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Episode 27: Behind the Scenes with a Crowdfunding Expert

Khierstyn Ross of CrowdfundingUncut.com reveals her path to success as a marketer and crowdfunding expert.

Listen to Episode (38:37)

Synopsis

Khierstyn Ross, the crowdfunding product launch specialist behind several six-figure crowdfunding campaigns for entrepreneurs and startups, including Chris Prendergast’s JamStack, shares the strategy behind her success, how she got started in online marketing, and the advice that helped her develop her expertise.

Find Khierstyn Ross online at CrowdfundingUncut.com and on Twitter at @khierstynross.

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Transcript

Chris Davis: Welcome to another episode of the ActiveCampaign podcast. Today, we have a followup [00:00:30] episode from our previous, where we talked to Chris Prendergast and how he achieved such success with his crowd funding efforts. Well, today, I have the mastermind behind such success and we’re going to dive deep into, not only some of the strategies that were deployed, but get in to the background of the company, the mind behind the success. Today, I have Khierstyn Ross with [00:01:00] us. Khierstyn, how are you doing?

Khierstyn Ross: I’m doing awesome, thanks. I’m so happy to be here.

Chris Davis: Yes, I am excited to have you on because after I talked to Chris on the podcast, I was just elated. Everybody who has listened to this podcast knows that I love a good success story, right? Just like people love the underdog story in the movies. To see somebody who was just willing to take commands from someone savvy, who knew what they were doing, without question, [00:01:30] and execute and see success is something that we rarely see. I imagine he was just as joyous to work with as he said it was to work with you.

Khierstyn Ross: Yeah, Chris, whenever I describe my perfect client, he is my perfect client. As a consultant, that’s what I do, I give advice and people either take it or leave it and I find that the ones that usually get success … I feel like the best entrepreneurs [00:02:00] are the ones that maybe don’t lead blindly, but they’re able to take a piece of advice and check it or maybe do their own research just so that they’re making an educated choice themselves before going into something.

Yeah, Chris was just like … he was great because he would always ask, “Okay, well, what should we do here and why is that important?” I think it was just a really good dynamic. Obviously, he raised over a quarter million dollars through both Kickstarter and Indiegogo combined [00:02:30] and launched fantastic brands. He’s awesome to work with.

Chris Davis: Yeah, and as big as those numbers are. I mean, there’s people listening right now that are probably just drooling like, “Oh my gosh, if I could raise that from my idea,” right? The reality is you’re no stranger to this type of success. As I was looking over your website, Khierstyn, I saw that you raised over two million in crowd funding. What I wanted to do was, where [00:03:00] does this come from? Where does this know how? How did you get started?

Were you always someone that was integrated with marketing? Just as a young kid, I had a lemonade stand or was it something that you picked up along the way?

Khierstyn Ross: Yeah, I think it’s something I picked up along the way. I consider what I do selling. When you talk to any marketer, they will say that marketing and sales are not the same thing, but I feel that you have the same skillset to understand people [00:03:30] and the motivations behind buying because that’s going to help you sell stuff and also market things effectively so people buy them.

I didn’t have any background in marketing. In high school, I hated selling. I was like a recluse. I was the one that had two jobs and just kept my head down in school and because my grades were highest in the sciences, I ended up going to the University for Biochemistry. Like most teenagers, I’d [00:04:00] worked at every single fast food joint you could think of when I was 17 and I felt like I had just conquered the world. I was looking for that next thing and I was a little, I don’t know, I was just doing the university thing where I went into the sciences because that’s what I thought I should go into. I don’t know if you remember college or university, but you will have people coming in to talk about summer jobs, right?

They’ll do a quick announcement or whatever and in my second year plant bio class [00:04:30] is and man, there’s a lot of plant parts, but it didn’t interest me at all. This guy walks in and does an announcement saying, “Hey, we’re looking for students who want a different experience who want to learn how to run a business, and this is for you. You should come to our information session for more information. If you have worked every job, you’re looking for the next best thing, and you’re looking for a big challenge and to have an edge over your peers because [00:05:00] your degree is not enough.” I was like, “Okay, what is he rambling on about?

I go to this information session and it turns out to be an opportunity to run a painting franchise for the summer. Literally, they teach 18, 19, 20 year olds how to run a house painting company out of their van.

