Crowdfunding. How to get the money for your projects and never have to pay it back. How cool is that? So what exactly is crowdfunding? Well, it's where you get lots of people to participate in your projects, and I'm going to emphasize the word to contribute or participate, because in most cases, everyone that gives you money gets something in return.
NOTE: Complete transcript available at the bottom of the page.
Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 439
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Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
Higher Education Webinar – https://screwthecommute.com/webinars
See Tom's Stuff – https://linktr.ee/antionandassociates[05:16] Tom's introduction to Crowdfunding [09:58] Loads of success stories and many more failures [11:57] Why people would participate [14:04] Giving perks [15:46] Realistic goals and overfunding [17:58] Doing video to describe your project [19:47] Momentum and planning your campaign [24:13] Sponsor message [26:47] Best practices
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Episode 439 - Crowdfunding
[00:00:08] Welcome to Screw the Commute. The entrepreneurial podcast dedicated to getting you out of the car and into the money, with your host, lifelong entrepreneur and multimillionaire, Tom Antion.
[00:00:24] Hey everybody, it's Tom here with Episode four hundred thirty nine of Screw the commute podcast. I'm talking about crowdfunding today. This is exactly how to get money to fund your dreams, your creative projects, your social projects. And guess what? You don't have to pay the money back. All right. This is legit. That's been going on for a long time. And I'm revisiting now I did a couple of years ago. So I want to remind you that this is out there and give you a lot of tips on how to do it. Now, I hope you didn't miss Episode 438, Michael Angelo Caruso. This guy is close to my heart because he teaches presentation skills to people and does it all over the world, been like 49 states and five continents. So you want to check him out at episode 438? And also upcoming next episode, is Mickie Kennedy going to talk about press releases. He's been doing it for 22 years, helped companies really get a lot of free publicity. So you want to watch for that Wednesday for episode 440 with Mickie Kennedy. And any time you want to go directly to an episode, you just put screwthecommute.com and then slash the episode number like 439 is today. 438 is last episode Friday and 440 is coming up on Wednesday. It's not out yet, so typing in 440 won't help you. Now, if you'd like to have me send you lots of money, how would you like that? Well, I do it all the time for folks that are my affiliate. So they refer my products and services and they get a commission. Very easy. Cost you nothing to join. This is not some multilevel marketing crap. It's just the way it is. The way the Internet world works is referrals and commissions. That's at least part of it anyway. And so at least part of my business is that where also I recommend other people's stuff and get a commission. So you can go both ways on this in that you recommend people, not just me, you can recommend lots of people that you trust and believe in. You don't want to recommend any schmucks because nobody will trust you anymore. But we send commissions anywhere from eight dollars and fifty cents where you can really maybe buy a Starbucks. Okay, up to 5000 bucks. And these are per referral. So, hey, if you recommended one hundred people and got eight dollars and fifty cents, I'd be 850 bucks. So don't don't dismiss that. The people that you know and if you trust in my work or if I've helped you in the past, you know, I take care of people, get in their referral stuff and you can email or text me about it for details.
[00:03:18] All right, grab a copy of your automation ebook, it's screwthecommute.com/automatefree. I've been giving that away pretty much the whole time I've been had this podcast, but it's just helped people like crazy automate their business, save keystrokes, reduce their workload, grab customers because other people are too slow to get back to them. So all those things are in that book. screwthecommute.com/automatefree. And also you can grab a copy of our podcast app at screwthecommute.com/app. You can put us on your cell phone and tablet and take us with you on the road. All right. I want to tell you about my school, a lot of people know about it, but especially I want to talk about it today because of crowdfunding, we are doing a pilot project with the School for Persons with Disabilities. So we're we're recruiting three persons with disabilities that really would like to have be able to work from home, study from home and be employed or start their own business. And the deadline for application is this Friday. So if you know anybody that might qualify for this, all they have to do is write an essay and there's a page on the Internet Marketing Training Center, Virginia. IMTCVA.org/disability and they will be able to just write a short essay and get in the mix to possibly get in on this scholarship program and pilot program.
