How did they get there? It wasn’t luck. It was 5 years of growing their business and brand, five months spent creating their campaign, 5 weeks communicating it, and a clear vision of where they wanted to go (and what they needed to get there).
Here’s five things that we saw that they did really well, that could inspire some of you aspiring crowdfunders out there:
1) Have a plan
We talk about having a campaign plan, and even have a Google Doc that we share out, but the Parrot Dog crew went next level with their planning. They had a wall chart with daily tasks.
Matt Stevens was the mastermind behind their plan, which had a page for every day in the lead up. It included everything from when they needed to have their directors indemnity insurance in place through to when they’d post on social media (Mondays and Thursdays).
Everyone was part of delivering the plan, and everyone could see it as it took up a whole wall in their office.
Remember: it always takes longer than you think to pull together a visually pleasing business plan, and a kick ass pitch video.
2) Get in touch with your crowd
You can’t raise your money, if your crowd doesn’t know what’s happening.
The ParrotDog crew created a newsletter in the lead up to their campaign, with their first major announcement being that they were crowdfunding. After that, they had specific key messages they wanted to talk about each week, from announcing what the funding was for to the location of their brewery through to a copy of their IM.
Here are the newsletters they posted out to the world
- 4 weeks out – Digest 00 – People added to their newsletter
- 4 weeks out – Digest 01 – Announcing their campaign (with a Press Conference)
- 3 weeks out – Digest 02 – What they’re raising the money for – brewery location
- 2 weeks out – Digest 03 – The reward levels
- 1 weeks out – Digest 04 – A copy of their field guide & investor meet and greet details
- Launch time – Digest 05 – link to the campaign, field guide, and image of where they started.
They talked to everyone from their suppliers to their mums, and started asking folk to sign up to their newsletter weeks in advance of their launch.
3) Be yourselves
This was a big one for the ParrotDog crew. They didn’t want to become flashy or corporate. They wanted to bring their own strengths, but not try to become something they weren’t. So, they refused to do a traditional press release to announce their campaign – they made a quirky video instead.
Everything they did was on brand, and really showcased who they are as people and as a company.
4) Have a clear goal
The ParrotDog crew were super clear on what they needed money to do – build a bigger brewery. With a brew bar included, it really inspired their fans (especially those based in Lyall Bay) to get in and support. Having a really tangible plan, and vision that your crowd can embrace (or drink) is a big part of having a successful campaign.
5) Meet people #IRL
We sort of pushed the Matts into this, hosting the ParrotDog crew in our space for a meet and greet with potential investors a few days before they launched. It was a great opportunity for their crowd not only to ask questions in a group setting, but meet each of the team and ask them questions individually as well. With just a few days notice, the ParrotDog crew had over 90 people attend either in person or online. Many of the people there that night were the first pledgers to get in to the campaign.
Well done again to the ParrotDog crew, for funding their vision and inspiring a new wave of Kiwi crowdfunders.