Ohio State University. He has written several books. He and his work have appeared in most known media including Jay Leno, Oprah.Com, Martha Stewart, CBS Early Show, ESPN, Fox News, Fox Sports, etc. He is also a VFW.

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Enrique: Hello and welcome everyone. My name is Enrique Levin, co-founder and VP of product at Zintro. Zintro is a global online marketplace that helps connect companies with highly specialized consultants and other expertise providers for projects that range from one hour phone consults to month to month on site engagements and even full-time jobs. Today’s webinar, Amazing Crowdfunding For You: Giving You Top Power Secrets the Pros Use To Raise a Million Dollars in Only 30 Days will be presented by Tony Reynolds. Tony is founder of A Kickin Crowd, LLC, an education based crowdfunding platform currently being incubated at Tech Columbus at The Ohio State University.

Reynolds was a member and is listed in the final report for the SEC forum on small business capital formation. He was also a member of the crowdfunding breakout group for the JOBS Act implementation. Yahoo! News called him a crowdfunding pioneer in his article about the JOBS Act. He has written several books and him and his work have appeared in Jay Leno, Oprah.com, Martha Stewart, CBS Early show, ESPN, Fox News, and many others.

If you would like to ask Tony any specific questions, feel free to use the questions sections of your GoToWebinar control panel in the top-right corner of your screen at any time throughout the webinar. Tony will respond to questions after this presentation. We will provide Tony’s contact information at the end of this webinar for follow-ups, so stay tuned. Without further ado, I would like to turn it over to our presenter Tony Reynolds.

Tony: Hello. Thanks, Enrique, for saying all the nice words about me. Most of it’s true. I don’t know how much I have to pay you for the rest. I want to tell you thank you very much. And thanks everybody for spending a little bit of your afternoon with me. So we want to talk about crowdfunding and how crowdfunding can be available for you. So let’s begin our presentation. I’m giving you some of the top power secrets the pros use to raise millions fast. And I can accurately say this because I’ve been around crowdfunding raises. As I say, when I was president of Crowdfunding Columbus, one of our group members, which is a case study I’ll use later in this talk, one of our members had raised $111,000 on Kickstarter and failed. And then she came back and I’ll tell you what she did to tweak it and ended up raising over $300,000.

Okay, so right now the buzz is crowdfunding. Everybody knows from videogame to designers to the Hollywood elite, everybody wants a piece of the pie. So they go to Kickstarter, Indiegogo and, bingo, you hit the jackpot, right? Not so fast, my friend, not so fast. The crowdfunding industry is huge, is projected to go into the trillions in 2020, but let me give you another realistic statistic. Less than 50% of all crowdfunding projects are successful. There are about 750 projects that raised more than $100,000 at Kickstarter alone. And when you include other portals, those numbers go up. So in order to boost our chances of being successful crowdfunding, what we did is, me and my team, we analyze those statistics.

So today, four things I want you to know from this presentation: crowdfunding is available to you today, I want you to know how to get started, the five crucial keys to your success, and one of those crucial keys is how to get a team for your crowdfunding. And, Enrique, if you can release the poll question number on for us, I’d appreciate that.

Enrique: So we have our first question. Can you use funding right now? We’re going to wait a couple of seconds to hear answers from our attendees. Okay, a large percentage of our attendees have responded. Chris, we can close the poll question now. Thank you very much.

Tony: Thank you. So let’s talk about the types of crowdfunding. There are two types of crowdfunding. There is donation crowdfunding and there is equity investment crowdfunding. So donation you have rewards and charity and we’re going to spend most of the time talking about rewards based. And then the investment crowdfunding includes equity and lending crowdfunding. So those platforms, there are various platforms for each kind of crowdfunding; Kickstarter, Indiegogo, favor, rewards-based, charity-based you might look at GoFundMe, that tends to be charity although you can do some rewards based projects. In lending, you might look at some of the small micro-based lending websites. But the majority of our time today will be spoken on rewards based.

Before you start your project, you need to create a road map of where you need to go. You need to ask yourself some questions. You need to ask yourself what stage of development is your project, how much money do you really need to get this completed? You need to assess your ability to raise 30% to 50% from your friends and family. I’d say the 30% is generally the rule of thumb. You want to be able to raise the first 30% before you’ll start to see traction from outside donors.

Some people think you can load a project on Kickstarter and just magically a million dollars is going to appear and that’s not true. So when you make your goals, you should set goals that are very specific like saying “I will upload 10 pictures to the site on Tuesday. I want the site to look good.” But be specific about your goals. Make measurable and quantifiable goals that are easy to document and obtain. One of your early goals should be to create a team to handle this project. The most super successful crowdfunding projects always have a team and they divide up the duties.

So let’s go back to under how to set your goals. So let’s say you want to raise $900, then your network must be able to raise $300. If you need to raise $10,000, then you could do one of two things. You need to grow your network, so you need to get people enough to raise the $3000. Let me back up, you can do two things: you can grow your network, or you can lower your goal and do stage goals. So instead of saying “Okay, I need to raise $10,000, I’m gonna go for the whole $10,000 the first time,” what you do is you say, “I’m gonna go for $1000 maybe the first time and then do something very good with that $1000,” let you supporters know and then go back. Because, remember, you can go back to the well in crowdfunding over and over and over.

