However after 5 days passed, already $15,000 had been pledged to support Afternoons with Alberts’ first product – the Cord Roll, by the time the campaign ended Shane had raised $31,893 from 444 backers – despite only aiming for $6,000.
Shane Thompson, who is a pilot by trade and an adventurer by nature came up with the idea of the Cord Roll after getting sick and tired of always having to deal with tangled chargers when flying. It’s a simple concept but it solves a problem; the essence of a strong business model.
It’s the first of many product that he will release as part of his brand Afternoons with Albert. Shane says: “Afternoons with Albert is us being passionate about the little things, so that you can think about the big things. Jump on a plane, start an adventure, live in the moment.”
When he started in the our program he initially planned to develop a fitness app. However through his time in the program he was inspired to do something that resonated more deeply with his passion and personal values – from this Afternoons with Albert was born.
We caught up with Shane to get some advice for other early stage business owners who want to use crowd funding a platform to launch their business.
What has been your biggest challenge since starting your business?
A serial perfectionist, this has served me well in some area’s of my life, but I have found it to be a completely inappropriate mindset for the start up space. Learning to execute to a point where the task is done well enough so that it allows the next most appropriate job to be done in time has allowed the business to go from an idea that was destined to stay in my head, into a living breathing (awesome) reality.
Addicted to multitasking, the uncomfortable, fidgety feeling of giving one task my full attention has been a huge learning experience.
What has been your biggest win since starting your business?
The biggest win has been a personal one.
The feeling that comes from doing something that is completely and unequivocally aligned with who you are. The feeling that you are giving the world what you were always meant to. The self acceptance that this brings, and seeing how showing up as my honest self resonates with, inspires and excites the people that I talk to about Afternoons With Albert. Jumping out of bed and being stoked that I have a whole day ahead of my passion.
You decided to make the decision to change paths and roll with a new concept after joining our Scalable & Saleable program. What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs who want to switch directions?
Ask yourself, if you made no money from the new direction, would it matter? Would it be OK to take the new direction to the world and just ‘give it’? Does existing in this new space make you tingle a little bit?
If the answer to the above is any shade of yes, then change.
What do you love about running your own business?
The ability it gives me to wander around and get lost in my passion on a daily basis, and the spin off this has for my customers, friends, family and strangers that I meet. It makes me a better person in every way. And giving my gift to the world is a ridiculously amazing feeling.
What advice would you give to others running crowd funding campaigns? What kind of marketing did you use to reach your goal so quickly?
If you don’t know what to do, start building an audience – and learn the rest while you are building this audience. Building an audience means identifying WHO your target market is and then giving them value, for free. To do that, you need to know WHERE they are – both in an offline and online sense, so that’s a big part of it as well. The offerings are small (word/video blogs, Instagram pictures, research, advice) which means then don’t take you long to put together. So spend 30 minutes a day on this.
Once that is running nicely in the background work on ensuring you have product to market fit. Once you’ve done that move onto researching other crowd funding campaigns in a similar space to yours. Learn from what others are doing well, and not well. Have faith that what you are bringing to the world is made up of you, you are unique – and there is leverage and strength in that. If your campaign doesn’t reach your funding goal it basically means you don’t have product to market fit – so you go back to step 2 and follow the process again. Learn. Iterate.
In terms of my marketing I built a following on Instagram initially. But ultimately I think the success was born from making it easy for people to share the campaign. It’s easy to share when people want to share it – when it looks good. People in my market appreciate aesthetics and enjoy the attribution from sharing things that look good. I focused on a genuine, but professional video, and made sure my still images were flawless. It felt natural because it came from a place of passion for me.
Click here to see Shane Thompson’s crowd funding campaign and find out more about his unique product, the Cord Roll.
How did what you learnt in Scalable & Saleable enable you to develop such a successful Kickstarter Campaign? Was there a specific workshop? What tools and advice did you implement and find most useful?The nature of Kickstarter is such that to be successfully funded, you have to convince people in a very short space of time that you are going to deliver what you are promising. People have to believe in YOU before they believe in your Kickstarter campaign – so authenticity is key to build trust. The fact that Vision and Mission is the first workshop speaks to the heart of authenticity in this sense. Being encouraged to use Vision and Mission as your star to navigate by ensures you always have the bigger, more authentic picture in mind. Rolling on into Product to Market Fit taught me very quickly the best way to deliver a quality product to a market that needs it. I had previously tried the ‘build it and they will come’ approach and learnt firsthand how hard this can be. So in my opinion the first 2 workshops in the S&S program are quite literally “Kickstarter 101”.
What impact has the Scalable & Saleable Program and our community had on your business and your life?
The S&S program has been THE reason that I have been able to map and action, the most logical, efficient, aligned and profitable way from idea to saleable product. Experiencing firsthand how being authentic leads directly to sales has broken down a lot of mental barriers I had, both in a business and personal sense. It is certainly not an easy ride, but the energy you give the program is given back 10 fold, with interest! I simply couldn’t think of a better way to grow an existing business or launch a startup.
Shane was inspired to build the business of his dreams rather than following his original path through guidance from The Entourage community.
If you want to find out if you could benefit from joining our growing community of over 800 entrepreneurs too, click here to book in a free business discovery session.