Time really, really flies....
Fast forward another month later, and its 29 August today.
Writing a book and putting the kit together is a daily grind. Almost every weekday this month, this has been been my schedule:
Morning/afternoon: Write 1000-2000 words per day Evening: Market online and hustle around for email signups.
I do this day-in and day-out.
On top of this daily routine, some days I conduct interviews with successful project creators, and 2 evenings a week I get on 30 min Skype calls and help people from all over the world. I try to help them out with their crowdfunding campaigns.
And being consistent with this routine is starting to pay off: August has turned out to be a very fruitful and exciting month, and things are taking off.
5 Things I've achieved In August
Mailing list stands at 125 subscribers today! It grew by 72 new friends. Much of the growth resulted from sharing a previous post How I Made $106,830 On Indiegogo With This Traffic Generation Strategy that started getting shared around.. Almost every day now, I get an average of 1-3 subscribers to the newsletter.
Book writing. The first draft is READY! This is the most fulfilling achievement this month, and I actually completed it 2 days ahead of schedule (ahead of the planned 31 Aug). The joy of seeing your first draft, after over 8 weeks of never-ending writing is unspeakable. Right now, I'm sending copies of it out to a few people for feedback and review into draft 2. If you would love to help review the first draft, drop a comment below.
SoHelpful Skype calls. I've helped 10 people this month with advice on their crowdfunding campaigns. Most of them have become my new friends. One of these guys, HeatSeekNYC launched a Kickstarter campaign and has already surpassed their funding goal of $10,000! If you do need help for crowdfunding, grab a SoHelpful timeslot with me here: https://www.sohelpful.me/johnathanleow.
Guest Postings. I managed to hit my goal of landing 3 guest posts on 2 influential blogs: a post on the crowdfunding blog CrowdFundInsider, and another two on TheNextWeb. Combined, the 3 posts resulted in over 1,200+ shares on Twitter and Facebook. Amazingly, just a month ago I had pitched those same articles to the TheNextWeb editors, but i didn't get a single reply. But I tried again (with a different email of course), and applied the tactics outlined by Sean Ogle in How To Pitch a Guest Post (And Get The Most Out Of It .This time round, the same editor who ignored me gave a favorable reply (see below)! I shall blog about how to do effective guest pitches in an upcoming post.
- Interview 10 successful campaigns This month alone, I managed to interview 6 crowdfunding projects, with 1 more scheduled for the next week (so that leaves me with 3 more to go). I've experienced incredible favor in this area, because the people who agreed to the interviews include two guys who've raised over $1 million, as well as Ben Bateman, a prominent director at Indiegogo . Next week, the co-founder of FundedByMe will also be interviewed.
3 Things I could do better
Make sure you have a strong Call to Action in your guest posts. While it was great that my two posts appeared on the two well-known blogs TNW and CrowdfundInsider, I made a BIG mistake. Aside from the standard author bio section which rarely anyone clicks, I did not include a strong call to action anywhere at all back to my site, and the result was people sharing the articles, but not knowing where to click to access my blog/nor landing page.Next time: embed a strong call to action within guest post.
Learn to evaluate properly before saying Yes to anyone. I received 3 consulting offers from those 10 SoHelpful calls. (Yes, 3 persons actually offered to pay me to run their crowdfunding campaigns, so this is a hungry market). In my zeal, I blurted a 'Yes' for the first offer which I really should have said 'No', rightly said 'No' for the second (of which she hung up the call), and said 'No' to the third guy which I should have said 'Yes!'. Honestly, the risk of failure is really high for the first guy's project, while the third guy's project, is a huge opportunity, and where my experience and expertise comes in! Now I've to figure a way to extricate myself from Guy 1.
Never lose sight of eternity: Money will pass away. But people won't for all eternity. Ok, this is gonna sound spiritual, but I'm not ashamed to share my Christian faith here. I would say that doing those SoHelpful calls has helped changed me into a slightly better person. In the beginning when I started, all I thought about was M-O-N-E-Y..i.e how to make money off them. But a turning point was when an elderly lady called in from New Orleans, and told me her story. She told me that she lived in a neighborhood where Hurricane Katrina hit worst. Where it used to be the inner city of New Orleans, today its a rural countryside, and people here like her are very poor and are struggling to make a living.And she told me she wanted to start a mushroom farm, but didn't have any cash nor know-how. Rightly so I turned her down, because I would have been more a hindrance than a help to her, because I'm not in the U.S. And then it instantly struck me from a bible verse in Micah 6:8- 'What does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly before God'. At the day's end, God's not going to ask me to answer how much money I've made, but what I've done with the people He's brought into my life, here on earth. I resolved there and then that this business will be focused on giving value to people. Money second.
As Tim O'Reilly, one of my role model entrepreneur heroes, quotes:
"Create more value than you capture."
3 Things I want to do in Sept
Here's the three main things I'll be working on in Sept:
Getting feedback for the first draft in order to make the content even better. Am also gonna be looking for a good designer to redesign my book cover (shoot me a mail if you know anyone suitable!).
Start planning for the big launch in mid-Oct (barring no delays)
Start work on the Crowdfunding Tactics Video course.
That's it. And if you would like to do me a favour, please help share The Crowdfunded! Kit For Startups with your friends!