So some of the goals you want to set in the beginning are gather a team, create the timeline, which means finding the appropriate time to release your project – and that can be critical too – but finding the team is one of the most important things. And then create a comparison of other projects like yours. So project planning is critical. So you get the idea. If you want to have a successful crowdfunding, project planning is critical.

Let’s talk about team. Gather a team. I can’t say this enough. It will be critical because once you start your crowdfunding, there’s so many tasks to complete such as dealing with questions from donors, talking to blogs, responding to interview requests, setting up social media blasts. So there’s a lot of stuff and it’s a major task. Here’s an amazing fact. According to Indiegogo, campaigns run by two or more team members raise 94% more money than campaigns run by single individuals. So with a team, you’re gonna benefit from a diverse skill of teammates and from sharing the workload so you don’t have one person up all night every night trying to figure this out. You’ll tackle everything for press and media inquiries, customer support, campaign updates, strategy and marketing, network outreach and more.

Teams also tend to have better crowdfunding results because of the size of their combined personal network. So if we go back to the earlier example, you need to raise $300, if you want to raise $900 and your team needs to bring in $300, then if you have more people, obviously you’re gonna have a greater ability. The more people who have a direct and personal interest in your campaign, the more funds you’ll raise. So if you’re thinking about how to pull together a team or running a campaign, it could take a lot of work. So look for people in your network of friends, family, coworkers, that share your passion and could share your commitment to the campaign.

Typically, four to six team members have proven to be the most effective. So I would suggest you start with the team lead to cover the whole project and that could be yourself or someone you trust that will have the dedication to see this project through to the end. They should be someone who’s task oriented and can pull the group together in case something goes wrong. You’ll want somebody with a design background or who is artistic to help the design and look and feel of your project or you want somebody that’s task oriented who can organize tasks and get everybody on board. So somebody on your team can serve two functions, but you’ll have to make sure they don’t get overwhelmed. So if you can’t think of a team lead, here is a shameless plug. Zintro is perfect for finding team leads. And I am going to ask you to run the next poll, please, next poll question. Enrique?

Enrique: Thanks for the plug, by the way, Tony. So our next question is do you have a team of four to six people that will work with you right now? Well, most of our audience has voted. Chris, we can close the poll question. Thank you very much everyone for answering.

Tony: Thank you, everybody. I’ve got another shameless plug number two. A KickIn Crowd’s coming out with a crowdfunding collective, and if you wait to the end, I’m going to give you a way to join the crowdfunding collective, meaning you will be able to get team members for your project. A lot of these people have experience crowdfunding, so you’ll be able to get those.

So there’s a lot of preparation you need to do. You want to do as much prep as you can before you launch your project. Your team will need to identify the critical tasks that need to be completed before your launch. You’ll want to start by looking at your calendar, prepping tasks backwards. Typically a crowdfunding should be tasks four to six weeks before.

Now you guys and ladies have probably heard of The Coolest Cooler project on Kickstarter, it raised $13 million dollars. That person actually failed his first time. And what he did in his prep was he realized that he launched in December the first time when it failed, and so he realized that, hey, most people are traveling in the holiday season, the winter holiday season. If I launch this in the summer, I’m gonna have a much better response, which he did.

So you want to look at your calendar. Your crowdfunding should last between 30 and 45 days. Most people say 30. If you read Kickstarter or Indiegogo, they say 30 days, 30 days, but actually now I suggest 45 because you’ll need another 15 days to get your media, your BuzzFeeds, your Reddits, you’ll need a few extra days to get that going. So you want to look at your calendar and make sure you’re not going up against a holiday or a date the federal government would be planning something. Like April 15th wouldn’t be a good day to launch unless your business deals with making American’s tax stress easier.

We’re gonna talk about writing your pitch, how to write your project pitch. I’m currently working with Ted “The Golden Voice” Williams. You may have heard of Ted Williams. Ted was discovered on the side of a road. He was a former radio DJ. He’s an American veteran, US honorably discharged veteran, and he’s been on some rough times. And so right now I’m writing Ted’s pitch. Your pitch is going to be very important, both in the video and the copy you present to your projects. Some basic questions you’ll need to answer is who are you, why are you raising money, and what will you do with the funds? You also should think how it’s going to impact your viewer. But those must be answered if you’re going to get someone to part with their hard-earned money. You need to be able to tell them who I am, why am I raising this money, and what am I gonna do with the money. You need to let people hear your passion about your project. Talk about your dream, your vision. You need to tell the donor how this will impact their lives, why should they give you the money? Let them know that they’ll be part of something special.

