Why I was wrong about Patreon and why you are failing at Kickstarter

Hey all,

Okay this one on the surface may look irrelevant to you, but I think there's some really juicy stuff in here that is important to anyone looking to make someone "want" whatever it is they are selling/promoting etc.

So let's get into it. First off, I put my hand up. I didn't give patreon it's due. Now I know why, and we'll get to that, but hand up high, mea culpa, I thought it was garbage.

On the flip side, I "got" kickstarter straight away. 

Now if you don't know what either of these(and if you do skip a paragraph here) are, well let's clear that up before we go any further. Patreon is a platform that allows you to financially support creators and their projects via regular donations. Kickstarter is a dragon's den style concept where a project gets pitched and has a set amount of time to gain backers, and if the target isn't reached in the time allotted, they get nada. Got it? Okay let's move on.

So both platforms have some great things in common. Both are great ways for creators to cut out the middleman and go straight to the market to test out the viability of their ideas. Creators of everything from watches to comic books have gotten very rich off these platforms IF they have been able to use them right...but how to do it is a frequent question asked by plenty of talented people who have struggled to find success with either.

A few years back while running DOT Comics, I ran a successful kickstarter for a project. I got that platform pretty quickly and was able to use it  to galvanise a supporter base who financially backed the project to fruition.

So I'm pretty happy to speak confidently as to how to run a successful kickstarter campaign based on first hand experience with the platform.

But then on the flip side, I got patreon totally wrong, and at the time I probably missed a golden opportunity.  There were probably thousands of euros left on the table at the time due to my inability to see it for what it truly was and is.

For me, in hindsight both platforms are essentially the same thing- they are platforms for giving.

Now if you read that as "a platform for giving to projects" or "platform for giving to creators", well you've taken me up wrong. 

You see, they are both platforms for you, the creator or company to give, not the other way around.

And in the above sentence lies the answer as to why I got patreon so badly wrong. You see,  when I initially looked at projects using it, all I could see was people with their hand out looking for the public's money. Sure, there were token gestures, but it was clear as day for all to see, the hand was out. 

So I rather quickly brushed it aside as a platform of merit based upon my observations that it was being used merely as a way to take. Kickstarter, on the other hand was far more interactive and allowed people to give their money to projects they believed in and in return would get a look in behind the curtain so to speak.

What I failed to see at the time, was patreon could also be used in this way, it just wasn't be used correctly by the ones I had observed. At the same time, yes I and others were having success with kickstarter, but many, many projects were failing to get to grips with it.

I've a keen interest in both platforms and my opinions and insights on both are constantly evolving. Where I stand right now, is that I see no reason why both cannot be used by creators and projects to create a sustainable model for growing your business or brand, and both are most likely one and the same thing.

This all sounds very top level but doesn't exactly help with the nitty gritty, does it?  

So let's get down to that, let's make reading this practical for you. Oh, if you aren't a creative type and "just" run a business, well good news. You haven't wasted your time reading this far down, this is all gold dust for you too.

First off, say it with me.

Platforms for GIVING.

The onus is on you to give. Give a product the public want. Give an idea they can get behind. Give them incentives to get involved.

I mean sure, in return you'll get their money, but don't focus on that whatsoever. Stay focused on giving to the public and the rest will take care of itself.

So give, give, give. 

"What will I give them?" you may ask. Here's a quick and handy list:

1. Give them you. Most of these campaigns are successful because the public sees one of them make an impassioned plea to get onboard with something, or an excited face proclaiming their project as the next big thing and they get curious. You know what doesn't get that response? Flat, mundane ads. If people wanted to buy a book they'd be on amazon right now and not on kickstarter or patreon. They are there for YOU, so make yourself available to them when they want to learn about YOUR project.