[00:04:57] If we make it work, then we're going to go for big grants and help a lot of people with disability. So check that out at IMTCVA.org/disability, pass it on and of course it'll be in the show notes and maybe you can help change somebody's life. How about that? That's what I'm trying to do.
[00:05:18] All right. Let's get to the main event. Crowdfunding. How to get the money for your projects and never have to pay it back. How cool is that? There is like I said, the reason I've been thinking about this again lately is because I'm going to be participating in a crowdfunding campaign. I'm pretty sure it's going to be on Go Fund Me. My school is doing a pilot project to give scholarships to people or persons with physical disabilities so that they won't have the burden of trying to get to campus to study in person, and they can legitimately be employed from home or start their own business. And I mean, people have always been able to legitimately work from home. But I've been preaching this for years. But because of the pandemic, now everybody realizes that you can work from home. And I got to say, I told you so. It I've been doing it for 44 years, even before the Internet. But 23 years ago when I started teaching Internet marketing is when I really realized that this is available to anybody that wants to do it.
[00:06:25] They can operate a computer and nowadays your cell phone. But anyway, that's the project. And I hope all you wonderful listeners will kick in a few bucks or a lot of bucks. When I announce the Go Fund Me campaign a couple of weeks, I'm pretty sure it's going to be go fund me because they're more towards social issues as opposed to creating some cell phone gadget or something. So watch for that announcement. And if anyone would like to volunteer to spread the word, I'd love to hear from you about that, too. Like I said, the deadline for persons with physical disabilities to apply is Friday, May 21st. All right, let's get back crowdfunding, get the money you need for your business or personal projects and never have to pay it back. So what exactly is crowdfunding? Well, it's where you get lots of people to participate in your projects. And I have and I'm going to emphasize the word to contribute or participate, because in most cases, everyone that gives you money gets something in return. Now, for social issues, people just give money for the satisfaction of doing it and and sometimes maybe for a tax deduction. Now, there are over 400 websites that help facilitate crowdfunding efforts. Some of the best known or Kickstarter.com gofundme.com, Indiegogo.com, Patreon.com.
[00:07:49] And these sites take a percentage of the money that you raise. Most of the big players take around eight percent plus a per transaction fee of maybe 20 to 30 cents per transaction. And think about this, you don't have to use a crowdfunding site and pay those commissions, however, I mean I mean, you could just collect the money on your website and save a few percentage points. But in most cases, you'd be giving up some significant things by collecting money on your site. See, the big sites have credibility. People generally feel more comfortable doing business with a big, well-known site. Also, the big sites have millions of visitors that could can participate in your promotion, even though they never heard of you, if they like your idea, they kick in money. Also, they take care of all the technology. They collect the money. They have an email system to keep in touch with the people who participate and all that stuff. Now, one thing to keep in mind is that these sites do not many of them don't collect money for charitable causes. Many of them, you know, they believe that there's plenty of charity sites. Many are specifically designed to collect money for creative campaigns, although I've heard of people using crowdfunding to fund their dental work and other cosmetic procedures. I can't really mention here, I guess certain bodily enhancements could be considered creative. I wrote know. Now, go fund me is more geared towards social projects like I'm like I'm doing, you see it mentioned all the time in the news when let's say someone loses a loved one unexpectedly or someone has enormous medical bills, things like that.
[00:09:43] Another thing about crowdfunding sites, you want to choose the site that has campaigns similar to yours because. More people interested in your type of campaign will be visiting the site and potentially looking at your campaign. Now, there's loads of success stories here, so I want to tell you a few of them now. One of my favorites is the lady who was reading to young children in a ghetto somewhere just to try to keep them away from the bad things happening on the streets. She wanted to raise enough money to I mean, she was getting so many kids, she couldn't fit them in her house anymore. She wanted to raise enough money to get a little cubbyhole of a storefront where the young children could come for her to read to them and she could have books all over the place and little chairs for him, things like that. I think she needed about four thousand dollars for rent and furniture. And in the course people donated books and stuff. And I don't remember the exact figures, but she ended up with something like one hundred and eleven thousand dollars because the campaign was so hard touching. Another guy invented an iPhone accessory and he needed about fifteen thousand dollars for a prototype.
