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About six months ago, I had the flicker of an idea to try out something a little different for the business. I'd seen some really interesting Kickstarter projects around on social media, with makers and small businesses using crowdfunding in a way I'd never really considered open to our industry. 

The goal for this year was to really work at breathing new life into my shop and business, and growing and moving forwards with a bunch of beautiful new products. Crowdfunding is perfect for this, as it helps to manage the manufacturing costs of a product with larger order quantities than I might normally cope with - like an enamel pin.  

I put the idea to one side, thinking it could probably work for me, but realising I'd need the right kind of project for a successful campaign.

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A month or two later, I had the idea for what would become the 'Head In The Clouds' pin - I made a few {very} rough sketches, along with some notes about a community or club theme that I thought could work.

Then, when I set out my intentions and goals for 2018, I worked with the theory that new product releases and project launches were best pushed back until after the January sale period and the following February quiet period. This turned out to be pretty spot on planning for me, as I was able to give the idea a little bit longer to come properly together. 

I penned into my diary that my Kickstarter would happen March. 

However, in the build up to launch, my inner critic was working overtime. I came pretty close to shelving the whole idea several times, and had to let the whole thing come together very gradually so it had chance to develop into a well-rounded product offering.

I spent a whole lot of time telling myself unhelpful things like: 'the other creatives you've seen doing this are MUCH better than you', 'they have BIGGER social media followings', 'their work is just more SUCCESSFUL'. 

It seems to be a recurrent feeling for creatives, and certainly it is for me. There's something so vulnerable about putting something you've created out into the world, not to mention it's so easy to fall into a comparison trap with so many wonderful makers doing their thing online. 

I've come to realise that while I can't do much to stop those feelings creeping in {or shouting, loudly, over my shoulder}, I can work on techniques to help me take productive and positive action in spite of them. 

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How did I manage those feelings, and push forwards with the Kickstarter? Here are my tips for moving forwards even when you are feeling full of doubt:



The concept of crowdfunding a project like this is a good one. It means you can get some funds AND some preorders behind a product before manufacture, reducing the risk normally associated with a new design. 

But the main benefit for me, was that the very act of running a Kickstarter campaign could be in itself a helpful way for me to grow community and also to learn some cool new things!

Rationalising the benefits like this is a hugely important step towards reducing pre-launch anxiety. I found it particularly helpful to tie the project to benefits that will occur EVEN if the project fails {that way, your pessimistic inner critic can't really shout it down}.



I researched the hell out of successful campaigns. I focused on the ones with similar project categories and target audiences, and looked at what they shared. I also did a lot of planning for what I wanted my Kickstarter to look like, how much I needed to raise, and how I would get the story and ethos of my project across.

Self doubt can often tell you that you're simply not ready to do the thing; this step of preparation is helpful because it tells the self doubt that just isn't true.  



Imposter syndrome can often lead to an unhealthy level of procrastination, which for me essentially leads to nothing ever getting done. 

In contrast, I absolutely LOVE a deadline. My anxious nature means I find it quite impossible to miss one {even self-imposed}, so this works to drown out my imposter syndrome with a higher authority of simply needing to get the thing done, on time.


Positivity and community.

In the world of social media, you reap what you sow. I try to practise kindness online, and lift up others in my community where I can; and am generally happy to like, comment and share other peoples work simply because I like it.

It's not easy to ask others to help you fund something, but it is infinitely easier when you already feel as though you contribute to the shared online space. Generosity fosters generosity, and taking a leap into the unknown is made much easier when you know others have got your back.



I'm so pleased I took that leap of faith and pushed on to launch my 'Head In The Clouds' pin design on Kickstarter! I learnt so many new things in the process - how to make stop motion videos, how to prepare a crowdfunding project page, how to make photoshop product mockups - that I just wouldn't have worked on otherwise. I also made some lovely new online friends! The support for the Kickstarter so far has been truly heartwarming, and I've had the loveliest, encouraging messages.

If you're feeling under-confident about a new project or creative endeavour, I would always, always encourage you to just have a go. If you've done all your prep, and you have a great idea - sometimes you've just got to be brave and let it out into the world.


{If you'd like to find out more about the Kickstarter, you can read the story behind the design, and pledge for a lovely reward here.} 

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