2. Give them access. Show them everything you possibly can about your projects. Tear the curtain down for them. Show them the ups and downs. Document it all on twitter, facebook, youtube and let them know the stakes. If you are passionate about something, chances are other people will be too if you can share your enthusiasm, and while not everyone can do that through personality in a quick flash, chances are if you can spend time sharing more details on why you care or what you are trying to achieve that people will feed off that and in turn be curious and then hopefully supportive.

3. Give them a carrot. Why should someone support you? This is the clever part. What are you offering? What are you GIVING? Easy ones to do are make things limited, so you are giving them the opportunity to get something exclusive. Doing a graphic novel? Give them the chance to get some of the original artwork, or a sketchbook of the pieces not used in the project. Writing a novel? Give them signed scripts or writers notes. Something you can't get your hands on the local book store. Is your product a watch, or a leather purse? Make an exclusive version only available via this platform and give them this opportunity to get their hands on it. If you are clever, it's win win for both parties. You gave them something they wanted, they backed it, and your project is succeeding in return.

4. Give them thanks. If someone shows you support, be sure to thank them. I recently purchased an album on bandcamp and the next day I received a personal email of thanks from the artist. It's a nice, unexpected touch, and he has a fan for life. Do that. Give them a call out of the blue to say thank you. On your next video interview, instead of saying "people", say "people such as..." and give them their due.

5. Give them your word. Don't be wishy washy. If someone backs you, tell them when they can expect what you gave them and be accountable to that deadline. They'll respect you for it.

6. Give them more. They support you. Build on that. Keep up the good work and don't slack off.

All of the above applies to kickstarter, patreon and other crowdfunding platforms. It all also applies to that new software you're launching, the event you are hosting or the  product you are bringing to an exhibition. It's all about giving, and the second you start to take, you start losing them.

If you've any questions, comments or insights, I'd love your thoughts. Hit me up on the social channels @wesellwant and if you enjoyed this read, I think you'd really enjoy The We Sell Want Podcast, which you can get in your podcast player free, just search We Sell Want, and if reading is your thing, please subscribe below to The We Sell Want mailing list where we drop content like this semi-regularly and promise to never spam your inbox. Check both out and hopefully there's value in them, like there hopefully has been in the content above.

Be well,









Why Facebook's latest statement shouldn't scare your business

Well hey there,

I hope you are well. Here, it's a rainy Saturday morning in Dublin and I've a coffee in hand while finishing a website design for a business we work with. But somethings bugging me...

You see, people are panicking. They are scared. 


Because Facebook has made an announcement that has people thinking the party is over.

Facebook will now emphasise person to person content and push down pages on your feed.

This has everyone from businesses to digital marketers very, very worried.

Meanwhile, I'm having a coffee while my 5 year old son watches chipmunks.

All is good.

So, you may ask, why am I not panicked about facebooks proclamation of a dark age for business marketing on facebook?

Well, let's get to the core of it. No B.S.


It isn't meant to be. It's meant to be SOCIAL. Yet far too many businesses use it as a platform to preach. If that's what you are doing, well I guess you should be worried.

But, if you are driving social and using the media to be social, you won't have a problem. If you have a product or business where people are actively engaging, tagging in, promoting your products and y'know, being SOCIAL, you'll be all good.

The other thing is this; facebook will not walk away from the revenue they generate from business marketing.

Not gonna happen.


That's what they made. It was up over 57% from 2015 and the figures are staggering.

So in a nutshell, Zuckerberg & Co. aren't walking away from that any time soon. They'll simply re-adjust the model, to ensure the consumer gets the facebook experience they want while businesses still see value in the platform.

So...bottom line is, double down on being creative and abandon the traditional approach and you won't have a problem.

If you struggle with it, got questions about the statement from facebook or just have an opinion either way, get in touch! Drop a mail, a tweet, whatever...be SOCIAL :-)

Oh, while you're here, can you do me not one but two huge favours?

1. Please, please drop your email address below and subscribe to this blog via the newsletter. Zero spam, just the blog and important updates. Value to you, promise.

