My Crowdfunding Failure

My campaign for Sophie Feels Big, Volume 1 & 2 closed a little under 20% funded. It wasn’t much of a suprise by the time it came around.

I don’t think I can say with certainty why it failed. My biggest regret is getting impatient and launching without enough preparation. I’ve got a full time job, and I should have had more stuff planned and prepared so that I could get it happening as I went. There were a lot of stones left unturned. Though, I’m not sure there were 80% worth of stones.

I think I overestimated the value of my mailing lists (past backers and people who’d signed up to get free resources from my website, about 100 on each). It seemed like a huge number compared to my mailing list from the first campaign (zero). But I guess I should have been comparing the mailing lists to the number of people I contacted in the first campaign (about 400 facebook friends).

My main thought was build a bigger crowd and aim a little lower for the next campaign. Changing the goal to just 5 new stories with Sophie will make it a lot more reachable. By the numbers, I’d still need to triple my mailing lists though.

I called Kat Jenkins of Multitude for some advice just before the campaign closed. She identified my messaging / marketing as something that could use work:

Not only were the numbers not as big as they seemed in my head, half of the people I was reaching out to were a very different crowd. I think most of my support in the first campaign came from friends and family who were supporting my idea. This time around, I was targeting a lot of strangers, but my message was probably not adjusted enough. I needed to put more time into understanding marketing. I have an awareness that its important to tell people what the product can do for them, but I think in practice I ended up just talking about what the product was.

The first (successful) crowdfunding campaign has meant that I do have one book already (Jack Feels Big). I can use that to try out some different marketing and to build my following more. I’m not giving up on creating more books, but I think I’ve got a lot of work to do before I try a third campaign.


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