People love special rewards they can get from joining something. In Columbus, Ohio, where I’m at, we have the potato salad. This guy came up with an idea to crowdfund potato salad. His bowl was $10,000. He ended up raising $55,000. But it was the specialness of that crowdfunding that made it attractive I believe is that it was kooky, quirky. So for somebody in the crowdfunding field like myself, you don’t want to see those things. In a sense, you feel like oh my God, this guy’s making fun of crowdfunding. But really, when you think about it, it’s actually a good thing because it shows you the power of the crowd that a guy making a potato salad raised $55,000 in a month.

Anyway, so writing your pitch, your video. Your video’s necessary in order to gain traction in the crowdfunding world because there’s a lot of people crowdfunding. People are busy. You got YouTube, Vimeo, you’re on Facebook. You need to do a short three minute video, let them think about their thoughts about you and what you have to offer, make it attractive. By the way, this crowdfunding with Ted should go off in about a week or two. You’ll see him on Dr. Oz, he taped that yesterday. And Dr. Oz hopefully, fingers crossed, will go ahead and tweet about our crowdfunding. We asked him to. That’s another thing, ask everybody, anybody and everybody to tweet about your crowdfunding.

Okay, so you can create a short video in HD from some handheld device. You don’t want to overdo it. Let’s talk about another failure. There was an actor, I don’t want to mention his name, well, I will. Shemar Moore, he was on Kickstarter, and he had a crowdfunding and I knew it was going to fail when I saw the video. Why? He was sitting in his kitchen. He was having people put makeup like he was going to act a scene. He had famous actresses come in his kitchen, but one thing I saw immediately, he had a double oven. And I thought I don’t have a double oven. Why would I give money to Shemar Moore, a “rich actor” who’s sitting there with a double oven and I can’t even afford a double oven? So it makes you think twice, so you may not want to be in a flashy Mercedes or Corvette when you’re first doing your crowdfunding video pitch, you want to just make it. . .just get a phone, just do something low-key and make your message come across. So, like I said, I don’t suggest you do a Hollywood quality video because a small donor wants to know why you need their money if you’re making expensive Hollywood quality videos. You only need something to represent what you’re planning to make and show the quality behind the plan but not necessarily the video.

Your rewards, this is something that’s really tricky and I think people over think it. How do you create rewards? Your pricing needs to be at a reasonable level for the kinds of rewards you are offering. Remember, the more personal the reward, the more likely that somebody’s going to donate. So that’s why I put on this screen “handshake”, “I will twerk”. I’m kind of being funny, but these are the rewards, these are the actual rewards that Ted Williams will be using. And I always recommend starting at a $1 level. And you don’t see that here but we will. And the reason is somebody who’s just a friend and wants to do something can give a dollar. Maybe they’re struggling, you never know. So just give a dollar, they can get on board. But now once they’ve invested, they will promote you. So if a person invests their money, they’re going to promote your project.

So let’s talk about the Coolest Cooler again. He knew that when he re-launched that project, he would have a mass of people that had given money to him in the past, they’d be invested again. Let’s go back to the project from my group, Crowdfunding Columbus. Same thing, she knew that there were people who had invested. She had raised $111,000 on Kickstarter and failed. But she knew those people that had invested the first time would come back again because they want to see it be successful. So make sure you consider offering something that’s personal to your campaign, something you can offer potential donors, and the things that’ll make a connection between the donor and the project creator as well as the project.

You can also give things that are not directly related like gift certificates to movies or something else. But then you gotta think about if it’s something in Columbus, Ohio, you may not want to offer it to somebody in San Francisco. Now a lot of you are thinking this is obvious, but when you’re doing these kinds of things, you get involved and sometimes you forget. So your rewards will need to offer some fuel to your project campaign, and that’s where your list of friends and family can contribute. So when you think about that, you can recommend a price point for a project.

Now, in our research, we found the most popular price point is between $25 and $125. So if you look at the Reading Rainbow project by LeVar Burton, they raised over $1 million on their $50 reward level. So that’s important. So how do you figure out your goal? Everybody wants to talk about The Coolest Cooler $13 million. But it failed the first time. So you want to go back to, remember, the 30% rule. That applies here, too. So I suggest you make certain your network is prepared to furnish the 30% to get the traction going because most strangers want to see that someone else believes in you before they risk their hard earned money. In order to price your project, first you need to determine how much money you need, then you need to determine how much your network can support. Between those two numbers, you should be able to come up with decent range of how you could be successful. So let’s talk about a member of my group. Crowdfunding Columbus had a campaign on Kickstarter that failed its first time. They raised $111,000 of a $225,000 goal. And you know what strategy both she and The Coolest Cooler used; they lowered their goal. And I was explaining earlier I had been a part of a crowdfunding that was actually was successful but we didn’t reach our goal. It was for a woman on GoFundMe. It was for a woman who had brain tumors. And so she needed to raise $3000 and I put the goal as $15,000. And just like The Coolest Cooler and the PrioVR, we found that you shouldn’t put it too much because if people feel like it’s gonna fail they won’t join.

