Your Pop-up Store
Consider your crowdfunding page on Kickstarter or Indiegogo to be your virtual pop-up store. You have a small space in a well-populated commercial space for a set amount of time. During this time, people can look at your product, meet your team, and find out what it is you have going on – with the ultimate hope that they leave you with a pre-order for your soon-to-be product.
While you may find success in the commercial space alone, people who don’t visit will have no idea about your product, just like someone wouldn’t see your pop-up store unless they visited the mall or high street where you rented your space.
Now, if you were going to run an offline pop-up, wouldn’t you reach out to the media? The same tactic works with online pop-ups crowdfunding campaigns.. There may be a horde of people who would snatch up your product up in a heartbeat if they knew about your Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign, but chances are, they’ll never find out about your creation unless you tell them through the media.
The Greatest Thing You’ve EVER Seen
Media is the lifeblood of most crowdfunding campaigns, and PR is how you get that media attention. While Indiegogo and Kickstarter have a variety of tools to drive traffic your way, PR is the tool that effectively drags outside attention into your humble little crowdfunding page. Your ability to get mentioned on the internet, in print, and other media channels will be the main factor in determining whether or not your campaign acquires new customers.
“But Sejung!” you shout. “How the hell do I get writers to talk about my crowdfunding page?”
Glad you asked. You can’t force them to write (well technically you could through sponsorship, which costs $$, or by using some extralegal tactics, but most startups like to keep costs down and stay out of jail).
However! You can pitch to writers about your product, before and during your campaign to get writers excited about your product, convince them that their readers will like it too, and ask them to write. Best of all, pitching emails to writers is free (if you do it yourself) and won’t land you in jail.
Your crowdfunding product should be unique and well-prepared. This means you shouldn’t be idiot #483 trying to get people to fund your potato salad making endeavour. Instead, your product should be something new, innovative, improved, or otherwise noteworthy for buyers.
If your product has any of the aforementioned qualities, be assured there that there is a writer somewhere out there who will write about it.
It’s now your job to find that writer and reveal to them the greatest thing they’ve ever laid eyes on: your product.
While the “greatest thing ever” may be a stretch, it is your job to generate and communicate that excitement and buzz about your product to the writer. This means you’re telling the writer why your product is unique, what makes it awesome, and why they should tell their readers about it.
For example, in one of our previous crowdfunding campaigns we reached out to writers about an iPhone case called, Alt.
While Alt was in essence a phone case, the design and utility made it eye-catching and unique. This is the email I sent to Hypebeast which resulted in an article a day later.
You ever find it funny we care so much about how a phone looks and then waste no time in putting it in a big block of ugly?
A couple of years ago, mod-3 wanted to combat that issue so that people wouldn’t have to put their iPhones into bulky-nuclear-winter-apocalypse cases. They drew a slew of imitators and now their back at again with a new case called Alt. Alt launches on Kickstarter November 4th.
The minimalist design is now even simpler with a simple snap-on piece built using high-strength Polymer. On top of that, the case is equipped with a magnet that NASA uses on the Mars Rover to let you stick your phone on mounts (included).
If you want more information you can find it in the attached press kit (also linked). If you want more information, let me know. Alternatively if you want to talk with the Founder of mod-3, Hendra Bong, I can arrange that too.
Thanks for reading.
Mind you, Hypebeast is an urban streetwear platform showcasing fashion and accessories for what I would presume to be a relatively young audience (between say 15 to 30?). The email adopts a playful tone to reflect their writing style while keeping the vitals of the product in-tact.
So just how impactful was that article? Let’s just say I sent Hypebeast another email thanking them for publishing. ☺
Getting covered on places like Hypebeast or other high-traffic websites will result in hundreds (if not thousands, depending on the platform) of clicks towards towards your page. After that it’s on you to make sure your page can sell (I wrote about that too!).
Keep in mind that while publications drive traffic towards your site, it’s also an unofficial stamp of approval. Being published on somewhere like The New York Times, means a writer at a world-class publication found your product to be compelling and legitimate enough to write about – best of all, it’s not even out for public consumption yet. This unofficial seal of approval is another voucher in making sure people pre-order your product.