What I’ve Learned From Indiegogo, A Crowdfunding Platform to Raise Money

SupportAfricaCover3

Some of you may be late to the tea party, so here is an update: Be Awesome raised 10K with Indiegogo.com. 30% of our funds will go towards products and merchandise awarded to our backers. The other 70% will go towards Africa. This article will sum up my summer, campaign and future plans  with the movement.

Have you ever tried to Raise Money?

It took 4 months of thinking to figure out a fun way to raise money. I brainstormed ideas and thought about different concepts. I had no idea what to do.

We have all tried to raise money before. And if you are like myself, you understand that asking for money can be really hard and uncomfortable. How do you convince a stranger to support you? A smart idea, an easy concept and people who back you. Using  Indiegogo.com a fresh way to create a campaign, helped enormously in raising money and gaining global exposure!

How does Indiegogo work?

Indiegogo is an easy crowdfunding platform that ables others to donate funds easily. You create and idea or cause, describe it in detail, use images and or video to explain more and offer perks/rewards for your generous donors.

The most important part of creating an indiegogo campaign is a video and/or clear concept and idea. I was somewhat able to do this with my campaign: Be Awesome Africa . Our idea was to take 200+ t-shirts to a selected country in Africa. (My thoughts on this below)

Ups and Downs

After launching the campaign, I created time to sit down and really think about my idea. My mind started to wonder, “holy crap this idea is all wrong”. Why? Well why would you send 200+ t-shirts to a third-world country? I started to do a little research and ran across this article: The 7 Worst International Aid Ideas. As I scrolled down my heart skipped a beat and I see at number one 1. One million t-shirts for Africa. Was I shocked, not even a little.

Now usually number one is a good thing, but in this case it was not good at all. My idea and thoughts rapidly changed and my concept to take t-shirts to Africa (though my heart was in the right place) was entirely wrong. Sure I do believe these shirts can help others become motivated and live a happy life. I also believe they have the ability to make others follow their dreams as well. Did I plan to take 1 million like the company in the article above? No. But the point is, these countries need more than t-shirts.

Having the opportunity to speak with NGOS that are based in third world countries I started to realize my excitement overshadowed a bigger purpose. Like all people, I made a mistake. I quickly went to indiegogo and updated my message, telling everyone my new plan: To raised money to take a limited amount of t-shirts and use the rest to support families and groups in need. Such a relief.

How did I find support?

It was very challenging to find people to support my cause. I was extremely lucky to have really good friends and family members that helped out a lot. After thousands of tweets and facebook post and messages (Sorry) I continued to find support from everyone. I reached out to a number of newspapers and television stations, unfortunately I was unsuccessful. Finding publicity  is extremely important when trying to run a campaign. Television and newspapers only amplify the buzz and word of mouth about your product or campaign.

What I would have done differently

Research, research, research! It is so important to have a solid idea and concept before running a campaign. Talk to friends about it, share it with family, and do some serious research on how it is going to make the world a better place. If could change anything about my campaign it would be my pitch (main focus) and products. Though my products were good, I would offered less to keep orders less confusing.

What’s next for Be Awesome?

I have two goals by 2014. 1. Visit Rwanda and volunteer with children and families 2.  Be Awesome website up and running.

On October 8th-18th I will be traveling to Rwanda. Myself and a friend will be visiting local families and helping a local NGO: GraceRwanda with a variety of activities. We will spend our nights with a local family, explore and visit with a youth group and learn cultural and historic values with a women’s group from a local church. Once our schedule is confirm I will gladly post it online so you can keep track of our journey.

The website is coming (I Promise). I have been working with some  awesome designers and some new ideas and concepts to bring the Be Awesome idea a new taste. I am excited to show you what we’ve come up with. My idea is to launch before the end of November. More details about this will come later.

PS: Keep real friends close, be careful with everyone else..

Until Next Time,

Thanks again for all of the support!

Continue to #BeAwesome and give as much as you can!

I’m outta hurr!

Peace

 

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Be AWESOME Updates: New Line, Awesome Project, YouTube Collaboration and MORE!

Before anything, I would like to apologize for haven’t posting anything in a while. Things have been really busy here in Kuwait over the past number of weeks. In and between teaching and report cards, and finalizing some big ideas for the worlds fastest growing motivational brand, its been a ride I am sure I will never forget.

