Biggest lessons learned from our Kickstarter campaign

 

The Tripulse Kickstarter campaign video

What would you say if I’d ask you if it’s a good idea to launch Tripulse by running a Kickstarter campaign in the midst of the Corona crisis? What would you say are the odds of succeeding?

Let me say this: I’ve asked for people’s opinions only to realize that most of them said “this is crazy, no way that this would ever succeed”. 

But I had this feeling inside of me that told me to give it a go nonetheless. I knew that some of you couldn’t wait for my products to come to life, and I didn’t want to make you wait so much longer. 

And after all, who knew if the situation would really improve after a few months?  '

And that’s what I did. I went ahead regardless, gave the best I possibly could - and ultimately succeeded. 

But this was not a strike of luck. It actually took a lot of work, time and preparation to succeed. 

A lot of you guys asked me how I actually made it happen, and what my biggest lessons learned are  - and I’m more than happy to share it with you. There is no golden formula, but a number of things that I think made me reach this goal.

Succeeding on Kickstarter would ultimately mean that I’d be able to make my dream come true and create the very first Tripulse collection. 

Why I chose Kickstarter

For starters - Kickstarter is a funding platform where creators can share their projects, and can pre-sell their rewards (products) in exchange for funding. But only if the creator reaches the funding goal in a set time frame will s(he) actually get the funds, else nothing at all. 

The whole purpose is to support the creator in bringing the project to life - which in many cases requires a lot of upfront money which a lot of start-ups don't have.

I chose to run a Kickstarter campaign as producing my sustainable activewear collection requires certain MOQs (minimum order quantities) which were too high to afford all by myself.

I saw Kickstarter as a great way for testing my business idea and to better understand if there is actual demand for it before I would start producing. 

I’ve done some testing on this before on a smaller scale, but this time I could actually show my products, pre-sell them, and share the Tripulse story and mission with the world. 

Succeeding on Kickstarter would ultimately mean that I’d be able to make my dream come true and create the very first Tripulse collection. 

They say if you want to create change and make an impact, you have to put yourself out there and ultimately make yourself vulnerable - vulnerable to people’s opinions, behaviors, actions and non-actions. 

The moment of truth

Putting my whole heart and passion for truly sustainable activewear out there and sharing it with the world was “a moment of truth” to say the least.

Will people like what we created? Will they actually pay for it?  What if nobody backs the project? Will I have to start from scratch again, or shut down altogether? What if….? And the questions in my head went on and on. 

They say if you want to create change and make an impact, you have to put yourself out there and ultimately make yourself vulnerable - vulnerable to people’s opinions, behaviors, actions and non-actions. 

I can say that I never felt so vulnerable in my life after I pressed the “launch button” of the Tripulse Kickstarter campaign on June 8th. There was no way to undo it, and my project was out there for the whole world to see. 

I had 45 days to reach the funding goal of roughly 30 thousand euro. It felt like the gun was pointed at my head, but at the same time I was never so excited in my life. 

My biggest lessons learned

Fast forward 45 days and we ended up with 198 amazing backers and even over-achieved our funding goal with altogether roughly 34 thousand euro. It felt surreal, and I couldn't believe it at first. Did we really make it? Did we succeed against all the odds of Corona and all the other things going in the world? 

Honestly, there have been times I felt that no matter what we did, we just wouldn’t get enough backers fast enough to help us reach our goal. There were times I felt doubt, desperation, and uncertainties - which were often followed by moments of all-time highs where the backers would just “roll in”. 

Running the campaign was a roller-coaster ride and the most challenging time of my life. 

I thought a lot about what it took to make it happen and now want to share my reflections with you.

The final results of our Kickstarter campaign

1. Build a community from the very start

Would we have succeeded if we’d just launched the campaign without any people to share it with? Absolutely not.

Ten months before the campaign was launched, I started building the Tripulse community from scratch. Sharing the Tripulse mission and journey through social media and other channels helped me create a community of people who share the same values (you guys:)) - and who were so excited for the Tripulse products to come to life.

Once I launched the campaign, it was the Tripulse community who spread the word in their networks and helped reach as many people as possible. Without this strong community, the campaign would have utterly failed. 

Life is full of uncertainties, nobody can predict the future. I felt that amidst all these serious issues and negativity going on in the world, what people need is inspiration, positive news and solutions. 

2. Listen to your gut

There were a thousand different reasons not to run the campaign - we were in the midst of the Corona crisis, many people were struggling with unemployment, tough political situations, the list goes on.

But would the situation ever change for the better? I felt if I’m not acting now, I might end up waiting in the “starting line” without ever making the next move and being part of the real “run”.  And after all, many people couldn't wait to get their hands on our products. 

Life is full of uncertainties, nobody can predict the future. I felt that amidst all these serious issues and negativity going on in the world, what people need is inspiration, positive news and solutions. 

I wanted to remind people of the importance of our environment and health  - and offer them a solution that could help make our world a little bit better.

And that’s why I decided to follow my gut, to listen to my feelings, and went ahead with the campaign against all odds. A decision I don’t regret. 

