Saturday, September 1, 2012

What I Wish I would Have Known before Launching My IndieGogo Campaign

In my previous post I explained that I am testing 2 crowd funding sites. With one week left on my Indiegogo campaign, I've learned more about the complexities of getting your campaign to go viral. Some things you should know before launching your campaign. Here is my email to The Indiegogo Happiness Team expressing that I wasn't very happy.

I thought I read and understood how your platform works. In hindsight, I
think the preliminary info is lacking. The site brags that starting a
campaign is easy and simple. That is true, but I've discovered that getting
your campaign to go viral proves to be quite complex. The first thing that
caught me off guard was once I launched my campaign the confirmation email
said I needed to get 2 donations to just appear in the search results. I
begged friends to do that for me. I wiped my brow in relief a few days
later when 2 came through. I understood my gogo factor was influenced by
how viral my campaign link became. I'm a solo entrepreneur so I read as
much as I could of your tips to spread the word and I did as many tips as I
could. Unfortunately, it wasn't until a few days ago when I got my report
by email saying my gogo factor was down and I was looking at the analytics
that I read the asterisk that referrals were counted if I used the link
that appears WITHIN my campaign. For the first half of my campaign I had
posting/sharing the organic URL in the address bar. I was crushed. So then
I began a new wave of posts and begging friends and family to post the
"correct" link (a bit embarrassing because I'm quite sure everyone that
knows me is tired of hearing about this fundraiser by now). Maybe if I tell
you why I chose to do an Indiegogo campaign, it will be easier to explain
why I'm disappointed with about 1 week left until it expires.
I was hoping to get the generosity of strangers that were moved by my
mission and story. I knew my project was well vetted, my fundraising goal
realistic and I had a great video and superb rewards. After reading some of
your success stories, I thought, "I can do this." I was reaching out to
strangers because I know my friends and family are broke. If they weren't,
I would have just asked them all for donations directly. So far my loved
ones have ponied up $295. The whole point of this was to get $5 bucks or
more from people I don't know. But yesterday was the devastation when I
browsed through 67 pages in the "small business" category (multiple times
because I was convinced I had overlooked it somehow) for my campaign. I
kept thinking, I must rank above all these people with 0 donations and why
are there pages and pages of expired campaigns taht people can no longer
donate to? Then I went to FAQ page for help and read "Why can't I find my
campaign" to find out that after a few weeks if a campaign hasn't raised
$500 it no longer shows up in the browse results. I cried and I'm crying as
I write this. I realize with 7 days left I have failed. I cannot do a new
campaign and start over to try to do this "right" a second time. There's no
time. I would like to suggest that these "make or break" requirements be
made part of the "get started" stuff before people launch a campaign or at
least email that info to the admins. It would have been nice to know I had
to meet certain milestones to be visible in browse results. I like to go
into things with my eyes open and I feel I had to dig for this info. Whats
the point of improving my gogo factor if I don't even have a chance to
increase my rank in the browse results? That was the whole point of doing
this! Am I missing something here? Is there any hope for my
campaign<>with 7 days left? I
appreciate any advice to rescue my campaign.

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