So here’s what happened when they lowered their goal. Once they lowered their goal to $75,000, remember they had raised $111,000, so they felt like these people would reinvest, would do it again. Then they raised $322,000. Why? Because the psychology of knowing you’ll be a part of something successful instead of something that fails. Coolest Cooler’s original raise was $125,000 and they failed. They lowered their raise to $50,000 and raised $13 million. So there’s some other factors involved, but that’s one of the things that you should know.

So let’s look at an example. Mia’s Pizza needs $10,000. That means her network needs to be able to raise $3,300. If not, she needs to make some decisions. If she says, “My network is only worth $1,000”, she could plan to raise $3,000 and then go in stages and say this is stage one. So I’m gonna raise $3,000 for stage one and then come back to the same crowd and they’ll give again typically because they want to be a part of something special. And as well, these people become your biggest promoters. They’ll promote anything you do. So if you figure you can only raise $1,000 or she can only raise $1,000 from her network, she might consider what kinds of expenses she could pay if you raise $3,000. But if she does it that way, you really need to do what you said you’re gonna do. So, for instance, if she says $3,000 will pay for permits and a lease on the building to get the store open, then she needs to do it because you want to be a good steward of the people’s money. So if she does it that way, she has a capital base of $3,000, and then next time she comes back she could do another, a 3 or a 7 thousand. She should be able to show her previous donors she was a great steward and then she invites them to a success and fundraising meeting in the building that she was able to lease with that $3,000.

Those donors become more excited about the next stage. They share it with their friends and family. And then it blossoms. Let me back up. That’s what happened with PrioVR and that’s what happened with The Coolest Cooler. Those people became the biggest supporters. Project creators, that means you, need to be very extremely realistic about your fundraising goal and what your network can truly support. I get people all the time saying, hey, I want to do $8 million crowdfunding. That ain’t gonna happen like that. We need to know what your crowd is. One thing that can increase your crowd is your team. Your team can immediately increase your crowd. So if you have a team of three, maybe you get a larger team that could help you. And then you can shoot for the moon.

Now, find the relevant media. You want to find the right media outlets for your project. And it’s really easy. So if you go out there and you find the top three projects from Kickstarter or Indiegogo, try to find some that are similar to your category that you plan to post your project and pick the top three successes from that category. You want projects that have already closed and are most successful in those categories. Those projects become your templates.

Now this is how easy it is. Enter their project titles in Google and add the word “news” to the end of your search. For instance, if your project title that you’re looking at is called “The Duck Boy Band” then you go to Google, enter “Duck Boy Band news” to find articles that were written about the “Duck Boy Band” project. Get the names of the publications because you’ll be pitching those same publications. Remember also to copy the name of the writer of these stories because often times they’ll write for multiple publications and they might choose to write your article, a similar article for another publication. You can usually find their Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn IDs. Follow their tweets and their other social media postings because they might be doing other stories similar to yours and that can increase your value. And although news editors don’t like to repeat stories, news editors do follow trends. So if you add your story with a new twist to a familiar theme, it could end up being media gold. I had a story that trended on the cover of Yahoo! and it was a story that was inspired by the political election. That’s called news hijacking. And you really should be experienced before you get into that.

So bloggers, they could be reached really quickly. They can write your story and get it published before traditional media and they can have an immediate impact on your crowdfunding raise. So for instance, it was actually a blogger for BuzzFeed that wrote the story on the potato salad that ended up raising $55,000. So go back to Ted Williams who I’m working with, it was a blogger for The Columbus Dispatch who was out traveling around who got that story and you know how that went. Do you realize that Ted Williams has had over 50 million collective YouTube views? 50 million, so it’s insane.

So get a list. Create a spreadsheet. You could use Google, create a spreadsheet and have a list of your bloggers and your news media. Send them a note, explain who you are, why your project should matter to them and their audience. That’s who they really care for. They’re not writing about you because you’re great. They really don’t know and care about you yet, just cold hard fact. They want to write stuff that’s interesting for their article. You have to look at it from their point of view. They have to get stories that are interesting to the audience so their audience comes back and it grows. In order to do that, they need great content, great stories. So that’s how you do that.

So primary funders, let’s talk about that, who to ask and how. First, it’s really simple. Get together a list of your friends and family. You can also include associates from work or organizations you belong such as a church, school alumni clubs. If you have a school reunion coming up, perhaps you ask the committee chair if you can post about your upcoming crowdfunding in a note to the list of all the former class. So you need to grab your list and then boil it down to the ones you’re absolutely certain will contribute. If there’s any on that list that is in the maybe column, take them off the A list. You want that A list because those are the people that you’re gonna want to push the button when you start your crowdfund.

Go back to a list of similar projects that are on Kickstarter and Indiegogo, and scan those lists to find the project creators and/or people on the list that you feel may donate to yours. When you find the project creators, you’re going to ask them, hey, would you blog about my project? Would you consider talking about my project? And then you want your final A-list and you’re going to ask them to make a donation to your project, any amount. But I would suggest the moderate amount, $25 through $150, that is the most popular fundraising amount.

