Let's just say the celebrations for launching our second round were short-lived. At the time, we were pretty bummed. We thought that the lockdowns and consequential economic effects would mean far less investors willing to commit to a long-term journey with PopCom. Being somewhat related to the retail industry would make it all the more worse. Or so we thought.
We raised our maximum ($1,070,000) in less time than it took for our first round. We raised over $400,000 in a single month. How did we make the best of the shit sandwich COVID delivered to the world?
There were a few very different ways we could've handled the pandemic and lockdown news in terms of getting word out about our newly launched campaign. We could have put our heads down, called ourselves unlucky, and packed up shop waiting for the dust to settle (like many advertisers did). Instead, we chose to double down on ads and benefited from a much more cost efficient share-of-voice on our ads and as a result, enjoyed much better return on ad spend. You see, because many other advertisers had paused their ads, we were able to pay Facebook a lot less money to get our ads shown. We had great conversion-to-investor numbers from the ads so the compound effect of good conversion numbers and cheap placements meant excellent return on spend. If we let fear get in the way, both our investors and our company would've missed a huge opportunity.
Much of our advertising focused on highlighting Dawn as a black female founder. (In addition to highlighting PopCom's amazing tech!) We knew from our first campaign that there was an entirely undiscovered segment of prospective investors that wanted to support both black-founded and female-founded companies, so we made sure our message reached them. This message was amplified even further with the tragic death of George Floyd and subsequent ignition of support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Dawn used her reach and voice to encourage the lifting up of the entire black business community, a message that we'd been telling crowdfunding investors for years. Without knowing what message resonated with our investor audience even before the horrifying events of 2020 began, our chance at becoming a conduit for action and leadership in the black business community may have been lost.
The first offering was, in many ways, a mess during the preparation. We were pulled in fifty different directions by some people that genuinely wanted to help, as well as some people that had no business whatsoever giving us compliance advice or directions to get to launch. A major part of this was the fault of our offering platform (who have since remedied the cause) but our inexperience was also a factor. The second time around, we were streamlined. We were capable. We didn't take shit from anyone. This is why it is absolutely crucial that you consider taking our course before launching your offering. We will help you avoid the many, many mistakes we made and get to launch sooner, with a pitch that will blow away prospective investors.