The Inside Scoop is a series that chronicles the ups and downs of starting a Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) apparel company from scratch...in the middle of a pandemic.
Hi everyone! Heather and Jane here! We're here to give you some of our initial reactions to Day 1 of our Kickstarter and what we wish we knew. We're basically interviewing ourselves here, so don't mind us!
So... Let's get right into it - What did you wish you knew?
Jane: No one told me that I would just be pacing the hours before launch. I went to the bathroom 15 times in 5 hours, so part of me wishes that I had slept up until we pushed the launch button. Then, no one tells you how overwhelming it is when everything launches (in a good way!).
Tactical things I wish I knew
- Turn on the e-commerce button on google analytics! This is a second button that you need to toggle on, beyond just connecting the ID number to Kickstarter. There is no retroactive information.
- Make sure you submit your project much earlier than the 3 business days that Kickstarter shares - if there's a large influx of projects, there can be delays in approving your project. We submitted 8 days in advance, but we still felt down to the wire. You can still make changes after submitting for approval.
Heather: I agree! We were very well prepared for day 1, so launching at noon meant the morning was mostly twiddling our thumbs and feeling anxious. Tactically, I think I should have realized how much self-promotion we were going to have to do. That's something that is really uncomfortable for me, so messaging FB groups from college or my first job took some psyching up.
What did you two do to get ready for Launch day?
Jane & Heather:
- The most important thing we did was mobilize friends and family to help us spread the word. This was key to our success. (A big thank you to everyone that shared our campaign!)
- We made sure to draft everything - all of our personal asks, our first backer update, etc. - in advance. That allowed us to focus on just pushing send when the time came.
- We each had our checklist of things we needed to do immediately at launch. Note: there are some things you can't do on Kickstarter until you launch, like updating FAQs
- We didn't know too much about what the backend Kickstarter dashboard would look like, what functionality it would have, etc. so there is no way to prepare for that. We did set up all of our trackers for ourselves to remain flexible.
What was the most surprising thing that happened?
Jane: Maybe Heather expected this more, but in my head, I expected way fewer backers and way less $$...
Heather: I was much closer at predicting the outcomes for day one, but I think I just got lucky! I was surprised by how emotional I was. Something about seeing your friends and family (and people you haven't talked to in a while) rally around you is incredibly moving. I was so drained by the end of the day.
Jane: I think the second most surprising thing was how realistic the boobs were on a cake some of Heather's friends sent...
What were your emotions like throughout the day?
Jane: I think I was super anxious before launch, fairly jumpy for a lot of the day, and exhausted at the end of the day. The adrenaline really got me, and I actually ended up very hangry. In hindsight, I should have prepped my meals because I ended up only eating avocado toast and a cake that my (very supportive!) partner got me.
Heather: Wow, so many emotions. I was nervous-excited when I woke up, and then nervous-anxious the hour before launch. I was so confident that we were as prepared as possible, but the waiting totally messed with my head! After we launched, I was simultaneously giddy and shocked. Most of all, though, I was - and am - incredibly grateful.
You guys achieved your goal on the first day? Anything else we can do to help?
Jane & Heather: We still have our stretch goals that we really want to meet. Help us get to some new colors and unlock the Charlee. Keep sharing with your friends to get us there!
Any last thoughts?
Heather: Keeping up the momentum is the biggest challenge in a crowdfunding campaign. The best way to do that is through PR and by becoming a Kickstarter "Project We Love" or "Staff Pick." These are hit or miss, so make sure to take lots of shots on goal.
Jane: I think that we should have thought more about the days between day 1 and the last 48 hours of this campaign. Also, don't forget to vote in this election.