Now you’re preparing to launch your campaign. You’re starting to build some buzz and you build the funding funnel that will propel your campaign. Your team should create a launch schedule that will look at a 45 day campaign. One, two and 10. These appear to be the most important days of a crowdfunding. Why? One, two and 10 have found that’s when most of your crowdfundings get the biggest charge of energy. So you want everything scheduled so that first day you get a lot of funding, you get a lot of media. And then day two, that’s your B list. So you’re A list, you’re gonna ask them on day one can you go out and donate? Day two will be your B list, people you thought maybe they were or they weren’t involved, and then day 10.

Why? I don’t have a slide and I wish I did, there’s actually a valley. So when you show crowdfunding on a chart, you see a rocket that goes way up and then it comes way down. There’s a huge valley. And that valley is usually there from anywhere from 4 to 6 days until day 10. And then it appears that the valleys tend to go up. And that’s with every campaign. I had an intern tell me he didn’t believe that happened. So I actually had him analyze six different campaigns. And every single one had the valley. And he laughed. He said, “You’re right about that.” I said, “Yeah, we’ve just been analyzing this data.”

So the first and second day are extremely important generating buzz you need to blast into orbit. You want everybody to be activated at the same time. You get the maximum initial momentum. Think of it like a rocket ship ready to blast off. Your initial thrusters need to provide maximum power to lift you into orbit. Once they break through with you safely in orbit, they depart, drop off and land safely into the ocean. You need as much momentum as you can get to drive your message through the internet, the interwebs, blogosphere and in orbit of viral success. I mean, you have to contend with days like the Kim Kardashian picture on Paper Magazine. So you’ve got to be able to get people interested and so you blast them all at the same time.

So how do you do that? On your team you should create a calendar of dates through your 45 day campaign. And of course you’re gonna adjust it if you use a 30 or a 60 day campaign. I still suggest the 1 to 10. But if your campaign doesn’t do well in the first and second days, don’t give up, just continue to adjust your plan. So you should have a council on Facebook and Twitter. By the way, Facebook and Twitter are the most effective out of all the social media as far as crowdfunding campaigns. That’s according to Kickstarter and Indiegogo. You can schedule posts using Hootsuite. And if you can afford a separate web page for your campaign, create one. You can always create a blog on WordPress and connect to blogs and bloggers in your category. You could drive this interest and backlinks to your crowdfunding page. You should let some of your early contributors view your site before your launch. This way they could be involved earlier.

So your A list, you could show them, hey, what do you think of this? And they’ll provide you with critical feedback. Ask them what elements they prefer and what they don’t like. You can get consensus on what works and what doesn’t. So you’re doing your early research. Plus now they’re intimately involved with your campaign. So they’re more likely to donate. So when you’re talking about your fund, we said that day one is so important. There’s not a lot of statistical data on this but some portals have reported as much as 75% of campaigns that get contributions on their first day reach their goal.

Imagine waking up one day having $1,500 in your account towards a $10,000 raise. So people have a tendency to follow what other people are doing. So when other people see that people have donated to your project already, they’re more likely to take you serious. Emphasize to your team of funders how important the first two days are to gaining momentum. And you can do that in a letter. And I have a copy of that if you decide to stay at the end and I’ll show you some of the templates we use. You might consider breaking up your funders into two groups, one for the first day and others to donate on the second day. That would be your A list and your B list. That day is most important because they want to see continued momentum. So if you were to break up your funders into thirds, I would keep the third until the 10th so they appear on that 10th day as you start to skyrocket again. So your first set of donors, you’re A list, is most important obviously. Your B list, they’re pretty important, too, because you want to continue the momentum. So that’s how you look at your funders.

And then you want to look at how to schedule a campaign. You should create email updates before you start your campaign. You want to have an idea what you’ll be telling your audience to drive them to your project campaign. But definitely be open to adjust your pitch to what people are saying in blogs and your comments about your project. Bloggers are going to be on the same schedule. You need to create updates for them, too, before you start your project. In a perfect world, you’re contacting your bloggers one month out before your projects. Now, I can’t do that with the Ted Williams project. Just given notice ten days before the initial launch, so we’ve pushed that back. But still, if you can’t accomplish it, try to contact them two weeks before your project launch. I still can’t do that. So I’m hitting the ground running.

But remember, try to have a personal relationship. Show where your project is going to get their audience excited and alert them that your project will be live and ask them if they’ll consider blogging about it once you’re live. So once your campaign ends, whether it’s a rousing success or it’s a failure, you still have to do more communication. Either way, you should thank everyone who participated, provide them with a summary of how the campaign went and what are your next plans. If you’re successful, you want to start budgeting the money and prepare to fill the promises you made.

You need constant communication with your donors in order to keep them in the loop on what’s happening with their funds. They want to know. If you are unsuccessful and the money was returned, you should thank everybody for trying and let them know if you might try again in the near future. So PrioVR and The Coolest Cooler did that. They sent a note out to everybody, “Hey, thank you. We’re gonna reevaluate,” and actually The Coolest Cooler got some information from some of the campaign donors who told them, “Hey, you might want to look at the summertime when people are interested in coolers”. Tell them you’re hoping they’ll recommit and you want their suggestions for making it better next time. Whatever you do, do something. Remember the only regret is if you don’t try. Can I have the next poll please?