3. Teamwork - people are everything

I still get chills when I think of all the wonderful people who went the extra mile and helped me spread the message and supported me in extraordinary ways. 

People who would speak about Tripulse and hand out flyers in their local gyms, who connected me to amazing sustainability & fitness partners, or those who were cheering for Tripulse even when I was not around, those who invited me to panel discussions and podcasts - without ever asking anything in return. In short - amazing ambassadors who truly believe in Tripulse and its mission and wanted it to succeed as much as I did. 

I realized that people will want to help when they believe in a mission and want change to happen, and when they see an entrepreneur putting her whole heart into it. And if there is a solution out there that can make change happen, they are more than happy to support. 

I can’t say it often enough especially because we hear so many negative stories in the media these days - the world is full of kind-hearted, helpful, smart, amazing people who have inspired me with their generosity and willingness to help.

4. Act, fail, learn & adjust fast 

Handing out flyers to strangers and talking about Tripulse

If the Kickstarter campaign taught me one thing, it’s this: Hustling. 

And I don’t mean it in a negative way, but hustling as a way to take action and find new ways to promote Tripulse and spread the word to as many people as possible. 

Prior to the campaign I’ve researched what actions would bring the biggest results - but what works for others, doesn't necessarily work for Tripulse.

I had to find my own “secret sauce” and try out a lot of things myself. I followed the mantra of “acting fast, failing fast, learning fast, and adjusting for better results next time”. 

One of the great examples was that we originally only had people in size S showcasing our products (reason for that was that we only had prototypes in this size), but I’d get more and more requests of people who wanted to see our products on women with larger sizes. 

Without waiting much longer, we arranged a new photo shooting including bigger sizes (luckily the bigger sized prototypes had arrived by then!) and we even extended our size range to XXXL. And voila - people were happy and we had more backers with bigger sizes pledging. 

Since this was my very first Kickstarter campaign, it was all new and an experiment for me, but with this “agile” mentality it worked out really well in the end.

In moments of doubt or crisis, revert back to your WHY...The reason I created Tripulse is to make a positive change by offering much more sustainable and high-performing activewear and through this help protect our environment and health. 

5. If in doubt, remember your WHY

As much as I love what I do and believe in it, there were days when it was tougher for me to push forward, to stay strong, and to keep on hustling. 

It’s been especially in moments when there were no new backers for a few days, when I felt I was doing everything possible, but couldn't see the results. 

But - that’s life, and that’s what I had to expect when throwing myself out there. It’s a vulnerable place to be in. 

I said this many times before in other blog posts, in moments of doubt or crisis, revert back to your WHY. 

The reason I created Tripulse is to make a positive change by offering much more sustainable and high-performing activewear and through this help protect our environment and health. 

It’s a WHY much bigger than myself and my emotions, and something I’m ready to “fight” for no matter the challenges on the way.

It’s with everything in life - we gotta enjoy each and every second of it. If we wait to “celebrate” only when hitting the major goals and milestones in our lives - we might end up feeling miserable and joyless the majority of our precious short time on Earth.

6. Enjoy the process, not only the end goal

I’ve been laser-focused on reaching the Kickstarter funding goal the moment I hit the “launch” button of the campaign. Even though I was on a good way to reach it, I caught myself being uneasy and still not “happy” because I hadn’t reached the goal yet.

And in a way that’s a good thing because it kept me pushing forward hard and made me act fast.

But - It’s very easy to fall into the trap to only be happy if I’d reach my goal successfully. What if the campaign would have failed? Would this whole experience have been only one of sleepless nights and hardship and lacking any fun and positive moments?

It was so important to remind myself to enjoy the whole journey and the process, to see it as a great learning experience and to appreciate every single moment of it. 

A lot of these moments were tough and challenging - but isn’t it wonderful that I was able to learn so much from it and grew throughout the process? I tried to remind myself of it and to celebrate the daily little wins and learnings. 

It’s with everything in life - we gotta enjoy each and every second of it. If we wait to “celebrate” only when hitting the major goals and milestones in our lives - we might end up feeling miserable and joyless the majority of our precious short time on earth.

“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right”.

Believe in yourself

A great way to sum up my lessons learned is a quote from Henry Ford who said “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right” (and thank you, Susie, for sharing this quote with me:)). 

Having trust in my vision and mission with Tripulse, dreaming big, and believing that it is absolutely possible to succeed has been the very foundation for the success of this campaign and will be for the future of Tripulse. 

Going forward, we are now preparing for our first production round so that the very first collection will hopefully be available for everyone in January next year. 

Exciting times ahead - and I can't wait to build the next chapter of Tripulse and to bring our sustainable activewear without harmful plastic to life - and you will be a big part of this :).

 

If you want to hear more about  the journey and “behind-the-scenes” of Tripulse, more on fitness and sustainability, sign up with your email below!

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2 comments

  • @Alexey – than you for feeling with me and cheering Tripulse on – YOU have been a big part of this success <3.

    Franziska
  • Such a great real story of success! We were monitoring your campaign during the whole time it was on crossing our fingers for you. Can only imagine how nervous it might be for you to refresh the kickstarter page every day. Very happy for you, well deserved!

    Alexey

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