[00:11:03] He got publicity on one of the big sites like Gizmodo or Wired, and he ended up with three hundred and sixty five thousand dollars. All right, so you can look up these and many more success stories. However, there's another side to this. Far more crowdfunding campaigns fail miserably because people don't plan them carefully and they don't give them enough time to get all the planning in place. So keep that in mind, you don't just start one of these today unless it's a, you know, something critical, like a little child got cancer or something. Yeah, you can get away with that quick. But if you're planning on something for one of your creative projects or to crowdfund a book or or an online course or, you know, you need the equipment for your T-shirt business, whatever it is you've got to plan ahead for. Now, why do people participate? I mean, many, many people wonder why anyone would participate in putting money into your campaign, especially if they don't know you. Well, there are several reasons. One is they do know you and they want to support you, that's pretty simple. Kick in in a few bucks for a friend's campaign is no big deal. And it's not going to break the bank. Number two, people trade participating in campaigns, in other words, I give you one hundred dollars and you give me one hundred dollars for my campaign. Well, you might think, well, that doesn't make much sense is kind of a wash, but it does make perfect sense when you consider when you thank me, I will be put in front of all your friends and followers.
[00:12:48] And when I thank you, you will be in front of all my friends and followers. So you get more exposure for your campaign for free, basically. Now, number three, people just like the idea and in the two examples above with the lady, with the reading to the kids and the iPhone gadget, most of the people that participated didn't even know the person they were giving money to. They just liked the campaign. And this is one of the benefits of being on a big and reputable site. You have the potential for millions of people to see your campaign. All right, number four, potential investors contribute to campaigns they might want to take part of in a bigger way, so they may want to see how you treat people and how well your you run your business. And if they like what they see, they might swoop in and with with a big offer to buy your company or invest heavily in your campaign. Now, in this case, you'd have to give up part of the business. These investors are not going to pony up big bucks just because you give them a ball cap or a T-shirt. All right. And this is typically called equity fund crowdfunding. I just talk about perks, I'm talking about ball caps and T-shirts and stuff, but these would be examples of what are called perks.
[00:14:13] Perks are what a person gets for participating in your creative project, crowdfunding promotion. And like I said, for social projects, people don't really expect anything in return. Anyway, you've probably seen Promotion's on PBS and public broadcasting, where you give so much money and you get a DVD or a T-shirt or something. Now you have different levels of perks for different amounts of money. Let's say if someone contributes five bucks, you thank them and give them a shout out on Facebook and Twitter, maybe 20 bucks, get you a digital download PDF, audio or video of the project, maybe 50 bucks gets you a ball cap or a T-shirt, maybe 100 bucks get you a 15 minute consultation, maybe 500 bucks, get you producer's credit on a video production you're doing. The perks can be anything of value. Now, I highly suggest you look over many crowdfunding promotions at all these sites to see the things other people are giving out as perks. So you'll get all kinds of ideas. Now, if you have to ship your perk like a T-shirt or a ball cap or something, make sure you account for the cost of the perk, the postage, the packaging and handling if you have to pay someone to pack them up and haul them to the post office. I mean, you don't want all the money. You got to be eaten up and sending the perk because you won't have any money left over for your campaign.
[00:15:48] Now, let's talk about realistic goals if if you're publishing a basic business book, it's a little bit ridiculous to make a goal of a million dollars. The chances of you getting that, even if you're a celebrity, are pretty slim. I think the latest figures I saw is only 85 campaigns have raised over a million dollars. Now, some systems require you to meet your goal or you don't get any of the money. All right, so you got to be realistic. I think their plan was to keep people's goals more realistic so there would be more overall successes in the system. So the crowdfunding site looks better. Now, on the other hand, you shouldn't cut yourselves so short that even if you reach your goal, there's not enough money to do what you set out to do. You really need to do a budget and and really figure out how much money you actually need with a little bit over the that to take care of any unforeseen problems that arise. Now, this other topic is like the best thing you can hope for is called overfunding, and that's when you reach your funding goal and people keep contributing. So you exceed your goal. This should mean you have plenty of money to accomplish your original campaign now, to keep the overfunding momentum going, you would announce on your crowdfunding site and in correspondence with your participants what you will do with the extra money.