Enrique: Absolutely. So our next poll question is: after this webinar, will you hire a consultant to raise money for you now? We’re gonna give some seconds to wait for a large percentage of the audience to respond. Okay, most of the audience has responded. Chris, I think we can close the poll question.

Tony: Thank you, Enrique. Five keys, we want to talk about the first key. Planning well, get a team, that is critical. Get a team. Number two, write a great project pitch to your donors. Number three, get national media coverage of your story. Even if it’s not national, get relevant local media to cover your story. Because a lot of these stories, go back to Ted Williams, his story wasn’t even planned to be a national story. It was a local story. Darrel Chenowith [SP], I know he’s a photographer for WBNS, The Columbus Dispatch. And he was just getting a local story, got some great shots, he heard Ted’s voice and he uploaded it to his blog on Dispatch.com. It didn’t pick up right away. A local radio station heard about it and these guys kind of tend to laugh, they’re like a morning zoo type show. And they heard about it and they aired it and then CBS Early Show heard about it and, boom, it exploded.

So a lot of your relevant media’s local, so don’t worry about , hey, it’s not a national story. If you’re raising $10,000, then you may only need your local audience to know about it. So get media coverage. Find and pitch the relevant media. Get a group of funders. And also that goes in with your team because as your team grows, your local A list of funders will grow, too. And then schedule it. Schedule it so it all happens together. Get your media, your bloggers and your funders so they all produce results and your project campaign at the same time. And that generates more enthusiasm for your project.

If things aren’t firing on all points at the same times, for instance, if you got national media-, I had this happen. I actually had a campaign where we had 50,000 views of a YouTube video that was used in a campaign, 50,000. About 10,000 views a day in the first week, but we had maybe under $1000 in contributions. See, I’m not afraid to admit my failures because that’s how I learn. So we had about under $1000 in contributions but we had 50,000 views. What happened? Well, I can explain it like this. Remember the ALS challenge? At some point during the ALS challenge, people were doing the challenges but they weren’t donating. So the ALS people came out and said, “hey, you could do the challenge but we’re trying to raise donations.” So people adjusted their challenge and started saying, “okay, I challenge and I donated.” So that’s one of the things that you have to remember. Those things weren’t firing on all points. My A list didn’t go out and donate on the first day. And so people didn’t see the donations, so the media blew by for the one I was speaking of, the YouTube video that had 50,000 views in about five days. So that started to die off, then some of the funders started coming in. So my timing was bad. Then people who were funding weren’t seeing any media or any press about it and they’re kind of, “I’m not sure about this. I’ll come back another time,” and then the press died off. So what you want to do is coordinate this so it all happens at the same time.

I wanted to thank everybody for joining me at this Zintro webinar. I’ll tell you about A KickIn Crowd, it’s a crowdfunding platform for school funding. Every year school funding’s being. The state of Ohio, where I’m at, Columbus, Ohio just announced they’re planning to cut several extra-curricular activities out of the school system. Now, A KickIn Crowd is incubated at Tech Columbus at the Ohio State West Campus. That’s where we’re at and so we just signed on the Reynoldsburg School System, eSTEM Academy, to create crowdfunding for the Reynoldsburg School Systems. So we have four interns for the eSTEM system. If you have a school system or somebody you know that’s interested in crowdfunding, have them reach out to me. And also I want you to have a copy of my crowdfunding book Amazing Crowdfunding For You and I’ll give you that email address or website in just a second. Enrique, is there another poll question? One last one?

Enrique: Yeah, sure. Let’s throw it out there. So the question is would you join an online group to fund crowdfunding team members? Give it a couple of seconds and after this poll question I guess we’ll move to answering the questions from the audience. We have several questions. So Chris, I think you can close the poll question now.

Tony: Okay, we’re on questions. One last thing, if you don’t mind, if you go to http://akickincrowd.launchrock.com, put in your email and then I’ll get you a copy of the book and a way to join crowdfunding teams. Thank you very much.

Enrique: Okay, thank you everyone for attending this presentation. Thank you, Tony. And we’re gonna move on to some questions from the audience. By the way, everyone feel free to reach out to Tony directly. You have his address and email on screen. Also, visit his website. We’re going to start with a question by Brian. He says, “I want to raise money for independent films. I have 15 films in several price points ranging from $1.5 to more than $50 million. What do you recommend for success?”

Tony: Oh, okay, for film, and actually that’s originally why I got involved with crowdfunding, so did Danae from Indiegogo. She and I talked before about that. Films are perfect for crowdfunding. I think once the equity portion is available, you’ll have a greater chance for success. There have been several successes already such as the Veronica Mars project obviously. And then there was the Zach Braff and The Reading Rainbow which is more of a television and an app. Ted Williams is actually going to be a television series. So what I recommend for success, if you have any celebrities, I know a lot of these celebrities sign clauses that don’t allow you to mention they’re attached to a project unless the project’s already funded. If you’re on your $1.5 million and you have any celebrities that are already attached to the project and they allow you to announce, obviously use their name. Go out there and pitch with the celebrity. Find things that the celebrity can do that other people won’t be able to do.