Chris Davis: Wow.

Khierstyn Ross: At first, I was like, “This is crazy. I’m not doing this.” I think in America, it’s college works but here in Canada, we were actually set up as entrepreneurs. The catch is that they teach [00:05:30] you how to run a business, they give you a business in the box, they give you a general manager, someone who’s been there, done it with you or before and has seen a ton of success, and in exchange for teaching you the skills, you get to run up to six figures in revenue and keep profit in exchange for paying the company a percentage of your sales.

At first, I was like, “There’s no chance I’m running a painting company. I’m too cool.” I ended up signing up to it and [00:06:00] the three years in university, I ended up doing about $400,000 in painting projects and then I went onto sign on with the company to advise new franchisees across Canada. I was basically the startup advisor working with any new person that would come in and teach them the ropes of the business. I ended up staying with this company for seven years, which is how I found my passion for entrepreneurship, and that’s how I just discovered my knack for marketing and selling.

Chris Davis: Wow. [00:06:30] At that time, when you’re crushing it, I think that’s an applicable word here, at selling painting, did you ever directly say, “Oh, this is marketing.” Did you ever connect the dots or was it just something you were doing and you just were good at it and kept doing it?

Khierstyn Ross: It was just something I was doing. I didn’t consider myself a good marketer. I considered myself a good salesperson because as [00:07:00] part of this franchise, you’re buying a brand and a company that has systems and a step by step guide on how to do it, right? I just thought I was really good at following the steps because they had, for example, how to do an estimate and close a client. If you literally followed these ten steps, you’re more than likely going to book more than half the jobs “you go out” and stuff like that.

I was just really good at looking at the numbers, putting in the activity that they said [00:07:30] I needed to do to get such numbers and just follow the systems and eventually, just get good enough at the routine. I just felt like from experience I got better and I didn’t consider myself good at marketing because marketing to me, it’s totally different to … I think if you ask me when I was 21 what marketing is, it’s the action of knocking on doors, of dropping flyers of doing the physical acts of marketing whereas 10 years later, [00:08:00] I’m like, okay, marketing is so different to what I would’ve quantified it as earlier

Chris Davis: Yeah, I would agree with that. I know growing up I always thought of marketing as a person knocking on your door, the used car salesman, that person that pushes products on you that you don’t want and makes it so hard to say, “No,” and I just never wanted to be that person which in some ways hindered me because there were perhaps times in my past where I [00:08:30] didn’t take on opportunities like you did because of the stigma of, “I don’t want to be that person” or whatnot.

Kudos to you and I love the fact that you followed the system but you acknowledged later, that is, although the system worked, it takes an operating, right?

Khierstyn Ross: It does, yeah, it totally does.

Chris Davis: It takes an operator. As the business owner you most of the time are the operator and [00:09:00] you don’t have to know, like you were mentioning earlier, it’s not like you have to know everything. You don’t have to know all the nuts and bolts but you have to understand the operation, the overall operation of it all and I would imagine that the clients that you deal with that are like you were are the ones that experience the most success like you did.

Khierstyn Ross: I think so, yeah, because I don’t know. There’s something around you attract the kind of entrepreneur that you are or like how you run your business is who you’re going to attract [00:09:30] type thing. I do see like, I think a year ago I was making a joke like, “Oh, I only work with people I can go out and have a drink with.” That level of I want to work with my friends and I think that caused me to focus on great relationships with people even if I didn’t like initially jive with them.

I know the launches that we do are very full on and we talk to our clients every single day and we need to have an element [00:10:00] of fun behind it or else it’s just like, “Oh, I don’t want to talk to you.”

Chris Davis: Yeah, yeah, sure. Speaking of launches, how did you get into the online marketing space? Was it a particular blog, was it an event? What was your gateway into this world?

Khierstyn Ross: Tim Ferriss.

Chris Davis: Tim Ferriss, wow.

Khierstyn Ross: Tim Ferriss.

Chris Davis: You and I share the same gateway.

Khierstyn Ross: I know. It was the 4-Hour Workweek …

Chris Davis: The 4-Hour Workweek.

Khierstyn Ross: … and I was like, yeah, because after student works which is the painting [00:10:30] thing like, I was 24. I had a ton of success. I’d helped launch over and three and a half million dollars’ worth of painting projects, and I was like, I had an opportunity to continue with the company but I just … it wasn’t my passion anymore so I was looking for that next biggest thing.

