roy morejon headshot


Six years ago, crowdfunding barely even existed. Now, it seems like every start-up and invention idea is launching a crowdfunding campaign. But what sets the successful campaigns apart from the ones that don’t hit their funding goals?

I’m super excited to be talking with Roy Morejon, digital marketing powerhouse, crowdfunding expert, and President and Founder of Command Partners digital marketing on this week’s podcast. With you in mind, we’re talking about the incredibly important topic of raising funding in a constantly changing world.

Roy launched Command Partners in 2010, when crowdfunding was just beginning to show up on the scene. His company was focusing on digital media until a client approached them with a crowdfunding project. Command Partners doubled the client’s funding goal in a matter of weeks!

After this experience, Roy saw the niche need for crowdfunding expertise and started replacing retained clients with crowdfunding projects for start-ups. To date, they’ve worked on over 175 campaigns and have raised over $75 million dollars. This year, 95% of their projects have raised their full funding goals. Wow!

As Roy says, crowdfunding can be a challenge because you’re selling clients on a product they don’t know exists yet, something they might not have known they needed until they hear about it or visit your site. You only get one opportunity to get them to that page, so you want to convert them right away!

This is why crowdfunding can also be a great way to build your market—it allows you to directly interact with potential consumers and industry experts. Social media enables you to be in conversation with people interested in your product all throughout this funding and producing process.

These people supporting your campaign are the people that will become your brand evangelists. When your product launches, they’ll be the ones telling their friends that they knew about it before it was cool, maybe they can even say they tested out a prototype!

Along with all this, you’re about to hear Roy’s list of the five most important things to know about crowdfunding. It’s all super interesting and helpful, you won’t want to miss a minute of his advice!

Bravery in Business Quote

“In crowdfunding, you’re selling people on something they don’t know that they need yet. But they will.” – Roy Morejon

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Cliff Notes

  • Command Partners has 15 -20 crowdfunding client a month, on average raise 100s of thousands, have run over 175 campaigns and raised $75 million
  • This is an exciting time because so many people have not heard of crowdfunding or haven’t backed their first project yet, There are 11 million backers total on Kickstarter, 15 million Indiegogo unique visitors
  • Crowdfunding allows companies to fail faster, getting direct feedback from customers and industry professionals, before they’ve sunk years of time into to project
  • An exciting new market for Roy’s business is enterprise clients—big corporations looking to use crowdfunding to test out ideas. Sony has an internal crowdfunding site for employees, GE used Indiegogo for several campaigns
  • In the past these companies would have paid for focus groups and feedback from customers but social media & crowdfunding allow them to get this crowd response for free.
  • Clients don’t have the chance to touch the product so you have to really sell them on it and make them believe that you will deliver.
  • Press is a key component in any successful campaign, connections and interviews/ PR should be arranged before the campaign launch, not just to drive it mid-campaign
  • Do your homework before the campaign launches: talk to industry, experts, make sure you are selling a product with a market and that hasn’t been made before. Build a pathway back to consumer, reach out to journalists & try to get feedback on prototype
  • To crowdfund successfully, you “gotta have that hustle”, even before you turn the key and launch the campaign
  • 90 % of crowdfunding projects don’t deliver on time, but this is often because they’re doing their due diligence, testing out the product with all of the community feedback and responses available through social media. Crowdfunding allows for easy communication channels with backers / clients so that they can understand your timeline/ process in production.

5 Things To Understand About Crowdfunding

  1. Make sure your idea is a good fit for crowdfunding
  2. Set a realistic funding goal
  3. Do your homework and pre-campaign before you launch
  4. Have good design and quality video for your site
  5. Communicate with your backers and potential customers, industry professionals, throughout this process.   

