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Posts Tagged ‘Kickstarter’

Dear FOX,

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016
Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 9.07.22 PM

The weirdest email I’ve ever received–that was legit, anyway.

Last night, you contacted me through a casting agency to appear possibly on your new TV show taping this summer, Superhuman.

First off, not only was this probably the weirdest legitimate email I’ve ever received, but I’m flattered.  I’m also impressed you found me through Kickstarter and the #STEMPrincess project.  Finding talent through projects that actually matter is commendable, and rare in reality TV shows these days.  Thank you for making my evening!  Truly, I’m humbled.

However, I really don’t have any dazzling, instantly visible talent.  I can’t memorize a line of chess pieces in order, or bend through lasers, or cook.  What I can do probably doesn’t make great TV.

Here’s what I can do, which probably makes terrible TV: I work basically 2 jobs right now (as site based faculty–at a college of pharmacy a couple of days a week, and at a site a couple of days a week), and I run two of my own companies.  I’ve published 11 books – on my own, without a publishing house to back me up or give me fancy advances to write them.  I’m single. I don’t have anyone else to rely on for my income and livelihood, so guess what? I get to hustle on my own. I’m often working late at night or on weekends.  I also read a lot of books, and listen to podcasts.

All this = BAD TV.

While I’m thrilled you’re actually looking for sharp talent these days, I think you might want to consider adding a show about real women out here busting our *&*!s and trying to hustle our way through our careers and lives.  Work is changing. I want to see more women on TV actually busting through the new way of work and getting to success in their own individual ways.  THAT would truly be a Superhuman show I’d want to see.

Thanks for your consideration and offer.  But writing a book or working hard probably isn’t sexy enough.

Sincerely,

e

PS – here are some other TV shows I’d love to watch!

The Big Idea: Crowdfunding 101

Thursday, March 5th, 2015
winloss

Kickstarter win on left, loss on right

Forgive me for not posting much this week.  It’s literally been March Madness around here.  Spring break at the day job is next week, and I’m heading to ASAE’s Great Ideas Conference for a couple of days – so I’m trying to plan ahead instead of suffering from the post-meeting blues when I return to the office after Orlando next week.  I’ve never been to an ASAE meeting before, so I’m pumped.

So, a while ago, the people over at Launch Fishers asked me to think about ways to support more women entrepreneurs in the community, I thought of this panel discussion. Today, they posted the event registration site for the 3/31 March madness program we’re having called Crowdfunding 101.  I’ve seen some other crowdfunding training locally, but rarely if at all with entrepreneurs who have actually EXECUTED a crowdfunding campaign or two.  Luckily, I know a few women entrepreneurs locally who have done this, including myself, and:

Now, I’m eager to learn more about successful crowdfunding at this event myself.  I’m batting 50% right now in this arena – my peeps successfully funded one project on Kickstarter, and I failed epically at a second campaign for the second STEM Princess book, (which I’m working on now anyway).  Happily, I get to ask the questions of the panelist, and ask away I will…

It’s been documented that raising VC and Angel funding is next to impossible for women business owners (because, candidly, it’s still a boys’ club).  BUT, women actually have been more successful than men in crowdfunding money at Kickstarter and Indiegogo – yay!  Funding is the one thing that’s holding a lot of women business owners back from growing their businesses in big ways.

So, I hope if nothing else, you’d consider funding a woman owned business with a cool project over at Kickstarter or Indiegogo (and it had better be more significant than potato salad–I’m not even going to link to that campaign)…or better yet, come to this event and learn how to successfully crowdfund your own campaign–and stretch your knowledge a bit further in terms of financial independence.

That’s March Madness that I can get behind…!

A Few of My Favorite Things…in 2014

Saturday, December 13th, 2014

As I’ve previously stated, 2014 was not my best year.  However, there were a few magical moments in it.  In an effort to record what those were, below I throw down a few of my own favorite things that I either discovered, read, or found in 2014.  These may not be new to the rest of the universe, but they were new to me this year, for the most part…

A Few of My Favorite Things in 2014:

Favorite new cityBilbao, Spain.  Best blend of the old and new I’ve ever witnessed in a city. Seriously, I can’t shut up about how cool this town is…if you ever get to go, GO!

Fave new social media platform – Props to YikYak.  God bless all the college students who use it to perfect their jokes and praise when it comes to college life.

Fave book – of my own? Easy. STEM Princess.  Of someone else’s? Hmm…I’d need to go with The Alliance by Reid Hoffman.  Not so much for the riveting stories or grammar, but because in this book, he’s marking a new trend which I think is going to be one, if not THE key to the future of work: affiliative work.  If you haven’t read this one and like to learn about trends before the rest of the universe, read it.  He’s on to something.

