Welcome to Remote Start Podcast!
Feb. 14, 2023

E43: Focusing on Community and The Entire Launch Process to Drive a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign with Mark Pecota from Launchboom

Join us on this exciting episode, as Jim Doyon brings on special guest Mark Pecota, CEO of LaunchBoom. Mark has extensive experience in supporting product creators and inventors launch their ideas through crowdfunding. In this episode, we... See show notes at: https://www.remotestartpodcast.com/e43-building-your-community-through-crowdfunding-with-mark-pecota-of-launchboom/#show-notes

Join us on this exciting episode, as Jim Doyon brings on special guest Mark Pecota, CEO of LaunchBoom. Mark has extensive experience in supporting product creators and inventors launch their ideas through crowdfunding. In this episode, we delve into the world of crowdfunding and its relationship to building a community. Listen in as Mark shares his startup story, including his journey of pivoting from 65 employees to 18 and transforming his business model to a more scalable vision. Mark will also provide insights on how to effectively use crowdfunding to build a community and bring your product to life. Don't miss this informative episode for anyone looking to launch their product through crowdfunding. Tune in now!

Learn more about Mark Pecota at:

Website: https://www.launchboom.com/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/markpecota/

Learn more about Remote Start Podcast at: https://www.remotestartpodcast.com/


Jim: Remote Start Nation, as mentioned episode 32, I'm on a mission to bring the power of connecting with your community to the forefront of the Remote Start Podcast. And on this episode, our main talking point will be crowdfunding and how it relates to building your community. So if you're a product creator or an inventor and looking to launch your product, you're definitely gonna wanna listen into this episode.

I'm Jim Doyon, your host, and on this episode I have a special guest that I wanted to bring on. His name is Mark Pecota. He's the CEO of LaunchBoom who spent years supporting creators as they launched their inventions through crowdfunding. Mark is gonna share a startup story, discuss how he pivoted from 65 employees down to 18, transitioned his business model into something more scalable and in line with his vision, and of course, we're gonna get into the weeds of crowdfunding and building a community. So without further ado, I'd like to welcome Mark to the Remote Start Nation. Mark, welcome. How are you, my man?

Mark: Doing, doing great, thank you for having me. I'm always stoked to go on and talk crowdfunding talk, product launches, and help in any way I can. So thanks for having me.

Jim: You've built an incredible business. I loved researching about it, so I'm definitely excited to have you on. I think you can offer so much for the Remote Start Nation. So, yeah, thank you again. You know, to get this started, tell us something we wouldn't know about you if we first met you.

Mark: I live down in Columbia, a lot of people don't know that, they're always like Columbia, like the school or something, like, no, no, no, no. Columbia, the country. So yeah, living the remote, the remote life, we've been remote since 2017 and so, you know, we've, people have always been scattered all around the world, but 11 months ago I've made the choice to come down here and it's been, it's been one of the coolest decisions of my life.

Jim: That is awesome. I can't relate to that. And as far as going outta the country to travel, but just getting away and traveling, getting to see new experiences is one of the coolest things I've done in my life. How for you to say that it's been, you know, exceptional for the last 11 months? That's pretty awesome. What like, made you want to do that in the first place?

Mark: I would say I'd had an itch to go outside the country for a long time and do it on my own. I viewed it as a challenge. I'm from California, I'm from San Jose, California, up in the Bay Area. Then after that, I lived in San Diego for 14 years and I feel really grateful to live in California and all my best friends, you know, I've grew up with my best friends since first grade all the way to right before I came to Meine in Columbia. But I always felt like I wanted to challenge myself to almost, I basically start from zero in like a new spot. And then also I was telling you this before the podcast, but I've taken an embarrassing amount of Spanish to not be fluent, I'm like, all right, it's time, let's get down into a place, immerse myself in, you know, a Spanish speaking culture. And yeah, that was, those were like part of like, probably the two biggest reasons of coming down.

Jim: That's really cool. What about learning Spanish and becoming fluent in Spanish was so important to you?

Mark: I view so it's such a massive amount of the world speaks Spanish and I love connecting with people, I love connecting with new cultures and it's so interesting ‘cause like day by day as I'm learning more Spanish, it's like, quite literally feels like this, like New World is opening up, and so yeah, that was the biggest, that is, that was and still is the biggest motivation for learning Spanish. And it's, you know, I would say a secondary reasons, it's just like fun, you know, to learn something new. And it's been probably the most humbling experience where I'm like, this is actually really hard to do and it takes a long time to do. So, but I'm, I. I'm definitely making progress and so it's, it's worth it in fulfilling as I continue to be able to communicate with people more, which is again, the whole point of it in the first place.