“Crowdfunding allows companies to fail faster. Take their product/business, through it out, and then pivot toward a need their consumers are stating.” – Roy Morejon

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Resources

CommandPartners.com

TheArtOfKickstart.com – Roy’s podcast

Transcription (click to expand)

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: You’re listening to the Intrepid Entrepreneur Podcast. The show for entrepreneurs in the outdoor, bike, snow, endurance, travel, and health and wellness markets. This podcast is a production of the Intrepid Entrepreneur, the place to be for passion-driven founders. And if that’s you, you found your people. At intrepidentrepreneur.net, you’ll discover market-fluent resources built just for founders in our markets including content, trainings, networking opportunities, community, and coaching. The Intrepid Entrepreneur also offers the A-Game Alliance–the world’s first private mentorship and training opportunity that empowers founders to launch and continually level up. For more information, head over to intrepidentrepreneur.net and click on the A-Game Alliance icon. Founders in the outdoor active lifestyle markets are the definition of passion-driven. And the Intrepid Entrepreneur Podcast exists to share their stories.

 

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden here of the Intrepid Entrepreneur Podcast. Welcome everybody. I’ve got an awesome show for you today. This show kind of rounds out my series that I’ve ran lately on crowdfunding. Obviously, I’ve had four shows on this topic recently. It’s a very pivotal time, it’s May 2016, and obviously, a lot changed this month with the passage of the jobs [react?], the Wefunder crowdfunding platform that’s in equity crowdfunding platform, and just so much more going on. A lot of our clients are interested in this at Verde. Many, many of you and my audience at the Intrepid Entrepreneur are interested in crowdfunding so I felt like it is important to just ladle a big dose of crowdfunding on you.

 

And today is an incredible episode with Roy Morejon, who’s the founder and president of Command Partners. And it’s a digital marketing agency founded in 2010 that’s full-service, and basically helps specializes in helping companies with crowdfund campaigns. Roy and his team have a pretty strong track record, I have to say. They have completed over 175 campaigns, and have raised $75M for their clients. And you’re about to hear what his story is, and some of the parameters that they use to create success for their clients in crowdfunding campaigns. Without further ado, here is Roy Morejon of the Command Partners. Here we go.

 

Roy Morejon, welcome to the Intrepid Entrepreneur Podccast.

 

Roy Morejon: A pleasure to be here. Thank you for having me.

 

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: It’s great to have you here, Roy. You have built an amazing agency in Command Partners, founded in December of 2010, and you’ve really grown that into a powerhouse on so many fronts in the digital marketing realm. And I’m so excited to have you here today to share your expertise with my audience on digital marketing, but also on crowdfunding. So if you wouldn’t mind, can you give us a little bit of background on you, and then how you founded Command Partners?

 

Roy Morejon: Yeah. So Command Partners, again, was founded–we’re almost in our sixth year. Before that, I had built another agency called [inaudible]. That was strictly focused on social media training and SEO. Eventually ran that for about 3 ½ years until I sold it. And Command Partners basically was–our core focus, working with startups–crowdfunding had just actually begun when we started our company. And we didn’t really focus on it initially until someone actually contacted us needing PR help.

 

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Mm-hmm.

 

Roy Morejon: So we took the campaign on, ended up doubling their funding goal within a matter of weeks, and we said, “Oh, this is really interesting. Let’s dive in a little bit deeper.” So we started taking on one or two projects a month and started replacing normal retained clients with crowdfunding clients. And now, we’re taking on anywhere between 15 to 20 clients per month, raising millions of dollars per month for our clients.

 

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: That’s amazing. So you literally pivoted. First of all, owning an agency myself, it’s difficult to do that. So hats off to you in terms of being nimble and going to where your market needed you. But that’s amazing that you take on, like, 15 new ones a month. What is the average run of those clients?

 

Roy Morejon: So in terms of raise, I mean, at this point where we just crossed over the $75M mark and we finished–completed in terms of a full service offering where we did all of the marketing for the clients–over 175 campaigns. So the average raise is in the hundreds of thousands.

 

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Wow, that’s fantastic. So you basically are a turnkey solution. And you’ll advise them on which crowdfunding platform might fit their needs best or is there, like, a consulting window that you launch with?

 

Roy Morejon: Yeah. So each start-ups in a different place. So some of them have working prototypes. Some of them have received some funding so far. Some of them just have an idea on paper.

 

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Mm-hmm.

