By now you’ve probably heard of the whole crowdfunding boom and Kickstarter.com. Essentially, crowdfunding enables folks to raise money for just about anything from a crowd, or community – usually strangers believe it or not. Part of its popularity is due to the fact that crowdfunding presents an easy way for people with great ideas, projects, products, or companies to:
- Raise money on their own terms
- Raise money fast
- Reduce the typical pitch cycle[/one_half]
- Generate buzz and awareness
- Pre-sell and get market validation
- Build a community for your brand or cause[/one_half]
Pebble is a great example of the potential having raised $10, 266,845 which is 102X their ask of $100,000. Ouya is another awesome example of a startup raising almost $9,000,000 on Kickstarter.com, Amanda Palmer, Seth Godin, and Rob Thomas of Veronica Mars fame have all hit it big.
But what does it really take for the average person or company to do so? Let’s take a closer look together…
- Keep it Simple: We all remember grade school and the K.I.S.S. rule. This really holds true for your campaign. Present your project and clearly tell backers why they should support you.
- Sexy Visuals Go a Long Way: You don’t have to spend ten grand making a professionally produced video, use your smartphone to tell your story. If you’re familiar with shooting video and editing, then go for it! This project has a pretty simple video with lots of great photos – simple. On the other side, this project has a pretty cool video.
- It’s All About Rewards: You should spend adequate time researching and coming up with great rewards for backers of your project. You can pre-sell, give cool swag, or just say thanks in a unique way. Whatever it is, make it count. This is what generates excitement for your project and ignites sharing. I like this article on some of the coolest rewards offered on Kickstarter.
- Broadcast Your Message Everywhere: Don’t expect Kickstarter or anyone to do it for you. The most successful campaigns dedicate a significant amount of time to announcing their projects on all channels, to everyone they love, and everyone they know – online and offline. 1 to 1 marketing plays a huge role here, a personal thank you note to each backer gets you mileage you won’t believe. Be active on social media, blogs, email, and of course on your project message board. Create excitement and allure once you’ve started to get backers, think of ways to activate urgency. If you reach your goal fast, don’t give up, shoot for the stars and ramp up your outreach to really kill it!
Finally, here’s a slick online presentation of highlights from the best of the best of 2012. You can get some useful ideas from the leaders themselves. Keep us posted and share your Kickstarter project with us in the comments to this post or on our Facebook page.