I was like, well, that next thing is I need to do what everyone else says I should do which is get a corporate job, right. I lasted all of three months with Xerox [00:11:00] and around the same time I read the 4-Hour Workweek and I was like, “What do you mean there are people living this other lifestyle? You mean that I don’t necessarily have to have a corporate job and there’s this other thing and it’s online.” After my second corporate job where I again lasted three months and I knew I was doomed as an employee, I started …

I had some money in the bank so I just quit my job. I was living in London at the time and I just started going to every single networking event [00:11:30] to figure out what the heck it is, like what I was going to do. I had no idea that consulting was my thing because after student works, I had no idea that I could get paid to give advice for launching companies because I just like I knew a model and I didn’t think I could apply that to other companies. After like my third networking event, these entrepreneurs are like I’m really just struggling to make money or whatever that thing is and I found myself naturally coaching these people. One day it just clicked like, ” [00:12:00] Wait, can I get paid to give advice?” That’s how the consulting thing went and while I started the consulting offline I was trying to figure out the blogging thing and the podcast thing.

Then like getting into crowd funding itself was I think it happened two years ago when I moved back to Toronto because at that point I was taking on like any consulting work I could find. Sure, I help freelancers, Facebook ads, I can do helping you build an offline sales team, I was just doing [00:12:30] everything.

Chris Davis: Now wait, one second, one second. This s a great story by the way. What was it? When you were learning the online marketing, what would you say your learning curve was? I mean in that process. Were you buying products like these online training products? Was it reading books? Was it just straight going online or pounding the pavement or digital pavement, taking on whoever you could take on in learning on the fly?

Khierstyn Ross: It was learning on the fly.

Chris Davis: Learning [00:13:00] on the fly.

Khierstyn Ross: There was a course that changed everything but I think I was looking at my mentors online and trying to copy them. I at the time thought that it would be super unprofessional of me to swear on my podcast or to talk about myself or be authentic. I was just trying to put up this, okay, what do people want to see? That eventually came down after some negative feedback and once I started getting vulnerable, people [00:13:30] are like, “Oh no, I really love that, keep doing that.”

Chris Davis: Wow.

Khierstyn Ross: I’d always followed Andrew Warner and Mixergy.

Chris Davis: Same here, wow, Khierstyn, we were like …

Khierstyn Ross: We have so many things in common.

Chris Davis: Two peas in a separate pod.

Khierstyn Ross: I ended up taking his interview, your Hero’s Course. I never wanted to start a podcast, but I don’t know. There was something about an email he sent that says that I think the subject was you want to learn to interview like me. I was like, okay, so for [00:14:00] some reason I ended up spending 1200 on this course. I never wanted to start a podcast.

I started a podcast off the back of that and I think that gave me a place to start connecting with entrepreneurs online and see what they’re doing. That also fueled my learning curve and yeah, I tend to jump in to stuff, get burned and then are like, okay, clearly, I don’t know what the hell I’m doing so I need to go and learn how to do it.

Chris Davis: That’s so good because what [00:14:30] I didn’t hear you say is you got held back by analysis paralysis. You didn’t reach your goals because of the shiny object syndrome where you’re always chasing the next thing that were getting results. Your approach was very systematic, I would say, and intentional where you saw something you wanted to learn, you jumped in it and did all you could to learn it and figure it out.

Is that …

Khierstyn Ross: I think.

Chris Davis: Go ahead.

Khierstyn Ross: Yeah, it’s sort of accurate. I did have analysis, paralysis [00:15:00] but because I quit my job with savings in the bank and no plan, it forced me to not … I think if I had the safety net of the job, I would have succumbed more to analysis paralysis but I couldn’t really. I didn’t have the luxury of doing it. I was just like, “Is this going to make me money? Okay, if it’s not, I can’t keep doing this. I need to do something else.”

Chris Davis: Yeah, yeah, that’s good. Often times, that’s what’s missing, right? Often time, it’s the pain of [00:15:30] the unfamiliar, uncomfortable that a lot of business owners and entrepreneurs don’t have because they do have some level of comfort. There are a lot who’s pain propels them to progress and proceed in ways that they wouldn’t have otherwise. That’s great. In your time learning about interviewing your heroes, you started the podcast, right?