So what’s new:

My Life: Besides the 25 report cards I had to finish this week. The grades being entered into the computer. The NBA playoffs (My poor Clippers). Being sick (cold or some sort of flu). The past few weeks have been very challenging for me. I must say, I’ve had times were I looked myself in the computer screen (because that is where I usually am) and asked myself, is it worth it. And directly after these thoughts, I asked myself, why would I even think that. I believe that if you are trying to help others in ANY kind of what it is worth it. It is worth the heart ache. The pain and the suffering. So if you are out there like me, trying to make a difference in anyones life, through friendship, parenting, mentoring, anything! Don’t feel down or upset about it. Don’t let your ego, or hard work get in the way of making someone else’s life more fulfilling. Believe in good faith, and all that good faith will come back to you. Keep grinding everyone!

SignUp!

SignUp!

The NewsLetter: If you haven’t already you please check out our splash page. www.beawesomenow.ca Notice the .CA (yes I am Canadian) if you did not know.ahah Oh. Canada! We are going to release a news letter a week, that will let everyone know what we are doing as an organization, and what they can look forward to as we prep for a crazy and fulfilled summer.

GiveMore

GiveMore

Charities/Organizations: We’ve locked down a number of cool charities and NGO’s that we are really excited about. We are unable to confirm their involvement just yet because of paper work that has to be filed and returned. We currently have 6 that are really interested, and 3 that have confirmed they want to get involved! For a start, that is AWESOME. The tough part about this is, I am still me. My friends know me, my followers (kinda know me), and these individuals, do not know me at all. I understand that it is hard to trust people now a days, and that is what I am trying to build this company with “TRUST”. To those of you who’ve given me the go, and have shown the smallest amount of interest, I am honoured and I thank you for that! Stay in the loop for more on these organizations and what they have to offer. We will be working with some awesome people!

Website: For me this has been the most challenging part of my early stages of building this brand. In the past it was easy (well not easy, but sort of in a way that I needed to get things and the word out there as fast as possible) things were kind of rushed, and not done professionally (in my opinion). This time everything is being done in progress. We are taking the steps to make this company “real”. Not just an online store. Not just a fancy website with cool pictures. We are going to re-vamp the way you look at websites and the value of information you receive.

Our new look is clean, photo heavy, and dependent on motivation and inspiration by you. You will find daily motivation to keep you going. Clean images for reminders of what life really means. People and stories to think about. We are giving you a place to come, relax, take some time out of your day and really find the meaning of life. What we have so far is #AWESOME. I cannot say more, about the guys at www.qnacreatives.com and what they’ve done for me as a new company. All I can say is stay tuned! You are sure to be impressed by our decisions on this website.

awesome10New Line: Lots of exciting news in regards to our new line and what we’ve decided to do with what the world provides to us. We are changing the look and feel of the shirts “entirely”. New logo’s (as you can see), new designs but the same motivation and purpose. We’ve taken a sweat-shop free approach to our-line that includes a number of incentives that we will release through our newsletter. We are excited about this change and we hope you are to. Our fitted tees and sweaters will be more dry, comfy and motivational. We plan to release a number of limited edition products as well.

The Awesome Project: If you haven’t read the news letter, I will give you a little run down, as to what this is all about. This project is about spreading Awesome around the world. We’ve decided that how else can we do this, other than taking a boat load of tees around the world each year and spreading them to everyone we possibly see and contact ourselves with. People on the airplane, restaurants, playgrounds, villages, families, schools, teams, you name it. Our goal is to visit 5 continents in 5 years and give out 200+ tees to a given country, state or province in each continent. Again, stay in the loop for more information on this project and how you can get involved!

Topic - Youtube-676854Youtube collaboration: I can’t give you too much on this until I sign the papers and send the information BUT let’s just say Be Awesome will (inshallah) be working with and up and coming YouTube start on a new Be Awesome Commercial!

 

 

-BeAwesome

The NEW WEBSITE SPLASH PAGE

Hello friends,

Here is a bit of what me and some really talented people (www.qnacreatives.com) have been working on for the best few months. With lots of help and guidance, Be Awesome is taking its level of professionalism, quality and branding to the next level. Why? Well that is what YOU deserve. The support and overwhelming messages received from family, friends and strangers (love me some strangers) have been great. We had no choice but to make this thing a little more than just a brand. We are now officially a lifestyle brand. Promoting a way of life. A purpose. Look for more exciting news to come. This is only the beginning 🙂 Visit our new Facebook page: Beawesomenow

BA:-)

BA:-)

THE TIME IS NOW PEOPLE! BE AWESOME!