Synoply Kickstarter Series Episode 12 – Interview with Ryan Neale (raised AU$51,486)

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Synoply Kickstarter Series Episode 12 – Interview with Ryan Neale (raised AU$51,486)

Hi! It’s Elyse from Synoply, your synopsis of everything to do with the video. Welcome back to my Kickstarter series. As promised, I am going to be sharing some footage today with you in a Skype interview that I’m doing with this guy called Ryan who ran a very successful Kickstarter campaign. I think they raised over $50,000 and I think he was only 18 at the time. So pretty amazing story. But I need to jump into that call now so what I’ll do is start recording my screen and I will share the key takeaways with you that I get from the interview and maybe jump back at the end to tell you how it all went. Stay tuned.

[Interview]

Ryan: So essentially, what we launched was basically was like a revolutionary game. It was an augmented reality card game.

[Footage]

Ryan: Three or four weeks from out from the campaign being launched and then what happened was because I’ve been dabbling in a bit of marketing like a kind of like putting it out to different channels and just you know just testing the reception and it actually kind of like went viral across the internet. It blew off on Reddit, Facebook, some of the biggest gaming pages in the world, and this was two weeks out from our campaign and we have like over 20 like aggregated million views across the internet and we’re like we can’t leave this. We go to launch it now. So we literally didn’t sleep for three days and we ended up launching it in for the next two days. Yeah, I was pretty hectic and ended up like compressing the campaign in to like two weeks.

It was insane, but it was so worth it because timing is like so crucial. I’m sure you’ve heard stories before about it was like some (inaudible) that was launched in winter and it didn’t get anything and it was launched next summer and then it smashed its gold. It’s kind of like that kind of thing. That timing is so important.

How many people were there in your team?

Ryan: When it came back he launching the campaign, it was just me and my other guy.

How long from the idea to the Kickstarter launching?

Ryan: Started weekend 2015 November, launched on September the next year. Yeah, about a year. I think about two months out from the campaign we scrapped our entire code base off until then and started again.

What marketing did you do?

Ryan: We actually didn’t really do any paid marketing at all we were just so lucky that the internet loved our idea.

No, I was actually working full-time, five to six days a week on it the entire time. I’m sure you’ve done it before, a lot of marketing that just went absolutely nowhere. Like we’d throw money in all these different areas and it was just nothing was happening. We were so confused or like we know got this super cool product why is not picking this up? It was until that it hit that point of reality and when it went viral, it wasn’t even paid marketing. It was organic stuff post that I was doing on Reddit.

Were you an existing Reddit user?

Ryan: No, I picked it up. It’s the most valuable tool I picked up from all of last year. Reddit’s incredible.

How did you split your focus in the lead-up?

Ryan: Like the following and the people, they’re so passionate. They’re so active. Like up until the campaign was launched, it was like 40% of like failed marketing in the 60% of just product, product, product.

How much did you spend on marketing?

Ryan: It would only have been $1,000-2,000 which isn’t really that much, but it was mostly in like Facebook ads, Reddit ads have this super cheap cost-per-click and they actually weren’t going anywhere, which is interesting because 4like the paid Reddit ads are going way worse than my organic posts. Not sure of an exact number but definitely under 5K.

I think most people would probably say that your marketing budgets like 10 to 20% of the total amount you want to get.

Did you use a marketing agency?

Ryan: Initially, we were kind of like you know we know this is a good product but we don’t have the marketing skills to get it to a level that we need so that’s why we decided to go for a marketing campaign, but we really ran the numbers. We just decided it wasn’t worth it. Because I met another guy who ran a successful campaign from glasses like Sunnies or something and he didn’t use a full agency, but he used this little like Kickstarter package marketing thing. It was only like $500 and he reckons it helped him heaps.

There are a lot of really cool tools out here like definitely don’t try to do it all on your own. Definitely suss out the options and see what’s best for you like that for some people paying a marketing agency 15K in a 10% cut might actually be the perfect thing for them but they’re just what for us.

What was your goal in the lead-up?

The build-up to the campaign is like you’ve got to have at least 50% like secure it like you know these people are going to buy. I’m sure you’ve heard about like the Exploding Kittens seeing where it’s like this guy launched a campaign and they’re like $50,000 goal and end up getting like 5 million. It’s an absolute anomaly. It doesn’t happen like you’ve got to put the work in. And the thing is he was already running oatmeal.com. It’s like this huge magazine website that everyone already loves. He already had the following there.

The bitter truth is it’s not going to happen, you’re not going to get a successful campaign off the ground organically. Even where a little bit of an anomaly in that sense because we had a cool product. We didn’t get much-paid marketing. You really should go (inaudible) beforehand.

How did you work out your pledge goal?

Yeah so usually like you want to kind of go off a very, very bare minimum of what you need. Firstly, because obviously, you can hit the goal and you can get the money, but also because it makes that on percentage fund look really like overinflated if your goal is small.

What would you have done differently?

I probably would have tried to get a little bit more traction before the campaign was launched because we actually didn’t have any active players before the campaign was launched. The reason being is because then that’s going to help you a lot with a lot with your marketing in the way you get your campaign because you’ll know through active users what they like about your product then you can kind of put that into the marketing in the campaign and figure out you know how you can make people buy it and kind of pledge more.

Any last piece of advice?

Ryan: Obviously, just don’t go overboard on a budget is the main thing. Just try to keep it low budget. I think 90% of crowdfunding campaigns—

No worries. You have a good day.

Elyse: For someone so young, he is knowledgeable about entrepreneurship. I’m so impressed and just thought he has some really, really insightful advice to give.

I hope you enjoyed that. If you did, please give it a like because if people like these interviews with other Kickstarters, I’m going to try and get as many into the vlog as possible. If you want to keep updated with my videos and this series, please subscribe so you get notified when the next video is out. If you’re catching up, you can always check out my playlist which I will link here for you. I hope to see you in my next video. Bye!

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