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#444 - Childhood Game Master Earns $1 Million from Nerdy Kickstarter Campaigns

2018-03-20
This Ohio man loves board games so much that he made his own—and when he tries to raise $6,000 through a Kickstarter campaign, he ends up with much more than he ever imagined.   Side Hustle School features a new story EVERY DAY of someone who started a hustle without quitting their job. You’ll learn how they got the idea, how they overcame challenges along the way, and what the results are.  Share: #SideHustleSchoolShow notes: SideHustleSchool.comTwitter: @chrisguillebeauInstagram: @193countries 

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
allowing welcome to episode of four hundred and forty four of sawdust school. That's right for four for money. Miss Cristel about thank you for joining me today is also by the way, the first day of spring, at least, if you listening to these episodes as they come out. If you listening later, perhaps it still spring, perhaps it's some other season, Then, as I record for your first day of spring, the flowers are blaming the sun is shining people are setting up their email camp means opening their online merchant accounts all those things you. During the changing of the seasons and by the way. How do you tell him the winter is over. You spring it on them. Right now mean house. Would you tell them? Ok, I've got a great story for you today. Today, story is about a board game maker who tries to raise six thousand dollars for his first project, he's like any other, some crowd funding going to go out and re six thousand dollars, but he fails in that girl doesn't actually re six thousand dollars
You actually goes out and raises more than a hundred thousand dollars. That's right! then a hundred thousand dollars in his first crowd funding campaign. Now you might think that's a fluke. You might say well good for him, but you know you just got lucky in different ways. Perhaps you d get lucky, but then this new game crater does it again and he does it again once more three times so far. The second one does a bit better than the first, Do not tell you exactly how much he is far from finished. He's got a new campaign in the works and in a short period of time, he's made more than a million dollars in three Kickstarter campaigns. That's right! Different campaigns had never done this. Before wasn't a crowded an expert, and so far more than a million dollars in these three Kickstarter boardgame campaigns. Naturally, we were curious about how he did it. So, in addition to sharing a story, he also generously offer to share seven tips for your potential crowd funding campaign
I ve been thinking about doing something like this or if you have an idea for a product, it might be a good fit for crap running campaign will bring you that story and all seven tips right after this little shot out to today sponsor, If you had told the young Travis Hancock that he'd, eventually making a living off of his love for board games. He probably have laughed outright and said sure whatever is You can make any money doing that. But then you might say, hey sigh me up. Growing up in Ohio, Travis and his family were always playing board games, especially around Christmas time. He would call their default state if they weren't eating or sleeping there, are usually gathered around a flat surface playing some kind of working. One game in particular, was especially magical to Travis Mafia, without fail this classic eighties,
what game made a star appearance at each family reunion, it was a game it and Travis his mind simply could not be beat it out. Everything concepts of good versus evil manipulation, deception, fighting for your life; in other words, it fits right out with your family holiday dinner, or maybe that's just my family, but for Travis there was something else that didn't occurred to him until much later, he loved Bork aims for the escape that they provide it. Just like a book or movie can do. He found that aboard came. Can transport you to an alternate reality complete with its own set of rules, challenges and triumphs. This love a boar games, continue with him as he went to school
and then college events. They began a day job, but he continued to play iterations of his old favourite games, most popular adoration embossed, switching off the characters with characterised from another serious he loved Harry Potter, just like in the books each player is assigned to a house and held allegiance, is too good or evil. The game was full of interesting roles, but people playing is Dumbledore RON, Hermione, the wisely twins, Draco and, of course, Harry Potter himself. Every Sunday night he'd gather his friends around in a circle and catch up on the week's events over a game. It was so popular. The Travis his brother even surprised him Christmas. If twenty twelve with his own fully functioning, sat complete with a printed rule book and cards, all of a sudden Travis was published gay maker. There is just one copy this get him, but it was enough to get his brain turning. Could this possibly become so
the more he realized tat. If he did want to make this a reality, he probably couldn't you Harry Potter characters, since he didn't on the intellectual property, but that challenge was no match for a game master like Travis. He pushed up his sleeves shifted, some things around change them names and presto. A new adoration was born. It was called city and involve for teams the bad guys, the good guys, the self interested merchants and the villagers he print several additions, or this and tested out with romanian friends city got put on hold when Travis met the woman who had become his wife and then they were married and twenty thirteen but said he wasn't too far from his mind because at some point it came back. A life with a new theme centred around the Salem which trials and then given the name Salem. It had all the darkness and intrigue of mafia, but with a new historical spin Travis and his wife Holly felt. So Strongly about this new innovation that they decided, it would be a pity to not try and make something of it from.
