I attended a panel discussion on Kickstarter campaigns last night that included five people who managed to pull off very successful crowdfunding campaigns. Unfortunately, the organizers only selected people who had raised money for consumer projects so there was a bit of a lack of diversity in that respect. It was, nonetheless, useful to see five successes lined up next to each other.
The event began with a screening of each panelist’s video and it was a testament to their quality that I managed to sit through the entire 15-minute mini-pitch video film festival.
Two takeaways: (1) The videos were uniformly strong and compelling suggesting a correlation between quality of video and magnitude of success. (2) The videos were not at all uniform in their style and tone suggesting that there are lots of ways to play around with the basic formula.
So, what is the formula for success?
- Have a good creation myth (“We never liked how the bows looked on our shoes”, “I needed cloths that don’t wrinkle”)
- Demonstrate clearly why your thing is great (“Your phone will make your life even more awesome”)
- Create the sense that there is a community surrounding the product that the viewer wants to and can join (“You like clean air, don’t you?” “You like old-school video games, right?”)
- Don’t forget to have the occasional lighthearted or funny moment so that it’s not quite so obvious that you’re just trying to move product (“We’re goofy!”)
- Address likely concerns and questions before they become real objections (“You don’t think this will work for your phone?”)
- If you can manage it, be cute (“We are from Argentina and we came to New York to fulfill our dream … because we love kicks.”