Was that your [00:16:00] main marketing experience that really helped you hone in your skills?

Khierstyn Ross: Sort of. I would say it’s the thing that forced me to become consistent. I think because I had sunk $1200 into this and I had some pretty big … at the time I had some pretty big names on my podcast that I just felt I’d let them down if I treated that like my blog or other pet projects that I wasn’t consistent with. I think that the podcast has been the [00:16:30] most consistent thing I’ve had online.

It’s funny because it didn’t take off until I rebranded everything to crowd funding because I was trying to be a John Lee Dumas and how many John Lee Dumas type people there are out there. As soon as I niched everything into crowd funding, that’s when the podcast really started to take off because it’s a very hot topic and there are very few podcasts that are good in the space and there’s a lot of people looking to [00:17:00] educate themselves on it. I think now it’s my main thing. My credibility piece of that makes sense?

Chris Davis: Yeah. I love it. I love it. What was that? You were mentioning it earlier and I backtracked. What did you see in crowd funding and what made you make that shift in your business? Was it a client? Was it just a space that you guys want to get into?

Khierstyn Ross: It was a couple of clients. [00:17:30] I three years ago was convinced that if I opened up my services and just did anything sales related that my business would take off because the more services I have and the more people I said yes to, the more revenue I’d have. Actually, one that end up happening is I’d go to networking events and people would ask me what I do and I couldn’t tell them what I did, which means … I’m just like I’m an adviser.

Okay. Well, if I have a friend ask me what you do, I need to know, I was like let’s just have a conversation. [00:18:00] It was …

Chris Davis: Sure.

Khierstyn Ross: I was getting enough to pay the bills but like nothing took off. I moved back to Toronto and met a guy at a networking event nine days after I moved back and he was telling me about this product that he wanted to launch on Kickstarter. At the time, I was like I don’t know anything about crowd funding. He’s like, “Hey, you know the digital marketing space a little bit and I have a product. Do you want to launch campaign together?” I was like, “Of course.” [00:18:30] Just because how hard can it be and to we ended up launching on Indiegogo a few months later and it failed horribly. We needed to raise $50,000 in preorders to be able to manufacture this thing. We raised $17,000 and I couldn’t do anything with it.

The founder is a great guy. He does not give up and he is like no, I can’t believe. I don’t think this is a problem with the product because when you fail you have to look at is it my product [00:19:00] or is it the marketing and the strategy behind what we did. Because I [craft 00:19:07] on the campaigns last about one to two months. We had some time to look at what the heck happened and turns out our marketing was wrong. We did a few things horribly wrong.

We saw an opportunity to relaunch. When we did we basically fixed all of our mistakes, redid most of the campaign relaunched it three months later and raised $600, [00:19:30] 000 that second time around.

Chris Davis: Wow, beautiful, beautiful.

Khierstyn Ross: At this time, being in Toronto and the startup space in crowd funding is a very hot topic at this point, people had asked me to talk about what we did to turn around a failed campaign to one that did over half a million dollars to start talking. Then people kept coming to me for crowd funding advice. I was like I don’t know anything about crowd funding. It was a fluke. I know nothing. Then I [00:20:00] did this talk and then this founder with a great product idea came up to me and he’s like I want you to give me a quote for how much it would cost to help us launch this fingerprint padlock. I was like it’s a really cool product, maybe I can help. Maybe I can help. That was TopLock our second campaign that raised 342,000.

After this point I have people coming to me and they’re like, “Hey, you seem to be doing something right.” I’m like I’m not, it’s just a fluke. [00:20:30] I sat down with a good friend of mine, Yaro Starak. He’s one of the like whatever, big blogger online. He was like, “Okay, maybe you’re going to listen to me now but your consulting practice is not going to take off until you niched down. You have to focus what you are doing.

I fought him for two or three months. Finally, I give in and decided to take a chance and completely focus only on launching products [00:21:00] online. Then funny thing happened. As soon as I made that shift I became the Kickstarter chick. As soon as I became the Kickstater chick people found me easily through my podcast, people I’m talking to are like I have a friend who needs to do a kick starter, can you help them and that’s one thing just took off.

