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So, last year I had the idea to create a calendar featuring artists that had been in my magazine – *bespoke*. I loved all of the Australian artwork that had come my way as the editor of the mag, and put some feelers out to see if any artists would be keen to take part.

By the time I got my shit together to get it all organised, I realised that it was too late in the year for a calendar – you really need to have it done by September in order to have enough time to sell it online.

So, I postponed to this year. I’m glad I did, because in the meantime I had come across a whole lot more artists, and was really excited about the pieces that I was considering for inclusion.

However – getting a calendar printed is EXPENSIVE. I know, from printing *bespoke*, that it would be in the thousands, and I was hesitant to spend that kind of money on something without being sure if it would sell or not.

Then, I discovered crowdfunding. I knew about Kickstarter, but hadn’t realised until a few months back that we have our own version in Australia – called Pozible.

“Perfect!” I thought. “Let’s crowdfund the calendar to see if the demand is there.” And this project was truly born.

{Experiments Explained}

Aim

To successfully crowdfund the 2013 *bespoke* calendar.

The *bespoke* 2013 Calendar in Motion from Jessica Van Den on Vimeo.

Hypothesis

I’m a little nervous about this, but I don’t think $3000 in one month is an un-manageable goal, so I’m pretty confident the project will go ahead!

Materials

  • 12 artists
  • 1 graphic designer
  • Computer
  • Pozible
  • Camera
  • Vimeo
  • Social Media
  • Mailing Lists
  • Blogs
  • Hustle!

Method

  1. Collect 12 pieces of amazing artwork from 12 amazing artists.
  2. Combine with one talented graphic designer to create a beautiful calendar.
  3. Get a quote from the printer. Calculate goal fundraising target accordingly. Don’t forget to include postage and packaging costs!
  4. Set up Pozbile page. Use appealing imagery, video, enticing pledge rewards.
  5. Hustle my butt off – twitter, facebook, mailing lists, blogs etc etc

Lab Notes

  • Deciding on the 12 artists was HARD. So many awesome pieces to choose from, but Mikaela (my graphic designer) and I settled on 12 to go with.
  • Setting up the actual Pozbile page was pretty easy. It’s all very straightforward – though deciding on pledges took a bit of consideration. I’m still tossing up whether to add one ‘crazy’ pledge that most projects seem to have, but I can’t come up with an idea for that. If you have one, by all means, tell me!
  • Sent out an email to our 12 featured artists on launch day, as well as an email to my *bespoke* mailing list. Started talking about the project on facebook and twitter.
  • Got the print proof on Day 2!! Fantastic to have a physical product to showcase.
  • I’ve been travelling for the last few days, and haven’t had as much time to promote the project. VERY interesting to see how the donations dropped off – there is a very clear relationship between the amount of tweeting (especially) and FBing I’m doing about the project and the donations. The evening seems to be the best time to promote the project. One night I really hit it hard and saw around $1,000 come in that evening/through to the next morning. Lesson – you can’t just wait for people to find it, nor can you rely on anyone else to promote it.
  • We did it – YEAH!!! With 5 days still to go. Amazeballs!
  • So, we ended up at 120% funded! I kept pushing it over the last few days, but changed the aim from help us fund to get a calendar for the cheapest it’s ever going to be! Seemed to work well 🙂
  • Now, time to get it right. After back-and-forward with my awesome designer, we got all the kinks ironed out, and it’s off to the printers!
  • Nov 15 – calendars arrived… moment of joy followed by moment of horror – the printers printed the wrong file! They printed the original draft, not the final one. Thank GOD it wasn’t my error, so they are now reprinting. Always expect things to go wrong and take longer than expected!

STILL TO COME:

Results

 

Discussion

 

Conclusion

 

References

  1. Pozible.com

 

Over to You…

Have you ever run a crowdfunded project? How did it go? Did anything not go as expected? What would you do differently next time?