Adam Wik, SBDC client and owner of Galatune, a table top battle card game company, used his considerable marketing skills to great advantage exceeding his Kickstarter funding goal, raising $20,841 from 138 backers. The Galatune game involves two to five players who each control a champion warrior. They fight each other at the same time and get points by defeating their opponents (see video). Pre-orders are now being taken for the game on the Galatune website http://www.galatune.com/ with a December 1st release date.
Wik is a Wright State University Marketing graduate and is currently pursuing his MBA. Galatune is a game he developed as a child, perfected it through playing it with family and friends, and in 2015 he launched his business to bring the game to market. He was the 2016 winner of the Wright Venture competition; a business competition for Wright State students which allows them to present their ideas to a panel of potential investors.
Wik has advice for those launching Kickstarter campaigns:
- Make the campaign page perfect. Search for similar campaigns in your category with top levels of funding and use them as a template.
- Know that Kickstarter isn’t a magical lead generation tool. Its first a platform to collect funds, and secondly a lead generation tool. Every campaign will be a bit different, but from my personal experience and research I’d say a strong project should only expect around 35% of its funding to be generated through Kickstarter leads. That means that the remaining 65% needs to come from a combination of your existing network of followers and 3rd party advertising.
- Build your network first. I mentioned that most of your funding will be coming from your existing fan-base, so spend at least 3-6 months building a solid audience first before launching the campaign. This can be done through trade shows, social media, and face-to-face networking.
- Start Day One strong. The way Kickstarter’s search algorithms work, it is VITAL that day one of your campaign gets a sizable chunk of donors and funding. How do you do this? Make sure you have a line of loyal family, friends, and fans ready and eagerly waiting for that Kickstarter page to open. Stay in good contact with them and let them know how important it is to give on day one
- MOST IMPORTANT TIP: Don’t make your Kickstarter too long. Only set your window open long enough to cover your planned networking. For instance, if you don’t have any events or ads or networking planned, your Kickstarter might as well only be one or two days long. People will not magically flock to your Kickstarter without promotion, so each day of the campaign should be justified by your active marketing schedule.
Congratulations to Adam Wik and Galatune, truly a Client on the Move!
Here is a reprint of an article that ran a few months ago. It covers internet marketing which is a very hot topic with our client base. I hope you find this useful. The link we had to the original story is broken so if you come across a new location for the original, please send it to us for update.
Do-It-Yourself Internet Marketing for Small Business
Posted by Blake Barnett
Businesses seeking increased traffic to their websites and social media profiles can hire an SEO expert to review and revamp their current pages. While this is sure to pay off in the long run, it can come at a steep cost. Fortunately, there are many ways for web marketers to increase their search rankings without spending any money whatsoever.
Here are three excellent methods to improve your web presence and drive inbound leads at no cost.
1. List your business in free business directories.
Business directories are an excellent vehicle to promote your business because they are already optimized to show up high in web searches. Any links you receive from these directories will have a greater weight, due to the elevated Google PageRank that the directories enjoy. Reputable directories include Thumbtack, Merchant Circle, and Contact Squid.
Of these, the Contact Squid free business directory probably offers the most internet marketing “oomph” thanks to built-in Facebook and Twitter feeds as well as the ability to optimize your profile page for the search engines.
When submitting to directories, make each separate profile unique. Write up a good description of your business using the keywords you want to rank highly for. Take advantage of any additional media the directories allow you to upload, such as pictures and videos.
2. Produce as many backlinks possible yourself.
Backlinks are simply links on websites around the ‘net that point back to your page. They are one of the most important components in search engine optimization, so time spent getting backlinks to your site is time very well spent.
Sign up for accounts on bookmarking sites such as Digg, Stumbleupon, etc. and submit your websites and your business directory pages to them. Also, Tweet, +1, and “like” the pages as well, including the URLs with your posts.
3. Optimize your actual links and URLs
The last tip for free do-it-yourself internet marketing is to optimize your URLs and links. First, place keywords in the URLs themselves. If you are trying to rank for “Fresno Bridal Jewelry,” then the URL for your bridal jewelry-based page should be something like “http://www.contactsquid.com/fresnobridaljewelry“.
Next, when submitting links around the web, it is better to place keywords in the anchor text instead of your URL when allowed. Anchor text consists of the words that make up a hyperlink. Taking our bridal jewelry page example, the anchor text should appear as “Fresno Bridal Jewelry” instead of “http://www.contactsquid.com/fresnobridaljewelry.” In addition to linking to your main website, make sure you also place some links pointing to your directory profile pages as well.
Following the tips in this article will give you a very good fighting chance among the thousands of other businesses in your industry competing for search engine rankings. The results will make you very glad you invested all the time and effort to do it right.
A recent article in the Dayton Business Journal featured two SBDC’s in the Dayton region. Pat Newcomb from the Entrepreneur’s Center and Earl Gregorich from Wright State University collaborated to provide insight on marketing strategies with traditional and social media. Check out the full DBJ story.
There are several networking opportunities in the Dayton area for small business owners to take part in. While we don’t endorse any one of these events, don’t be surprised if you show up and see an SBDC counselor in the crowd. If you do, be sure to stop us and say hello! (Have a networking event you would like to add? Send it to us.)
The Association of Small Business Development Centers has partnered with Braddock Communications, Inc. and published the book ‘Braddock’s Procurement Guide 2013: An Entrepreneurs Guide to Selling to Governments and Corporations”. This book provides an overview of the government and corporate marketplace, with insight on the inner workings on how the decisions are made. The book also includes the following topics…
• Selling to the Federal Government/State Governments
• Selling to Large Corporations
• Selling to Foreign Governments and International Organizations
• “Green” Procurement
• Special Resources for Women-, Minority-, or Veteran-Owned Businesses
And thanks to the Microsoft Corporation, this guide is available to all SBDC directors and their clients at no cost. For a copy of this must-have guide, talk to your local SBDC Director or visit http://www.asbdc-us.org/BraddockProcOppsGuide.html
Wordnik, VisualThesaurus, TheFreeDictionary, UrbanDictionary, Ubersuggest
These tools will help you locate words related to your product or business. Use this group of websites to generate a word bubble that contains several descriptive terms that are related to your product, service or business.
This website will change common puns and phrases into puns using a word from your word bubble.
Many common words you may want to use for your business or product name are already being used by others. WerdMerge allows you to take short words and generate unique combined spellings.
This tool will help you find words that rhyme with your chosen primary term from your word bubble.
This word generator will create random words based on your interaction with the site.
The title of this site says it all.
Once you have a name, run a quick check to see how unique it truly is.
Here at the SBDC, we have many opportunities to network with our clients and fellow resource providers. Many of our clients have been open with the fact that they find networking very difficult and sometimes downright unproductive. Whether you like it or not, networking is a fact of being in business and you have to learn to “work a room” effectively. Not everyone will be a pro but you should strive to feel comfortable joining a conversation and learning about others in your business circles.
We have put together a one page guide that summarizes some of the best-practices of networking that we have come across. Download and customize it to suit your networking needs then get out there and practice, practice, practice!
Here are some online articles we used to help pull our guide together:
Business Networking Tips and Techniques – Great checklist and elevator speech guide.
How to Network Successfully – A quick read on some of the basics.
The Real Secret to Successful Networking – Great instruction on developing the leads from networking.