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Inspired: Lessons from Ryan Grepper and the COOLEST Cooler Kickstarter

COOLEST Cooler

COOLEST Cooler

Have you ever thought of posting a project to Kickstarter? Inventor Ryan Grepper and his COOLEST Cooler have quite a few lessons for us about perseverance, timing, and content. Ryan’s first COOLEST campaign in December 2013 wasn’t successfully funded. His revamped campaign that launched this month was successful and funded at 13,676% of its goal! I studied Ryan’s two campaigns and this is what I learned that I will apply to my own Kickstarter projects. I hope these insights help you, too!

1.) Timing matters
Ryan’s first campaign for his cooler was timed to hit around Christmas time. Few people are thinking about coolers during the winter months. Timing his new campaign in July, prime time for summer products, worked much better. Also, holiday time is an expensive time of year for people with gift giving and this impacted his ability to raise the needed funds.

2.) Keep the total as low as possible
Ryan wanted to raise $125,000 the first time. His second campaign had a total of $50,000. Consider how much you really need to do a project, not how much you’d like to have.

3.) Get to the point
On Kickstarter, get to the “what” as soon as possible in the description. Explain the product clearly and succinctly with features prominently placed as soon as possible in the description. Put the detail further down in the write up.

4.) Have clear rewards
It’s common for Kickstater giving levels to have different rewards. Make sure those rewards are clear and listed early on in the general description.

5.) Have FAQs and answers
Think of likely FAQs that people may have about the campaign and answer them on your page.

6.) Be conscious of giving levels
Think carefully about the number of giving levels you have and the range of the options. Kickstarter’s community is filled with people who can give modest amounts of money so make sure to have plenty of opportunities for support at the low and mid-tier giving levels.

7.) Keep shipping simple
Many people, myself included, feel cheated when it comes to online shipping. The original COOLEST campaign had complicated language concerning international shipping. In the second campaign, that language is cleaned up and that seemed to have an impact on the number of international supporters.

8.) Don’t give up. Learn and revamp!
I love that Ryan didn’t give up on his idea nor on the Kickstarter campaign just because the first time wasn’t successful. He asked a lot of questions, reflected on his experience, learned, and tried again. After all, you can’t beat someone who doesn’t give up!

Congrats to Ryan and his COOLEST team! Have you run a successful Kickstarter? What advice do you have for readers?

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About Christa Avampato

I make a living in business and I make a life as a writer, artist, and yogi. I use my business and storytelling skills to build a better world. My first novel, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, will be published in the Fall of 2017 by Thumbkin Prints, a children's and YA imprint of Possibilities Publishing Co. My creative career has stretched across Capitol Hill, Broadway theatre, education, nonprofit fundraising, health and wellness, and Fortune 500 companies in retail, media, and financial services. In every experience, I have used my sense of and respect for elegant design to develop meaningful products, services, program, and events to help people live happier, healthier lives. A recovering multi-tasker, I am a proud alum of UPenn (BA) and the Darden School at UVA (MBA). When not in front of my Mac, I’m on my yoga mat, walking my rescue dog, Phineas, traveling with a purpose, or practicing the high-art of people watching. I am proud to New York City my home, and I've been called the happiest New Yorker by friends and strangers alike. They're right. Follow my adventures on Twitter at https://twitter.com/christanyc and Instagram at https://instagram.com/christarosenyc.

Discussion

3 thoughts on “Inspired: Lessons from Ryan Grepper and the COOLEST Cooler Kickstarter

  1. Great summary, we are launching in the next couple of months and I will definitely take these tips on board! James at ZestDesk.com

    Like

    Posted by zestdesk | July 31, 2014, 8:13 pm
  2. I am interested in locating a kick starter campaign manager, can you give me a recommendation to a good consultant

    Like

    Posted by vine | July 16, 2015, 8:14 am

I'd love to know what you think of this post! Please leave a reply and I'll get back to you in a jiffy! ~ CRA

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