 

Roy Morejon: Depending on what stage that that start-up is in or that entrepreneur is in, we help educate them along the way whether it’d be one of our training courses that we have online or our blog that we’re constantly updating with crowdfunding content or start-up content on how to do marketing or how to build your fanbase, get those first thousand customers. Whatever it may be, we try to nurture every person that comes to our website or makes contact with us to make sure that overall, their idea, their product, whatever it may be, can be a success. Whether it’s using crowdfunding or normal digital marketing means to bring customers in.

 

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: So can you talk with us a little bit about over the past six years that you’ve been leading Command Partners? Maybe a little bit of a trajectory on how crowdfunding has developed, or where the direction has gone since you’ve been in the game.

 

Roy Morejon: It’s been incredible, it really has. So when we first did our first campaign, I think there was maybe 1M people had backed the project on Kickstarter. And now when you look at Kickstarter’s recent stats, I think there are around 11M to 12M backers on Kickstarter. And then when you look at Indiegogo, again, I think they’re getting about 15M unique visitors per month. So now, we’ve got a larger database. Obviously, it’s still in its infancy. There’s still so many people that haven’t even heard of crowdfunding, let alone back their first project yet. So it’s a really exciting time for us. It allows companies to truly fail faster.–draw an idea out there, see what the crowd says, take their feedback, and potentially pivot their own business or their own product towards an actual need that the crowd is stating.

 

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: And that actually–having just interviewed two women who had gone through a Kickstarter campaign, that was the biggest takeaway for them, Roy, was the fact that they got this amazing two-way conversation–and yeah, sure, they were on social media for 12+ hours a day through the life of the campaign, which sounded a little overwhelming, but they were able to actually get this incredible download straight from their potential customers that, literally, like companies that you and I maybe worked with maybe between 6 and 10 years ago, used to pay tons of money for for focus groups and people sitting [inaudible] around a table kind of talk through ideas on: “Oh, this is what your brand means to me.” Like, you’re literally talking to them real-time.

 

Roy Morejon: Absolutely. I mean, that’s the beautiful thing. These are your customers–they’re not only buying your product, but they’re also giving you the feedback that you would’ve paid them to receive to actually make your product better. And the interesting thing that we’re seeing now in the industry is a real influx of enterprise clients. Large corporations. Fortune 100 and 500 companies coming to us, needing help, and potentially wanting to use crowdfunding to launch their next product. See if it’s a better way instead of spending millions of dollars on RND and group studies and think tanks and what have you in terms of testing their product, throw it out to the market now, and see if it flies. GE has ran a couple of campaigns now on Indiegogo to great success and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for products there.

 

You see, Sony that now has an internal crowdfunding site for their employees, where their employees can put products on the site and Sony will go and build it. The enterprise clients are really exciting right now for us–but the bigger ones in terms of testing ideas that–and certainly get made, and I know that there’s a bit of questioning in terms of products that get out there on the crowdfunding sites. There have been some products that have never delivered on their product or gone bankrupt or what have you. So there’s still that stigma with “I’m never going to get the product.” And certainly, there’s almost always the delay for every crowdfunding product that’s out there. I think it’s about 90% of them never deliver on-time.  But the majority of them are doing more due diligence in terms of having a more prepared timeline and communication channel with their backers while asking for that feedback after someone pledges on the project.

                                                                                                                   

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: So that can be a key, like, direction that you’ve seen crowdfunding take is just the entities or the start-ups or just the founders actually being better equipped to keep the relationship strong through the process of funding through go-to market. Is that correct to say?

 

Roy Morejon: Absolutely. So constant communication with your community that you built through the crowdfunding site, and then there’s a lot of [inaudible] in there. But that’s one of the key components that we look at in terms of making sure you’re updating them, keeping them in the loop because these are going to be your biggest brand evangelists when you build your next product. Or your next product or actually build a company around the products that you’ve built through crowdfunding. So making sure that they can tell your story when they receive the product. “I backed this before it was cool.” Or before it went mainstream. That’s important to these people. And also, that they had a voice, potentially, in the production of the product or the add-on products that you make thereafter.