Fave projectCarrying on the #SMDames brand.  I think we’ve done a good job in establishing this brand unique to Indiana.  And while I’ve loved being a co-founder and starter of this project, I will not be participating as a planner in 2015 and beyond.  It has been an honor working with the amazing social media whiz herself, Ms. Amy Stark on this project, and I’m glad she’ll be carrying this brand’s torch forward in 2015 and beyond…it’s in good hands.  I also had the chance to start BU Well at work – I think that’s going to be a goodie for 2015. Stay. Tuned.

Fave changing of the guard – Easy. David Muir taking over the news desk at ABC.  You already know this if you follow me on Faceplace – lol! Seriously – dig their 1:30 minute face casts.  Brilliant.  It’s the one thing that may keep me on Facebook in 2015.

Fave training for the year – Tough call, and a tie here.  It’s between Mayo Clinic’s Social Media Residency and the ACE Women’s Leadership Forum.  Both were good, for different reasons.

Fave STEM areaQuantum physics – Working on STEM Princess this year got me beyond my four walls of science and forced me to learn more about ALL the areas of STEM.  And while computer science and engineering are the big pushes, props to quantum physics for being both the most fascinating and enigmatic areas of STEM for me personally.  That, and I still want. A. Teleporter!  Get on it, girls!

Fave talk of the year – Wow. This one is tough.  I really enjoyed talking about STEM at several venues this past year–at TechFest in Ft. Wayne, at an Indy Chamber panel, at Centric Indy, and Rotary in Indy as just a few examples.  There were also some awesome work talks too–social media, and why pharmacy students need to be involved in advocacy.  But I think my favorite talk this year wasn’t really a talk–it was a workshop.  A workshop on how to write books.  I loved this one the most, because I can help empower OTHER people to share their stories.  It’s just me if I’m writing a book.  But if I’m sharing how to write with others, the impact magnifies.  Shout out to NaShara Mitchell over at Studio B for making this one happen for the Indy community.

Fave failure – let’s end on a humbling note, shall we?  There are a LOT here to choose from (mountains, literally), but I’d have to say my favorite failure this year was Kickstarter campaign #2 for STEM Princess. Although, I’m not totally sure classifying this as a failure is entirely accurate…because it will not deter me from continuing the books along the STEM Princess story lines…

Let’s see what 2015 brings!

Social Media Dames (#SMDames14 #Indy #FAIL): The Results Are In!

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

I was a pretty good kid today and got most of my homework done.  So, I wanted to put a post out from results of our exit survey from #SMDames14 #Indy #FAIL – because I’m a data nerd. Like. That! I have two slides for you.

Social Media Dames Unconference Indy FAIL 11/20/14 Exit Survey Data on Social Media Platforms from Erin Albert
The first one above is merely a polling of the audience about what they are already using in terms of social media platforms, those that they were willing to try now after the conference, and those they just haven’t decided to play in quite yet.  It’s fascinating to me why people choose what social media platforms to play in. Take for example the new college phenomenon, Yik Yak.  The women from Dames aren’t really going to use or try that platform; however, I know the college set is flocking to it, Instagram and Snapchat like the holy trinity. FASCINATING!
Now, the second slide, which looks specifically at crowdfunding:

Social Media Dames Unconference 2014 Indy FAIL 11/20/14 – Exit Survey on Crowdfunding platforms used from Erin Albert
It appears that Indiegogo may have the corner on the market with our audience, but I find it interesting that many women won’t even be “going” towards crowdfunding.  Sad, considering that this method of raising funds for business and projects is a place where women entrepreneurs actually beat the boys in many cases.  And, honestly, I myself never even heard of Plum until this conference, and I’ve now chugged through 2 crowdfunding campaigns of my own (1 success, 1 failure).
What did I learn from all this?  Well, the same problem I find with most new items I learn about–I just have more questions.  But that’s OK.  In the interim, enjoy this data – and think about your own social media policies.  Where are you going to play? Where are you not going online, and most fascinating of all–WHY are you making the choices and decisions you are making in the first place?

You asked. I deliver.

Monday, September 15th, 2014

The #1 question I’ve had all year:

“Albert – WHEN are you going to write book 2 for the #STEMPrincess project?”

Answer:

Now.

Let’s do this.

#STEMPrincess2 will run until Rocktober 24th.

Do I have some fun surprises planned?  Absolutely.

I can’t NOT do this.  This needs to be done.  When it comes to STEM and girls, we still have a LOT of work to do.

