Almost There: Interview: Blimey Cow's Josh talks Kickstarter

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Interview: Blimey Cow's Josh talks Kickstarter

Fun fact: I love me some Blimey Cow. Another fun fact: I've actually met and worked with Josh (though only for one day) a few years ago. I like and respect him and his wife and his family! They are all creative, hard workers and you should definitely check out Blimey Cow!

Recently, Blimey Cow launched their own Kickstarter campaign. What is Kickstarter? It's is a new way to fund creative projects! For more info. go to their About.

Here's an interview from Josh (pictured above) of Blimey Cow about their latest Kickstarter campaign!

First, for those readers who aren’t familiar with Blimey Cow, can you give us a brief summary on what it is and who you all are?
Blimey Cow is a YouTube channel that my brother, Jordan, and I started seven years ago. We have made videos on and off since then, but really only got serious about it in the fall of 2011 when we began our show “Messy Mondays.” It’s a comedy series hosted by Jordan that deals with a different random topic every Monday. In the year and a half or so that we have been doing it, we have gained about one hundred thousand subscribers and twenty million video views. Blimey Cow primarily consists of Jordan, my wife Kelli, my sister Amy, and myself.

Why did you decide to use Kickstarter and how did you even find out about it?
I don’t actually remember which was the first Kickstarter project I came across, but I am certainly glad I did. To me, the crowdfunding model is the best example of a voluntaryist, free-market system in action.
It is also a great way to gauge the enthusiasm and interest of the public concerning a specific service or product. This is why we went the Kickstarter route when we decided to get into audio production. It is a risky and time consuming venture, and we only wanted to do it if there would be people interested enough to listen. It turns out, there are!

Should people be intimidated by Kickstarter?
You shouldn’t be intimidated by Kickstarter, but you should have a healthy respect for its intricacies. It takes a lot of research and work to make a campaign successful.

Can you give us a brief step by step of how to create and run a Kickstarter campaign?
In terms of an actual “How-to” guide to launching a Kickstarter project, the Kickstarter website does a fantastic job of walking you through the process. Basically, you just sign up for a free account, and then walk through the step-by-step guide that they provide. It saves your progress, so you can always walk away from the computer and come back later to keep working. Our Kickstarter campaign was in development for weeks before we made it live.
Once you are ready to publish, you submit your project to Kickstarter. The staff looks over your campaign page to ensure that it meets their guidelines, and they get back with you in 2-3 days.

Going in, what were your feelings about your campaign and its outcome?
I was nervous about it. I had no point of reference to know 1) Whether people would be willing to give us money, and 2) If anyone would even be interested in audio productions.

What was your Kickstarter goal and what amount did you actually end with?
Our goal was $1,700 and we ended up raising almost $17,000. So, ten times our initial goal!

Were you surprised by the amount of support you received from your fans?
I was very, very surprised. Again, I had no point of reference, but never in my wildest dreams did I anticipate that level of support we received. It was very humbling and very encouraging.

Because of the support you received on Kickstarter, what will Blimey Cow be able to achieve this year?
We launched our Kickstarter in order to fund a “podcast” but because we received so much funding, we are instead launching an entire audio network called “BCAN- The Blimey Cow Audio Network.” We are hoping to launch in late June!

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being hardest, how difficult was it to start a Kickstarter campaign?
If 10 means it was the hardest thing ever, I would rank it at about a 5. It definitely took a ton of research and many, many days spent planning to ensure that we had thought of every potential hiccup that might occur, but once the campaign started, all of that work paid off when we hit our goal just 40 minutes after goaling live!

Would you ever use Kickstarter again to further Blimey Cow goals?
I wouldn’t be surprised if there were another Kickstarter project in our future! No official plans yet, though.

What advice would you give to those who want to start their own campaign?
1. Research, research, research.
Read as many articles as you can find written by people who have launched successful campaigns. Find some campaigns on Kickstarter that are going well and observe some of the stuff they are doing that is making their campaign compelling. Also, find some campaigns that aren’t doing well and observe what things they are or aren’t doing that is contributing to their less-than-ideal situation.

2. Set a Reasonable Goal
Figure out what is the cheapest way to do what you want to do with the money raise, and make that your goal (After factoring in Kickstarter’s cut, and any money you will spend to purchase rewards for backers, of course!) I have read and observed that most Kickstarter projects either fail miserably or far exceed their goal.

3. The First Day Needs to Be Huge
If you don’t have a good first day of pledging, it could spell doom for your campaign. Make sure you have a group of people that have promised to pledge on day one. Talk to your family, friends, and co-workers and get as many people on board and excited about your project as you can. The first day is critical.

4. Make Your Video Compelling
Your Kickstarter video should be short and relatable. Tell potential-backers the story of your project and why you need their help to make it a reality. Tug at their heart-strings.

5. Show Your Campaign to as Many People as Possible (Before it’s live!)
Get as many different opinions about your campaign page as you can. Edit and adjust the look, feel, and wording of your page in accordance with the opinions of those you trust to give you good advice.

6. Thank Each Backer Personally
Every time your project receives a new backer, message them through Kickstarter and write a personal thank you. I have backed quite a few Kickstarter projects, and only one has ever written me a personal thank you- and you know what? I’m going to back the next project that guy does, too, because he seems like a genuinely nice guy. Little touches like that set your campaign apart from the myriad of other campaigns out there.

We love Blimey Cow! Can you give us some info. on what’s coming up and maybe some links?
Summer of Blimey Cow starts here in the next month or two, though we haven’t made any official announcements yet, and BCAN will hopefully be launching in late June!
You can keep up with us at!

Thanks again, Josh and Blimey Cow! Almost There definitely supports and loves what you do! Keep it up!

-Tyler Anne (aka Chick Tyler)

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