In this session, Daniel Brodie of the comedy comic Morgan’s Organs shares lessons learned jumping head first into the world of comics and crowdfunding. You’ll hear about Daniel’s process of developing Morgan’s Organs from an idea in his head to a book that found a fan base and support on Kickstarter.
Today’s Session is brought to you by
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Featured Resource – FreshBooks
Session Table Setting
My guest today is a Toronto, Canada writer, Creator and writer of Morgan’s Organs comic book series It’s like Inside Out but for grown-ups!
About a year ago…
February 1, 2016Project launched
March 3, 2016 – Successfully raised CA$ 5,631 with 176 backers
Welcome to ComixLaunch, Daniel Brodie
Guiding Discussion Questions
1) Origin Story for Morgan’s Organs… the idea didn’t start as a comic, correct?
Initially conceived the idea of Morgan’s Organs on a backpacking trip in August 2013 as a television series
found the motivation/inspiration to try writing the pilot script of this series in February 2014
a few months later, I found a screenwriter networking site called www.talentville.com which is where the concept really grew and my writing developed
concept went through many reiterations over a period of 1-2 years, and my script went from scoring in the low 40s on the site to the mid-70s (putting my script into the top 10 on the site)
the founder of the site tried to help me find success in Hollywood, even connecting me with producers, but they felt the concept was too mature and the writing wasn’t strong enough yet
realizing that it was unlikely I would find success as an amateur writer in such a powerful and well-connecting industry that is Hollywood, I decided to PIVOT
2) How did Morgan’s Organs become a comic book series?
“Pivot” is a word that has really stuck with me as I changed my vision from writing a television show to a comic book series. I’d enjoy explaining further why this word is important to me if you are interested to discuss it on the podcast
with no previous experience in comic books, working with an artist, comic book production or crowdfunding, I got to work doing plenty of research, there were ups and downs, mistakes and lessons. I initially worked with one art production agency, but the partnership was not what I had hoped for, so I cancelled the agreement. It might have felt like a waste of money, but really it was a learning experience to help me understand what I am really looking for in an artist.
I found my current artist on a website for freelancers. He was the only person I contacted. After seeing just one of his sketches of my main character, Bran the brain, I knew he was the artist for this project
3) What did you do to Preparing for Kickstarter launch?
Robert and I came to an agreement, and I commissioned him to complete 4 preview pages of Book 1 plus the cover art for the Kickstarter campaign, with the understanding that the success of the campaign would dictate whether the project continued.
While Robert worked on art, I spent much of my time researching the keys to a successful Kickstarter campaign, determing my rewards, creating my Kickstarter campaign page, setting up my budget, and more planning tasks.
One of my regrets looking back is that I didn’t start marketing my project sooner. The problem is that I was a bit ashamed/nervous/doubtful of my project because of its overly mature content. I had thoughts like “is this something I really want to attach my name to? Will people even like it? Find it funny?” And more. I had decided to wait until the preview pages were complete before I really began marketing activities, or even telling my friends and family about what I do in my spare time.
The preview pages were complete in December 2015 and I set a plan to launch in February 2016, giving me a month-and-half to promote. I set-up social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, and Imgur. I began posting the work across these channels. I set-up a landing page where people could join a launch email list. All of these activities helped me create an initial fan base of about 90 emails (not an amazing number, but I felt it was enough to achieve my goal).
Another key activity I did pre-launch was press outreach. I created a press release that I distributed to over 40 journalists and comic/crowdfunding websites. This helped me get attention from over 10 media soures before and during the campaign, including Bleeding Cool, Comics Alliance and more. Some sites simply reposted my press release, some did an email Q&A interview with me, and some I did a live interview over Skype.
I also ran Facebook ads which helped increase my Facebook fans by about 30-40 pre-launch (cost was about $0.50 per new follower).
4) What was the Kickstarter launch like?
I chose February 1, 2016 as the day to launch my campaign. It was important to me that I didn’t waver on this date as I had been communicating it to my audience. After I hit launch, I sent a launch email to my email list, and posted across social media channels.
One important thing I learned during the campaign is that it is okay to rely on friends and family for support. Even though my personal network was only about 20% of my total fans, they had contributed almost 50% of campaign funds raised. It was important that I secured a few close friends/family willing to contribute very early in the campaign to help build hype. This helped me hit 40% of campaign goal within 24 hours, and 90% of my goal within the first week.
Probably the most important things that I did during my campaign was personal outreach. I made sure to send a personal message to every single person who backed my campaign. I also made sure to send personalized messages to all potential backers who engaged with me via other channels like social media or Reddit. As well, I chose certain Kickstarter campaigns running during mine that I supported with no strings attached, while also reaching out to these people to share ideas and tell them about my campaign.