 

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: So I would say, one of my goals for this podcast with you is to capture, like, the Top 5 things that you want. Basically, it doesn’t even have to be entrepreneurs, but let’s say, entrepreneurial companies. So that they can be this tiny or they can be a larger brand that has this type of a mindset. Because I think that a lot of the companies are gravitating back to that, which is great. So my goal is to, like, finish this podcast with you, Roy, with the Big 5. And I would say #1 would be communication. Would you agree?

 

Roy Morejon: Yeah. I mean, communication’s critical for any step of your business whether it’d be with your team or with the people that are potentially purchasing your product. Communication is absolutely critical, and many times, oversimplified sometimes where you don’t have the necessary communication tools to do it correctly whether it’d be with an online community or potentially, with your team. I know, internally, at our agency, we use Slack in terms of a communication channel. And that’s very easy to go one-to-one as well as to a team, that you can build out there. And we’ve integrated Slack holistically for our clients even, to have communication with them on the backend.

 

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: That’s fantastic. So, okay, would it be presumptuous for me to also–I don’t know if this would be #2, and these don’t have to be in order, but I definitely would love to get your take on if choosing the right platform might be one of the Big 5 because there are so many platforms–it’s almost, like, social media, and how that keeps evolving. I keep seeing more and more of these platforms come out. So I don’t know if you could spend a few minutes kind of talking about maybe where things are right now. You know how you can classify LinkedIn as a business person’s. . .blah blah blah. Like, if you could say Indiegogo, Wefunder, Kickstarter–like, maybe name a few, and the right type of client profile for those. Or company profile.

 

Roy Morejon: Sure. Yeah, so the big reward-based crowdfunding website is certainly Kickstarter. They have the majority of the traffic and new projects. Typically, demographic-wise, it [skews?] more millennial male. Indiegogo is a great partner of ours as well. They are an open source-type platform. They will accept any type of crowdfunding campaign whether it’d be just an idea or a physical product or something charity-based or non-profit based, whereas Kickstarter’s very specific in their rules and regulations. Indiegogo, we find, tends to skew closer 50%-50% male-female because of the global nature of the platform, and just the influx of inbound traffic from a lot more places that can actually back onto a crowdfunding campaign.

 

So those are the two big reward-based platforms that we utilize. Our agency has also done equity crowdfunding which brought up Wefunder is certainly a strong platform. SeedInvest, StartEngine, FlashFunders, BankRoll.Ventures–these are some of the top platforms that we’ve seen before and are working with currently in terms of equity crowdfunding campaigns. And of course, you can dive into the types of different title–1, 2, 3, 4–and Reg A+ and Reg D and all the different types of offerings that out there. I’m sure you had that conversation previous.

 

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Yes. And I just want to take this opportunity to plug your podcast, Roy, because you actually have an ongoing resource. Can you tell my audience how to find that? And I’ll definitely put that in the show notes, too, because my guess is you’re probably going to depth on these different platforms and share case studies, I would imagine, in your show.

 

Roy Morejon: Yeah. You’re too nice to pitch my product.

 

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Well, of course. I’m definitely going to start listening to it myself.

 

Roy Morejon: Okay. No, I appreciate it, Kristin. Yeah, so our podcast, it’s the world’s largest crowdfunding podcast–and I know that’s not saying much now, but hopefully, in the next year or so, we’ll continue to grow that out. It’s called Art of the Kickstart. So it’s artofthekickstart.com. Basically, I interview startups or founders or people involved in the start-up and crowdfunding community about their projects, their products, their service offerings. Kind of learn tips and tricks about how they ran their campaign, what would they do differently, how they structured their business, how they’ve outsourced development of product or sourced product overseas–basically, all the tips and tricks that you–questions that you wanted to ask people of how they ran their campaign successfully.

 

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: That’s fantastic. I’m definitely going to listen to that. I’m one of those people that just literally devours resources like that or business books like they’re chips and salsa.

 

Roy Morejon: [inaudible] we’re over 140 podcasts on there. So every week we’re doing a new one.