Chris Davis: Wow. That’s great. I’m sitting here and just listening to you document [00:21:30] or tell us the documented process of your experience. One thing that I think we all go through, everybody goes through, is you get results but we always put asterisk by the results. You got 600,000 on your second launch with this guy and it’s like oh yeah, but. Then you had another 300,000, it’s like oh yeah but.

As you continue [00:22:00] to move on, I mean we have … in your story you have mentors, you have the willingness to try new things, the willingness to say yes to scary endeavors, to move forward when you don’t feel like you’re adequate. I mean all of these things are mental barriers that a lot of entrepreneurs get tripped up over. You couple that with the technology and there’s no mystery to why so many businesses fail. It’s mental and it’s technical. [00:22:30] For you, you are able to overcome the mental just by brute force execution.

Now, when it comes to the technical, how was your relationship with learning marketing technology? I mean did it come natural to you. Did you understand it? Did you have to outsource it for a time until you got a good grip of it? How was that process for you like?

Khierstyn Ross: I think until we started growing I was the one in the [00:23:00] trenches doing a lot of the marketing side of it. It was me like … Yeah, I don’t know. I think once I understood that the main success of a crowd funding campaign comes down to having an audience of raving fans to launch to, at first like in the growth of an agency like I had to get over being able to trust someone else to … Like for example, if you give me a Facebook strategist, if you give me a copywriter for email marketing, [00:23:30] I would have to trust them and their judgment enough to do as good of a job as me, if not better. I first had to get over that hang up of other people can do it better than me and I’m not going to be able to grow until I can start to focus on my strengths.

In the beginning, I was doing a lot of the work myself, but then as I got overwhelmed with leads, there’s a point where I was saying no to money basically. I’m like, “Oh, I can’t do more than, say, arbitrarily 10 grand [00:24:00] in revenue a month until I start to realize that I can’t be the Facebook person. I can’t be the marketer. I can’t be doing these things.

I think that was a shift for me to realize that I needed to take a step back and see what I was really good at, which is a high-level strategy. Priced myself a little bit higher to allow me the margins to then be able to go and hire these specialists.

Chris Davis: Sure.

Khierstyn Ross: I think because I learned myself how to do a lot of these things I knew what level of person and how [00:24:30] to hire the right person because I’ve gone through it myself.

Chris Davis: Right. I guess specific to ActiveCampaign how was that journey. Were you using like for your first client that made 600,000, I’m sure the technology used then maybe was probably different than the technology you’re using now.

Khierstyn Ross: Yeah. I started on MailChimp and I love MailChimp but it was very novice for … Because I started where [00:25:00] Chris was, like I didn’t know anything and I was like, well MailChimp is so … First, I did AWeber and get response and I hated their builder, their campaign builders. Then I went to MailChimp and I was like, okay, this is cool. I love the visual thing but it was still lacking some of the things we wanted to do.

As soon I started working with people in the ecomm space, one of my friends, he got a track to campaign. I was like, “No, no, no, I love MailChimp. Then as soon as I tried ActiveCampaign it was … Because at the time I had [00:25:30] all myself is at MailChimp and then we were in Infusionsoft for some of my clients and I hated Infusionsoft so much.

As soon as I came across ActiveCampaign it was like the best of MailChimp with the best of Infusionsoft but it was easy to use. I was like I’m sold, got to use this. I think ActiveCampaign is now … I work with brands that may be starting at ground zero for email marketing, but then I also start with … I work with Amazon [00:26:00] sellers and ecommerce sellers that need higher level functionality or they want to be able to move into more extensive campaigns and MailChimp just doesn’t do that for us. I think that ActiveCampaign is a really great middle ground for starter companies and also to be able to build into the functionality of larger, more extensive campaigns so that you don’t need to switch into a confusion soft type system in the future.

Chris Davis: Yeah. That’s important because what [00:26:30] we’ve been positioning or communicating to our users a lot now is that we’re a platform that allows you room for growth. Like you said, we’re not just email marketing like MailChimp to where when you need more you have to migrate away from or we’re not a very complex platform that takes years to master so that you never master and you end up migrating to another platform that’s easy. You can start with email marketing and as your marketing matures, your needs mature, you can grow into marketing automation [00:27:00] and stay within the same platform, which is what I’m finding a lot of people have done. A lot of people have done and it seems to be more and more common as we build more and more momentum.