[00:17:26] Maybe you can now afford to print out more books or build two prototypes with different features of your whatever you're inventing. Maybe you can advertise more or whatever makes sense for your campaign. Keep people advised of it. In my school's campaign over funds will be able to I can add more persons with disabilities to the pilot program. And I forgot to tell you, I'm going to use some of the money to hire a person with a disability to be a student liaison. All right, let's talk about video. I want to re-emphasize that you should spend lots of time looking at other people's crowdfunding campaigns. Many will have a video telling about the campaign and all the great perks people will get for participating. A much higher percentage of campaigns get funded when there is a video that passionately describes the project. And you can tell how you got the idea and all the great things you want to do with your campaign, I mean, show your personality. I mean, make people want to help you show your passion. Now, the video does not, I emphasize, does not have to be professionally produced unless you are pitching a film or video campaign, you need to show what you can do. But the facts are being homemade, looking as long as you can see and hear it OK can be an advantage because if it's too slick, people will think you don't really need any help.
[00:19:06] And a student of mine raised forty four hundred dollars. Her name is Rainn Hagstrom Parvaz. She was Rainn Hagstrom at the time and I had read that a crowdfunding campaign, she got her book printed, put it out in distribution. And now she's a celebrity image consultant in Los Angeles for Nordstrom's and another big company. And that was just from a cell phone video. And then you take the the transcription of it and put it underneath in case people want to read it. And. There you go, see, her and her partner just sat on a couch and were just bubbly and homemade cell phone video and and raise that money to to do her book. All right. Now, let's go on to the topic of momentum. The reason you really want to plan ahead before you make your crowdfunding efforts go live is the topic of momentum. You want to have your biggest supporters ready to jump on the crowdfunding site the moment your campaign goes live. That way, when others that don't know you as well visit, they will be influenced to go ahead and participate. No one wants to contribute to a losing cause. If they see no one else has contributed, they may think it's a bad campaign. You don't want them thinking that. And also, if a lot of action happens quickly, the sites all have the potential to feature you on their home page, if you get that, you could end up over funding like crazy if you get that kind of exposure on one of these sites.
[00:20:46] So you get everybody who has already agreed to contribute because remember, you planned this in advance to do it as soon as possible when you go lot. The other thing you can do to take advantage of momentum is to add additional perks as the campaign goes along. I've witnessed many people who participated near the beginning come back and participate again just to get one of the new perks. All right. Let's go and talk about planning. You should plan a minimum of 30 days out for smaller campaigns in 60 to 90 days out for really big campaigns. One thing you want to do immediately is start brainstorming on every single person in your life you think would participate. One of my students was in her 30s and and she hit up people she went to grade school with. Now, the reason you want to do this well in advance is that you can't possibly just sit down and think of everybody, you know, as you start brewing on this in your mind every day prior to the launch, you'll think of more people. You need to capture these people either by audio or writing a note to yourself. And besides thinking of them, you have to make sure you know how to contact them. I mean, people move, they change phone numbers, get married, which means that last name might change and all that stuff.
[00:22:13] You won't want to wait till the last minute to contact these people. You want them anticipating launch day and you have to keep after them. People that totally love you as a friend have their own lives. Believe it or not. And they probably aren't wrapped up in your world without being a pest. You have to keep after people who have promised to help you. So it's a lot of work. And I know some of the one of the reins, some of her best friends would just love to help her, but they're busy. So she had to keep after him and after him to finally get him to do it. And and it really wasn't a situation where they didn't want to do it. They're just busy running around doing stuff in Los Angeles. And and it's not the biggest thing on their mind. Now, you got to plan out your video, you have to plan out and possibly create your perks and the perks you plan to add to keep momentum up, you got to do your budget to see how much money you actually need. You have to pick which platform you're going to use, which means you have lots of research to do to find the one perfect for you. Maybe you need promotional graphics made up, maybe you make a business card specifically for the promotion. You have to prepare, thank you emails and social media posts, tweets and a ton of other little details.