 

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: That’s fantastic. You’re going to be in #71 for me.

 

Roy Morejon: Awesome. [inaudible] I love it.

 

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Yep. Okay. So we’ve got communication, obviously–even you and I own agencies that revolve around that. So we are in agreement–#1, I would say, choosing the right platform. You gave us an overview here, we now have the resource of your website. I’m not sure if that would be #2. That might need to be #1. But where would we go from here? What are the other three things that you really want to make sure entrepreneurial companies understand about crowdfunding before they cannonball into the deep end?

 

Roy Morejon: Yeah. I mean, honestly, my #1 might be–before you even think about crowdfunding–is making sure that your idea is actually a good fit for crowdfunding.

 

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Ah, good.

 

Roy Morejon: So you’ve seen it too many times that people try to launch whether be it’d like a mobile app or a software-based service or potentially, something that just isn’t a good fit for the demographics of the crowdfunding platform itself. Sometimes, those projects are best to be ran as potential e-commerce websites or try and get sales–a more traditional way, through lead generation on paid search or, those types of channels where people need that product immediately. Crowdfunding, there’s an understanding that the product isn’t going to be delivered in two days like Amazon Prime shipping, or the next day now for some cities that have that. But crowdfunding is kind of a long investment where the product might take a year or two, potentially, to deliver. So one for me, potentially, is making sure that your idea is actually a good fit for crowdfunding whether that’d be on the equity side or on the reward side.

 

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Okay. And can you give an example of a company that’s, like, a spot-on fit that you would be, like, “Yes, check that box.”

 

Roy Morejon: Yeah. I mean, we love–we have some outdoor brands that we’re working with. [inaudible] being an active campaign right now. That’s a physical product–something that’s tangible and people have a need for. So not only is it a good fit for crowdfunding, it’s also a good fit for a consumer product. Because people have the need for that product. [inaudible]. And that’s usually a key component of your team, the trust, the product, whether it’s going to be delivered on time and as described on the crowdfunding campaign. Because these people don’t have a chance to touch the product. They don’t have a chance, as I say, to rub it on their face, so to speak, and get that full experience of a product as they would in a retail shopping outlet. Or something of that nature. So on crowdfunding, these people, you really have to sell them on the product, and that you’re going to deliver it.

 

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Okay. That’s excellent advice. Okay, great, so that’s #1 is vet the idea first before you go the crowdfunding route. And what would #2 be?

 

Roy Morejon: So funding goal is typically one of the questions that we get asked most frequently as well as: “What should I set my funding goal at?” We want it to be low but realistic. And if you should barely cover that funding goal, you’re still able to produce the product as you sold your crowd on. So setting a realistic funding goal. I mean, I’ve had people come to me and say they need $3M for some product where–when I ask them where that money was going, I get answers like: “Oh, well, we need a company car, and my wife needs a company car.”

 

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Oh.

 

Roy Morejon: And then you add on to our house to build our office for this. And I’m just–

 

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Blasphemy!

 

Roy Morejon: Exactly! No, that’s not the purpose of crowdfunding. The true purpose is that–had this idea, need just a little bit more money to finally push through production or build that mold or do the packaging or the shipping or the sourcing. Whatever it may be. It’s not to purchase these types of goods. So those are the people that we turn away daily. From the 100 leads that we get, we’ve turn those people away very quickly.

 

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: I’m sure. It’s almost vet the idea for crowdfunding and you also have to have a little bit of a screen there to make sure that they’re going to actually be delivering on their promise and being transparent. Might I say I’m sure one of the things that you vet is, “Are they scrappy?” Right?

 

Roy Morejon: Exactly.

 

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: They have to have that scrappy mentality. I think that’s part of the story around the crowdfunding campaign. Anyway.

 

Roy Morejon: Gotta have that hustle, right?

 

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Yup.

 

Roy Morejon: And that’s, like, [inaudible] component when you actually turn the button and then click the button to turn the campaign on. I mean, it is just–the pre-campaign is probably really my true #1. In terms of actually doing the work before the campaign ever launches. Vetting people, getting feedback, talking to the press and the influencers that you need to be talking about your product. Or that or supposed to be using your product once it comes through fruition. Really doing your homework and your research is truly #1. Make sure that not only it’s a good fit, but also, that you’re not selling something that’s already been sold even recently. There’s something unique in terms of the value of that product.

