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There’s a common element to all of this stuff that people don’t really talk about. Everybody wants to get into product creation and putting the stuff together, but that’s really the wrong way to go. You need to focus on the marketing first.
I’ve backed a few projects on Kickstarter, maybe 12. It’s been a minute. If you want to get any money from Kickstarter, Indiegogo, GoFundMe, there are two components. We’ve all seen when someone has a tragedy, some poor unfortunate child has a disease that needs $52K to $100K. People pour their hearts out. Those are desperate situations, real-life emergencies. That is not what we’re talking about. Those things tend to go viral.
If you’re selling a product or service, you need to sit down before you even develop whatever idea is in your head. You need to look at your audience. That’s the number #1 thing you need to look at. That’s hands down the total reason you will be successful or you will be unsuccessful. It’s all about the audience. You can have a bullshit product, but if your audience loves it, you will win.
Think of crowdsourcing as investing. Some comes up to you and say, “I want $100.” You’ve got $100 and they just ask for it. Depending on the type of person you are, 90% of the time, you’re going to say “No.”
Why will you say No? They just come up and ask you for some money. That is why 50% of Kickstarter campaigns fail. They just ask for money. There’s no context. There’s no reason. There’s no marketing. They don’t know you. They don’t make you feel warm and fuzzy.
If you just throw up a campaign on any of these sites and ask for money and you don’t have an audience that likes you already or you haven’t picked an audience to serve, you are going to fail. The first thing you have to consider is what does that audience want.
Let’s take this YouTube channel. There’s a lot of people here who want reseller stuff. For me, I can make a lot more money and be more aligned with what I want as a media company. It’s harder. It takes more mental bandwidth. There is risk, but I’m willing to embrace those things.
If you don’t have an audience that wants what you’re giving, you’re not going to make a lot of money. Fortunately, with the way things work, everyone can learn how to market. You can create a better marketing campaign. There are so many things that you can do. There are so many things you can do to make your marketing stand out so you can win this race with Kickstarter.
First, plan out for a few months before you start your campaign. For you to win, you have to bring traffic into Kickstarter. That goes back to audience.
There are people spending ad money to promote their campaigns. They’re advertising on Facebook. They’re advertising on Google Display Network. They’re coming in with some capital already.
What you have to think about is how many people can you serve with whatever you’re going to do. It’s got to be a huge market. That’s going to be a big part of the equation.
Many people are very much in love with the idea of getting a lot of money and not doing much work. That’s just not going to happen. For every successful Kickstarter campaign, two fail. In the case of Indiegogo, it gets worse. About nine out of ten Indiegogo campaigns fail to reach their goals.
There’s a distinct difference between the two platforms. With Indiegogo, whatever money you raise, you get to keep. With Kickstarter, if you don’t reach your campaign goal, you don’t get to keep the money.
One of the things about doing your own work online is you start to see a great many parallels in all of these things. Facebook, YouTube, Kickstarter all have an algorithm. So, if you can “goose” the system, your campaign will take off, right?
Many people are pulling away from true business creation and they are manipulating systems and algorithms to make money. I’m not saying that’s bad. What I’m saying is that when you do that, you become more about satisfying Facebook, Kickstarter or YouTube than building your own thing and being creative and making something people truly want.
That seems to go out the window. That creates a really strange paradigm because I’m starting to see this over and over again. All of these platforms operate to a degree, the same.
Look at the market or audience first. It’s all about the audience first. For years, I wanted to do a Kickstarter campaign, but I felt that would be dishonest. I do well with my own efforts and my own marketing, so why would I go to Kickstarter?
If you have the ability to get traditional funding or you can presell, do that. Leave the Kickstarter thing alone. That’s just my advice. I’m here to give you both sides of it. Leave it alone, because you will find yourself designing or shaping your company to please the platform.
Question: Should you focus on building and promoting a brand prior to crowdsourcing for a special product?
Answer: No. Focus on the audience. Brand doesn’t mean shit if you’re selling something they don’t want.
You should create a brand. I’m not saying you shouldn’t. That should come after you’ve figured out the audience you want to serve.
Say I wanted to consult with yoga teachers. My first step would be to go out and find 10 or 15 yoga teachers and take them to lunch or dinner. I’d tell them I was developing a company and wanted to know what is their biggest problem. I’d take notes and develop the relationship. The I’d create something that would really work. That’s what you have to do. You have to press the flesh and talk to real people.
The whole takeaway from this is: You must invest in your audience. You need to know if people like what you’re offering.
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