I was amazed how many people from my writing site, Talentville, also pitched in to the campaign. These were people who were already fans of my writing for Morgan’s Organs, who had read prior versions of my script. This just goes to show why it is important to always be networking. I highly recommend all writers, whether for screenplays or comics, to join community websites like Reddit (i.e., r/comicbookcollabs) or Talentville and build a professioanl network.
5) Let’s talk about Post Kickstarter campaign
Results of Kickstarter: $5.5K raised (140% of goal) by 175 backers
Set up an account on BackerKit which helped me raise another $150-200 dollars from already backers. This site also helped me streamline my survey and fulfilment process. Highly recommend this service to others.
Did extensive work looking for the right printer. Tough to find a good quote in Canada, and with the volatility of the dollar at the time, it was expensive to print in the US. I decided to print in China, which was a risky move because I would have to print more than double what I was fulfilling in my campaign. However, the price per unit dropped significantly. I created a partnership with my selected Chinese printer, even getting a discounted rate in exchange for including their contact details on the inside cover of my book.
Knowing that I would be over-printing, I decided to also invest in an Artist Alley booth at Toronto’s Fan Expo in September. This was one of the best decisions I made. I more than doubled my email list from initial. Between my current Kickstarter fans and the new ones I gained at Fan Expo, my list is now about 400 highly engaged fans. I am well positioned for success in my next Kickstarter. I’d be happy to talk more about this experience in the podcast as I think its a great thing for people to consider post-Kickstarter campaign. I made over $1,000 over a 4-day event, selling over 150 books. The key to the success was personal selling. I wasn’t just sitting, waiting for people to come to my booth. I was talking to people as they walked by and really trying to drive interest.
One thing I did to save costs for backers in my first campaign, which helped make my campaign more appealing, was actually driving over the Canada/U.S. border to ship packages to U.S. backers. This allowed me to charge minimal amount to U.S. backers during the campaign. While it’s not a strategy that can work for everyone, I think the main takeaway here is that KS creators should always consider how they can go above-and-beyond to drive down costs and deliver more value to backers.
6) What’s Next Next steps
Book 2 script is now complete and the preview pages are in art production (likely are complete by the time of the podcast). We are completing 5 preview pages and cover art for the Kickstarter campaign page.
Planning to launch the next Kickstrater to fund the completion of Book 2 in early January.
Looking how I can deliver greater value in my next KS campaign from what I did before. I reached out to one of my favorite artists who draws for Image Comics and they are actually contributing a print poster to my campaign. As well, I am bringing on a new artist to draw the book sleeve for Book 2.
Again I will be engaging media before and during launch, and will continue to post across social media.
1) How would you finish the sentence, “Kickstarter is _______”
A testing ground.
2) Let’s the pretend the powers that be at Kickstarter are listening (which you know they are)… if you could change one thing about the Kickstarter platform, what would it be?
Have add-ons with each specific rewards tier.
3) What’s your secret weapon? (Meaning a tool, resource, app, etc. that you couldn’t make comics without?)
4) Fulfillment is one area that trips up many creators. Do you have a fulfillment tip for our audience?
Look for shortcuts and money savers, and printing in China
5) Can you recommend one comic or book (not done by you) more people need to check out?
In a moment, I’m going to give you today’s ComixLauncher, but first, we need to thank our sponsor…
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- And NOW they even offer Kickstarter fulfillment!
- Kraken will pick, pack, and ship out orders for your backers.
If you want to unleash the Kraken, go to comixlaunch.com/kraken, mention the ComixLaunch podcast, and they’re going to knock 5% off your first print run…and they’re going to hook us up with a 5% credit.
It’s a classic win/win/win/win – You get a great price on printing, your backers get a beautiful offset printed book, you help the podcast out, and Kraken gets your business.
That’s comixlaunch.com/kraken for 5% off your entire first print run.
ComixLaunch Featured Resource: FreshBooks
Are you keeping good track of the finances for your creative business?
And if so, are you trying to do it with rough spreadsheets you created yourself in Excel that you’re undisciplined about keeping up to date?
Take it from me, who did that for waaay too long, you need to stop wasting time and start using Freshbooks.
Accounting can be frustrating… but FreshBooks makes it EASY.
Freshbooks saves you TIME by letting you Import expenses automatically from linked accounts and attach receipts to invoices so that come tax time, you’ll be organized and ready, not scrambling and in a full on panic.
FreshBooks also makes you look more professional and gets you paid faster with their fast branded invoicing options, and the ability to accept payments online.
FreshBooks keeps you up to date on your numbers, with beautiful automatically generated profit and loss statements, tax summaries, expense reports and more.