 

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: So with the pre-campaign be #3, do you think? Like, just taking a very meticulous, strategic, one step after the other approach to kind of creating a pathway or a bridge from where you want to be, back to the target consumer.

 

Roy Morejon: Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, you really have to do your research and your homework beforehand, start reaching out to journalists and influencers, potentially, or just the local community that you have relationships with. Face-to-face, those types of people where you can get feedback on your prototype, where you can explain to them, “Listen, this isn’t a final product, this is what I have so far. What are your thoughts? Give me some feedback.”

 

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Right. Okay. That’s fantastic. So before we round out the Top 5 here, Roy, I have to ask–I have started to see some companies consider using crowdfunding and Kickstarter, specifically, I think, for almost, like, extra PR visibility.

 

Roy Morejon: Yeah.

 

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: And that seems to me, like, a [inaudible] as well. Would you agree?

 

Roy Morejon: Well, I mean, it’s a great way to have something that’s newsworthy. And Kickstarter, you have to have a brand new product that isn’t sold anywhere else, it’s never been on the market, or they’ll terminate your campaign immediately.

 

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Mm-hmm.

 

Roy Morejon: So as long as it’s a brand new product or even a new version of a previous product that sold well or you just need some extra capital for that tooling or buildout, whatever it may be–yeah. I mean, press is going to latch on to products that makes sense for them. Right? So as long as you’re having communication with those journalists while ahead of time–commenting on their posts or really just figuring out that this is the right person to write about my product, soliciting feedback from them, potentially sending them samples–press is a key component of every campaign. I mean, we’ve had press hits in every single major outlet, we had the first active crowdfunding campaign ever on national TV, we had our client on the Today Show, with Carson Daly in Rockefeller Center. So I mean, those types of exposure points for a new product can be huge.

 

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Mm-hmm. And it has to be done to drive at a campaign. It’s not something that is an afterthought.

 

Roy Morejon: Not at all. I mean, it’s definitely something that needs to be done well in advance to the campaign launch.

 

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Well, there are a lot of pieces to this.

 

Roy Morejon: Indeed. You should see our checklist in terms of thing to-dos that we have on our end and to-dos that our clients have to do. It’s well into the hundreds in terms of launching a campaign successfully.

 

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: And here I am trying to get five. Good job.

 

Roy Morejon: Yeah, I got a long list for you.

 

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Okay. So we’re now at #3. I mean, we could be at #5 if you count communication and choosing the right platform, but we have three pre-campaign right there. So what about if you only could tell me two more–because I want to be mindful of your time and my audience’s time–two more that are just super top of mine–the three you’ve just given us, fantastic.

 

Roy Morejon: One, I’ll combine together, which is good design and a quality video. The video truly should tell your product’s story. But you also want to make sure that that video can be utilized in multiple, different avenues in terms of not just for crowdfunding, but potentially, as a lead generation source for you on YouTube or on your website. So having a great video that tells the story and gets to the point quickly is a key component. And then combined with that is just great design. Making sure that the layout and form and flow of your campaign page itself works in terms of this is the product, this is what we did, here’s where we’ve been seen in the press–all of those trust signals and content that people want to see to be sold on that product. Because many times, you only get one opportunity to get them to that campaign page, and you want to make sure that you convert them on that.

 

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: And then obviously, like, I can’t help but go here because being a former journalist and owning a brand communications company myself–this, to me, is the storytelling. This is the show me, this is the emotionally engaged me, this is invite me to root for you and support you. That’s what good design and quality video does.

 

Roy Morejon: Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, you want people to be empathetic for your need. And them offering you this product at a discount, potentially, at a loss for them just so they can go and make their dreams come true.

 

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Mm-hmm. That’s fascinating. That is, like, powerful stuff right there. It really is. Because you’re, like–you’re painting a picture of what could be with the product that doesn’t exist yet.

