C-Loop Camera Mount: How to use blogs to build momentum for your campaign.

C-Loop Camera Mount: How to use blogs to build momentum for your campaign.
In November of 2010 the team at Custom SLR launched the C-Loop Camera Mount. Having never launched a project before they quickly realized that their friends and family would not be enough to fund their project.

They got to work making lists of blogs and websites they thought might be interested in their project. Starting with smaller sites they worked their way up to bigger blogs. Eventually it was picked up by Engadge and their project took off.

Capture Camera Clip System: The perfect mix of product and passion.

Capture Camera Clip System: The perfect mix of product and passion.
In May of 2011 Peter Dering launched a wildly successful design project to being production on his Capture Clip System. In this interview we talk about how a single tweet from someone on twitter sent his project skyrocketing.

More then just a cool product, Peter’s project shows us what happens when someone who loves what they are doing shares their idea with the world. He put in A LOT of up front work but it all paid off in the end.

24 Hours At The South Street Diner with Melissa Dowler

24 Hours At The South Street Diner with Melissa Dowler
In May of 2011 Tom and Melissa Dowler set out to make a documentary film about Boston’s only 24 hour restaurant The South Street Dinner. I recently sat down with Melissa to talk about her Kickstarter experience.

They were able to get the project covered by local media, but it wasn’t quite as effective as they thought. We also talked about how they made their project more interesting by shooting on location for 24 hours, and the importance of showing credibility.

Raising 2.2M for charity with AJ Leon

In the summer of 2012 AJ Leon and his band of professional troublemakers helped the NGO Water Aid raise 2.2M£ to bring clean drinking water to remote villages in Malawi. This goes way beyond what most Kickstarter’s face when trying to raise funds for their creative projects. Thats exactly why I invited AJ on to talk about his experiences.

AJ talked about all the work they did before the campaign to make sure it would be successful out of the gate. He talked about doing things that are BLOD and how to deal with the down periods of your campaign. Over all AJ had some great insights that we can use on our own crowd-funding project.

P.S. AJ recently release a manifest called The Life and Times of a Remarkable Misfit which he talks about in the program. It is excellent and has been downloaded over 30,000 times. Grab your copy here.

Creatively marketing your Kickstarter campaign with Susan Tinkham of Figments of a Father

You launch your Kickstarter project, email family, post it to Facebook, share it on Twitter, and then what? When running a campaign you quickly release that there aren’t as many ways to market your project as you thought. That’s exactly what happened to Susan Tinkham and Kyle Turgeon when they launched a campaign for their short film Figments of a Father.

Instead of sending out more email blasts they decided to get creative and reach out to there local community to help promote this project. Susan shared with me how they created signs, fylers, when door to door, and generally “made a fool of themselves” all in the name of promoting their project.

Creating a compelling pitch for your Kickstarter project

Each project page on Kickstarter is essentially a pitch for an idea, your idea. When people come to Kickstarter they are coming to be pitched. They aren’t actively thinking this of course, but they want to hear about you and your project. The pitch can make or break a project, so having a good one is important.

A Kickstarter pitch usually consists of an image, video, and written copy. While most people choose to do a video it is not required. However, the Kickstarter School highly recommends that you do a video. It is a great way for people who don’t know you to learn about you and your idea. When people come to look at your project they will have several questions they will want answered. Answering them effectively can, in some circumstances, double your chances of a viewer becoming a backer.

Over the next few posts we’ll look at  what those questions are and how to use the project page to pitch your idea and get backers. I won’t get into specifics of about how to make your video or what to write because that is really up to you.

What Makes a Good Pitch?

Good pitches have three essential elements: narrative, credibility, and clarity. You don’t need to have all three in your pitch, but a successful project does at least one of them very well.

Narrative – Your personal story and the story behind your idea. If you can explain why you are excited about the project and what led you to create it, then people will have a much easier time connecting with you.

Credibility – This is one aspect of the pitch that people often miss. You want to show people that you are the right person to do this project. You achieve this by showing prototypes of your product or samples of your art. The more previous experience you can demonstrate, the more people will trust you.

Clarity – Keep it simple. Don’t make people guess what your project is or what the result is going to be. The easier it is for people to understand your project, the easier it is for them make a decision about whether to back you.

A Kickstart’s Guide to Kickstarter TOC:

pssst…you can read all of this offline by downloading the e-book.

A Kickstarter’s Guide to Kickstarter: Introduction
How Kickstarter “Kickstartered” it’s own website
Understanding Kickstarter
The Basics of Kickstarter
Kickstarter is an updated version of the Parton Model
Kickstarter is like girl scout cookies…without the calories!
Make sure your project has an ending
Some additional benefits to running a Kickstarter project
Perry Chan’s Six Principles on why Kickstarter projects are successful
Yancey’s thoughts on getting funded
Brainstorming Your Project
What is this damn thing about?
Simplify your project for success
Is your project a Purple Cow?
Making Lemonade And Telling A Good Story
Reward The Patrons
Naming Your Kickstarter Project
Doing Your Homework
Before you launch, do your homework
No one cares about you
Some People Care About You
Who is Your Audience?
Where is Your Audience?
Resonating With Your Audience
Crossing Chasms
What Will it Cost?
Understanding Profit Margin and Costs
Setting Your Goals
Make or Break Decisions
Running the Numbers
Focus on what you need
Reasonable funding goals
Why be Reasonable?
How long your campaign runs depends on one thing, momentum
30 days or less
Managing Deadlines
Going for the BIG bucks
The Allure of a Large Backer
Pricing theory, thoughts about pricing your Kickstarter rewards
The Paradox of Choice
Crafting Your Pitch
Creating a compelling pitch for your Kickstarter project
Four questions people want answered when visiting your Kickstarter page.
Show some credibility to get more backers
Clarity is your friend
How to ask for Support
Kickstarter is a video-driven site
Examples of great pitch videos
Launching Your Project
Launching your project
How to track the progress of your Kickstarter campaign
The 30% Kickstarter project “Tipping Point”
How to engage an audience with a Kickstarter project: Idea & Story