After two-and-a-half years of focusing on the marine life and surf art of Wyland, Guy Harvey, and Drew Brophy for our glass bottles and drinkware, we are thrilled to announce that we are branching out to feature the art of Vincent Van Gogh!
As licensees of the art of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, we are so excited to design and produce bottles and drinkware using his art in remarkably unique ways. As we work through the design process, here are our first prototypes for our new Van Gogh collection of bottles and double old fashioned glasses (the double old fashioned glasses will match the images of each bottle):
In order to help fund and spread the word about our new Van Gogh collection, we've decided to launch a Kickstarter campaign. Crowdfunding is potentially a hugely far-reaching way to both raise money and get attention for a new project, especially for a small company like Gallery Drinkware.
But until you actually embark upon the crowdfunding journey, you don't know how much work and attention putting one of these campaigns together requires. We are still about a month away from officially launching our project, but I wanted to highlight five of the most important things we've learned so far-- five MUST HAVES for any Kickstarter campaign. Without these elements, you put yourself way behind the eight ball, so to speak.
1) You MUST have an interesting and informative video that visually captures your company and project's vision. Video is one of the most effective ways to communicate your message and without a video, your Kickstarter project will be far less competitive. That being said, your video doesn't have to be a perfectly polished masterpiece. Kickstarter backers love authenticity, so even if you're not a master videographer you can create a video that will resonate with people. When potential backers see your heart and soul come through on a video about your company, which a DIY feel can often convey even more effectively than a super professional feel, they are more likely to invest in your project.
2) You need to have gorgeous, compelling photos. Providing powerful visuals of your project, including prototype photos, is vital to your campaign's success. Large, vivid, attractive, high resolution photos which show your product in multiple different angles and settings (obviously, this varies depending on the type of product/project you're doing) really ups your chances of getting backers. People need to see what you're creating in the best way possible!
3) You have to communicate your project clearly, in a detailed way, without being TOO wordy. It's a tricky balance: telling potential backers all about what you're doing, what your company's about, who you are, without being too wordy. Yet making sure you don't leave out important details...it's HARD to do. Let me tell you from personal experience, putting your campaign page together will require a LOT of editing. You'll finally feel "finished," only until you re-read your page the next day and realize you've rambled on way too long about one aspect of your project and completely left out another crucial piece. Be prepared to revise and fine-tune your narrative multiple times until you have it "just right."
4) Have a range of enticing rewards for backers. Putting together rewards is more complicated than it seems. You have to factor in shipping, figure out how much of a savings you want to offer your "early bird" backers, consider Kickstarter fees, and so forth. It will take some time, so be sure you set aside at least a couple of days to really work through your reward list. Statistically, the $25 reward is the most popular, so make sure you hit that price point on your list. But it's important to have a super good deal which will include the best package of your project at around $99 because backers significantly slow down above the $99 price point. Having a range is key.
5) Prepare to do as much outreach as possible leading up to your launch date. From press, to industry bloggers, influencers, online forums, friends, family, and colleagues...put together detailed lists of contacts well in advance of launching your campaign. Make sure your list is varied-- you should reach out to both the influencers who have 500k Instagram followers as well as the ones who have 10k. Include news publications ranging from the biggest sources in the country to your town's smallest paper. You never know who will pick up your project and you want to cast your net wide. Draft a press release and make sure you include hi-res photos with your pitch to all potential press/media.
There are several other important things to focus on when putting together a campaign, but the five above are the most crucial, in my opinion. Just know this: crowdfunding is a huge under-taking. Prepare to spend several hours a day for close to a month simply putting your project together.
The end rewards can be great-- not just the funding aspects, but also the SEO, the networking, and the exposure. But in order to even enable your campaign to have potential for success, you have to put in the work. We have been working on our campaign now for about a month and we launch on August 16th, 2017...hopefully our hard work will pay off!