 

Roy Morejon: Exactly. Now you’re trying to sell them on something that they don’t even know exists yet or they don’t know that they need, potentially, yet. But they will.

 

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: And that sounds like voodoo but it’s what we do.

 

Roy Morejon: Right. Right, that’s marketing. Here we go.

 

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Yep. Cool. Okay. So you combine good design and quality video–

 

Roy Morejon: Yep.

 

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: What would be the last, the Top 5? The last of the Top 5?

 

Roy Morejon: [inaudible] communication really does is certainly in my Top 5. So I want to come back to that. And I think communication on multiple levels. Right? Not only with your team or your crowd but–social media really has allowed us to be–have this fantastic tool in front of us where we can constantly communicate with people and jump any hurdle that might’ve been in our way years ago where we might not have been able to talk to that person or speak to that journalist or talk to our customers. Social media truly allows us to all have a voice. Whatever that opinion may be, at least we have that opportunity to speak with these people directly. So for me, social media and communication is certainly one of the Top 5 for me.

 

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: So I have a question on this because obviously with social media, Facebook, Instagram–they control the algorithm. Right? So I’m sure that that’s one of the parts of the points inventory for you. My question is more around the e-mail list because it seems to me, like, in the campaigns that I’ve seen, you’re building your list through the campaign, but it may be a different type of fan, if you will, for your brand or the product than what might emerge later once the company’s in place or the product is launched. And I was wondering if–how important is the e-mail list component to what the work is that you do. Because I know it’s a very, very, very good point of conversion for brand communications in general and an important part of communication.  But does it work as well for crowdfunding?

 

Roy Morejon: Absolutely. Yeah. So e-mail, not only communication but lead generation for us–again, going back to the pre-campaign–is critical to the success of a project launching and hitting funding goals quickly and being a trending campaign in their specific category. So during the pre-campaign, that’s mainly our only [inaudible] in terms of acquiring as many e-mail addresses from potential consumers of this product when that presale opportunity goes live. So Facebook Advertising is typically our main lead source in terms of targeting. Bring them back to our landing page that we’re split-testing and testing different headlines and copies and calls to action, price points, imagery, etc. And seeing what’s actually converting at a higher rate.

 

And then we usually correlate that day to back into our campaign pages just based off the data that we’re seeing there. The beauty of building out that e-mail database individually before the campaign launches is once your campaign potentially goes live, you can build on Facebook look-alike audiences from those individual e-mail addresses. See if they match up on Facebook, and then you start to build this persona, this demographics around your customers. From that, you can start advertising towards these audiences and try to bring in more people from the crowd, if you will, that are connected in one way or another, potentially, in terms of what their profile looks like.

 

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: That sounds amazing. I mean, there’s a lot of steps in that alone.

 

Roy Morejon: Yeah. I mean, we have an entire team just solely dedicated towards Facebook Advertising and lead generation.

 

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Wow. So your approach, I know, because obviously, [inaudible] is a Verd client, and [inaudible], as I’ve said, is one of my mentors. So that’s how I found out about Command Partners, but I definitely just had such respect for your work. Your approach saves a ton of time and brings companies closer to their goal or reaching their goal, in my opinion, a lot faster than running Han Solo. Is there a way you can quantify that for us? Because obviously, you guys are experts and you guide people through this process and you have the hands-on-deck to make it go–do you have a percentage ballpark or is it too scary to put one out there in terms of your success rate on this or how much faster you can help, apply, and achieve success if they work with your well-oiled machine?

 

Roy Morejon: Yeah. So early on, we certainly cut our teeth on some projects that we probably shouldn’t have and failed at early. So we failed fast in crowdfunding as well just like many entrepreneurs. But we continue to pivot and learn and move where we needed to be in terms of what products were working best, which clients were we building the best rapport with in terms of continuing our relationships with them post-crowdfunding. So currently, our success rate sits around 80%, 85% overall. This year alone, 95% of our campaigns have been fully funded.

