Question To Ask Before Hiring A Crowdfunding Marketing & PR Agency

With the recent rise in popularity and the obvious influx of money into crowdfunding campaigns…

Now, there are a lot of new, ‘fly-by-night’ agencies popping up that are looking for a quick dollar and are not in your campaigns best interest.

In short, there are 3 types of crowdfunding compensation models that you might encounter:

Kickstarter Promotions Agency

These type of agencies advertise that to promote your Indiegogo or Kickstarter campaign by posting on social media, featuring you in a newsletter or on a website. They usually charge a one-time fee that is likely fairly small, but just enough that you will not complain if/when it doesn’t pay off.

Crowdfunding PR Consultant Agency

Typically they will advertise public relations for a flat fee to try and obtain press or media that is in a few different price tiers based on the ‘exposure’ level that they will get for your campaign. Typically it is nothing more than pushing out a few press on a free or premium newswires.

Crowdfunding Marketing Agency

More likely, you may encounter the Kickstarter Marketing Agency where they advertise a broader portfolio of services, and their models for payment are a bit more complicated. Have a look below for a few models of payment and what to think about:

  • Upfront Fee — This style compensation model likely produces little results, as it is not tied to success and/or results.
  • Crowdfunding Percentage — Increasingly, we’ve noticed this style model increasing, particularly with campaigns that are currently LIVE and already SUCCESSFUL. This type of percentage based model should be examined closely, as they are deceiving by promoting high results of success, where they came in halfway or towards the end of an already successful campaign where results typically skyrocket, even with no help.
  • Upfront Fee + Crowdfunding Percentage — This style work model is usually the best, as hopefully the upfront fee goes toward hard deliverable assets for your campaign and built in advance of its launch, then a percentage for the funds raised down the line, once your crowdfunding campaign is live and based on their results. Typically, a low upfront fee, coupled with a higher percentage is optimal, as the agency gets paid when you get paid. Conversely, be weary of the opposite.

Either way, be smart and do your research. The questions below will hopefully help you make a better decision.

Ask these question and do this research if you are planning on hiring a Crowdfunding PR Consultant or Kickstarter Marketing Agency:

When did you start crowdfunding and what was your first campaign?

If they haven’t been around long, perhaps it may require a bit more research.

Agency 2.0 Answer:

We started planning our first campaign in mid 2009 for a documentary calledRise & Shine: The Jay DeMerit Story, which ran for 90 days (back when it was an option on Kickstarter). It raised over $223,000+ and had a minimum funding goal of $215,000 (which was largest ever successfully funded). When the campaign closed in early 2010, it was the #1 Most Funded Film ever on Kickstarter. Keep in mind, this was a long way before the technology craze, a time when Kickstarter was for creatives.

In an ironic twist of fate, this where Jonathan Chaupin (COO) and Christopher Olenik (Founder) first met, working on the first campaign…

How many campaigns have you run and can you list them out?

Are they high quality campaigns with good results? Visit them and find out…but, ask for a referral if it sounds too good to be true.

Agency 2.0 Answer:

Overall, we’ve ran over 200+ that vary from anywhere between $20,000 (in the early days) to up $7,000,000+ now and we are currently trying to piece together a lot of the campaigns from 2010 to 2013 now for a full list. However, our data for 2014 and 2015 is compiled, with many recent ones on our homepage. An overview of last year (2015) is as follows:

2015 In Review Total Crowdfunding Stats | Total Funds Raised: $17,574,709 — Total Fully Managed Campaigns: 40 — Average Campaign Size: $439,367 — Most Funded Campaign: $7,404,276+ — Median Campaign: $315,578

What are your top 2–3 most successful campaigns that you built from scratch?

Be sure to ask what they did, how they did it and ask to contact campaigner for a reference on the work they performed. A lot of people are taking campaigns on, once they are successful and taking credit for a lot more than they actually did.

Agency 2.0 Answer:

Sondors eBike: $7,404,276+ — The team at Agency 2.0 began working on this campaign nearly 4 months in advance of the launch on Indiegogo, as there was nothing but a prototype of the eBike and no assets. We developed everything from, writing the copy for both landing page and Indiegogo page, to creating the company brand (design logo, create all images), to building an online buzz on social (no social accounts existed), to securing embargoed press through media demo days, etc.

