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Shireen Qudosi

Kickstarter-Inspired Marketing Tips

Aug 09 2012, 04:36 PM by

They say success takes time and is built brick by brick. Maybe those people didn’t have crowd-funding to support truly creative ideas. Kickstarter does.

Kickstarter focuses on connecting founders with the right crowd to fund their various projects. It’s a capital building nexus that benefits Kickstarter by allowing them to earn a small fee for building the digital bridge between idea and realization. Possibly an idea before its time, Kickstarter only more recently gained monumental visibility. Could it be that a social shift toward crowdsourcing acceptability made it less foreign for people to invest in crowdsourced ideas? Or perhaps it has something to do with the recent mega success of startup funders who are now reaping millions for a mere $100 investment years ago?
What Successful Kickstarter Campaigns Have in Common
All Kickstarter campaigns speak to a “tribe.” Inspired by Seth Godin, “tribes” are the group of people you have influence over. It could be influence, it could be networked contacts, similar interests – whatever the case, they’re a part of your “tribe.”

Kickstarter campaigns don’t just reach out to the average Joe. Sure, if a campaign attracts viral attention then Joe down the street is likely to take an interest. Before that can happen though, the campaign reaches to people in your network that you already know, and who already know and trust you.

All campaigns also have a clearly defined goal. They set the amount they’d like to raise, which includes explaining the process and justifying the cost. Above all, all campaigns offer a reward. Rewards are required. They’re the proverbial carrots that get people to act, because good deeds and worthwhile projects alone are rarely enough. People need to be made aware of the benefit that awaits them if they act.

In the same way, any product or service you offer would benefit from a Kickstarter filter. Evaluate your product or service in the same. Do you have a tribe that would be interested in it? If you don’t, consider your target audience. If you do, consider how you’ll reach out to them. And if you already have an well sourced tribe, then always keep thinking of how you can grow and expand that group.

Next consider your goal. What is the end result you want to achieve? Do you want to help people and make a profit? If so, consider how you’re going to help them, how you’re going to convince them to let you help them, and where your profit margin comes in. This effort is steadily fueled by offering folks a benefit. Let people know of the reward that awaits them if they opt for your service/product.

Like all successful Kickstarter campaigns demonstrate, supporters need to be reminded of the project. Campaigners will send project updates and other email campaigns, which is the same thing small businesses need to be doing regardless of whether or not they’ve closed the deal. Past, present and future clients all need to be reminded of your business' existence and worth.
How KickStarter Has Helped Small Business Owners
Select entrepreneurs who lacked funding to launch their product have relied on KickStarter’s donor status to help collect funds. Bypassing traditional business loans that are subject to scrutiny, filing schedules, interests and eventual paybacks – small business owners are attracting investors who may have a personal interest in the project based on industry or goal. The “donation” creates a source of funding and funders are treated like “donors,” with the money being treated as a gift rather than a loan.

Another option based on highly successful Kickstarter projects centers on offering backers your expertise in exchange for funding support. Going beyond altruism, funders get expertise or insider access at a fraction of the cost it would otherwise require them to pay; in return, business owners get their projects backed and often see spikes in their following and readership.

Posted in Tips & Resources, Online Tools and Applications

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