Product designers: launching your own designs via crowdfunding is more accessible than ever—but the first step is expanding your perspective. Your responsibilities will grow beyond design and manufacturing to encompass the entire entrepreneurial ecosystem.
The bad news: It's not simple. It requires hard work and mental "overhead."
The good news: With considered strategy and diligent planning, I believe designers already have much of the core skillset needed to make it happen!
In next week's free webinar on managing modern crowdfunding I'll give you a framework for making that happen, based on the 15+ Kickstarter projects I have run for my housewares brand Manual as well as the 50+ projects I have advised on as a professor, instructor and consultant. During the webinar, we'll do a deep dive on this framework for vetting your ideas and planning for launch. Your design is at the center, surrounded by four quadrants of considerations. The left side represents the measured, objective work; on the right, the creative, subjective work.
At the center of it all is a good design—something you're excited about and willing to push to completion, no matter what. The corporate design approach of identifying target markets and designing for them yields less authentic crowdfunding projects. If you want to excite backers, your design should come from a personal place, with obvious passion and a distinct point-of-view.
Community covershow to reach your potential audience. You'll learn that community building is about more than creating leads--it's also about finding your voice, as well as how to communicate with your audience throughout the entire crowdfunding process, and through to the next project.
Connection covers how to build relationships with your backers. Yes, you need to tell a compelling story about your design that builds desire, but you also need to build the trust that you can successfully execute. The best connections aren't just transactions, but ongoing relationships that continue to orbit your work in the future.
Production is where practicing designers may feel the most confident going into a crowdfunding campaign. But we'll also cover your new responsibilities beyond setting up a great production run: Managing timelines, controlling pricing, linking resources, managing freight and logistics, overseeing quality control and maintaining manufacturing relationships. These are all crucial to a successful run.
Finance is often where creatives lose interest—but learning to treat a spreadsheet like a prototype is an empowering mindset. We'll cover promotional fees, platform fees, shipping costs, resource management and more. Accurately managing a budget is critical to crowdfunding success. The project's finances must be viable from the start, and resilient through the unexpected twists and turns.
Join me to learn these things and more! The webinar airs Wednesday, February 23rd at 2PM EST. In addition to being part of the live Q&A sessions, registered participants will have access to the videos after the event.
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