Interview with Gabriel Mangabeira
Olympic swimmer, Online Marketing, and Crowdfunding Specialist at russellmarketing.co
Gabriel was lucky to have had more than one thing in his life where he found passion and excellence. He competed as an Olympic swimmer, and after a career change, he landed at Coca Cola's Olympic athlete's corporate trainee program. The day he entered Coca Cola's control center and faced a giant screen monitoring hashtags, competitors, customer behavior, and a million other things about the market, he there and than knew that after swimming, his new area of interest was digital marketing. He was taken by all the details, the accuracy of tracking and data available. He felt he saw the future until his supervisor corrected him: that was the present back then.
During his internship he started crowdfunding projects, first focusing on athletes and later advising friends and finding new projects. Today he works as a crowdfunding specialist and puts his online marketing experience to excellent use while getting new and exciting projects funded. He understands the motion of crowdfunding well, and we asked him to share with the Hubbe.rs creators his top tips and advice for a successful campaign.
1. Is crowdfunding as simple as uploading a product or service pitch on one of those crowdfunding websites?
It is the exact opposite! The secret of a successful crowdfunding campaign lays in the details and solid preparation. The pre-campaign is just as critical if not even more critical than the actual campaign.
2. What is the very first step of crowdfunding?
Every creator needs to have a good understanding of the cost of production, shipping, marketing and any other moving parts where money needs to be spent. People often overestimate their needs. It is essential to understand why you need the money and how you are going to pay it. As some of the platforms go "all or nothing" you need to achieve your target otherwise you don't get any money. Indiegogo, for example, allows for some flexibility and you can get flexible funding too.
In any case, around 10-15% of the total fee gets spent on marketing and pre-campaign, this is an amount that you need to consider, especially when the target is in the range of 50K or higher.
3. What is the flow of a crowdfunding project?
- Timeline: look at other successful companies and do as much research as you can. Once you have good base information, you need to reverse-engineer the details to understand budgeting and planning.
- Start building your page. Showcase who you are, what you are doing and build trust with your followers.
- Get people to sign up for your offer, start telling your story, create a deal and encourage referral campaigns.
- Create urgency and make people feel that they cannot miss out on your product. Get them ready to spend money with you as soon as the campaign starts.
- Get as many people to sign up for your campaign as possible. Even just getting their contact details is a good step in the right direction.
- Create a creative referral campaign.
- Run smart Facebook, Google, etc. ads and ensure that you allocate a budget for that. People often ignore this detail, but actually, a lot depends on how strongly you advertise and push your campaign. Your pre-campaign research comes very handy here, as you need to be extremely specific in your advertisement targeting to get the best results.
- Pre-launch campaign often helps to test a product before your launch.
- Post-launch follow up.
4. How people find certain campaigns? Who are these investors?
There are lots of people with different reasons to visit these crowdfunding websites. Some are just having fun and want to be the amongst the first ones to own a specific invention. Others are looking for business opportunities. There are also distributors looking for new products. In those cases, the funding goes more natural and particularly fast as they have a particular interest in seeing the products created. These distributors not only invest but also start distributing the goods after the production is completed. Through the crowdfunding campaign, the creator also receives proof of concept and potential demand.
5. Is crowdfunding heavily relies on family, friends and closest associates? What if someone doesn't have a big network?
Indeed the first step is often to reach out to family, friends, and people in our immediate networks. Referrals are also crucial. Usually the more people your friends invite, the better deal they receive, hence they are more than motivated to promote your project. However, that is not all, and if your first network is not strong enough, of course this is where the importance of social media and a well-prepared campaign can outbalance these areas.
6. Is there a guarantee that products get manufactured after the funds are collected?
There are various regulations for crowdfunding to ensure money is not taken without delivering on promises. Normally the products get delivered. However, there are production and delivery delays, and if those are well and communicated with the backers, they accept the reason and patiently wait until the prodution is done. The focus is on honest and transparent communication.
7. What do creators need to understand about the crowdfunding itself?
Crowdfunding is a marketing tool, and one of the ultimate goals is to find a brand ambassador for your brand. You also need to create a campaign that cuts through the noise because indeed there is a lot of noise out there. Sometimes a great product is not enough; you need to be able to convince people actually to buy your product. Apart from a bright and appealing branding, you must have some videos supporting your campaign.
My aim as a campaign manager is to get the project fully funded in the first 24 hours. Of course, before that, a 4-6 weeks of intense pre-campaign work is required.
References of crowdfunding projects:
**Gabriel is a crowdfunding expert with extensive experience in building a successful campagign for your product or service. **