I know, crazy huh?! This is an amazing story of how TrackR founder Chrsitian Smith cleverly used crowdfunding to generate nearly $1.4 million – and he was only shooting for $20,000!
When Christian Smith entered a university business plan competition back in 2008, little did he know that this would form the foundation of TrackR, the device that can help you find your keys behind the sofa, the wallet you left at a friend’s house, and any other object that you want to keep a tab on – and that six years on, 300,000 TrackR devices would be shipped worldwide.
But how does an impoverished student come up with the capital that’s needed to create an innovative product and to market it to millions of people? For Christian and his business partner, the solution was crowdfunding. And it’s fair to say that Christian has had more than a little bit of success with the crowdfunding platform. When Christian set a modest goal of $20,000 on Indiegogo back in 2009, this goal was exceeded by more than 6000%, raising almost $1.4 million of capital.
In this episode of Australia’s #1 marketing show, Christian gives us the inside story on how you can make crowdfunding work for your business. Plus, I answer a listener question about video marketing. It’s time to get stuck into some more marketing gold!
Oh, BTW, Australia’s #1 small business marketing podcast is lovingly bought to you by 99Designs.com/sbbm and Netregistry. Get amongst them for all your design and online marketing needs. OK, on with the show!
- 2.00 Create original design assets for your business with help from 99Designs contests.
- 4.00 89% of people don’t navigate beyond the first page of Google results. NetRegistry can help your business to land on Page 1 of Google.
- 5.00 Where is the best place to host your video marketing?
- 9.00 I share a great learning and a great win from the Small Business Big Marketing forum.
- 15.00 Introducing Christian Smith, the co-founder of Trackr, a product that allows you to keep track of any of your belongings from your phone.
- 16.30 How the Trackr concept started with a business plan competition at university.
- 20.00 The journey to shipping 300,000 Trackr devices, and the launch of the new Trackr Bravo product.
- 23.00 Why Trackr took a slow approach to growth, and how crowdfunding helped with this.
- 25.00 Christian shares Trackr’s impressive crowdfunding experience, and how you can make your attempt at crowdfunding a success.
- 30.00 The importance of telling a story and demonstrating value via crowdfunding.
- 33.30 What is Christian’s favourite gadget and why?
- 37.00 Christian talks partnerships and product extensions as a route to growth.
- 41.00 What is next for the Trackr brand?
- 46.00 My top three takeaways from this episode.
- 48.00 Inspirational quote of the week!
Resources and Links Mentioned in this Episode
- Trackr: the official website
- Trackr’s Indiegogo page
- Crowdfunding platforms: Ozcrowd, Pozible, and KickStarter
- Wistia’s Chris Savage interview
- Netregistry: Get your online marketing sorted
- www.99Designs.com/sbbm: For logo design, brochure design, and more. Grab your exclusive listener upgrade at this link.
- Join the The Small Business Big Marketing Forum today!
My Top 3 Learnings
My top three takeaways from chatting with Christian are:
1. Find out what customers actually want. Talk to them, survery them, and do this on a regular basis.
2. Create extreme product demos to make your product stand out.
3. Consider crowdfunding. It worked for Trackr and it could work for you too.
Over to you!
Let me know YOUR #1 takeaway from this episode by leaving a comment below.
My guest and myself personally read and respond to every comment.
2 thoughts on “A crowdfunding success story – like 6,816% over target success story with Trackr founder Christian Smith”
So, I help out in the crowd funding when it was just launched. I bought them, but never did figure out how to connect everything. I would actually like to use them…now I just need to find them. Love the story though.
My wife and I had talked about this idea years ago, but did not have the technical understanding of how to make it work.
The question I have, is if you were only looking to raise $20k, but got over a million, how did your plan change, and what did you spend money on that you were not planning to spend on originally?
btw, looking forward to seeing these in the retail stores!
Hi Nick, To quickly help you get your TrackRs set up, please contact email@example.com and we will help get your TrackRs up and running.
As soon as we crossed our goal we let our backers know the extra funds raised would be invested into the application, miniaturization, electronics design, and other features. After tripling our original goal in less than 24 hours, we found out what other additional things our original backers wanted. When our customers gave us feedback that they wanted laser engraving, new anodized colors, and accessories, we got right to work and created the upgrades for TrackR bravo backers.
Thanks for supporting TrackR – without your support we would not be able to bring the idea to life!
-Christian Smith, co-founder of TrackR