If you believe you add the most value to the world when you’re spending your time creating your next masterpiece rather than bean counting, then you owe it to yourself to give Freshbooks a try.
I’ve secured a special offer for ComixLaunch listeners…
Go to ComixLaunch.com/freshbooks and you will enjoy a 30-day free trial—no credit card required to try it out.
To get your time back and take control of your creative business finances once and for all, go toComixLaunch.com/freshbooks for a free-30 day trial, and I guarantee you’ll be glad you did.
It’s time for today’s ComixLauncher.
A ComixLauncher is a short, actionable activity you can do immediately after listening to the show. They’re all activities I’ve done myself, and will get you one step closer to a successful ComixLaunch. They’ll transform this Podcast from a passive, lean back activity centered around Tyler James, into an active, lean-forward activity centered around YOU and your projects.
Ask yourself “Do I have the right people around me to get constructive feedback from?” If not, make this a priority.
Invite to share results @ comixlaunch.com/voicemail or in an email [email protected]
“The superheroes you have in your mind (idols, icons, titans, billionaires, etc.) are nearly all walking flaws who’ve maximized 1 or 2 strengths. Humans are imperfect creatures. You don’t “succeed” because you have no weaknesses; you succeed because you find your unique strengths and focus on developing habits around them. Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about… Everyone struggles. Take solace in that.” – Tim Ferriss
Thanks for Listening.
We’re going to go even deeper into both mindset, strategies and tactics for making KS work for you.
Thank you so much for listening, and for letting me walk with you, as you taken another step forward toward your next successful ComixLaunch.
Wrap Up Questions
1) One final piece of advice
2) What has you most excited?
3) What’s the best way for listeners to connect?
Have You Subscribed, Rated, or Reviewed ComixLaunch Yet?
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They’re the rocket fuel this show is running on, and the sooner you do it, the more powerful your action will be. Don’t wait to give us some love!
Provide a rating, 1-5 stars and leave an honest review.
This can be done in less than 2 minutes and could make HUGE difference to the show.
Financial institutions can support COVID-19 crowdfunding campaigns
The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic adversely affected the financial outlook for millions of people, and continues to cause significant fiscal distress to millions more, but such challenging times have also wrought a more resilient and resourceful financial system.
With the ingenuity of crowdfunding, considered to be one of the last decade’s greatest “success stories,” and such desperate times calling for bold new ways to finance a wide variety of COVID-19 relief efforts, we are now seeing an excellent opportunity for banks and other financial institutions to partner with crowdfunding platforms and campaigns, bolstering their efforts and impact.
COVID-19 crowdfunding: A world of possibilities to help others
Before considering how financial institutions can assist with crowdfunding campaigns, we must first look at the diverse array of impressive results from this financing option during the pandemic. As people choose between paying the rent or buying groceries, and countless other despairing circumstances, we must look to some of the more inventive ways businesses, entrepreneurs and people in general are using crowdfunding to provide the COVID-19 relief that cash-strapped consumers with maxed-out or poor credit do not have access to or the government has not provided.
Some great examples of COVID-19 crowdfunding at its best include the following:
The possibilities presented by crowdfunding in this age of the coronavirus are endless, and financial institutions can certainly lend their assistance. Here is how.
1. Acknowledge that crowdfunding is not a trend
Crowdfunding is a substantial and ever-so relevant means of financing all sorts of businesses, people and products. Denying its substantive contribution to the economy, especially in digital finance during this pandemic, is akin to wearing a monocle when you actually need glasses for both of your eyes. Do not be shortsighted on this. Crowdfunding is here to stay. In fact, countless crowdfunding businesses and platforms continue to make major moves within the markets globally. For example, Parpera from Australia, in coordination with the equity-crowdfunding platforms, hopes to rival the likes of GoFundMe, Kickstarter and Indiegogo.
2. Be willing to invest in crowdfunded campaigns
This might seem contrary to the original purpose of these campaigns, but the right amount of seed-cash infusions to campaigns that are aligned with your goals as a company is a win-win for both you and the entrepreneurs or causes, especially now in such desperate times of need.
3. Get involved in the community and its crowdfunding efforts
This means that small businesses and medium-sized businesses within your institution’s community could use your help. Consider investing in crowdfunding campaigns similar to the ones mentioned earlier. Better yet, bridge the gaps between financial institutions and crowdfunding platforms and campaigns so that smaller businesses get the opportunities they need to survive through these difficult times.