Point on travestied everything I could to find a way to get his game to the market is big. Bright came when you went to a boardgame conference in Utah called SALT Con. Through the collections he made there. He learned about panda games. A middle man came ineffectual with connections to other manufacturers in China who could workers small orders. Travis began bringing his vision to life. His wife Holly had some experience in graphic design so she bought the main infrastructure and before they knew it, they had an amazingly rich, gainful, interesting characters. They ve been decided to launch a Kickstarter campaign. They began by making a prototype of the game and taking some great pictures they would tell their story and what they were trying to make Here's the thing they were hoping that they would maybe hit six thousand dollars, so they can afford to buy enough games for friends and family, but they were blown away when the I'll tell you came up to one hundred and three thousand dollars. Travis was so surprised by their crowd, funding success that he decided it might be worth while to pursue. Creating games
time. That's what happens when you make a hundred thousand dollars instead of six thousand dollars all of a sudden tweeted quit his job and began developing to more games that fit with the theme of the first one Travis his second game in this raised around four hundred thousand dollars, that's right for under one thousand dollars in twenty seventeen and a third game. It's called Deadwood one thousand eight hundred and seventy six is currently raising funds. On the platform. Now I took a peek at the campaign before recording this episode. It has not raised more than three Thousand dollars to actually trader and seventeen thousand dollars, which is almost three thousand dollars more than its twenty five thousand dollar goal. So it's doing. Ok. Success has brought them a lot of admirers. Many creative people out there looking to also launch a game or product on Kickstarter have asked them over and over again hey. What's your secret, You do it when I start by saying you're, not sure they have no idea, there's no magic formula bite is a bit of a longer answer. I'm gonna give you that complete answer in the form of seven tips in just a moment, ass for Travis and Holly living.
Their hoping to expand their game board line up even further the first free all occur in the Americas during a similar time period for planning on having the next set of three games occurring in a new time and place in the world. All in all, they ve already soul, around a million dollars worth of games through this dynamic crowd funding platform? That's a lot of money for a lot of fun. Okay, so from a commentary section here, I'm gonna steal from them, because these guys have seven great tips. These are things that Travis and Holly believe have contributed to the success of their kickstarter campaigns. There are huge success I should say to. Hopefully you learn something here: seven tipsy! We go number one make your amazing, your product being amazing or not contribute to more than ninety percent of whether your campaign is gonna, go viral. The hour a day to spend on your kickstarter campaign. Travis says, spend at least fifty five minutes of that. Our focusing on your product love that number. You're, photography and videos matter more than you think. The people looking at your Kickstarter pay
you ve, never seen used or play with your product therein solely on what you show them in the videos in photos. These assets shouldn't be an afterthought. Their critical to telling a story number three show them a physical prototype that is as close to the real thing is possible. Your backers are taking a risk on you by giving you money for something that doesn't exist and legit prototype takes a lot of that fear away. Thinking of backers number for treat your backers with respect and let them become inside or to the project, to tell your story just means that you should respond to their messages quickly respond to each, and I'm in a timely and polite manner and create a campaign page that is easy to understand. Speaking of story, people on Kickstarter above On your story, not your product guide, the backers through the page and logically explain how the game came to be in whose, behind it, we're five pay attention to the all important day, one blitz, the first day of campaign at its most important, get backers in funding immediately and even hate your goal in the first couple days. Your campaign will get them.
Damn needs to go further. Number six be smart about that, and time at you launch, since you want a lot of people Your project right in the beginning and then at the end, Travis recommends you launch, for lunch time on a Tuesday or Wednesday. At an end and early, noon. On Thursday, it seems like it's working for him so, if I were you, I just copy that. Last but not least them seven do some marketing ban on stress out about it. Travis unholy report that in their project they spent about one percent of the total money raised toward marketing and ads. Then, what worthless they d get some new customers but in the end they weren't well game, changing again going back to the first point: if you have an awesome project in your backers, will naturally share and spread it That is the most important thing. They also encourage. You try to get lucky, because your success will also require a bit of luck. At the end of the day. A lot is within your control, but not everything is well. I love that list of seven tips. I don't have anything to add to it there. Obviously, the Kickstarter campaign Masters
make your product amazing critic, great story, give people something to talk about and who as you might raise a million dollars for three campaigns. Very impressive link up their most recent campaign on a shuts page. Of course, those notes are at sight of school dotcom slashed for four four. Thank you so much for listening. Inspiration is good, but instead What action is better got more coming for you to Morrow, and every day after that, money, Miss Priscilla, Gower beside us all school.
Transcript generated on 2020-08-05.