Crowdfunding: Don't Be a Secret Agent

Get tips and tricks on how to crowdfund as I go through the steps to make my dreams for dogs come true.

By | Posted: August 21 2014, 5 p.m. PST

So now you have your idea, the amount you need, and a campaign start date. Now, is when most people start to panic, but don’t! Take a deep breath, have confidence in yourself and your idea and then get to work.

When I first started working on my campaign, I of course wanted to get input from other experts in the pet industry, family, and friends whose opinion I could trust. At the same time, I was coveting my idea, thinking I wanted it to be a complete surprise when the campaign launches on August 25th. Why? Because I was worried about someone "stealing my idea,” and maybe, deep down, I was scared people wouldn’t like it or would tell me I was delusional for trying something like this.


Crowdfud letter


It was after a very vague, silly, Facebook post trying to poll my cyber dog family, that my brother, Aaron Everhart who runs HATCH!, a social franchise in Vietnam that creates competitive, innovative and high-potential start-ups, emailed me a one-line email:

Build Your Brand in Public

Why? Because you can get feedback on what you are doing well, what you should change, and new ideas that may be better or add to your original idea, all before you start spending a ton of money developing something that your target customers may not like.

So, I stopped trying to be a spy and started asking for opinions. It was amazing. Not only did I get a ton of positive feedback that bolstered my confidence, but I got a lot of advice AND even more important, free help. If I had not come out and told people what I was doing, I would not have made the rescue partners I needed to, nor would I have found companies to donate perks for my donors.

Also, remember the old marketing adage – 10 "touches” before someone remembers you. The more "buzz” I can create before my campaign launches, the more likely they will come back on the date and give. To that end, I created a Facebook Launch Party event for the day of the launch, where I will special gifts for those first donors, whose you give the most, etc., and I wrote a letter to my family and friends.

This letter is important. Campaigns that have early momentum do the best, so you need to make sure your close family and friends know what you are doing and are ready to give on that first day.

As an example, here is my "teaser” letter for close family and friends. I sent this out about two weeks before my campaign, so they would have time to think about it, look at their money situation, etc.

Another plus to the teaser letter is the feedback you will receive. I have received several suggestions that helped my better my campaign moving forward, and answering people’s questions helped me figure out weak areas in my plan that I need to think out more thoroughly.  

More Crowdfunding For Dogs: Starting Your Campaign Off Right>>

See the campaign in action at

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