I hope you’ll join me in the effort to help girls get on board with STEM.  After all, our future depends on it.

International Children’s Book Day: STEMified

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Who knew April 2 was International Children’s Book Day? Since 1967?

I certainly didn’t.

But the folks at Indiana First did.  In fact, they featured The Amazing Adventures of the Princesses from Planet STEM in honor of the day on their blog today – yay!

Indiana First is all about Robotics, which is a huge area of STEM growth in the future and even now.  We even have a robotics princess in the book–Ruby!

Regardless of STEM, I love that there is a day dedicated to children’s books.  If you are lucky enough to have a kiddo or two in your life, take them to the library today.  Or a bookstore.  Or best of all–read to them.  Hans would love that – and so would I!

The Amazing Adventures of the Princesses from Planet STEM: Social Media and Press Roundup II

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

TheAmazingAdventuresofthePrincessesFromPlanetSTEM

Wow.  I could barely keep up with all the amazing press on STEM education and the #STEMPrincess project last week.  Let’s do another social media and web roundup here, ready?

1. The book-book is available (and ONLY available) here.
The Kindle ebook is available at Amazon.

2. First, all the Kickstarter campaign info and press around the project last fall is here.  The wrap up thank you video for all on the Kickstarter campaign is here.

3. This time, the #STEMPrincess press release is on Slideshare, here.

4. Thanks to Pure Geekery, who picked up our article on the project and posted at their site.

5.  A blog post regarding International Children’s Book Day with Indiana First.

6. A write up by the Ft. Wayne Journal Gazette on my slightly intimidating Keynote discussion at #TechFest14 to 300+ high school students as they competed for technical mastery on Friday March 14th is here.  My slides from the keynote talk are here.

7. Apparently, NPR also followed the STEM Panel discussion the Indy Chamber had in Indianapolis on March 13th, and the article with quotes from yours truly is here.  It was truly an honor to be a speaker on the all-star lineup of STEM education experts at the Indy Chamber this past week – with colleagues from IUPUI, Project Lead the Way, Roche Diagnostics, and Eli Lilly and Company Foundation.  (I enjoyed being the red-headed stepchild of the panel!)

8. Best unsolicited commercial on the book is here at Instagram by Sheryl of Successful Women Made Here.  (Seriously, this one made my day!)  Backers have been posting pictures at Facebook, Instagram and Twitter all week.  One of my favorite surprises–is that the BOYS love this book too! WOOT!  If you post, don’t forget to use the official hash tag – #STEMPrincess.

9. I officially delivered 19 boxes of donated #STEMPrincess books at no cost to the state of Indiana on Wednesday this past week.  The pile of ‘em is at my instagram feed, here.  To the backers: THANK YOU FOR HELPING ME MAKE THIS HAPPEN!

10. Last but certainly not least, I’m on Inside Indiana Business this week with my work colleague and pal, Stephanie Fernhaber, discussing education and entrepreneurship for life science majors and women entrepreneurs–link to the show will be here.

That’s the first of hopefully many more to come.  And although books are literally flying out of my boxes and being sold rapidly, I LOVE that most of all, we’re ALL talking about STEM education for our kiddos.  THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT CONVERSATION OF ALL!!!!!

The Amazing Adventures of the Princesses from Planet STEM

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

stemp1 stemp2 stemp3 stemp4

Friends, as I shared with you this past weekend, the books are HERE!!!!

The Amazing Adventures of the Princesses from Planet STEM is FINALLY in print!  Yesterday, I burned a vacation day–received the books, then autographed and got them into mailers for the backers of the project at Kickstarter last fall.  They get theirs first, since they were good to me on this project – couldn’t have done it without them!

While I’m exhausted, I’m so thrilled that this is finally coming full circle for the girls of Indiana and everywhere.  We NEED MORE TOOLS AND GAMES AND TOYS FOR GIRLS TO GET EXCITED ABOUT STEM!!!!

If you backed – watch your mail – the books are heading your way!

The Circle of Crowdfunding: The End Could Be a Better Beginning

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

I’ve been a little quiet lately…for several reasons.  First, it’s spring break here at the campus next week, but that doesn’t really mean a break for this one.  I have a couple of talks I need to give, and…I need to shuffle some books.

Yes, the #STEMPrincess project is finally coming full circle – the books are hitting Chez Dr. A next week!

But, as I embark on the end of the beginning of this book, I wonder–could the crowdfunding platforms be doing MORE here to support those who actually got funded on their site?

