nudemarket’s successful crowdfunding campaign taught its founder about more than raising capital
By ATB Financial 1 December 2020 5 min read
In June 2018, Margaret Taylor was tired of driving all around Calgary hunting for sustainable necessities.
“I was finding it really difficult to find sustainable products for my family,” says Taylor, who aims to align her daily living to her values of sustainability, health, community and supporting the local economy. All the driving was starting to feel really counterproductive.
“I wanted to build the [nudemarket] brand awareness and do some primary consumer research by selling peanut butter because I knew eventually I’d have nut grinders in my store. But the peanut butter really grew into its own thing,” says Taylor.
Nudefood peanut butter is a natural alternative to processed peanut butters. It has no additives, sugars or oils. The butters are sold in glass jars too, so customers can reuse them at home, recycle them or return them to Taylor to be sterilized and reused.
After a year spent selling her peanut butter in farmer’s markets, Taylor found a distributor that landed nudefood in grocery stores. With distribution in place and sales steadily growing, she was ready to take nudefood to the next level. What she didn’t realize was how a simple crowdfunding campaign was going to teach her valuable lessons about investing in marketing, the importance of developing internal processes for her business, and how to effectively delegate.
nudefood’s crowdfunding journey
As a longtime ATB customer, Taylor had heard about programs like the ATB X Accelerator, a crowdsounded, growth focused program for Alberta businesses. She applied, got in and completed the program, which helped her plan the next phases of growth for nudefood.
“ATB has always been really good at showing me opportunities to help my business grow,” says Taylor. “When I completed the ATB X program, the team mentioned [Build Her Business through ATB Boostr] would be a good next step.”
Statistics show that women, on average, outperform men when it comes to crowdfunding. According to PwC Consulting, compared to men, women are 32% more successful in reaching their target and tend to pull in a higher average pledge amount.
How nudefood raised 105% of its crowdfunding goal
Taylor had thought about doing some kind of Kickstarter program before but hadn’t had time to explore it fully.
“I knew I wanted to focus on building brand awareness and crowdfunding felt like a natural move and a really great opportunity,” she says.
ATB Boostr appealed to her because it aligned with her value of being engaged with her local community and supporting the local economy.
“I really felt like ATB’s values aligned with mine. It was about more than this idea that I’m raising money. It’s also building community,” she says.
For her campaign, Taylor set a goal of $5,000 and offered her four different flavours of peanut butters plus a combo pack as options to buy in her campaign. She also collected donations from local businesses to offer as other rewards as a way to reinforce her community connections.
With that in place, Taylor mapped out a day-by-day plan for how she was going to support the campaign with social media content and in-store activities. To prepare, she booked 10 photoshoots the month before launch and hired a local company to produce a video about nudefood.
Quickly, Taylor realized she needed help to successfully run the campaign while also managing the rest of her business.
"“I hired an intern to support the social media management and coordination of the campaign. This was a big step—a huge leap—for me,” she says. “I had to learn how to train someone else, support her success and manage her.” "
founder of nudemarket
The leap paid off. While her intern managed social media—which included three posts a day on both Instagram and Facebook—Taylor continued to do in-store tastings of nudefood peanut butter and raise more awareness.
Sales through the campaign came in steadily and two days before it wrapped, Taylor hit her goal of $5,000.
“Even though raising money was one of the secondary reasons I did it, it felt good when I reached that milestone. I really felt like I achieved something,” she says.
The crowdfunding campaign did so much more for Taylor and her business than simply raise money and build brand awareness, she says.
“It made me develop my internal processes and assets. While it was a steep learning curve, it was stuff I would never have made a priority. I understand the value of creating processes to hand off tasks. We now have a sales process, a marketing process and a process for producing the peanut butter so other people can do it,” she says.
The process also contributed to her growth as a leader.
“I learned how to ask for what I want. How to understand what I need and how to hire someone to help with that. I learned how to let go of things and trust that other people are getting those tasks done well,” she says.
nudefood founder’s three tips for crowdfunding
For those considering crowdfunding campaigns of their own, Taylor says it’s important to have a plan, get support and don’t take on too much.
1 Set a goal and support that goal with a plan.
“Set a goal, so you know what success looks like and know why you’re doing it,” says Taylor. “Then build a workback plan so you can work towards that goal then you won’t feel overwhelmed. I think it's really important to create a framework for where you want to be.”
2 Don’t do it all on your own.
“If that means hiring and investing in someone that knows more than you do about one aspect of your business, then do it. For me, it was hiring someone for social media management. But maybe you’re amazing at social media and you want to keep doing that, so hire someone else to do the things you’re not doing when your time is spent on social media,” she says. This idea also extends to hiring other professionals to help you create assets for your campaign, like Taylor did with photography and video production.
3 Know your capacity.
Lastly, Taylor says it’s important to know what you can achieve each day and be easy on yourself if you can’t or don’t do everything.
“It’s about time management, but it’s also about not holding the whole world in your hands at once. Be really realistic about what you can achieve with your goals,” she says.
For female entrepreneurs, Taylor says they should look to surround themselves with a community that lifts them up. She has a circle of about five female entrepreneurs that she turns to not only for technical questions but also for when she’s stressed out and needs to vent. “It’s a harder climb for female entrepreneurs. Women have to work harder to find equal success,” she says. “We are few, but we are mighty and we can do a lot for each other.”