Kickstarter Campaign Update for “Celebrating Mom & Pop Shops Across America”

Posted on September 11, 2012

We’re two weeks into our campaign with Little Independent and working towards creating an awesome coffee table book via Kickstarter. Some quick lessons learned are:

– Launching over the holiday weekend was most likely not the best idea

– Reaching out via Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook lead to much success

– Active, and daily outreach is a must. Think 5-6 tweets daily, linkedin status updates, project updates, and more.

– Don’t ignore your friends and personal network – email them at the beginning, middle, and end to generate momentum.

The campaign phase with Little Independent includes includes reaching out to bloggers, generating PR, tweeting, and active outreach. All of these items require serious dedication and time and much effort. In the end though, I’m passionate about independent retailers being one myself and I’m so excited to see this project come together! Please support us and/or even spread the word on your personal networks!

Below is a blog post that was featured by Built In Chicago by our client, Lesley Tweedie of Little Independent:

Little Independent was founded in 2010 and launched June 2011. The site is an aggregate marketplace like Amazon, etsy or ebay but all the sellers are brick and mortar retailers. There are bike shops, pet stores, boutiques and toy stores that use it to enhance visibility online, access new customers and sell overstock and discounted items more quickly.

We’ve been working to add content and there are now 83 stores in 20 states. Here is what the Next Web said about the site:

“Little Independent is the perfect marriage between online and traditional commerce, and if it continues to grow, it has the potential to become an incredibly useful directory of indie stores around the US, and possibly, the world.”

That’s incredibly kind but, with limited resources, the site has yet to reach a wide enough audience to reach its full potential. That’s where Built in Chicago and Kickstarter come in.

A few months ago I added a job post to the Co-Founder category on Built in Chicago. The response was amazing and I interviewed ten people for the role. I asked each of the candidates to let me know if there was marketing a project they’d like to collaborate on to see if we’d be a good fit to partner on growing the company.

It was through this process that I met Aalap Shah of SoMe, which is a social media marketing company. Aalap is passionate about helping small businesses achieve their sales goals and he used to own a toy store so he understands what it’s like to be a shopkeeper. One of Aalap’s specialties is Kickstarter so we decided to launch a project called “Celebrating Mom & Pop Shops Across America.”

The goal of the project is to raise $7,500 to spotlight a variety of shops in an engaging coffee table book. We intend to share retailers’ and small business advocates’ thoughts on the past, present and future of independent retail. Beyond the book, we’re excited to leverage Kickstarter to spread the word about Little Independent. We’ve already seen an increase in traffic to the site and a lot of social media buzz around the project.

Even if we don’t reach our goal, I’ll consider the project a success. Of course, I’d rather we did reach it so… please check out the project, watch our video, and if you like what you see, support it and share. Thanks so much!

Lesley Tweedie, Founder

Little Independent