ComixLaunch | 003 – Kickstarter SWOT Analysis: Assessing Your Project’s Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats BEFORE you Launch

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” – Ben Franklin

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In this session, Tyler share’s an incredibly valuable project planning tool that he uses to design all his successful Kickstarter projects. If you want to launch, you need to do a SWOT analysis, and this episode will teach you how.

Today’s Session is Sponsored by KrakenPrint. Visit comixlaunch.com/kraken and mention the show for 5% off your first print order.

Today:

  • Another strategy session but one you can put to work TODAY. A tool ALL creators should use for EVERY project they run, even if you’re a veteran, ESPECIALLY if you’re new.
  • There is a Special Download Worksheet that Goes with this episode. Get it at http://www.comixlaunch.com/003download/
  • I’m going to introduce you to the SWOT analysis tool, a way to pull back and look at your project. sWOT
  • I’m going to walk you through an example for one of my projects
  • Give you loads of tips on how to do one of these for your own
  • Sound good?

Core Lesson/ Parable:

  • What is a SWOT? Why use a SWOT? Who Uses a SWOT?
    • SWOT Analysis or SWOT matrix a planning method to strategically evaluate SWOT involved in a new or existing project or business venture. (That’s what KS is.)
    • Works on products, places, industries, even people.
    • Focuses on both internal factors – inside our control, inherent traits
    • External factors – outside of control, market conditions,
    • Taught in every business school, consultants, etc.
    • Everything from a formal process, to a back of the envelope way of evaluating.
  • Why Use One for your KS?
    • Ben Franklin, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” SWOT is a planning tool.
    • Creative Entrepreneurship —
      • Right brain – Creative side – Rhythm, spatial awareness, colour, imagination, creativity.
      • Left side – logic, science, math, reasoning
    • KS is a platform to fund creativity… but fulfilling creativity, carrying a successful project, executing on all the fine details, requires careful use of both sides.
    • SWOT is great tool for creative people, who need to structure their more left-side of the brain activities, to not let right side take them away.
  • The 4 quadrants of SWOT as they relate to Kickstarter projects
    • Strengths – What are the characteristics of your KS project that give it a unique advantage over other projects. Secret weapons?
      • People
      • Platform
      • Product
    • Weaknesses – Characterists put you at a potential disadvantage to other KS?
      • Same set of Ps
      • Most common
        • lack of funds – Lack of money
        • small platform
        • never done this before
    • Opportunities – What are the unique elements of your KS project you can exploit to your advantage?
      • I always do this one last, because it’s the interplay of strengths, weaknesses and threats that allow me to craft my opportunities.
    • Threats – elements, both internally and externally that could spell trouble for your KS project.
      • For most newbies, this will come in terms of fulfillment…
        • What if the cost of international postage goes up 20%
        • What if my t-shirt vendor stops answering my emails?
      • For veterans, simply assuming there are no threats and “You got this” can be a threat.
    • Download Here — http://www.comixlaunch.com/003download/
    • Now, to illustrate this concept —
  • Example SWOT – C IS FOR CTHULHU Board Book and PlushToy
    • About the Project – Cisforcthulhu.com or on Kickstarter search C is for Cthulhu
    • Strengths
      • People
        • Jason Ciaramella – Eisner nominated writer, lot of industry connections with authors in the space, Lovecraft bonifides.
        • Greg Murphy – 5 Tool Artist (Illustration, Animation, Graphic Design, Music, Photography)
        • Tyler James – Guy who thinks he knows what he’s doing enough to get up in your earbuds and proselytize this stuff.
        • Skelton Crew – experts in licensed stuff, Hellboy, BPRD, Locke and Key, Chew… not their first rodeo.
      • Platform
        • Building off the success of the last KS, which was the most successl I’ve run. 1149 backers, more than $35K raised.
        • FB Community, nearly 5K likes, very engaged, pictures etc. Social Proof
        • Email List – 6K subs
        • Get just 2% of the people we have to back this project, game over, we’re funded.
      • Product
        • C is for Cthulhu Plush – Prototype in Hand, and top notch.
        • Book – Already a winner, already in stock
        • Poster and T-shirts – Co-developed with our Community
    • Weaknesses
      • Not a New Property… Getting PR might be tough.
      • More Product = Less Focus
        • Plush, Poster, T-shirts, Books