[00:23:36] The reason many people fail at crowdfunding is they simply throw something together thinking this is easy money. I assure you it is not. Besides the preplanning, you have to work things hard for the length of the promotion. If you don't, it will probably fizzle fast. And speaking about the length of the promotion, you can go sometimes up to 90 days on the actual promotion, but I can tell you you will be exhausted by that time. What I like to do is hit it fast and hard for 30 days maximum and just concentrate all your efforts right there. All right, something to give you a list of best practices to keep in mind when doing a crowdfunding campaign, and in a moment here, I think there's see two, four, six, eight. I like nine or ten of them. But before that, I just want to remind you about my mentor program. And, you know, we would help you do this if you were in the mentor program, along with hundreds of other things you need to know to be successful in an online business. It's the longest running, most successful, most unique program ever in the field of Internet and digital marketing. Plus, you get a scholarship to the school that I'm talking about if you're in my mentor program. And speaking of that, any of you out there that are really flush with cash, if you would like to gift an entire scholarship to a person with a disability, let me know and we'll make you make you a deal on the tuition.
[00:25:05] But anyway, the mentor program is is unique in that you have unlimited one on one tutoring from me and my entire staff for up to a year. And you have an immersion weekend at the great Internet Marketing Retreat Center. We actually live in this house with me. We have a TV studio next door and shoot marketing videos for you. The value is just so big, nobody else will. I've dared people to put their program up against mine and nobody will because I just blow them away. But anyway, you could really change your life. And, you know, a lot of people say, well, I'm quite ready. Do it. Well, how long you been thinking about it? How long have you been thinking, well, I should do this? And if you had done it last year, where would you be today? It's always like, oh, I'm not quite ready. Well, the world's not going to wait for you. Let me put it that way at the time is now to get in on this and be able to sell from home. So no pandemic's will will affect you or your family or any of that stuff. So check it out at greatInternetmarketingtraining.com. And also you get a scholarship that you can gift to someone.
[00:26:14] You know, the school is the only licensed, dedicated Internet marketing school in the country certified to operate by SCHEV. That's the State Council on Higher Education in Virginia. Took me three years to get the license for this school, background checks, financial checks, everything. So it's very highly credible and it gives people a skill that's in high demand in the marketplace. So check out my mentor program, greatinternetmarketingtraining.com. And like I said, when you're in it, you also get a scholarship to the school and all the cool things that go along with the program that nobody else will do for you.
[00:26:50] All right. Let's get back to the checklist I want to tell you about of best practices to do a crowdfunding campaign you could do. Hey, now, I'll make you a deal. If you do a crowdfunding campaign to finance your entry into my mentor program, I'll help you the whole way through. That makes sense to me. What do you think about that? All right, let's get to the best practices, first of all, tell a great story about your campaign and why you are the one to make it happen. Of course, you need their help to do it, but you got to tell a great story of how it came about and all that. Thank people often and thank them publicly unless they want to remain anonymous. That's your next best practice tip. Thank them like crazy. Next is without being a pest, remind people constantly of what you're doing, some of your best allies and friends are busy, and chances are your crowdfunding campaign is not the number one thing on their mind every day.
[00:27:51] So keep after them. Next is network and talk about your campaign constantly. You could convert people that don't even know you to contributors or participants because they like the idea and they like your enthusiasm. Next is send that email and messenger broadcasts. Tell everybody you can about your campaign. Next is shoot YouTube videos about your campaign. You can shoot more videos than than just the one that's on your your campaign. Another one is due publicity stunts. One guy went on a marathon, no sleep night, and he was on Facebook live and he says, I'm not leaving Denny's until he hit like 25 more contributors or something like that. And it went crazy. I think you got way more than 25. And then keep your contributors in the loop of how things are going. Thank them profusely and encourage them to tell others about the campaign. So those are some best practices for you? There's lots of information. And we're like said, we're glad to hold your hand through this. If you're either in my mentor program or you want to use this to get in my mentor program. Fine with me. So plan, plan, plan. And go get that money to finance your dream. All right. We'll catch you on the next episode. See you later.
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