Crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have turned many ideas into realities. Still, Kickstarter Stats show that of the 175,567 projects launched only 69,561 were successful while the other 98,801 were not. Just because crowdfunding exists doesn’t make success a sure thing – there’s a lot of competition.
One thing that can be difficult for inventors, artists, or anyone starting a Kickstarter project is learning how to build relationships with people in the media and getting your crowdfunding project featured in the press. Here are a few simple tricks that can help make your crowdfunding story more likely to be a hit in the media:
1. Have a Kit Ready
A general rule of thumb when pitching your campaign to writers is to have a media kit ready. Sally Outlaw in How to Get Publicity for Your Crowdfunding campaign says:
“Don’t make editors work hard to help you. Create your press assets in advance: press release, high-resolution photos, and a list of key points that you feel are most compelling to communicate about your project. Don’t forget to include a screenshot of your campaign in progress.”
Writers are busy and get a lot of pitches, so one of the best ways to stand out from the crowd is to be prepared and make it easy as possible for them to pick up your story.
2. Give Samples
Are you launching a Kickstarter project for a product/invention, a new album, or a movie? Whatever your project is, if you can, reserve a small part (an early sample of your item, a few songs, movie clip, etc.) and offer it to the journalists or bloggers you approach. You can target either local or niche media depending on what works for your project.
In Forbes’ Getting Your Campaign Noticed: How To Be Ingenious On Indiegogo Or Kill It On Kickstarter, Hollie Slade shares advice from Deven Soni, cofounder of Sprayable Energy:
“If possible give samples of your product to influencers like bloggers before you launch so that early articles written about you contain third party product validation … This will give more comfort to other outlets that want to write about your product and will enable these new outlets to endorse you with more enthusiasm.”
Having a piece of your project not only gives the reporter a story but also some exclusivity from getting a sneak peak of your product. If they write about it and give a good review their readers will have positive feedback about your campaign from someone they trust.
3. Do Something Big!
With the endless amount of stuff on the internet it can be hard to make your message stand out. If you feel this is the case, sometimes all it takes it something big and exciting to grab people’s attention!
Think about it – you’re scrolling through Facebook and see a link to a Kickstarter page with a brief description. You might click on it, or just pass it by. If you see a video post of a Kickstarter creator getting a tattoo while pitching his project (like Matt Porterfield) – You’d probably be a lot more likely to click the video, right?
Sometimes taking a risk by doing something fun and unique could make video or message viral, which is a good way to get noticed by the media. A newer way is using crowd-speaking services such as Thunderclap and Headtalker (for more on these see Thunderclap vs HeadTalker – Crowdspeaking Platforms). These services are like crowdfunding in that once a certain amount of people to agree to share your message, they all share it at once which can make you a trending topic.
4. Focus Away From Crowdfunding
With such a constant flow of new projects, it would be impossible for all of them to become media sensations. In addition, sometimes stories about crowdfunding scams can make news about ‘Kickstarter’ and ‘Indiegogo’ projects less appealing, especially if they aren’t familiar with crowdfunding.
Most of the projects you see covered in the media are large and successful ones. As a smaller fish, you should approach writers with an interesting story and a clear reason why your project should matter to your target audience. Important information related to the campaign must be mentioned, but you should evaluate whether or not the the fact that you are ‘crowdfunding’ should be the main focus, or that you are working on a new project.
5. Be Personal
Writing is a competitive business. You can’t just craft one message and send the same pitch out to a bunch of journalists or bloggers. In 21 Places to Promote Your Kickstarter Campaign, Salvador Briggman shares his experience with these kinds of pitches:
“I’ve received a lot of emails, DMs, and facebook messages asking for help with campaign promotion. As a general rule, I am happy to tweet out your campaign if I think it’s pretty awesome. However, please keep in mind that like everyone, I want to be treated like an individual (as I’m sure other bloggers do). When I get a pretty standard email or tweet and see the person left a similar message at a hundred other places, I am less likely to pay much attention.”
When pitching to a journalist or blogger about a Kickstarter campaign you should expect a relationship of mutual favors – the reporter may cover your story, but you are expected to bring them interesting content in a way that is easy for them to work with.
For more on when it is best to email journalists and other helpful tips check out the CrowdCrux post 10 Facts to Remember When Pitching a Reporter about your Kickstarter Campaign.
Contacting journalists and bloggers during a crowdfunding campaign can seem like a daunting task. When done well can bring more attention your campaign and increase credibility. For more places to promote your campaign and tips for success see Crowdfunding Tips: The Ultimate Advice to Running a Successful Crowdfunding Project.
Feel free to leave any questions or comments below!
About the author
Krystine Therriault is the community manager for CrowdCrux and has helped creators with their crowdfunding projects on KickstarterForum.org. She loves learning about new trending projects and dissecting them to bring new tips and information to creators. You can find her on LinkedIn here or Twitter here.