Kickstarter success, but still some problems

To be honest: I fell Azure died during this round of funding. Up to now, I had been used to pitching Azure, the company, the idea, and … myself. I was used to depicting a pretty picture of where it all started, how I was solving a problem by meeting a demand, and how I was going to change the world in the process.

I forgot that I also need to SELL.

The video is … nice, the worst quality for something you needed as a hook. As I knew no one understood or cared what pinole was, I thought creating a kickass promotion through Kickstarter could garner enough attention and good will leading up to Christmas… to launch with sales for Spring when we collectively feel guilt at whatever real or imaginary weight we put on during the holidays. 

Here are the tough lessons I learned throughout:

-       Do not panic and fork out thousands to agencies or people in the hope to get more pledges. Because…

-       Start engaging your target audience 2-3 months before you launch the KS by…

-       Giving them samples of the bars!!! It’s a food, most people need to taste, feel, smell the thing if you want them to pledge/write/talk about it!

-       Figure out who your target audience is, talk to them, learn their language, where they hang out, what they read, eat, drink, sleep! Speak their lingo! Turns out, most ultra-runners don’t give a f*** about social media. They’re too busy running in the woods.

-       Learn to sell. There’s a difference between wanting people to like you and your company vs getting people to get out their wallet and hand over the dinero.

-       If all else fails, have generous friends and family (thanks mom and dad)

I was lucky. I gave some samples to some lovely people who wrote some lovely article, and I was gently backed by Oxford with an article about me and then about Azure. I was also lucky enough to make it on TV on That’s Oxfordshire – beginning of my stellar career. I had broken my voice the day before speaking for 48 hours straight during the Emerge Conference so I look like I’m about to have a panic attack. Oh! how you fail me body…

I am unbelievably grateful for having tried to do a Kickstarter campaign and have every single one of my assumptions broken into a million tiny pieces. It’s taken me a good month to recover, despite successfully raising the funds. It’s made me redefine my target audience (hello, hello! ultra-runners!), get into the sales-mode (spreadsheet galore) and feel the urgency of launching Azure. It’s been a year now and I still haven’t managed to get product into customers’ hands. Here’s to 2018, Azure 2.0 and the Pinole Bar.