Jim: That's super cool. Do you see yourself there for a long time? I think so, and now that you know, I met a girl like month one of being down here and she's awesome. And she started to come back and met the folks. So, you know, that definitely makes it a little bit stickier as well. But, yeah, so I probably will be here for a while. I don't have an end date, you know in the calendar yet.

Jim: That's super cool. Thanks for sharing that with us. So before we get to the discussion of community and crowd and flooding, which I'm like super stoked on, let's talk about your business journey. Tell the Remote Start Nation, like, you know, did it start with LaunchBoom? What'd you do before? I'd love to hear how LaunchBoom started. So let's start there.

Mark: Yeah, for sure. So, you know, like I said, I first grew up in San Jose and then went down to San Diego State for college. I didn't really have a ton of direction. I was studying business, but I actually was making electronic music, and promoting parties and stuff. And I thought I was gonna be doing that. I thought I was gonna be doing electronic music. I played guitar my whole life, music was always a big part of my life. But my senior year, I remember I had this experience where I was out watching a DJ, I don't even remember who it was, but I was probably, you know, I probably had a few drinks as well, but I had this moment of like, clarity and like sober thought of being like, I actually cannot see myself doing that, you know, for the long term. I'm like, what am I, and, the very next day, and this is my senior year, this is my last year, I'm like, but the very next day I'm like, I need to get involved in something that's more interesting. I had always my grandpa started a company called Value Services Electronics. Then my dad took it over and actually my dad recently retired and now my aunt runs it. So like entrepreneurship has always been a big part of my family. And So I got involved with something called Entrepreneur Society, just the whole entrepreneur scene at San Diego State. Then from there I got this internship at this digital marketing agency called Ebos Consulting in San Diego, and during that internship I actually met, my business partners, who I'm still in business with today, and so out of that internship, we said, you know, young and dumb you know, blissfully unaware of the challenges in front of us. We're like, Hey, let's start our own agency, and so we did, we got our first signed contract from a law firm, when we were still in college for $5,000 and I still have the proposal somewhere that we got like, you know, Kinko, like, it was just, it's hilarious. But anyways, yeah, we started our company called Label Creative, so there was really nothing special about us. We're just a whole bunch of, you know, young kids hustling and we're mainly doing video production, web design, ‘caause those were like the skills that we had. And over time, we, you know, we're doing all types of ran, we're basically saying yes to everything, which is not the answer. The beginning is fine, you know? The good part about it was that we actually, we did a few crowdfunding campaigns. So the first one that we did, was in 2013 and it was called Eco Cube and did in the 70 thousands, I forget the exact number, like 78,000 or something, and on that one we just helped with the creative, but we were actually just kinda like along for the ride. Then a client saw that and said, Hey, another client and said, Hey, can you help me launch this other product? And we said, sure, like, you know, again, we don't have a ton of experience, but we'll try to replicate what happened, and that one did 102,000, it was called one hour break. And then the first client came back to us with a second product, like about a year and a half later called the Eco cube C. It was like a more compact version of the original product, and this is like a desktop aquaponics aquarium, it's pretty interesting product, but yeah, basically the fish waste the fish poop, like fertilized the plant that's on top and filter. Anyways, that third launched at 375,000 and around that same time I read this book called Built to Sell, and it basically, it's written as a fiction story, but it's tells, it teaches business principles, basically tells the story of this agency owner that goes to sell his business after like 10, 15 years of building it up and business isn't worth anything because it's not unique, they don't have, it's not systematizable, it doesn't have repeatable business. And so I felt like, okay, I'm reading my future here. And so then I went into reflection mode and very long story short saw that the crowdfunding projects that we worked on fit this mold of what they were or fit like, basically the thesis of that book was to turn your service company into a product. And so that's what we did, we rebranded our company from Label Creative, we're still technically label creative LLC by the way. But we got DBA for LaunchBoom. At the end of 2015, and yeah, ever since then we've transitioned to nicheing down and focusing on helping product creators launch their products using crowdfunding.

Jim: That's incredible. And it started, your clarity through that came from reading that book Built to Sell.

Mark: Yeah, yeah. So I mean, I recommend that book to people that have service-based businesses, you know? Because it's really what it's, speaking to.

Jim: Yeah, it's a good book, I've read it. It's on my bookshelf somewhere back there. But yeah, it's definitely a good book. So how many partners do you have in LaunchBoom? You mentioned you had partners, they were people you met at your internship.