      • PR Plan and Media Outreach
      • Pricepoint
        • $39 plush most expensive Cthulhu doll on the market it.
          • Amazon – between $10-$20
    • Threats
      • Internal — Bandwidth
        • I’m a busy guy.
      • External — Backlash
        • Lovecraft –
          • Haters
            • Lovecraft is supposed to be horrifying… Cuddling him up is sacrilege.
            • Lovecraft the Xenophobe and Racist
              • Liking the stories and stories inspired by the work of H.P. Lovecraft does not make someone a racist… Being a racist makes someone a racist.
    • Opportunities
      • Social Proof
        • Let our existing fans sell this for us
          • Video
          • Ads
          • Imagery
          • Compensated those who we were using prominently in marketing
      • #Cthulhugrams
        • Great doll in hand + Greg’s Photography Skills + Jason’s Lovecraft and Providence connection
        • Cthulugram was born – almost like weathered poloroids
        • Caption contest to build engagement
      • Compete on Quality, not Price
        • Most expensive doll on the market… but the ONLY doll that is based on the Cthulhu in the book
      • Facebook Advertising
        • Perfect product for FB
      • Keep Your Eyes Open – Working living doc
        • Pluto – Cthulhu named a region
        • NASA Found Cthulhu on Pluto …ComixTribe says you don’t have to go that far to get him.
  • SWOT works for All Projects…
    • My very 1st KS project had totally different stuff in those quadrants
    • Your project will be different, but all have SWOT.
  • Sponsor Mid-Roll
    • In a moment, I’m going to give you today’s ComixLauncher, but first, we need to thank our sponsor…
    • [Kraken sponsor ad full – 30-45 seconds]
  • ComixLauncher
    • It’s time for today’s ComixLauncher.
    • A ComixLauncher is a short, actionable activity you can and should do right now, or 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.
    • SWOT Analysis
      • Download the Worksheet at http://www.comixlaunch.com/003download/ or just grab a sheet of paper and divide it into 4 equal quadrants – SWOT
      • Set Timer for 5 minutes, and focus just on the S Quadrant — write down as many Strengths as you can. Focus on your People, Platform, Product… don’t over think it, just brainstorm.
      • Then, do the same, 5 minutes, and list all the Weaknesses of your project. Use the same categories… People Platform, Product.
      • Next, 5 minutes, tackle the THREATS. Both internal threats…ways you could sabotage the project yourself, and External, things outside your control that might hammer the project
      • Now, I want you to put that down. 15 minutes, you deserve a break. Go do something else. Get a drink, go for a walk, draw a page… get away from it.
      • When you’re ready, come on back, re-read each quadrant, and from those, generate some opportunities… things you can do to take advantage of your strengths and mitigate weaknesses and threats. In some cases, you’ll turn weaknesses into strengths (focus/compete on quality, not price).
      • When done, what you have is the backbone of your future successful KS campaign.
    • All of us our busy, but we all can spare 15-20 minutes to do this… half of all comics KS fail… doing the extra planning work of a SWOT analysis is how you get on the successful half.
    • What comes out on paper may surprise you. And if you’d like to share the results of your ComixLauncher with me, I’d love to see them. Email me at [email protected], subject line: ComixLauncher #3.]
  • Wrap Up
    • Sum up highlights of session.
      • If the SWOT analysis was new to you, or if you never thought of applying it to a KS before, I hope you got a lot out of this episode.
        • All our projects have SWOT – these are things floating around in our heads… getting them down on paper in an organized fashion really helps take ownership and control over them. It’s powerful, and it’s foundational.
        • Remember, go to http://www.comixlaunch.com/003download/ to get download the SWOT worksheet to help you successfully launch YOUR next KS.
    • Thanks for Listening.
    • Tease future episodes
      • Upcoming, we’re going to look hard at WHY Kickstarter is so darn effective. Really break it down, deconstruct it into its component parts, and see how together, its far greater than the sum of those parts.
      • Also, GUESTS! Won’t just be me doing this show gabbing at you… important to get other perspectives.
    • Quote
      • Guy Kawasaki — “Few things are right and wrong in entrepreneurship — there’s only what works and what doesn’t.”
      • I have no interest in teaching you guys right from wrong… that’s not my mission here. But what I am on is an ongoing journey to discover what works on Kickstarter and beyond, and what doesn’t. Let’s keep discovering that together.

 

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