For instance, LeVar Burton, who raised $6 million for his Reading Rainbow, he had his glasses from Star Trek that he was gonna allow somebody to wear, dinner, very personal things. I’m gonna add this with the things to do and that is do do not do this is don’t show up like Shemar Moore in a fabulous kitchen, fabulous house, fabulous car, because then the average donor like me is like why am I gonna give this guy money. And feel free to reach out to me and good luck with your success.

Enrique: Thanks, Tony. We have a question by actually a couple of attendees. Both Michael and Will ask if you can explain investment equity crowdfunding and what are the major differences versus what you explained.

Tony: Versus rewards. The reason I didn’t go into equity crowdfunding, my platform is rewards based but I sat on with the SEC for the crowdfunding rules and really they technically have not yet been propagated yet. So really equity crowdfunding is still not “legal” although it’s being done. And what I understand, and excuse me if I don’t understand all of it, is that they’ve given no-action orders, that they’re not taking any action against this.

But we actually have an equity crowdfunding platform in Columbus, Ohio. I gave a speech with the founder of that, Fundable.com, and that’s Will Schroeder. But equity crowdfunding allows people to take an equity stake in the project that you’re offering. So for instance, if you’re offering a film, then you can allow people a percentage of equity. So let’s say you’re going to give 10% equity to raise $100,000, so they would actually get an equity stake. But then you have to have offering memorandum. You would have to follow the laws of your state, blue sky laws, or any securities law because you’re now offering a security. With rewards based, you’re not offering any security. You’re offering a reward for the donation.

Enrique: Thank you, Tony. We have another question by Michael. Do you think that crowdsourcing in general is more successful in hard times because people want to help other people out?

Tony: That’s a great question. By the way, all your questions are good. That is a great question. And I would agree with that. This is my own personal belief with no research done, but that’s what I feel like. I feel like the banks had a major crash and I’ve always wondered why people couldn’t do this. That’s why they call me a pioneer. I was involved with crowdfunding in ’07-’08. Actually it might have been ’06. But back then I was trying to do film financing and I got stopped and they said, “Well, you’re offering a security and not with the security law.” And I thought why can’t a bunch of people pre-order a ticket for $10 and be able to go see the movie. And if you get a million people doing that, that’s $10 million. I mean, that’s what they do with like HBO for boxing matches.

So back to answering your question, yes, I think that people are running out of ways. Banks, the lending requirements are so stringent, people are running out of ways to fund things. And venture capitalists don’t invest in everything. They miss a lot. Let me go back to one more story. This is a great question. This story is about the Pebble Watch. And people may know famously that they went to every venture capitalist in the world to raise that money and everybody turned them down. They came to crowdfunding and were very successful. So I watch all these companies on television say, “Hey, we started the smartwatch”, but really they didn’t, these guys did. Thank you.

Enrique: Thanks, Tony. We have another question by Jenna. I heard that going over $1 million will result in fines by the SEC. Is this true?

Tony: Going over $1 million, no, not at all. Good question and that’s equity based crowdfunding. What she’s talking about is in equity based you have to follow the securities laws. And there’s a security law for raising I think it’s Reg 504D, I think, where you can only raise up to a million dollars in a 12 month period. So don’t quote me on the reg, but if you look up your security laws, remember this is equity based only. If you’re looking up your securities laws, Reg 504D, or Reg 506 I think allows you to raise up to $5 million in a year, but Reg 504D you would have to stop your offering at $1 million for equity based. But if you’re rewards based, you can raise $100 million if you can. Thank you. Thanks, Jenna.

Enrique: Okay, thanks, Tony. We have another question by Rob. What is the cost of crowdfunding? How much do crowdfunding sites take?

Tony: Hey, Rob, that’s a great question. It depends on what platform you use. So for Kickstarter I believe it’s 4%, maybe 5%. For Indiegogo, it’s the same. Indiegogo has two ways of raising money. You can do all or nothing, and those fees are generally around 4% or 5%. And then they do keep everything you raise. Indiegogo’s keep everything you raise is 9%. For KickIn Crowd, my platform, is 8%. And we only do everything you raise because we’re for schools. So for instance, we couldn’t have cheerleaders raising $9000 of a $10,000 raise and say, oh, well you don’t get any of the money. So we just keep our platform anything you raise you get to keep, but there’s an 8% fee. And for schools, that’s very cheap. I mean if you do Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, they charge almost 45% of what you raise. You can Google that. So a lot of your candy offerings are 20%-25%, so we’re very low for the schools. We’re very economical. Thank you.

Enrique: Thank you, Tony. We have another question by Jimmy. I want to put a solar system at my old high school. I was hoping to raise $20-$150 thousand to put up as large of a solar system as possible. How would you go about this if you were me?