Namely, the following:

1. I’d really like to see a “happily ever after” section of Kickstarter, Indiegogo, etc., when the products people actually got funded were online at their site, in a separate section, with a place to PURCHASE the goodies.  Those who missed the campaign maybe still want to buy the product.  But right now, there’s not much at these sites to extol to the world that the project has gone full circle, other than “updates.”  Even an update widget on the side of the homepage would be better than having to click over to the updates side of the site.

2.  Better yet – why not a Kickstarter store? Couldn’t the K and I etc. partner with Square and offer an easy ecommerce site to put our wares on so that people can see the campaign and then BUY the product right there?

3.  Part two to the project as an add on – Here’s my latest problem.  Postage rates went up between last fall and this spring, so now I need to come up with an additional $600 to ship books across the state just for POSTAGE.  Why oh why, Kickstarter, can’t I reopen my project and do a round 2 on funding so I can get these books shipped?

4.  PR made easy – Again, other than the “updates” section, could we get a little space on the homepage to share where the project actually is so when people land on the homepage and watch the video, they can instantly know where the project is other than “funded” or not?

Ah, as a maximizer on Strengthsfinder, I feel a little better after this post.  I certainly hope the founders of these crowdfunding sites know that, while we all appreciate them as scrappy little dreamers with a few creative ideas and tenacity, there is always, always ALWAYS room for improvement.

5 Things to Do Post-Kickstarter Campaign

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

If you decide that you want to run a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign of your own, you’ll quickly find that there are about a bajillion articles and books out there on how to do it.  I think I may have read about 25% of the bajillion.  But, now that the campaign is over, I wanted to share 5 more quick tips to help the next group of peeps get it right – at the end of your campaigns.  Here goes.

5 Things to be Aware of Post Kickstarter Campaign:

1. Thank your backers first, then those who supported it – I did it video style, and I’m not sure that’s the best way to thank everyone who assisted and backed this project, but it’s important to do it frequently and regularly, especially near the end.  I even tried to list everyone on Twitter who RT’d the project.  I had over 530 shares on Facebook, but I couldn’t track those.  I’ll take this a step further by saying you need to have the backer & supporter list handy for #2…which is…

2. Remember who had your back, and who didn’t – If you get successfully funded on Kickstarter, you’ll note that people will start coming out of the woodwork to pat you on the back (which of course is cool), but they’ll also ask you for a lot of favors and answers to their questions, and may ask you to post on their projects.

Be careful with this, and keep in mind who’s asking you for the favors, and who actually backed your project.  I’ve found that those who ask for the most favors, information, and 411 on the project are those who supported my project least, if at all.  While I’m happy to share what I learned with everyone, I have my limits, especially for those who are free wave riders (i.e. jump on your bandwagon only when you’re successful and magically disappear the second you have a bad day) and informational vampires (i.e., tell me everything you know, and I won’t give you anything in return).  Don’t let ‘em suck you dry!

On the other hand, if someone had your back big time and asks for a favor – it’s time to help ‘em out!

3. After you’re done thanking, shut up on social media and quit asking - We each have something called ‘social capital’–both online and offline.  I’m here to say–after drilling and pounding your network for 30-60 days to consider funding your project, the last thing you want to do is keep asking them for more favors after the Kickstarter campaign is done.  Do yourself a favor: shut up on social media with asking.  DO NOT keep asking your network for favors or money.  You need to restore your juice in social capital land, just like you were left with one life on Super Mario Brothers.  You need to stop asking, and give back and give your network a rest.  Restore your social capital (and your sanity) by ceasing for awhile.  Besides, if you did the Kickstarter campaign right, you’ll be so sick of posting about your project at the end that you’ll WANT to stop asking!

4. The others were right – you’ll be surprised who actually funds you – The majority of my backers were from personal asks.  However, there were people I was positive would back me who didn’t, and there were total strangers who had my back in my campaign.  Many others before me have written about the surprising list of backers at the end, and I have to agree with them now that my own campaign is done–you’ll be surprised too, methinks.

5. Underpromise, overdeliver - This is true for all of life, not just Kickstarter.  If you say you’re going to do something, you need to do it.  Conversely, if your project is too new or not yet finished (like mine), then you need to be very careful about what you promise.  I already have several requests for bulk book orders, and I’m only 85% finished with the book!  But, you have to follow up when you do have the info, period.  It’s great to be loved and supported – but you have to honor those who had your back by delivering to them what you promised.

That’s a decent wrap-up list.  I’m sure there are other things I’ve forgotten, and I’m no expert when it comes to Kickstarter, but I didn’t see a lot of “what to do after you successfully fund your Kickstarter campaign” stuff out there in the 25% of the bajillion articles I read…