Mark: Right. So, right now we, I have three, three other partners that are doing this with me. Yeah, we had some other ones at the beginning. What I say right now is that we've had some leave At the very beginning we had a ton, honestly, it was crazy. And then we, like some people left and then, yeah, so now we're down to three building it.

Jim: That's, and is it do all three of you have very, like, specific niches of what you work on and do in the business?

Mark: Yeah, yeah. There, I mean there's, you know, always a little bit of overlap, but I would say like the superpowers, it's like, okay, so you have Will Ford, he's our president. Superpower is like business development and sales. Like I've never met anyone better at it than him, Mike Rey is our CTO so he is all tech mostly on the dev side. And then Victor Shoes creative director. He's just like, yeah, creative marketing wizard. And then, I'm the CEO, so I don't know what my special power is, I guess it would be, I mean, honestly, I would say I'm probably the best when it comes to, well leadership of like seeing a big vision and driving the ship. But then I'm pretty operationally focused, so kind of making the whole thing run smooth. And is this something I like you think I'm okay at it.

Jim: Yeah, no, it's obviously you're doing something right. So when you started, was it a clear distinction of you know, jobs and responsibilities or was it kind of like, you know, hey, let's just grow this?

Mark: Yeah, it was pretty clear, pretty clear distinction. I mean, that's the, like I said, we had a whole bunch of people that were like, technically having equity at the beginning because we just kind of brought in a whole bunch of people that were like friends that had different skillsets, you know? And I always give people the advice now it's a really stupid way to start a business, but yeah, I mean the people that are left, it's, well, sorry, I guess your question was about at the beginning. So at the beginning, yeah, there was still a separation to a certain extent, but I would say there was probably more overlap, at the beginning, that's also part of the reason as we grew and it started to get, become more serious and it's like, Hey, this isn't just like a college project, right? It's a serious thing that yeah, we need to be more clear about what are the main skillsets, what are the roles and responsibilities that we're all bringing to the table, and is the equity fair? And that conversation is, you know, talking about equity is like, you know, you're basically putting a number to someone's worth kind of which can be a very potentially ego crushing conversation, you know what I mean? So, yeah. Anyways, that went a little bit off from your original question, but it just brought that to mind that.

Jim: No, I appreciate you sharing that with us. So you talked a little bit about how LaunchBoom has been formed and how it started. Tell us more, like very specifically, what does LaunchBoom do?

Mark: Yeah, so it's, from a high level and we can, the reason why I hesitated there is cause it's changed, you know, over time, right. But from a high level, what we do has always been the same, which is we are helping product creators, founders, entrepreneurs to bring their pro, bring their ideas to life, to launch their products using crowdfunding as the method and when I say crowdfunding, I'm specifically talking about Kickstarter and Indiegogo, which is a form of crowdfunding called reward-based crowdfunding. So not to be confused with equity-based crowdfunding, we're not selling equity. These are not people investing in these product launches, we quite literally pre-selling product to get them off the ground, and so that's mainly what we're doing and we view that as the first step to then building a successful e-commerce business, but our kind of bread and butter is it's in our name. It's to help product critters launch.

Jim: Awesome. And you're constantly changing and evolving the business, I know before we had kind of talked about, you know, you originally had, you had this agency of 65 and you fine tuned it, you pivoted and now you're running around 18. Tell me about that and kind of like, you know, walk us through how that happened and where you're at now and how you've transitioned into kind of a new model that you believe can scale.