Khierstyn, the previous podcast Chris gave us a pretty good lay of the land of the steps that he went through to launch the crowd funding campaign to be successful so I recommend all listeners go and listen to the previous episode [00:27:30] to get that. The question I have for you is as you’re serving all of these clients, what does the future look like for you?

Khierstyn Ross: Okay. Honestly, I want to change the space. The more I get into crowd funding, the more … actually, I’m biased and you guys can take or leave it as you’re listening to this. I [00:28:00] guess what drives me to perfection is I want to only be able to take on clients whose companies I know are going to be successful because the last thing I want is to take thousands of dollars of your money and have a campaign that fails. I feel like the more I get into the industry and hear about a lot of other agencies, it’s not every agency but a lot of the agencies don’t properly screen these campaigns. They just take your money and then if you fail it’s like well, too bad.

What I’m looking to do [00:28:30] like I have the … I’m taking a two-pronged approach where yes, I have an agency that launches products but I’m also the info marketer. I’m the one that seeks to educate entrepreneurs on the dangers of crowd funding and I want to be able to arm the people with like hey, how do you really know if your product is going to sell. We validate products before we take them to launch and we do a lot of things to reduce the risk and make sure that the industry and entrepreneurs are really educated on what they’re getting into with the startup journey.

[00:29:00] As more people do Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns, if they keep failing or making fatal mistakes or not delivering product or whatever horror stories you hear from the industry, it’s just going to give the industry a bad name and it’s going to hurt one of the best things that have happened with small business funding in the last 10 years.

I think for me [00:29:30] like I really want to have this industry be just more of a space for people to be able to launch great companies. I play the long game with people so that’s ultimately what I want to do. I understand that’s a blanket statement. That’s what I want to do with the industry.

Chris Davis: Yeah, no, I love it. I mean we share the same passion. We’re just in a separate industry and it’s the transformers effect. There’s always more than meets the eye when it comes to being successful [00:30:00] and seeing the people who are successful, what is going on behind the scenes because a lot of people just want to capitalize and monetize on people’s ignorance.

Khierstyn Ross: Oh, I know.

Chris Davis: It takes people like yourself in crowd funding, myself in marketing automation that are passionate about education so that these business owners are better equipped not only with the right strategies and the resources, but the expectation. Listen, don’t just bring this paperclip [00:30:30] and say, hey, if we fold it a certain way and put some crowd funding behind it. We can make a million. Come on, Khierstyn, come on.

Khierstyn Ross: I know. It doesn’t work that way. I feel like a dream killer sometimes. I had a guy come to me and say, this is a million dollar campaign. I looked at the budget they had for marketing. It was a great product. Yeah, it could, but what they don’t realize is what goes in the million dollar campaigns are massive budgets. [00:31:00] If you have a thousand dollars to spend you might not have a million dollar campaign.

To be able to have to tell someone that basically kill his baby and say like, you put too much money into your prototype, you need to save some for marketing. It’s just like I don’t know. It’s a tough industry but I think it’s something that you need to get people tough love or else, you’ll be on the other side of this having sank in like $50,000 into this beautiful prototype launch [00:31:30] and realize you have no followers. That you need to sink in thousands more dollars to get this thing off the ground like it’s … I don’t know.

Chris Davis: I agree, I agree. We need people like you to do it. Like you say, nobody likes to be the murderer of babies but in this sense.

Khierstyn Ross: Not literally.

Chris Davis: Right. Not literally, figuratively, in this sense it is okay. Because seriously, it may hurt now and it may be frustrating and disappointing to them now, but they will respect you for it later. [00:32:00] When they do have that idea and they come and they get validation, that validation is going to be much stronger and go much further and you will be the one who would have done what nobody else did and told them no when everybody else was willing to say yes, just to get their money and leave them with no results.

Khierstyn Ross: Yeah.

Chris Davis: Yeah, it’s great work.

Khierstyn Ross: True.

Chris Davis: All right, in closing, Khierstyn, what would you say as the crowd funding queen that you are, are the top three tips [00:32:30] you can give anybody thinking about using crowd funding or anybody with a product idea that perhaps is just heard of crowd funding for the first time and wants to know more? What would the three tips that you would give them to set their expectations correctly from the beginning, what would they be?