2. If you are into podcasts, The We Sell Want Podcast is about to launch and is going to be off the hook. Got some serious guests lined up already from all sorts of industries and it promises to be a fun 30 mins per week for you to listen to. So if you can click on your podcast app and subscribe to The We Sell Want Podcast, it would mean the world to me.

Questions? Holler at me.


Be well,



Are you ready for 2018?

Hey there,

I hope Christmas has been great for you, on a personal and a professional level. 

Now we're all at the stage where it's time to put the mince pies down and begin to look ahead.

What's 2018 got in store for you? 

I'm sure you are like most businesses and will start to formulate your game plan for the next twelve months. I'm also pretty sure, that you recognise you need to keep a close eye on how marketing and advertising is evolving and you have probably made the decision to kick start your business through it.

But where to start? 

Let me point you at some things to get you thinking about how to drive your business in 2018 using technology. 

1. You need to be visual and interesting to your audience(note I didn't say customer).

The world has gone visual. People respond more and more every day to visual cues. Video and voice are now  becoming the way to drive people into your businesses arms. There's many ways to skin that cat. Either through plain ole video, animated content or through carousels or slideshows. If you think just sticking a photograph on facebook is going to do the job, it really won't. Time to get creative and get ahead!

2. Take all your marketing money and put it into facebook.

Seriously. All of it. If that scares you, then put some of it in. But if you are neglecting facebook as a means to get to your customer base, you will lose to your competition in 2018. Why? Because they will do this if they aren't already. 

3. Learn what influencers are and use them.

I'm not talking about mega stars either. There are people in your community, who use your product or a product like it, and proudly advertise it on their social feeds. You need to identify those people and get them through your doors.

4. Have a website that works for you and isn't just a glorified flier.

The sites we've put out in 2017 have been hugely successful for our clients. Why? Because their sites are giving them valuable information. Where is their audience visiting them from? What time of day are people checking out their site? What pages are they visiting? Where are these visitors coming from? Hardcore information that helps them learn and evolve to suit the wants and needs of their customers. If your site isn't doing this for you, you are missing out on the whole benefit of having a website/

5. Get generous.

Give your time to people. Give them your expertise. Give people a reason to be indebted to you or your business. Literally every single time I did something altruistic in 2017 it resulted in something coming back my way. So think about what you can do to help your community and sit back and be amazed as it comes back to re-pay you.


So, there you have it. Five things to think about heading into 2018. The economy looks stable and will hopefully lead to lots of opportunities for you to thrive. As always, if you have any questions, opinions or would like to chat further, I'm here and would be happy to chat with you to help get ahead in 2018. Get in touch!

Happy New Year to you and yours!


If innovation was easy, everyone would be doing it.


Thanks for coming back to check out another blog entry. It's a hectic December for me and hopefully for you, so I'll keep this one short, but hopefully of value to you. Got that coffee? Let's go...

Today I'd like to talk about innovation and it's role in digital marketing.

This year I've sat down with several businesses. Some have gotten excited and opted to roll with us, some haven't but have then made an effort to improve what they do on social media. I'm happy that something productive came from the coffee or Skype call with me and it had value on some level for them, so that's a good thing.

I'll obviously keep a close eye on what they are doing, but also what's going on in their sphere. What's the competition doing? What's their starting point against the competitor?  Most importantly, are they doing anything to really stand out?

The answer is typically no. That's not to be negative on their efforts, it's better to reach some folk via social than no folk. But if you are running a food delivery operation and are up against the Dominos of the market, or feeling the squeeze as online delivery services pinch your footfall little by little each and every week, well innovation is the only legitimate weapon you have to outperform them. 

The good news? It can be done.

A few little tips that can help you once the lightbulb goes off.

1. Timing is everything! Got your big idea? Don't send it out 45 minutes after your competitor has sent their weekly mail or text. Take note and learn their patterns and beat them to the punch.