Mark: Right. So we, you know, we started the business as an agency. We were a, I would say a turnkey agency, so every aspect that you needed to get your product off the ground and launch on crowdfunding, we would do. So the main things were. Like advertising and I'll just say advertising and the creative are kind of the main things there. So creative being mostly product photography and video videography. So we used to have a whole studio in downtown San Diego where I used to live, like we had like six or seven creatives on the team but like you had, like you had said, we had, we got up to 65 people, on our team. Actually, we experienced the most growth during 2020, once Covid kicked in the beginning of 2020, we had 25 people, by the end we had 65. And so we definitely rode the wave of, I would say, multiple forces that compounded on each other, which was, you know, E-commerce was exploding, everyone was inside, there was like much cheaper advertising costs at the same time, and then you had the government printing massive amounts of money. So you have all that happening, and of course you're gonna have a explosion, a little bit of a bubble happening. And so speaking of bubble, it was our growth was a little bit of a bubble to where in 2021 it started to come down, back down to Earth a little bit. Realized that we had actually grown, we're a little bit bloated, when it came to how many people we actually hired onto the team. And in, earlier, I guess last year, man, we're in 2023, like, mid last year. So in 2022, I made a very difficult decision to pivot the business and take us down to 18. And the main parts of this was like one we had been facing actually, even though we grew a lot, we had been facing a lot of different challenges in terms of, like the company was, it was still very difficult to scale and there's a lot of reasons for that that I can get into, but I'll just leave it kind of high level there. And we were kind of constantly facing this like ebb and flow of cash up and down and we also at this time we had started this other division of our company, that was like a consulting division that was originally supposed to be kind of like a down sell from the agency services, but it was like growing pretty nice and steadily, like the entire time since we had started it back in early 2020, like kinda the same time when our agency exploded. And so I'm like looking at this agency part of our business that's like, fairly tumultuous and kind of going up and down, still pretty big though. And then this other part of our business, this consulting part that's been growing steadily and has like really happy team working on a happy clients. And then I started to view like, what do I really want? I went through this like deep period of reflection of like, all right I'm proud of everything we've done on our agency side and our accomplishments. And I think we actually have built something that provides a lot of value, but can we actually approach the problem we're trying to solve in a different way? And so what I came up with was that, you know, we actually don't need to be an agency anymore. Like the whole turnkey agency that we're building actually isn't serving the vast majority of the market, that needs these services ‘cause it's, you know, extremely expensive, to, you know, to provide that level of service. And we felt that, you know, we're not just trying to make something that's like super cheap and affordable, but actually trying to make a, a service. That I would say is more in line with consulting, that's gonna be just still very effective, but I would say just more efficient with the money that they're actually giving to us. And so now what we're building right now it's a combination of consulting and software. So we've, I mean, we're quite literally codifying like, aspects of our system that are like key parts of the system on how you do like funnel building or list building or analytics, we're like, how you actually do, like, create the content. So we're looking into different aspects of using AI and just making it so that it's much easier and more efficient for product creators, entrepreneurs and founders to launch their products. And that's why we don't need as big of a team to do that. And so, yeah, that's from a high level. I mean, there's a little bit of details in there, but that's a part of why we've made the transition.

Jim: I love that. And thank you for sharing that with us. I'm excited to see how things go as you continue to transition from that service base to, you know, that software service, platform, I did a little bit. We, my business partner and I launched a crowdfunding project, um, a couple years back, It's called In Between Tees, and our goal was to, you know, raise 30,000 and we didn't hit it, We hired an agency and I think we came up, we decided if we don't hit 30,000, we're not gonna do this project, but I think we hit like 13,000 or something like that. But, you know, that was one big thing that I thought, it would've been really nice to have some software, something that could like, really help us, that we could go to, we knew a lot of things of how to get in front of a community and how to build a brand. What we didn't know was the crowdfunding, you know how it really works. And so I think you doing that and putting that in something that can scale, I think will help a lot more people than, like you said, the agency route.

Mark: Right. Yeah, exactly. That's exactly how we see it, because it's like no matter what, you know, doing a crowdfunded campaign or a product launch, let's just say, is never gonna be easy necessarily, but you can make the process a lot more simple, and that's really what we're trying to do, where it's like, here is the system and process that you should follow. And certain aspects will always be, you know, difficult, There'll be a certain level of difficulty, but having the simplicity and the plan, I think is extremely, and that's what we're trying to do.

Jim: That's so true. Well, mark, I appreciate you sharing about, you know, the business. Let's get into crowdfunding and really explaining to the Remote Start Nation, you know, for those who aren't aware what crowdfunding is, like, I'd love for you to tell us more about that and let's start to get into how that really ties into community. So,let's start, is crowdfunding, is it relatively new?

Jim: Yeah, I'd say it's relatively new. I mean, I guess the concept of crowdfunding, I'm not even sure when that really started, to be honest with you, but crowdfunding as we know it today, like the modern crowdfunding, and I'll specifically talk about like Kickstarter and Indiegogo started in 2007, was like when Indiegogo began. So Kickstarter came very soon after that and Kickstarter is a much more well-known brand name, so they've almost become like, synonymous with crowdfunding. But yeah, it's relatively new, new thing. And the whole idea of crowdfunding really when it comes down to it is like it's a, the way that we use it is it's really just a way for you to pre-sell your product, before you actually go manufacture it. So, to say that again, because I think it's the most powerful part about it, is like in the traditional model, like before this existed, if you wanted to launch your product, what would you do? You'd have to design, you'd design it, you'd have to go manufacture it, get all this inventory, spend all the money on that, then go do all the marketing on it to start to sell that. So that's a huge amount of investment, what if you just take away all that investment into the manufacturing runs and everything you have to do there, and instead you focus on just getting one prototype. So I'm not sure if people are listening to the, if they're watching this. I'm not sure if the video shows on your podcast. But holding a water bottle, let's say this is a new product I had, I could just create one prototype and I could create all the marketing around it, and then I could launch it on a platform People. Pre-order my product, so I get all the money, then I go and manufacture it. So it's really a way to, it's risk mitigation. Like you're decreasing risk and then you're able to not only typically have a more effective launch because there's something like inherently exciting about a campaign and it usually can performs better than a traditional launch on e-commerce website. But, yeah, you're also able to, validate that you actually have demand for this product before you go and manufacture it. So that's a little bit about where, you know, where crowdfunding started, but also why we use it and why we think it's so powerful.

