For years little girls have been playing with Barbie, a pinched, leggy blonde who has had such an influence on our culture that there are now teens and adults, emulating the look of Barbie. Just watch a couple of episodes of ‘Snog, Marry, Avoid’ and you’ll see what I mean.
However, Pittsburgh artist Nickolay Lamm has just designed a doll based on the ‘average teen size’. The 25 year old decided to see if his idea would work by setting up this crowdfund to raise $95,000 to fund the manufacture. Crowdfunding is a fantastic opportunity to test the market with a prototype, to see if your idea gets a thumbs up. And this one certainly has – with 19 days left, Lammily has raised $441,148 – which is 465% funded. He’d reached is initial goal within the first 24 hours.
In stark contrast to Barbie, Lammily wears hardly any makeup, denim shorts, blue dip-dye shirt and white trainers. She is of ‘average proportions’, based on 3D modelling of the size of the average teen throughout the US. I myself was tweeted at with the link to this, and as a mother, was immediately inspired to give it to my 10 year old daughter – not because she plays with dolls anymore, but because it’s a great symbol of how I think this doll can stand for normality.
What this campaign has highlighted is people getting behind a movement, spreading a message, as much as it is funding the manufacture of a doll and I for one have joined it. However, I’m not sure if the next generations will be emulating Lammily as they have done for Barbie – but who knows what might come next. One to watch.
When you “don’t know what to do”, you seek information. Then you may know what to do, but the danger is you don’t do it. So, what we want to focus on is the WHEN to do it” because this helps you to avoid procrastination. The infuriating “should I” “could I” thoughts that take over your mental processes and permit you to rationalise your procrastination, delay your action to accomplish your goal.
If you check out the timeline at the bottom of the page you’ll see what you do in different stages of a crowdfund, from the pre-planning, all the way till after the crowdfund. We find this helpful when helping to coordinate successful campaigns. The colour differentiates the different stages, the upper block that runs consistently throughout is your engagement – We see honest engagement with your audience and networks as a core to sustainable enterprise development.
We have assumed that in the initial strategic planning stage you have already vetted your project/ idea as a good Crowdfunding opportunity (if you don’t know, ask us as we can help you to assess the feasibility of your project). Each stage prior to the crowdfunding is extensive in itself and deserves full attention to detail.
In summary, use this timeline to assess where you are in your process and what you need to do to get to the next stage. If you need any help, get in touch.
By now many will have heard something about donation based crowdfunding and you may be thinking about your own crowdfunding campaign. Here are some questions to help you decide if crowdfunding is for you.
- Why would anyone give you money? That’s the key, finding a way to engage your crowd so they part with their hard earned cash.
- Have you thought about your campaign, how you will actually do it and what does it look like? The campaign and strategy will define your life for the duration of the crowdfund, are you up for it, do you have the resources, expertise and stamina?
- What happens if you don’t get any money at all? There is risk involved, have you thought how you would manage that and move forward?
- Do you believe in your project; are you sure?
- Is crowdfunding the best way of raising the capital you need? Have you investigated other options?
- Is your idea a good idea, are you convinced? Is your idea innovative and compelling? Have you tested it at all?
- Do you have the support of your family, friends or business colleagues? The campaign will be relentless, are you sure you have all the right people around you?
- Why would anyone buy into your vision or project? The crowd will potentially be made up of many individuals, how will you persuade them to get involved and support you with their money?
- Have you created a pitch that everyone will understand easily? Are you able to write the kind of copy you will need that speaks to your crowd?
- How will you demonstrate your idea? Will you make a video, take photographs, write a poem? How will you do this, have you the resources and skills needed to develop a smart, clear and powerful argument?
- Can you last the course of the campaign? What will you do after month 2 and things are getting difficult? Do you have any help you can call upon, will your supporters give you a hand? Are you running your business/project as well as crowdfunding it?
- Who is you audience, market or crowd? Have you thought carefully about your marketing strategy?
- Do you have a network in place or are you starting from scratch? Do you have contacts to help with PR, Social Media, design….?
- What will your crowd like to have in return for their money? What will captivate them enough to buy into your vision?
- What are your messages? You may have different market segments, how will you reach out? Do you have the expertise to develop this aspect of your campaign?
- Are your rewards really inviting? Are you convinced your audience will love them?
- How much do you need to raise? Have you factored for expenses, the time and material costs required to run the campaign, the cost of the rewards etc?
- How will you administer the campaign, who will stay in touch with your supporters and how?
- Are you flexible? If something doesn’t work will you be able to devise an alternative quickly, implement and go forward?
- Are you prepared to stay in touch with your funders post campaign? It takes effort and dedication.