This week on Art of the Kickstart, we’re talking with Sarah Hunter, account manager at Enventys Partners, about what crowdfunding creators needs to know about working with an agency. Tune in to hear her thoughts about why you should work with an agency, how to make sure the agency you choose understands your brand and what you can do to ensure your campaign is a success.

Topics Discussed and Key Crowdfunding Takeaways

  • Why crowdfunding creators should work with an agency
  • What kind of information an agency will need from you before they start working on your campaign
  • How to make sure your agency understands your brand’s messaging
  • How long to expect your crowdfunding agency to spend preparing for launch
  • Why it’s important to trust your crowdfunding agency
  • Why an open line of communication is important for a successful crowdfunding campaign

Links

Sponsors

Art of the Kickstart is honored to be sponsored by The Gadget Flow, a product discovery platform that helps you discover, save, and buy awesome products. The Gadget Flow is the ultimate buyer’s guide for cool luxury gadgets and creative gifts. Click here to learn more and list your product – use coupon code ATOKK16 for 20% off!

backerkitArt of the Kickstart is honored to be sponsored by BackerKit. BackerKit makes software that crowdfunding project creators use to survey backers, organize data, raise additional funds with add-ons and manage orders for fulfillment, saving creators hundreds of hours. To learn more and get started, click here.

Transcript

View this episode's transcript

Roy Morejon:
Welcome to Art of the Kickstart, your source for crowdfunding campaign success. I’m your host, Roy Morejon, president of Enventys Partners, the top full service turn key product development and crowdfunding marketing agency in the world. We have helped startups raise over $100 million for our clients since 2010. Each week I’ll interview a crowdfunding success story, an inspirational entrepreneur, or a business expert in order to help you take your startup to the new level with crowdfunding.

Roy Morejon:
Art of the Kickstart is honored to be sponsored by Backer Kit and the Gadget Flow. Backer Kit makes software that crowdfunding project creators use to survey backers, organize data, and manage orders for fulfillment by automating your operations and helping you print and ship faster. The Gadget Flow is a product discovery platform that help you discover, save, and buy awesome products. It is the ultimate buyer’s guide for luxury gadgets and creative gifts. Now, let’s get on with the show.

Roy Morejon:
Welcome to another edition of Art of the Kickstart. This is the next episode in the series of interviews where I’ll be speaking with some of my amazing team here at Enventys Partners that I have the opportunity to work with every day. And our third guest on the show is Sarah Hunter, account manager here at Enventys Partners. Sarah, thank you so much for joining us.

Sarah Hunter:
Of course, happy to be here.

Roy Morejon:
So, really glad to have you on the show and find time in your busy account manager life. Sarah has worked on some of the biggest campaigns in crowdfunding. Again, DUO, Antonio Saint New York, lifepack, [inaudible 00:01:45], the list goes on and on. So we’re excited today to talk about our discovery process, and what to expect when working with an agency. So, if you would for our audience start off by introducing yourself, telling our guests a little bit about what you do here at Enventys Partners.

Sarah Hunter:
Sure. I’ve been an account manager here at Enventys Partners for a little over three years now. I am currently the main point of contact for our crowdfunding clients, and I’m basically the main liaison between the clients and our internal team here.

Roy Morejon:
So, here’s your job on how to sell it, right? So, to begin with, why should a crowdfunding campaign creator work with an agency like ours?

Sarah Hunter:
Agencies like ours have been doing this for years. We’re well versed in all things crowdfunding. We can provide feedback, consult, create copy and materials, and implement strategies that we know typically converts well for crowdfunding campaigns. Additionally, agencies usually have strong partnerships with third parties that could prove to be beneficial for campaign creators too. So, working with an agency is definitely the way to go.

Roy Morejon:
So, we’ve created this proven process again and again, making all these campaigns a six figure raise and above, many of them seven figures. Let’s move on to the discovery process, when we start working with a client, and we start with a strategy call. What should be client’s expectations on that initial call? And how should they prepare for something like that?

Sarah Hunter:
The strategy calls are usually our first interaction with clients, so it really gives us a chance to introduce both teams, answer any general questions they may have about our process, and confirm what their expectations and goals are for the upcoming campaign.

Roy Morejon:
So, typically what kind of info do we need from the clients to get before they get started? Like what should they be doing in terms of their roadmap to be best prepared to work with an agency?

Sarah Hunter:
We do need to know what platform the project’s going to launch on, what their public funding goal is going to be, and budget, all that fun stuff. Before we kick things off we do need to discuss assets and things that we’ll need from their team as well. So, photos and imagery, things like that are definitely important.

Roy Morejon:
Let’s talk a bit about understanding, in terms of our side, the voice style tone messaging of their company, since usually this is their first time launching a brand new product or brand. How do we make sure that we’re both speaking the same language in terms of the direction of their company?

Sarah Hunter:
After our strategy call, our agency does what we call a creative brief call. So, this is a document that we pull together that aligns the situational analysis, so outlining what the problem is, how this new product aims to solve it. We highlight what the unique selling point is, and acknowledge any potential competitors, as well as the target audiences we aim to market to.

Sarah Hunter:
During that conversation we also discuss branding and the design style inspiration for the upcoming launch, so any taglines we suggest for email marketing and social efforts, as well as any existing brand guidelines the client may have, or at the very least colors and text codes, or whatever they have that they want to use when marketing the company or product.

Sarah Hunter:
So, once that’s approved, that will be the foundation that our team uses moving forward to craft a lot of the content and materials from.