Jim: So, with that said, crowdfunding, you know, generating community around your brand is something that really gets brands to that next level. And crowdfunding does that in such an incredible, like an awesome way. Talk a little bit about, you know, building a community through crowdfunding.

Mark: Yeah. I mean, I would say that crowdfunding and community are almost synonymous, it's like, it's in the name right, crowder. It's a group of people, that are supporting you, and so first off, I'll say that when it comes to, the way to win, like, or have a successful crowdfund is it's all about the pre-launch. So it's everything that you're doing prior to launching, and really the community building begins during the pre-launch. So, you know, you're not waiting to get to, you know, you're not waiting until you press the launch button to start to market and build your community. How we build community at the beginning is by through list building strategies, so like email list, building strategies, lead generation. And that's really like I would say the biggest thing that we've become known for at LaunchBoom. And the most effective part of our strategy is that what we teach and what we help our clients do is. Drive traffic through paid media and Meta or so Facebook, Instagram matter, what people say still has been the most effective channel for lead generation for us, so we show them how to drive traffic to a funnel that we call the reservation funnel, where we collect people's email addresses. People will give their email to be notified when it launches, but why we call it a reservation? Is that on the second step we say, Hey, you can now put down a $1 deposit to reserve the best discount when we launch. And so just that additional commitment of money, we found that people that do that are on average 30 times more likely to buy than someone that just gives their email address. So now you're able to start to build an email list that's much more qualified, you have another data point to optimize your ads for. So I'm getting a little bit in the weeds here, but the idea of this is that, you want to build up an email list or your community before you actually launch your product and you're nurturing them through email marketing. We like to add them into a Facebook group as well. And so this community aspect is that, you know, you use this community that you build in the pre-launch to then have a successful launch, so I would say community building is key, it starts at the beginning, it starts in the pre-launch, and then you leverage that to have a successful launch.

Jim: That's great and that kind of brings me into, you know, the next topic, like you, you hit on that pre-launch part, you recently published a book called Crowdfunded and in it you have five sections on how to really do a successful launch, you know, one of them is talking about the launch boom system. Then you talk about the pre-launch and we just kind of went over that, and then you talk about the launch and then the post-launch and. Ultimately continuing on with business and what that looks like. What would you say, like with the LaunchBoom system you had mentioned some things that I love, like, okay, let's think about a funnel and bringing that in, thinking about offering some type of discount that people have that incentive to purchase, and like you said, it's 30 times greater, success rate when you offer. What are some other things in that, in your system that you've found that when someone works with LaunchBoom, like they already are set up for success?

Mark: Yeah, so I'm actually going to even go back even one step before the reservation funnel or like building in the list, because one of the things that a lot of people don't like to spend time on, but is really the most important part, arguably is, is the positioning of the product. So, you know, really when it comes down to positioning, it's in some people's eyes might be, you know, glazing over here, but it's so important, it's like, it's how you're communicating the value of your product to the right audience. And you know, we follow a very specific framework of doing this, but really what I want to communicate to everyone is that you have to, you have to view product positioning as like the foundation to everything else. So like, if you have to go through an exercise and really take it seriously to try to figure out how are you gonna actually stand out in the market, and the other thing to realize is, even if you or the product position that you do the first time, you know, it's not a static thing. So it's like you're, I view it as you come up with this product positioning, you do the work, but treat it as, you know, a hypothesis. And then as you go into the stage of building up your list, you're testing that hypothesis and then you're seeing, you know, what type of positioning, which audiences that I'm targeting through ads or actually engaging with this content, or turning into leads or turning into reservations. Then you can have that, your messaging and positioning to ultimately then influence all the assets that you create for the campaign, so the two biggest ones being on a crowdfunding campaign, your campaign page, and your campaign video. So it's like everything's connected, but it starts with coming up with an initial product positioning hypothesis, testing it with ads through list building, and then refining it, and then having that be applied to your, marketing assets that you're ultimately gonna use to sell your product down the road.