 

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: That is awesome. Wow. Okay, well that’s–I mean, I’m so happy to have you on the show. Like, to have somebody of your level of expertise in this realm around such an incredibly important topic for my audience has been an absolute godsend, I’m not kidding you. And I fully plan to plug into your podcast. And please know, like, this is amazing to watch, and I know how much we have to change and be nimble and continue to be, like, looking [inaudible] Wayne Gretzky  says–one of my favorite quotes–”We have to be where the hockey puck is going, not where it is right now.” And with what you’re doing, it’s, like, you’re juggling flaming hula hoops and, like, managing all of that. Like, all at the same time. And I just have incredible respect for what you guys are doing. So hats off to you. This is amazing.

 

Roy Morejon: Yeah. It’s certainly a team effort. Honestly. And I have an all-star team of whether BPR professionals or Facebook Advertisers or social media team–just the overall leadership that we have and the experience that we have. No one’s even close to it in the market.

 

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: And I have to ask because I read your profile on commandpartners.com–everything will be in the podcast notes page, dear audience, so everything you want will be there, in terms of finding out more about Command Partners and Roy. But it says in your profile, and I’m so curious about this, that you worked as a consultant for AOL and Microsoft before you were 19 years old.

 

Roy Morejon: Yeah. Those were the good old days.

 

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: That’s amazing.

 

Roy Morejon: Yeah. I was one of the first, like, 10,000 people on AOL back in the day. And got into a little bit of trouble with the ways of the Internet when it was the Wild, Wild West and you could steal credit cards and people’s personal information. So that translated into a consulting gig for AOL to kind of fix and patch some of their vulnerabilities on their platform.

 

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Amazing.

 

Roy Morejon: [inaudible] when I was building codes and scraping together visual basic scripts and C++ codings. And then yeah, for Microsoft, basically, right when they were launching MSN, I helped consult on the technical side of things on their platform.

 

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: And then you decided to just do your own agency, it sounds like, from there.

 

Roy Morejon: Yeah. The big corporations weren’t for me, in terms of giving me the freedom that I appreciate now.

 

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Mm-hmm.

 

Roy Morejon: So, yeah. I started my own agency almost 10 years ago now.

 

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: That’s fantastic. Well, Roy, it’s been an absolute pleasure having you on the show. I would love to have you back on in about six months to talk about, like, “Okay, where are we now?”

 

Roy Morejon: Absolutely.

 

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Yeah. And again, it’s Art of the Kickstart on iTunes. Correct?

 

Roy Morejon: Correct.

 

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: Okay, great. Well, thank you so much. This has been fabulous. And best of luck with Command Partners going forward.

 

Roy Morejon: Thank you, Kristin. I really appreciate it.

 

Kristin Carpenter-Ogden: I learned an absolute ton from Roy Morejon on that podcast. I hope that you did, too. So many of us are looking at crowdfunding as a viable option to raise capital, retain control of our companies, build visibility–there’s so many things that this platform can do. And it’s just democratized so much of the capital raising process. And I had just so enjoyed our conversation that I had with Roy today. Thank you. I think it’s awesome that the Command Partners has completed the track record that they have and they keep going. I couldn’t believe that they’re at 95% success rate year to date. That’s for 2016 through mid-May. I mean, that’s incredible.

 

So Roy definitely knows his stuff. Check out his show, Art of the Kickstart, and head on over to commandpartners.com to check out their company. And keep them in mind. I mean, I know that, obviously, you have to pay for their services, but his podcast and his website really share a lot that you need to see and learn around being successful with the crowdfunding platform campaign. Thank you so, so much for listening. I have so enjoyed putting this together. I definitely love pretending I’m still a reporter. That’s what I did before opening Verde, I was a reporter for 10 years in an outdoor active lifestyle market. And being a podcaster is just so near and dear to my heart in that way.

 

I love producing this show for you. Thank you so much for listening. Please share it with a friend. And if you’d get a lot out of this, if you dig my show, give it a positive rating on iTunes. It really helps bring visibility to the entrepreneurs that I feature in the outdoor active lifestyle market. Thanks so much, everybody. Have an awesome day. And until next time, go big.

 

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