I help entrepreneurs fund their dreams. Since 2012, I've helped over 150 entrepreneurs raise over $50M on popular crowdfunding sites Kickstarter and Indiegogo. I am a marketer, a keynote speaker and an adviser to companies and startups.
Shane is right. I've helped 150 campaigns raise over $50M and based on what you said, this isn't a great fit for a rewards-based platform like Kickstarter, because the specific rewards aren't super tangible. What would someone get if they backed you?
If it's a direct sales relationship (a lead), then you should absolutely measure it. If it's a relationship building thing where there is no direct sale, then I wouldn't measure it directly. You have to decide over time which meetings (and with whom) are worth it. I wrote about exactly that (and how I use Clarity to solve it) here:
Have a great story / hook.
Reach out to outlets who 1) are relevant 2) write about Kickstarter campaigns regularly.
Determine why you want the press, pre-launch. It should either be for social proof for your "Kickstarter As Seen In Logo Banner" or to drive any traffic to a landing page to gather pre-launch opt-in emails.
That is explained more in these blog posts. Enjoy...
Brita's sheer size prevented them from doing anything. They're not in the business of making beautiful, sustainable water pitchers. They're in the business of making mass, plastic, functional water pitchers. They make millions more than Soma (for now) and it may not even be on their radar.
Read: Small Is The New Big from Seth Godin or David and Goliath (Malcolm Gladwell's latest) for more on this.
Stealth is bullshit. Nobody steals ideas and makes millions anywhere except in the movies. It's about execution.
This question is very broad so it's tough to answer, but I'll give it a shot.
Is there anyone else making money in that market? If so, how? What business models are working well?
Take the automobile industry. There are hundreds of business and revenue models in the auto industry (wholesale, retail, repair, parts, leasing, specialization, etc.)
There is potential profit in every market, it's the intersection of the market and your particular business model or product / service that determines the profit.
If you can be more specific, I can give you a better answer.
By definition, an MVP exists to prove some assumptions you have. It may not even need to be fully functional. Depends what assumptions you're trying to validate. A lot of MVPs (including my original one) were just clickable prototypes using Photoshop, HTML, CSS, etc. with not much more behind it.
Hey guys - thanks for the great answers. Looking back, I worded this question really poorly.
Here is an example of the unique methods or hacks I was referring to....
1) Something I call the Barnes & Noble Hack - I needed to build a list of enterprise sales targets with titles like "Director of Innovation" or "VP of Collaboration". Since those titles are non-standard, they're tough to find.
So a unique hack I figured out. Find books on innovation, enterprise collaboration, etc. on Amazon. Go to Barnes & Noble and flip to back cover. Books are usually blurbed by execs with these titles. (VP of Innovation at HP, etc.).
This allowed me to make a spreadsheet - target list of the right customers and it gave me something to open the conversation with (thanks for your blurb - I also loved the book.....etc.)
2) I've met a lot of the same people by holding a quarterly event. Then the initial ask is not one to demo my startup, it's an ask for them to be an expert panelist on my event (discussing big brand / startup partnerships). As the host, I get to develop relationships with the execs. Then later on (they've all loved being on the panel), it's a warm intro to talk to them about a demo.
I realized after posting that my question wasn't worded to elicit those types of answers. I'm sorry about that and I appreciate the responses.
I'm building a whole online course on this and have taken a bunch of Clarity calls on the topic. Here are a few "less obvious" tips:
1) Price "below MSRP". Unlike Amazon and Zappos, there is risk involved in crowdfunding purchases. Customers should get a discount for that risk. Backers want the reward. These platforms act more like a store for pre-orders. They're not a charitable donation platform.
2) Make each level more value than the last for not much more money. See AJ Leon's "Life and Times of a Remarkable Misfit" for a great example of this.
3) Your video needs to tell a story and resonate with the backers.
4) You need to have a marketing & press plan long before you launch. Crowdfunding campaigns get funded BEFORE the campaign, not during. It's the pre-work. The platform will bring you about 10% of your overall traffic. You need to bring the rest.
5) Collect emails pre-launch. Use Launchrock or something similar to collect emails in the weeks and months leading up to launch. Put your video up on a landing page or at least a photo & description. It's way better to launch with 500-1000 emails.
More at www.crowdfundinghacks.com or give me a call on Clarity.