Jim: That's a great point, and I think with any type of marketing, marketing or launch, like if people, and I've talked about this so frequently on this on the Remote Start Podcast, but before you go spend money, before you go tell people about your product, like you have to understand the value you're adding who your customer is. And I feel like with this type, with crowdfunding and this type of launch system that you've created, like testing against, like, you might be wrong with who you first feel like your product is going to serve, like it might take multiple iterations of finding out who your customer is till you finally get it correct. Is that what I'm kind of sensing here?

Mark: Yeah, you're a hundred percent right. I mean, you can, that's the part of the beauty of spending money on marketing before you launch is that you're really just testing different messaging, like ways to position your product and audiences. So it really always comes down to like, the messaging. So like the actual like literal copy or imagery that you're using in your advertising, and then who you are targeting with that. And so you can, you can challenge a lot of your assumptions very easily, through advertising and then have data to back it up.

Jim: That's a huge point. So this is all kind of like pre-launch now. We've got our list built, we're ready to launch, walk us through that.

Mark: Yeah. So the reason why I say that it's, or one of the other reasons why I say it's so important to focus on the pre-launch is that, you want to use your audience to get funded very quickly. So let's talk about the concept of funding really quickly. So it's on these campaigns, when you launch them, you have to put a goal. I mean, like how you alluded to with your campaign, your goal was 30,000, I think, and so you put a public goal, so let's just say it's 30,000, the idea is that you want to use your pre-launch email list that you built to get yourself funded within the first, let's say, within the first 48 hours, it's, we've just found that it's so key to get funded quickly because it sets your campaign up for so much success. I'll tell you why, so there's, I'd say two primary reasons. One is part of the reason why we like to launch on these platforms is that they have a community on the crowdfunding platforms that are just looking for cool stuff to buy. So, but just like, you know, Amazon, which is orders of magnitudes, larger but just like Amazon, you know, there's a ranking system, on these platforms. So in order to get higher up on the ranking system, let's say on Kickstarter, you know you have to actually be a popular project. So if you get funded very quickly, you are gonna jump up on the top of the rankings, which is then gonna bring you organic traffic. From the platforms, which are, then I'm gonna buy your product. Now, it very much depends on what type of product you have, like some categories are more popular on, you know, on Kickstarter than other ones. But usually you can see, you know, 20% at least of the funding, the final funding amount will come from the crowdfunding platform itself. If you are able to get funded quickly and you rise up on the popularity ranks, so that's one big reason. Second one is just pure credibility and trust building with future visitors. So if your campaign is funded and you know, it shows again ‘cause everything's public on crowdfunding. So again, the goal is 30,000. Let's say you raise 30,000 on day one and it shows a hundred percent funded. Now someone that comes to your, crowdfunding campaign, you know, from then on they see that number. They're like, wow, this is something that's really popular. It has all the social proof associated with it, and you find that there's gonna be a much higher conversion rate. So basically sets you up for future success down the road by doing that.

Jim: Yeah. So in order to you launch that, let's say it's success, you make it, actually, let's go first with, so what if you don't hit, what can you recommend to the Remote Start Nation? Like you set it up, you launch and it doesn't work. What do you do then?

Mark: Like it doesn't get funded at all.

Jim: Yeah.

Mark: It doesn't get funded at all. I mean, it's not, well, we've had now, actually many campaigns that tried to do it themselves first or maybe work with someone else, and they failed for, you know, a multitude of reasons, and then they came and worked with us. And I would say the number one reason why people typically do not find success is that, I mean, this is a very broad, but it's, they messed up the pre-launch and usually if you break that down further, it's like either the product positioning sucked or they didn't, build a big enough email list. And so they just didn't take the time to do that or the money and I mean, that's the thing, it's like, I talked about risk mitigation at the beginning and the traditional product launch being expensive. I mean, there still is an investment of capital going into these launches, there were days in Kickstarter's history where you could put a campaign up and it would like get funded from the community. It's like 50%, the funding comes from the community, but we're just way past those days. And it's much more of like a professional, you need professional services or you need to know, have the expertise in order to be the marketing. So very I'll condense my answer to, if you do fail, it's not the end of the world typically, it's gonna be something that was a mistake made during the pre-launch. That usually has to do with your positioning or you didn't build a big enough email list. So it's reflecting on what the problems were and then choosing whether or not, you think it would be a good, good idea to relaunch? And you can definitely relaunch. That's other thing, some people get discouraged, but again, we've had a lot of people that have had success after a failed campaign.

Jim: Once they work with you and start to go through your system and certain timeframe or a certain like list quantity you would recommend prior to launch or is it kind of all determined on the product itself?