MicroDrone 3.0: $3,194,608+ — An established company, yet not so good assets required a complete re-brand. Fortunately, the Extreme Fliers team did a great job of taking hundreds of photos of the new, improved Micro Drone 3.0. In short, this was a massive undertaking to creating consumer facing copy, to re-branding logo and company feel, to creating all launch website and crowdfunding page assets. We started with raw product shots (that were exceptionally good, kudos to them) and were tasked with building Micro Drone 3.0 from the ground up, then launching the campaign. To any serious inquiries, we’d be happy to introduce the CEO as our recommendation.

How many campaigns did you launch from the beginning to the end (not coming on halfway through when it’s successful) in 2015 and much money did you raise?

Ask them if they wouldn’t mind listing them out.

Agency 2.0 Answer:

See detailed answer above. Total Funds Raised: $17,574,709 for 40 Fully Managed Campaigns.

Ask what their average advertising spend is, then what their average ROI is and ask for evidence.

Perhaps, you can ask for a summary or report sheet from Facebook or AdWords, even Google Analytics with conversion values, results and spends.

Agency 2.0 Answer: Yes, see below for the advertising results for a recently $1,000,000+ campaign.

If you are advertising that you will email out our campaign to your data list, where are you getting your data from? Are you going to email the next campaign to my backers?

No one likes spam. Don’t ruin your campaigns reputation by allowing an agency spam your campaign, it is illegal, immoral and does not work. Better yet, would you want this to happen to your backers 3 months from now?

Agency 2.0 Answer:

We built our list through quality and double opt-in and NEVER use any backer information to spam.

If any agency suggest they will post your campaign via social media or send to an email list of backers, ask the following questions to ensure they’re not fake:

May I see the demographics of your social media fans (this is very easy to do on Facebook/ Twitter but most will hide), ie: location, age, income, etc. Do your own due diligence… Visit the Facebook page and look at the total number of fans, then look at their average likes per post. Does it make sense? With 100,000+ fans and 9 likes per post, something is fishy… Further, click on the Facebook Likes tab to see if it makes sense.

Agency 2.0 Answer:

Yes, you absolutely can. You are paying for quality, not quantity. Have a look at ComingSoon-Tech’s Facebook Page demographics:

Visit their Indiegogo Partner Page, see what campaigns they actually have credit for.

Albeit, you cannot be on every campaign, you can get a feel for what is real.

Agency 2.0 Answer:

Agency 2.0 — The Premier Crowdfunding Agency Indiegogo Partner Page (since 2013) To note, we are in the process of building this out, as in the past, we were hiding the magic hand, now embracing for confidence to the backers.

Ask how they work, many campaigns will jump on in the middle, once you are already successful.

The ironic truth, once you hit your goal, pledges go up without doing anything, as you are likely trending.

Agency 2.0 Answer:

We’ve done quite a few, most notably ChargeAll, which was stuck in/around the $100,000 funding mark, we came in to amplify and get it moving again. We call it the “Saves The Day or Amplifying” (view charts) option but it is on a case by case basis, our specialty is “Fully Managed Campaigns”.

Ask for their Indiegogo Direct Referral Dashboard screen shot, such as ours here.

You will get the true impact of their work.

Agency 2.0 Answer:

We’d be delight to pass along Christopher Olenik’s. He’s the #1 referrer of funds on Indiegogo and has directly raised nearly $7,000,000 to date (click here for full details), on campaigns not even our clients. Take a look below to see his direct impact (click here to see how it works) on some of our top campaigns:

Sondors eBike: Chris Olenik raised 51% of the $7,404,276+ total funds on Indiegogo directly, from his unique URL.

MicroDrone: Chris Olenik raised 11% of the $3,191,391+ total funds on Indiegogo directly, from his unique URL.

GOkey: Chris Olenik raised 90% of the $3,191,391+ total funds on Indiegogo directly, from his unique URL.

For those agencies that do high volume, low work commitment and jump on in the middle, don’t take everything for face value…

Ask when they came on to the campaign, how much they directly raised. The hard part is already done if they accept your campaign. Campaigns organically go up once funded, then when time is running out, you are essentially paying for nothing. Further, they advertise the total amount, not when they come on to the campaign.

Agency 2.0 Answer:

Learn about a few of ours here:

Ask how many press features are typically embargoed for day of launch, ask how they get them?

Do you they roll the dice on press releases or do they have close personal or professional relationships with specific go to writers?

Agency 2.0 Answer:

Have a look at one of our recent campaigns, Pura Scents. Click here to see press in/around the launch. It proved tough too, but we did well…due to the holidays.

Christopher M. Olenik
Agency 2.0— Crowdfunding Marketing
Founder & Chief Executive Officer
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