2. Be Unique. There's nothing unique about static photographs anymore. They'd want to be absolutely phenomenal to catch the eye. Furthermore, facebook and instagram are evolving away from them. Have you adapted yet or are you sharing static images? Is this what the business you compete with is doing? If the answer is yes, get excited. You are in a position to win and win now. If the answer is no and they've evolved to other ways of getting their product across, you need to adapt now and fast.

3. Back yourself. Don't just let out a sigh and accept defeat. Did netflix accept defeat when customers didn't want to have movies mailed to them and instead preferred to walk into stores? No, they took a cold hard look at their opponent and saw a huge hole they hadn't filled and made their move to own digital. Who's the big fish in that market now?

2018 is going to be the year of innovation. Digital marketing is evolving at rocket speed. If you can stay ahead, you stand a huge chance of growing and succeeding. We Sell Want Media wish you every success in the coming year and if innovating seems like a hard task but you feel you absolutely need to push back, get in touch. We'd love to help. 

Whether it's eye catching video content, a cutting edge new website or daily unique social content, 2018 is going to be the year to roll up your sleeves and stake your claim.

Up for the fight? Let's talk.

Have a great week.



"The Customer" is dead. Long live the Brand Ambassador.

Hey, you came back to check out another blog post. Thanks, it means the world to me that you are here again. 

Here in Dublin it's freezing with December snow, so grab a coffee and have a quick read of this while you get warmed up with a latte or hot chocolate. Sorted? Let's go!

Let's take a cold hard look at how you approach making someone want your product.

Media has changed. Marketing has changed. The customer is now firmly in the driving seat and they really do not like being told what they should buy, wear or eat. 

Make no mistake, this generation is in control when it comes to these decisions.

So, with this in mind, take a cold hard look at what you are doing to get sales. 

Want more "customers"? If this is the case, you've already lost my friend.

Things have changed. People hate being "the customer". It's cold, sterile and it feels like a chore to them. 

Yet, some businesses are booming and "the customer" is the reason for this. Let's look at how this is happening(and yes, in a nutshell social media is the answer):

If you are approaching "the customer" as just a wallet, you my friend are missing a tremendous opportunity.  It does not matter what you are selling or what service you are providing, it is not enough to just give it to them. You need to give it to them in a manner that excites them. Get them proud to have aligned themselves with your brand, and they'll proudly tell everyone and anyone on their social media feeds that they ate in your establishment (just look at "cheeky nandos"), bought clothes in your store or visited your venue.

Word of mouth is the single most potent weapon your business can have to compete and grow. If you can get it, you'll win. Hands down, no contest, you will beat your competition. In the era of social media, it's easier than ever to get it, yet 90% of businesses are failing miserably to do this.

So, with that being the way it is, I'm sure you'll want to know how to get it.

A few easy tips(free to you because you're still reading and the coffee is running out) will help get you started on this. If you do ANYTHING to further your business goals next year, at the very least do these.

1. ASK.

It's too easy! Got a customer sat in your restaurant or venue on their phone? Ask them would they like you to take a picture for their instagram. They'll of course want one and will probably post it immediately after you take it. Congratulations, you've just engaged their 1000 friends and it cost you absolutely nothing and guess what, your waiter just earned his tip for being proactive. 

Work in fashion or beauty? ASK can you take a photo of them in your product or with their hair done for your blog or facebook feed as it looks really well on them. Tell them to like your facebook page or instagram and tag them in it. Well done, you just won yourself a free advertisement on their wall and all their friends are going to want that level of fussing over.

Organic, natural word of mouth promotion will do more for your business than anything else will, trust me.


Make it appealing to whoever is in your store or venue to whip out their phone and share it with their world. You need to be clever as your customer is cyncial and jaded to forced approaches, but engage them by rewarding them. Maybe double loyalty points or a free meal to the best snap of the week, there's plenty of ways to approach this. If you get it right, you won't be able to stop the free advertising you'll be getting, nor would you want to!