Mark: I'll tell you like a super, like, easy way to think about it is, you can just, you can do, make a really simple predictive model, so by working backwards. So it's like, you know, I'm terrible at mental math, but let's just say like, you do, you're looking for that $10,000 or $30,000 number that you want to hit on day one, if you wanna calculate how much you need to actually sell from an email list, you know, you just start to think about what are the different variables that factor into this. So it's like, of course you have, the amount of emails that you're collecting, if you're doing our reservation funnel system, which I recommend, you're gonna segment that email list that you build into two groups. You're gonna have a group that only gave you their email, then you're gonna have a group that also put down $1 deposit. We've found that people that put down a $1 deposit on average, let's say it depends on the price point mainly, but let's say it's about 30% of those people that put down the $1 deposit will actually purchase your product when you launch. And then 1% of the people that only gave you your email address will convert. So now you're like, okay, so you have a group here, you have a group here, this one's gonna convert at 30%, this one's gonna convert at 1%, what's the price point of your product? Just multiply those numbers together, then you get what your expected revenue would be, and that gives you an idea of how much you could raise. And so you, you just add like a margin of error on there of like, yeah, you know, you can just do basic modeling, right? Like, this isn't even, this is, you know, a statistician or a data scientist will cringe at, you know, that the oversimplification, but it's good enough, you know what I mean? To give you an idea of what you need to do to hit certain amounts from lead generation.

Jim: That's really important. And Remote Start Nation. I hope you, if you didn't hear that, rewind it. Go back and listen to that, if you're in the pre-launch phase before you get to launch, like think about it, like, do I have enough? Does this make sense? What else do I need to do to get it to that level to make sure the launch is successful? So let's talk about post-launch. We launched, it was successful, we're crushing it, now what?

Mark: So there are a few things. So just like a simple thing that I think everyone should do is that, so one of the platforms, Indiegogo has a program called Indiegogo InDemand. And basically what you can do is even if you launched on Kickstarter, you can transition your campaign over to Indiegogo InDemand, and it keeps how much you raised on Kickstarter and it shows that as on Indiegogo. And now there's no timeline, it just basically acts as a pre-order store. And the reason why you do that is like some people don't hit the, you know, meet the deadline to back your project before it ends so you can get some more people in. And then you can also, if you want to continue to try advertising, you can keep sending traffic to Indigogo InDemand while you're manufacturing your product. So, okay, so InDemand is one. Look at that. Another one is our pledge managers. So, you know, you've pre-sold your product, now you need to actually deliver it to people. So there are these things called pledge managers, which allow you to basically act as like almost like a fulfillment management. System I don't know if that's a thing, but I just made that word term up. But it basically will take your, your whole backer list and allow you to get all their shipping information, all this stuff, all this information that you need in order to send your product. But more importantly, maybe not more importantly, but a very awesome feature of these pledge managers is that you can up sell them more stuff. So it brings them through this flow where it's like, okay, here's maybe even selling more of the same thing, I guarantee, I know this is a big thing, it's like if someone reach out to me, I'll give you like five bucks if you don't make any money from an up sell through this method, because it always works. what we've seen and so anyways, I would say look at Indigogo InDemand. Look at a pledge manager like BackerKit or Pledge Box. And then the next thing is like you need to just focus on manufacturing, it might sound really obvious, but, you don't wanna undo all the hard work by delivering a really bad experience to your backers that just trusted you with their money before you even made anything. So it's like, can't overlook the fact that you need to just deliver the product that you said you were gonna deliver and ideally on time. Now, a lot of people, a lot of campaigns have delays, so it's really about being transparent, but if you can deliver what you said you would on time, you're gonna have such happy backers that you can then leverage that to have success on e-commerce, it basically just gives you now a stronger foundation for e-commerce success. So yeah, those are, no, I think I listed four poor things.

Jim: That's all great advice. As far as, you know, it's good, we've got manufacturing delivered an experience like people are stoked. Now, is it just as I wouldn't say as simple cause there's a lot of work involved, but now it seems like, okay, we now let's move to a platform like a Shopify or whatever the product can be sold on. Where now we're actually running our business, we're running our, we're doing the experience every time we're working on fulfillment, we're working on, you know, continuing to get new clients, is that, would you offer anything, any advice on top of that?

