The Anatomy of a Crowdfunding Pitch
Let’s talk about crowd funding or as musician Amanda Palmer puts it, “the art of asking.”
Like most things that sound too good to be true, it’s not as easy as you think.
Because you’re not actually selling a product — not yet anyway. When all you have is a promise to deliver, words are truly the only thing at your disposal.
With so much noise on the market, being heard can be a daunting task.
Craft your pitch.
Whether you’re for-profit or nonprofit, you have to sell your idea before it comes to life. Let’s be clear. We’re not talking about cheesy infomercials here. The harder you try to sell the faster people run away.
Here’s the funny thing about people. Nobody wants to spend money. They like owning things, but they don’t like buying them. Most importantly, they don’t want to throw away their hard earned cash for no reason.
But here’s what they are willing to do.
People are willing to invest in products that will enrich their lives. They’re willing to support a cause they believe in.
So don’t just focus on your bottom line. Sell an experience. Make your project sound valuable for other people.
Speak between the lines.
Choose your words wisely. Your message may carry hidden emotional triggers.
Researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology analyzed 45,000 Kickstarter projects using data-mining software. According to their study, strong reciprocity in phrases was key to successful funding.
If people read a positive tone behind the message, they were more likely to support the project.
However, the opposite was true for projects which begged for support. Words like “even a dollar short” backfired because it implied the project was going to fail.
Add props to the presentation.
When we say props, we mean value propositions.
A good value proposition always has three things in mind: what people need, what the marketplace has, and what you offer. It is essentially a distilled form of a sales page.
Not everyone is going to come-up with a catchy name like Bears vs Babies or Exploding Kittens.
But you can add a crisp value prop to your product.
Insert a snippet of why it’s interesting and unique, and entice people to check it out. It should be incisive enough to inform without rambling.
Differentiate yourself by contrasting your product from what’s currently being offered by competitors.
“Lumio: A Modern Lamp With Infinite Possibilities” says it all with just one phrase and so does, “Minaal Carry-On: Travel Faster, Happier and More Productive.”
Sure, there are several lamps on the market, but Lumio has taken a creative spin on it. While there are a myriad of backpacks to choose from, Minaal has designed one specifically for travelers’ needs.
Make it a “why now” moment for your backers.
This is the most fundamental question when pitching. Whether you’re trying to get press or more investors, it all circles back to to answering why this is relevant right now.
When Fidget Cube launched its Kickstarter, it showed how a vinyl desk toy could relieve stress and help people concentrate. While they injected humor into their campaign, they highlighted the reasons why this was relevant to people right now, and they landed over $6.4 million.
Remember, your campaign has a limited life-span. Not only do you have to raise funds before the clock ticks down, but you also have to deliver products ahead of your competitors.
By making it relevant, you create a sense of urgency for consumers. You want them to look at your product and say, “I need this in my life. This is exactly what I’ve been looking for.”
You just need to encourage them to make that pledge.