Khierstyn Ross: Okay, first off, have a good understanding of crowd funding. Crowd funding, I’m talking about Kickstarter, Indiegogo. It works really well for anything project- [00:33:00] based. If you need to raise $10,000 for your film or a conference or you have a physical product that you need $50,000 for initial tooling and manufacturing, that your campaign is to raise that money through preorders.

I think that if you understand the framework of what a crowd funding campaign is, the second thing you need to ask yourself is how do you know your product is going to sell, what kind of validations have you actually done to prove that there’s a need for this [00:33:30] and the need is big enough for someone to pay for. That’s the big step one. Then, once you know you have the validation, next step is you can’t do anything without an audience. Audience specifically is an email list. It’s not buying an email list. It is building an interest list for people who are specifically excited about your product.

The third thing you want to do is don’t ever make the assumption that you know [00:34:00] what’s best for your customers. I think that your campaign if you have a product that is awesome and you have the audience. If you don’t position your product properly and positioning basically means having a fundamental understanding of why your product is something your customers would buy and be able to understand why your customers would buy it. What are the top features they care about? What are the biggest outcomes it will have in their life? Will they be able to communicate [00:34:30] this and really understand your customers? You are going to not market your product properly and your campaign won’t do as well you would hope.

Chris Davis: Wow. Thank you. Those were some really great tips. I agree with all of them. Khierstyn, how can people find out more about you, stay in contact with you, follow you, stalk you, all of those thing online?

Khierstyn Ross: Yeah, for sure. I think my main hub is crowdfundinguncut.com.

Chris Davis: Okay.

Khierstyn Ross: [00:35:00] I mean, we have a podcast as well so feel free to dive into all that. We do have a free product launch checklist which outlines our six-month process. If you want to see what we’ve done step by step with campaigns and what you need to do, then download the checklist. It’s free.

Chris Davis: Great, great and all of those links will be below in the description for the episode. Khierstyn, I want to say thank you again for taking the time out and being on the ActiveCampaign podcast. This was [00:35:30] just as an enjoyable as I anticipated. Like I said, kudos to you for doing it the right way. I have much respect for you and I’m glad to have connected with you and met you.

Khierstyn Ross: Yeah, same here. This is fun.

Chris Davis: Yes, fun indeed, and we’ll keep in touch and best of luck. Well, you won’t need it. Best of success to you and all of your endeavors, I’ll definitely be watching.

Khierstyn Ross: Awesome. [00:36:00] Thank you.

Chris Davis: All right. Another amazing podcast in the books. I hope you enjoyed this one. Khierstyn is truly one of a kind as you could see, not only in her approach in success, but in the niche that she’s in. It’s just refreshing to see people put in the work and find the specific vertical or niche or area, or target audience that they’re offering their skillsets are most value [00:36:30] to.

Honestly, those are the intangibles, the things that are going to help you become much more successful when you’re implementing a tool like ActiveCampaign. I hope that these two podcasts, this one and the previous one, give you a good understanding of not only how to use ActiveCampaign in an environment or industry that you may not necessarily connect the dots like crowd funding, but also give you some insight on the other [00:37:00] things that are required, the other skill sets that are required for success in running a business today, whether it’s online or offline.

If you’re not subscribed to the podcast, please do so. We’re in iTunes, Stitcher Radio and Google Play so you can access it through any main podcasting app on your desktop or mobile. If you want to listen to these episodes online, you can do so at activecampaign.com/podcast. Every single podcast is there with links, show notes. [00:37:30] Everything is available to you there.

If you would like to learn more about the marketing automation space and ActiveCampaign, excuse me, please don’t hesitate to visit the Education Center at activecampaign.com/learn.

In all that you do, please just reach out and engage with us. Any questions you have, ask whether it’s social media, whether it’s leaving a comment on the blog post. We have free one-on-one trainings [00:38:00] for every new account, whether it’s free account or trial. That’s at activecampaign.com/training. We are doing our best to equip you with everything you need to be successful. Listening to this podcast is definitely a portion of that.

I look forward to serving you on a greater capacity as a company. I look forward to hearing your success stories with ActiveCampaign. Visit the ActiveCampaign podcast, the small business podcast to help you scale and propel your business [00:38:30] with marketing automation. I’ll see you on the next episode.

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