Mark: I mean, you're exactly right, it's like everyone, all of our clients are trying to get to the e-commerce, which is like Shopify is the main platform that we would use. And then, you know, they'll go onto Amazon and depending on the level of sophistication, retail and or distributors and there's all these, there's so many options, but just to kind of boil it down to the most simple thing that I think everyone should do, at the very least is to build a Shopify store, you've just learned so much from the crowdfund by going direct to consumer, and if you did it right, and you learned a lot through the process, you should have a pretty good idea of what marketing and positioning and audiences work. I will say though, that like crowdfunding backers, are not the mass market. So there's always gonna be like a little bit more tweaking and learning to your messaging, like some, some messaging, like just like for example, getting something first is like a value add to Kickstarter backers or a lot of people there. But that's not necess, that's not the messaging that you're gonna be talking about once you transition to e-commerce. But I would say just one, one last thing is, this might seem really obvious, but like reviews and social proof are super important when you get to, when you get to e-commerce. And so if you delivered a great experience, you can just leverage, you know, the pass backers to get your initial reviews and definitely do that because it's gonna make a big difference once you actually start advertising and trying to sell on your e-commerce.

Jim: That's great advice and Remote Start Nation, if we've gone over some stuff in the weeds, but a lot of high level. If you're looking for more information on how to do this, go get Mark's book Crowdfunded, check it out, read it, and in addition, Mark, where can they find you to get, you know, set up for a consultation or see if it's a right fit with your software, where's the best place for them to find you?

Mark: Yeah, thanks for talking about Crowdfunded. First, I'll just say that we actually, I dropped the price in 99 cents for the Kindle version because it's just, I'm not make 35 cents on every sale, like, we're not trying to make money on that, it's honestly, I want you to read it, most people are gonna read it and do it themselves, but hey, you know, some people are also gonna work with us, it's transparently on that, so it's like, I wanna get it in as many hands as possible, and then if you wanna keep up with me or reach out, go to launchboom.com or I'm super active on LinkedIn as well. So just look up, you know, my name, Mark Pecota on there, and gimme a follow or connect, and you can also reach out to me by email, I have no problem with that. So just mark@launchboom.com. Mark with a K.

Jim: I appreciate that. Well, Mark, unfortunately, our times come into an end, but I want to ask you one last question. What's the one biggest takeaway that you can leave through Remote Start Nation that we hit on today?

Mark: I would say, the biggest thing, I mean, is just don't, I didn't talk about this, but like, it can be scary to take the first step if you have a product idea. But it's just never gonna get less scary. Like it never seems like the right time to do anything, and if you want more information, my team, like, I think the best way is to educate yourself to like start to remove some of that fear. But even that, you're always gonna have to just take a step. So if you're on the edge of it's like the, typically, the downside risk is actually not that large to even see if your product idea is feasible. So my last thought is, if you have this product idea, let's go for it.

Jim: I love it. Go, start it, start today. I love to say that at every episode, like, and that holds so many people back. They get in their own minds and they worry about all the things that, you know, might be a factor or might not, but it stops them from starting. So, as Mark said, go start it. Jump into it. So with that said, Remote Start Nation. Remember, leave a comment, subscribe, and most importantly, share this episode with your community. Who you think could learn from what you heard today. Mark, thank you so much, it's been an honor. I'm looking forward to keeping in connection with you.

Mark: Yeah, likewise. Thanks, Jim. Thanks everyone for listening.

Jim: Absolutely. We'll talk to you soon.

Mark: All right. Sounds good.

Jim DoyonProfile Photo

Jim Doyon


My name is Jim Doyon. I'm a father to three awesome kids, husband to an incredible wife and the oldest sibling to a large split family.I'm currently on a mission and I can't wait to share with you. We sold our house back in 2020, and we've been traveling this beautiful country in a 42-foot Travel trailer ever since. We visited 34 states, and are about to embark on our second loop around the country, stopping at some of our favorite spots again, but also getting to see new areas that the US has to offer.We are trying to experience this life to its fullest spending quality time together. I'm running a business and building brands along the road. We've been fortunate enough on this journey to meet new friends, catch up with old friends and family on many of our stops. We love exploring each City from downtown's to the natural resources it has to offer. I'm passionate about mountain biking and it's not only in my way to get out and explore but to exercise, clear my head, think, and strategize.

Mark PecotaProfile Photo

Mark Pecota


Mark Pecota is the CEO and Co-founder of LaunchBoom ⁠— a global crowdfunding agency that has raised over $50 million on Indiegogo and Kickstarter since 2015. LaunchBoom is a Certified Indiegogo Expert, Certified Kickstarter Expert, and Preferred Facebook Marketing Partner. LaunchBoom helps product creators and entrepreneurs to build profitable 7-figure ecommerce businesses. We use our proven system to test & validate your product idea, launch through crowdfunding, and scale through ecommerce. What once was an extremely complex and costly process has been made simple – ultimately, reducing your risk and putting more money in your pocket.