Tony: If I were you, first of all that’s a good question. If I were you, I would first check with your school to make sure it’s okay and if you’ve already done that. . .And excuse me if you have. I’m just going by somebody that’s never heard of this, just thinking of what I would do. One I would find out if the school wants it. Two, I would try to tie into your school. If they want it, tie into their database of people and then get a team. Get a team of people from that school to start raising money. Explain to them why they need it, how it’s gonna help them, and how cool it is and then start raising money for it. That’s a cool project to have some kind of solar panels. I know Reynoldsburg High School has solar panels. So I’m not sure if it’s the same of what you’re speaking but, anyway, thank you for the question.

Enrique: Thanks, Tony. We have another question and we have a lot of questions pending. We’re almost running out of time, so we’re gonna do a couple more. And then everyone feel free to reach out to Tony for follow-ups. We have a question by Robert. It’s a little long, so bear with me. He says, “Awesome presentation. I have a question. We’re a special case. Our campaign is an entertainment crowdfunding project which is supposed to finance the initial stage preparation to get approval from Disney as our scripts use some intellectual property from Disney. As campaign manager, I’m facing two challenges. One, I can’t show the scripts such as Disney intellectual property, and we need approval for that first. And the second challenge is that our team is entertainment professionals and cannot reveal their identity on the campaign as long as Disney approval is not in for the book and movie project as they all have existing Disney contracts. And the main author is interview public shy. For me as campaign manager, it’s so hard to pitch for funding. If you can’t show your high roller team in interviews, any idea for that? Maybe getting a spokesperson?”

Tony: Yeah. Wow, that is challenging. I don’t envy you. For instance, dealing with celebrities, I have co-wrote a book with Buster Douglas. The guy who knocked out Mike Tyson, this year is the 25th anniversary and Vince Vaughn is doing a movie with him for Universal Pictures. Buster is interview adverse as well, and so I can truly empathize with you on how it is to have somebody who doesn’t like to do interviews. So I’m gonna give you one of the strategies I have. But I would need to see more like what is the project involving. Because maybe there’s other ways you can give information about the project without giving the actual details.

But let me go back to Buster. One of the things I did is I would get him to do interviews over the phone and try to be with him to do the interviews over the phone and then also try to have events around the interviews. Because he’s been interviewed time and time. Mike Tyson, he was the highest paid athlete in the world at one time, undisputed Heavyweight World Champion. Every time we’d go somewhere; “how did it feel?” Oh my god, I got tired of hearing those questions. So I get why he’s like that. So it was challenging at first to be able to work through that. So I would actually see a little more in the project myself in order to be able to give you a great answer on that. But I wish you luck. I completely empathize with you. Thanks.

Enrique: Thanks, Tony. We’re going to go for a couple more. We have a question by John. I’m trying to seed money to start a nonprofit LLC to help the homeless. I don’t think this is suitable for adding a rewards program, am I correct? Any other suggestions for launching a nonprofit on GoFundMe?

Tony: Thanks. That’s a great question. Actually what we’re doing with Ted Williams, like I said, it’s a TV series but it’s actually involving the homeless, homeless veterans. So actually I would not agree with you. I think any project is viable if you can explain-, you gotta find your audience and be able to explain why they should be involved. And the potato salad, as much as I initially didn’t like that, proves that, that anything can be crowdfunded. And I don’t want to sound like a crowdfunding snob. I just felt like at first it was kind of making fun of crowdfunding. But then when I realized, I said, “What it does is prove that anything in the world could be crowdfunded. You just need to find your crowd.” How do you find your crowd? Getting a team is very important. Having experience doing it is also important. And GoFundMe would work. Crowdfunding, there’s Kiva. They do a lot of charity crowdfunding. I haven’t been on the site in a while and there’s a couple others that are pretty active in that area. So I hope I answered your question and thank you.

Enrique: Thank you very much, Tony. We’re gonna go for the last question by George. We’re thinking about crowdfunding for a clinical trial investigating heart failure treatments. The medical partner is a credible household name. Minimal funds needed are $400,000. What do you think?

Tony: I think it’s doable. I would have never expected PrioVR to do almost $400,000. They did $322,000. So I think it’s doable. I know it sounds like a record but when I said I’m giving you top power secrets, this is it, these are the secrets. Find your group. Find the group that is really interested in that. When the guys did Pebble Watch and raised $10 million, who would have ever thought? I know for them they may have never dreamed they were gonna raise $10 million for a watch when every venture capitalist in the world had looked at it and said it would never work.

So when you say $400,000, you might want to look at it in stages if you feel like that’s too much to ask from your crowd. You find that the audience is the key. Think about the drugs right now that are going $1 billion a year. So there’s an audience for it. That’s the key, finding the audience, creating a team that can be activated and go after it. So I want to thank you all for your questions. They’re great questions.

Enrique: Thank you very much, Tony, and thank you everyone for your questions. On behalf of Zintro and over 160,000 members, thank you so much for sharing your insights. Everyone feel free to reach out to Tony if you have any follow-up questions or if you want to engage with him on a crowdfunding campaign. This closes today’s presentation. I wish you all a very nice day and thank you very much.