For this episode of Art of the Kickstart, we spoke with Ran Cory, campaign manager for the Yeehaw Wand. Check it out to learn more about finding your target audience before launching a Kickstarter project, how much time to spend preparing for your project and much more!

Yeehaw Wand – Easily create any object out of thin air

Key Crowdfunding Takeaways

  • How much time to devote to preparing for your Kickstarter campaign launch
  • How to get great press coverage for your campaign launch
  • Why your crowdfunding campaign needs to be newsworthy
  • How to determine your ideal target audience for a Kickstarter campaign
  • How seasonality and time of year, especially Black Friday and the holiday shopping season, can affect a crowdfunding campaign
  • Why A/B testing your crowdfunding video is important
  • Why it’s critical to find your audience before launching your crowdfunding campaign

Links

Sponsors

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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 turnkey product development and crowdfunding marketing agency in the world. We have helped startups raise over a $100,000,000 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 next level with crowdfunding.

Art of the Kickstart is honored to be sponsored by BackerKit and The Gadget Flow. BackerKit 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 helps 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.

Welcome to another edition of Art of the Kickstart. Today I am joined with Ran Cory. Ran is the campaign manager for the Yeehaw Wand. Ran, thank you so much for being on the show today.

Ran Cory:

My pleasure.

Roy Morejon:

So this is a really cool innovation that you’ve been able to run the project on. So the Yeehaw Wand can easily create an object basically out of thin air. Can you talk to our audience about where this creation was inspired from?

Ran Cory:

So, it all began with the first campaign. We did a special campaign, a 3D printer for kids, and we got a lot of emails from people that say, “We love the 3D printer, but we don’t know how to get 3D objects, and all the different software’s too complicated. We really need to be able to do a good 3D object and then print it.”

So with the help of the founder of [inaudible 00:02:15], what we created is a special wand, and that really helps people create any object that they want, anything that they just think of, and create it in 3D. They can visualize it and we work around them, like they can play with it and see it in different places because they can use their phone’s camera and visualize the scanned object. And then if they want they can just 3D print it on a 3D printer or just send it to a company. The company will print it, and they will send it to their home.

Roy Morejon:

This seems so Sci-Fi-ish, creating products out of thin air. What were some of the biggest challenges that the company encountered while designing this product?

Ran Cory:

As you know, people like to buy things with their eyes. So it wasn’t easy to design the brush, the wand, because you have to have a special surface. So the phone’s camera or the tablet’s camera will pick up the wand, okay? So some people say that it looks a little bit like a spoon, but this is a must because we need the big surface for the camera to visualize the movement. But when using it, it’s pretty sleek and easy to use. Something that looks like a spoon but, actually, it feels like a wand.

Roy Morejon:

Yeah. We’ve had some interesting spoon campaigns that we’ve worked on recently with the Polygons campaign. Spoons are the hot rage, apparently, right now. But in terms of the technology that it’s been built around, let’s talk a little bit about the crowdfunding campaign. Yeehaw actually ran a campaign for a 3D printer earlier. What were some of the things that you did in preparation for this campaign that was different from the previous?

Ran Cory:

The previous campaign, maybe, we started it only one month before the campaign. So we did everything very, very fast and we didn’t have the preparation, do the email list with the landing page and everything. All the different things that are in it for the campaign. So the campaign was successful but we could have done it much, much better. Especially the main problem is that the competition was very, very big.

Roy Morejon:

Right.

Ran Cory:

There’s nothing like … I can hear myself. So this one is very unique and this is one of the most important things when we decided to do this campaign. We didn’t want to have a similar products on the market that will compete with our product. And it took us many months to prepare the product to work on, to use the interface and everything.

And also we wanted to have samples so we can send to journalists so they can try it out and see how easy it is to use. And it’s not like we need special effects, and it’s not a real product. So everything that we are showing is real. And this is one of the most important things that we tried to show in our campaign.

Roy Morejon:

Excellent. Yeah, you mentioned getting some great press coverage. Outlets like Mashable and Buzzfeed. What tips would you have for other creators looking to get great press coverage for their campaign launch?

Ran Cory:

So the first and most important thing is that reporters are looking for news, something that will be newsworthy. And that’s the uniqueness of the wand, is that there is no other product like it. So journalists just see the campaign and see that it’s very, very interesting. And they like to write about things that are new so people will read what they are writing about.

And we just feel the campaign we created a big list of journalists, and vloggers, and influencers that wrote about similar product about AR, about 3D, about innovations that are related to the wand. And we created a very personalized pitch for each one of them. And then they got it, and they saw the wand, and they loved it. And especially we got a lot of traffic so we are on Kickstarter as a project they love. And we are well ranked. So other journalists that we didn’t reach out to, also see the campaign and write about us.

Roy Morejon:

Excellent. When you’re talking about your target market audience on the journalist side, how do you do that on the consumer side? Where, or how, did you go about deciding who the audience would be that you were going to target during the active Kickstarter campaign?