4. Enable sustainable development goals (SDG)
Last month, the United Nations Development Program released a report proclaiming that digital finance is now allowing people from all over the world to customize and personalize their money-management experiences such that their financial needs have the potential to be more readily and sufficiently met. Financial institutions willing to work as a partner with crowdfunding platforms and campaigns will further these goals and set society up for a more robust rebound from any possible detrimental effects of the COVID-19 recession.
5. Lend your regulatory expertise to this relatively new industry
Other countries are already beginning to figure out better ways to regulate the crowdfunding financing industry, such as the recent updates to the European Union’s handling of crowdfunding regulations, set to take effect this fall. Well-established financial institutions can lend their support in defining the policies and standard operating procedures for crowdfunding even during such a chaotic time as the COVID-19 pandemic. Doing so will ensure fair and equitable financing for all, at least, in theory.
While originally born out of either philanthropy or early-adopting innovation, depending on the situation, person or product, crowdfunding has become an increasingly reliable means of providing COVID-19 economic relief when other organizations, including the government and some banks, cannot provide sufficient assistance. Financial institutions must lend their vast expertise, knowledge and resources to these worthy causes; after all, we are all in this together.
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Earn $10,249 a Year in FREE “Crypto Income”
Last December, I wrote to you about a new way to make money with cryptos.
It didn’t involve risking your money on high-risk crypto tokens. Instead, it was a way to earn safe, consistent income — for FREE — month after month.
In fact, as I’ll explain today, if you’d followed my advice, you could have earned as much as $10,249 over the past year.
But if you didn’t follow my advice, not to worry…
Because as I’m about to explain, you can still take advantage of this strategy today…
Let Me Introduce You to Sandy
Before I reveal this powerful income-generating strategy, let me introduce you to someone:
Her name is “Sandy” — or, as she’s more commonly known, Hurricane Sandy.
Sandy hit New York on October 29th, 2012. According to Business Insider, it was the “worst storm to hit the area since at least [the year] 1700.”
It dropped over 14 feet of water on lower Manhattan, and it left millions of residents without power, cell phone service, or the internet.
People had no way to get in touch with their loved ones, or to get access to emergency info.
But for residents of a tiny neighborhood in Brooklyn, it was quite a different story…
A Peer-to-Peer Network Saves the Day
When Sandy hit and the internet went down, a small group of technologists in an old industrial neighborhood called Red Hook sprang into action.
They set up a “peer-to-peer” network called a “local mesh network.” This enabled residents to connect to each other’s computers directly, so they could communicate.
Everyone else was trying to get online the traditional way: by connecting to a single server. But since that single server wasn’t working, they were out of luck.
Here’s an image that shows a traditional network versus a peer-to-peer network:
As you can see, there’s no “middleman” in the peer-to-peer network…
So there’s no single point of failure!
This Could be Huge
This type of peer-to-peer technology is a big deal…
The next time a natural disaster occurs — or God forbid, if there’s a terrorist strike — it could keep people online and connected.
This explains why Grandview Research estimates that, by 2025, such networks could turn into a market worth $11 billion.
It also explains why venture capitalists are pouring money into this sector. For example, Union Square Ventures recently invested $15 million into a peer-to-peer networking startup.
And as it turns out, you could profit from this deal, too.
Let me explain…
Union Square Ventures is one of the most successful venture firms in the country.
It was an early investor in billion-dollar startups like Twitter and Tumblr.
And now it’s invested in a peer-to-peer networking startup called Helium.
Simply put, Helium has built a simple device that acts as a “hot spot.”
Once you put the device in your home, people in your neighborhood can use it to connect to each other instantly.
This device is a breakthrough. You see, when the Red Hook technologists set up their network during Hurricane Sandy, they encountered huge problems. For example:
- They had to create their own custom software.
- They were forced to rely on inefficient hardware and unsecure connections.
- They had to pay huge electricity bills.
But Helium fixes all of these problems in one fell swoop. And now, during an emergency, a Helium network could mean the difference between life and death.
And that’s why Helium wants to incentivize you to set one up…
New Crypto: Helium Tokens
Simply put, if you set up a Helium network, you can earn real money.
Here’s how it works:
- Helium has created a crypto-currency called Helium Tokens (HNT).
- To earn these coins, you just need to set up and maintain a Helium network.
- And because these coins are traded on various crypto exchanges, you can exchange them for real dollars.
Fred Wilson, a partner at Union Square Ventures, has earned roughly 8,266 Helium Tokens since he first set up his device a year ago.
Based on the current price for Helium Tokens, that works out to roughly $10,249 in extra income in the past year alone!
And now you have the chance to start earning income like that, too!
Cash-in on Cryptos Today
Keep in mind: to get started, you’ll need to pay a few hundred dollars for the Helium device.
But once you own the device, you essentially have a source of free income.
To learn more, visit Helium’s website here »
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