Sticking a photo on facebook or instagram is not the answer.  Anyone and everyone can do that. You need to be one step ahead of everyone else. In the social age, whoever does it first, wins. Simple. So find innovative ways to get the customer excited about what it is that you do. Struggling to do so? Get in touch. That's what We Sell Want specialise in.

I hope the above provokes some thought for you and gets you thinking about how this approach will really drive your business. The above really is just the tip of the iceberg, so if you'd like a more in depth chat on how to make it work for you, get in touch by dropping us a mail, tweet or be really retro and pick up the telephone and let's chat about how to get people really excited about your business!

Be well.









Why your business has already lost on Black Friday.

Spoiler alert- reading to the end will give you some hope. 

This year I've taken a cold hard look at the madness that is Black Friday outside of the U.S.

In an effort to combat the dent in sales felt by the major online players, European retail businesses have tried to compete by launching their own "Black Friday" deals or even more embarrassingly launched "Black Friday Week" or "Black Week".

On several levels this is a road that leads to ruin. Let's look at why.

1. Amazon & co. have already won the psychological battle.

America and American companies have the proverbial high ground, by nature of being part of the initial drive of the event. Literally every conversation I've had this week has seen people mention "Amazon" within 20 words of "Black Friday"(I did count). Like it or not, that's your starting point. If you think that's a negative, well it's also the starting point of your geographical competitors too. 

2. Doing Black Friday tells your customers not to visit you.

Think about it. You are telling your customers all your deals and value for them will be there for them on Friday. So why would they visit either side of that day? So you will employ staff, stock shelves and wait for customers that aren't going to come all week because your Black Friday promotion has told them not to. You know what they are doing on the 6 days they aren't visiting your store? Browsing online. You've not just lost, you've done it spectacularly.

3. "Black Friday Week" confuses the hell out of your customers.

So you think you can counteract point 2 by having a week long event? You can't. The word "Friday" in "Black Friday Week" is screaming at your customers. It's a red flag telling them subconsciously that the real deal will still be Friday. So even if you manage to get this customer in your door, they will not commit to buying until Friday, no matter how politely you inform them the discount is week long. 

SO....with all that in mind, can you win?

The answer is you certainly can, but it won't be easy. Here's a few tips...

1. Acknowledge the novelty of it.

It's an American tradition linked to thanksgiving. If your business isn't driven by that market, don't act like it is. Play up the novelty of it. Today we rolled out a campaign that lead "Stuffed from all that Thanksgiving Turkey? Of course you aren't..." playing up the madness of non U.S. businesses jumping on the bandwagon. Be yourself.

2. Offer something unique. 

If you go with the standard 10% off and your product is freely available online, you are facing an uphill battle. Instead, offer something unique for the day. Free branded pen with suitcase purchase? Free manicure when you book a hair appointment? Think about what you can reward your customer with that isn't a generic discount. Give them something rather than offer to reduce something.

3. Get an expert in.

If not us, then someone. But get someone who has a flair for thinking outside the box. Someone can make the event work in your favour by hacking the concept. Doing what everyone else is doing is not the way to get ahead. Throwing advertising money at facebook ads or sending out endless mailing list spam won't help you stand out. You need innovation. If you can come up with something, great. But if you can't get in touch. 

I'd love to hear your comments, insights and opinions on it. Get in touch over @wesellwant on the social channels or drop an email to info@wesellwant.com








Your staff are your brand.

Everything I know about business I've learned through two avenues; customers and staff.

Most businesses are purely focused on the customer and neglect the value that is the staff member. If you are the type of business operator that can get your staff to buy in to what your ultimate goal is, well you will be far more likely to win the battle.

The same goes for sports. A good coach will nurture his team and have his team prepared to go the extra mile for the cause. Sure, we've all seen the coach or CEO who can give the famed "hairdryer treatment" to his troops and succeed, but ultimately those gains are short lived and will exhaust the motivation of the people it is aimed at.

The real, long term gain for your project or business will be the buy in, and it's not as easy to get as you'd hope.