Ran Cory:

So this is one of the most difficult thing … I don’t believe that we really have cracked it. In the beginning, we thought that the wand would be an amazing product for people that love 3D. And we found out that they already know how to use different softwares, and that the wand is not interesting for them. We tried audience for parents, and parents think that it’s too complicated, although it’s not. We tried DIY people, Etsy people, people with 3D printer.

And for now, we see that most of the people that are interested in the product are the people that are early adopters, people that love gadgets, and they have a little bit of passion for art. So, we’re trying new audiences everyday, and we’re trying to see who is interested in our product. And it’s practically people decide for us who is the audience. And it’s not the other way around.

Roy Morejon:

Do you think the time of year has affected the campaign at all Ran?

Ran Cory:

Yes of course. One of the things that was against us is that we launched before Black Friday/Cyber Monday and all of these big promotions. So we launched two or three weeks before and we felt like people are saving their money for Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. And that’s something to think about. And because after those two days, we started seeing more and more sales. So all those people that didn’t spend all their money after those big sales, found our campaign and started buying.

Roy Morejon:

Interesting. Ran, let’s talk a little bit about the campaign video. Obviously that puts some time to put that and build that together. What was the process like? And how did you go about deciding what to include in the video itself?

Ran Cory:

So in fact we did two videos. The first video that we created was with a different strategy. We thought that it would be more for people that have 3D printers, and that are interested in 3D design and everything. And after we tested it out, we found out that we had the wrong audience.

And also, twice. So … we also had children in the video and the people thought that this is for children. We didn’t target children they just weren’t sure it is used. So the second video we changed everything. We just show how you can use, create 3D objects out of thin air. And that’s how we introduced other software [inaudible 00:11:37].

Roy Morejon:

Interesting. So in the two videos that you created, did you test both of those before the campaign launch? Or how did you go about deciding, which one resonated best with your audience?

Ran Cory:

When, we tested a little bit the first one. We saw the reaction of people. And we decided to make the changes, but then we didn’t have a lot of time to test the new one and we just launched.

Roy Morejon:

Got it. So what’s been the biggest thing that you’ve learned throughout the whole process of launching this campaign?

Ran Cory:

Find your audience before you launch your campaign.

Roy Morejon:

Solid advice Ran. What’s been the biggest surprise of the campaign so far?

Ran Cory:

Biggest surprise. I don’t know. I think that the … I thought that this product, the 3Doodler, or other products that was before that. This product would get more and more attention. But maybe the timing and maybe, I don’t know why. But I think that this product has more potential than we got until now. But we still have 25 days to go, and once we find the right audience, I think that we can reach higher goals.

Roy Morejon:

I agree, I agree Ran. Well this gets us into our launch round where I’m going to rapid fire a handful of questions at you, Ran. Are you ready to go?

Ran Cory:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Roy Morejon:

So what inspired you to work with entrepreneurs?

Ran Cory:

So I think that entrepreneurs they have the passion, they have the knowledge. But they don’t know how to do marketing and advertising. So I think that’s a great match because great minds think alike and we can do great things together.

Roy Morejon:

I agree. So if you could grab a beer with any entrepreneur throughout history, who would it be?

Ran Cory:

Mark Zuckerberg.

Roy Morejon:

What would be your first question for Zuck?

Ran Cory:

How did you do it? You make it seem so simple, but he was so young and he created this empire before the age of 30. So how did he do it?

Roy Morejon:

Pretty incredible, I know. What book would you recommend to our audience?

Ran Cory:

I don’t know. I don’t have any book to think of.

Roy Morejon:

Fair enough, we’ll pass on that. Last question in the launch round Ran. What does the future of crowdfunding look like?

Ran Cory:

Just like it’s becoming more and more professional, and more and more difficult. And the biggest and the toughest will survive.

Roy Morejon:

I agree. Well Ran this gets us to the end of the podcast. But I want to give you a chance to pitch our audience. Tell them what you’re all about, where people should go, and how they can find you online.

Ran Cory:

So. I’m Ran from the Cory group, and I’m the creative director of the Yeehaw Wand, but also for other companies. They can just find Corygroup.co, and see what we do.

Roy Morejon:

Awesome. Well Ran, thank you so much for being on this show. Audience thanks again for tuning in. Make sure to visit artofthekickstart.com for the notes, the transcript, and links to everything we talked about today. And, of course, think you to our crowdfunding podcast sponsors, the Gadget Flow, and BackerKit. And my last request is, if you love this episode, please make sure to leave us a review on iTunes. Ran Cory, thank you so much for being on Art of the Kickstart today.

Ran Cory:

My pleasure.

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 love this episode a lot, leave us a review at artofthekickstart.com/iTunes.

It helps more inventors, entrepreneurs, and start-ups find this show. And helps us get better guests to help you to 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.