Roy Morejon:
So, in your previous answer you mentioned in terms of the creator’s choosing Kickstarter versus Indiegogo. What and how should they go through that process?

Sarah Hunter:
They should definitely be determined prior to kicking off prelaunch efforts. Both platforms are unique, so again, just doing some research within their product category, seeing what’s launched in the past, what’s currently live, and how those campaigns are performing or performed. Your agency should more than likely have contacts at each platforms too, so definitely recommend getting their opinion on which one would be best for you.

Roy Morejon:
So, I know we want to jump into the campaign, but let’s talk about the pre-campaign. Typically how long do we work with clients before their campaign ever launches?

Sarah Hunter:
It really depends on where they’re at with their assets. So we do offer video and photo services too, but our typical timeline is usually 90 days total. So, from the initial kick off call to when we start prelaunch varies by campaign, but I’d say usually about a week or two before we kick things off.

Roy Morejon:
Nice. So, the campaign kicks off, what happens after it launches? What do we typically need from the clients, and how does that process work?

Sarah Hunter:
So, after the campaign launches, I think the biggest thing that I’ve noticed as an account manager over the years is just to have that level of trust and communication. Up to those point I’ve worked on hundreds of campaigns, and I tend to hear the worrying clients voices when they aren’t fully funded within 24 hours. They think it’s important to share that. What we’ve seen is that our campaigns differ. So, some may fund right away, others may have a surge in the middle. And then others just have that steady increase throughout the entire project.

Sarah Hunter:
So, all of these in terms of momentum can be successful, so it’s just really important to trust your agency to do what they know is best. And as long as there’s an open level of communication and a high level of transparency, you should know that you’re with a good team that wants you to succeed to.

Roy Morejon:
So, speaking of trust, what are some of the tips for how a crowdfunding campaign creator, startup, can help their agency provide the best services and make their campaign ultimately successful?

Sarah Hunter:
Definitely an open line of communication, and offering high quality assets for us to work with. So, we can go back and forth all day, but at the end of the day campaign pages, the video, and Facebook ads are mostly visual, so we have to make sure that the images we’re working with will capture people’s attention right away.

Roy Morejon:
Nice. So, what would be your number one piece of advice for someone planning on launching a crowdfunding campaign?

Sarah Hunter:
Again, do your research. Build up a Facebook ad budget for us to work with, and help reach as many people as possible. And try to collect as many high quality emails or leads as you can prior to going live.

Roy Morejon:
And make sure that you’re solving a real world problem.

Sarah Hunter:
Exactly.

Roy Morejon:
Nice. All right, Sarah, you’ve survived, this gets us into our launch round, where I’m going to rapid fire a handful of questions at you. You good to go?

Sarah Hunter:
Yeah.

Roy Morejon:
So, if you could meet any entrepreneur throughout history, who would it be?

Sarah Hunter:
I’d say Walt Disney, he created his brand based on his vision as a young kid, which is kind of cool.

Roy Morejon:
It is, and he’s a good answer. So, what would have been your first question?

Sarah Hunter:
I guess based on the amount of success that Disney has had a brand and as an entertainment icon, if there’s anything he would do differently?

Roy Morejon:
Nice. Who did you look up to growing up as a kid?

Sarah Hunter:
I’d say my dad. He’s a really hard worker. He really taught me to keep my head up, keep grinding, and strive for the best in everything that I do.

Roy Morejon:
Nice. What book would you recommend to our listeners?

Sarah Hunter:
There’s a really good book that I recommend, it’s called the Subtle Art of Not Giving an F***. But it’s a really great book and I definitely recommend everyone read it.

Roy Morejon:
Yeah, we only have so many beeps to give, right?

Roy Morejon:
What has been one of your most favorite projects that you’ve worked on so far?

Sarah Hunter:
I’ve worked on a lot of awesome projects, but Duo is a recent one that I think the whole team has had a lot of fun on. We helped with everything, including filming the video, and they’ve achieved great success in their campaign. So, it’s been a lot of fun.

Roy Morejon:
Absolutely. What’s your favorite part of your job in terms of your day to day?

Sarah Hunter:
I think in general just helping people achieve success. And it’s really cool to see clients, products out in the real world, in stores everywhere. So just knowing that you’re a part of that is really special.

Roy Morejon:
Last question, what does the future of crowdfunding look like?

Sarah Hunter:
I think at this point there’s a lot that’s already been produced, but there’s already lots to be done if that makes sense. So, we’ve seen a lot of campaigns outcomes that are truly innovative, so I think it’s really inspiring to see what else is going to be out there.

Roy Morejon:
Indeed. Sarah, thank you so much for joining us today on Art of the Kickstart, and thank you again to our crowdfunding podcast sponsors, the Gadget Flow and Backer Kit. Sarah, thanks so much for being here today.

Sarah Hunter:
Yeah, thank you.

Roy Morejon:
Thanks for tuning in to another episode of Art of the Kickstart, the show about building a business, world, and life with crowdfunding. If you’ve enjoyed today’s episode, awesome, make sure to visit artofthekickstart.com and tell us all about it. There you’ll find additional information about past episodes, our Kickstarter guide to crushing it, and of course if you loved this episode a lot, leave us a review at artofthekickstart.com/itunes. It helps more inventors, entrepreneurs, and startups find this show, and helps us get better guests to help you build a better business. If you need more hands on crowdfunding strategy advice, please feel free to request a quote on enventyspartners.com. Thanks again for tuning in, and we’ll see you again next week.