Time to come clean. You won't find all the answers to it in this short little blog. But hopefully, this will get you thinking along the path to finding them for yourself, after all the buy in will be unique to your business, brand and your personalities- both yours and theirs.

So I'll speak on the matter from experience, and I've done it wrongly and I'd like to think in recent years I've done it a bit better than that when left to do it how I think it should be done. In recent years, whether it was as business manager of a high quality leisure complex, coach of a plucky team of underdog football players or as the person behind this upstart social media business, I've applied the following with great success. So here goes...


Nobody feels valued if kept in the dark. Why should they? Would you care? Experience has taught me that people perform better when they know what's at stake. Tell your team you need a target to grow the business. Let them know what is needed for your project or task to be successful. 


Your team will be more inclined to go that extra mile if they feel they can be the hero. Rather than just assign tasks, tell them how they can use their particular strengths to help achieve success. 


You know what kills performance? Micro-management. If you have to micro-manage, that's a failing on your part before the project even began. So have a little faith in yourself that you already made the right decisions and let the staff get on with doing what you have trusted them to do. If you've hired well and motivated well, they'll thrive when given the chance.


By following the 3 steps, hopefully step 4 is a good one! If it is, sit the team down, either individually or collectively and assess performance. Don't use plurals, let them own the praise as well as the project! Use "you" and not "we" when giving praise about things they did well. Tell them the result of the success "because you were able to close that sale, we can now focus on growing in market x" or whatever is relevant to the outcome of the result.


You now have the staff optimised due to the way you trusted them to perform. Build on it. Give them a little more responsibility or call them in and ask for their opinions on next steps. If what they suggest isn't an option, explain to them your thinking as to why, but thank them for approaching it in the way they did.

Ultimately, a high performing and motivated staff will represent your brand more than any advertisement ever will. You have already hired them, now let them represent your brand and be amazed at how that will transform your business.


I'm all about dialogue, so let me know your thoughts, good, bad or indifferent. Hit me up on the social channels @wesellwant or @darrinotoole and if you liked it, sharing is caring :-)




Look upon my works ye mighty...

Thanks for dropping by. We Sell Want is here and our aim is to help the little guy dominate in the digital era. The big guys don't get it yet. If you are a small business owner, you have a huge opportunity right now to leapfrog the big businesses who mistakenly think their brand will protect them from where the internet is going. 

It won't.

You see, the public are plugged in now. They buy, watch, review, talk and even date online. People want convenience and it is typically right in their pocket on their smartphones. They don't go, they google. Facebook is the new hub for life. The consumer is not in the store, they are in the digital domain, yet that is where businesses are refusing to go.

Digital is the new real estate. It's the new bricks and mortar. You, as a business owner or brand simply need to be there. Go, get online now and most importantly don't bring baggage. 

It's the era of innovation. 

If this makes you apprehensive, you aren't alone. But he who hesitates is lost.  That's where We Sell Want Media comes in. We can take your product, service or brand and get it into areas your competition hasn't gone but your customer base has. We can do this at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising and marketing, an area where traditionally the small business simply could not compete with the bigger fish. Well, the good news is those days are gone. This is your time to take a fresh approach and leapfrog the competition and we are here to help.

We're not an old school sales agency. We're the new guy. We're small. We get it. If you want to dip your toe into the online world, let us help you do it.

Drop us an email to info@wesellwant.com and we'll arrange a friendly chat and we can give examples of what we are already doing to help businesses just like yours succeed online. Sales are booming, visitors are returning and advertising expenses are down for the clients we handle.  

It's the era of innovation, but every day is a chance for your competition to leapfrog you if you hesitate to get your online presence out to your customers.

Not sure yet?Okay, I get it. Keep an eye on this blog, have a listen to our podcast. We'll put this all out there free for you to get up to speed with what's going on and how it's helping customers WANT the products of businesses online, and that's ultimately what we can sell to you, your customers WANT.

Thanks for reading. Any questions? Reach out!

Darrin O'Toole