Crowdfunding Through Kickstarter

By Andrew Lock | Posted June 11, 2012

Have you heard about Kickstarter.com? I'd heard about it, but I didn’t really understand it, so I decided to check it out. Here's the deal: it's a crowdfunding site or, as the site's tagline says, it's a new way to "Fund & Follow Creativity."

Funding for Creative Entrepreneurs

What does Kickstarter really do? The idea is if you have a project that you want funded – the site's original focus was on artistic projects, but it has expanded to include food and technology, too – you basically shoot a video explaining your project, post it on this website, promote it through social media, and people give you money. I'll call it a donation – they call it pledges.

You're not investing in the project; you’re more like a patron of the arts (or whatever type of project it is). If the people raise enough money to meet their financial goal, they get the funds to do whatever project they planned on doing. If they don’t meet their goal within the set timeframe, they don’t get any of the money – and your credit card doesn't get charged. Kickstarter gets maybe 5 percent of what's raised.

Kickstarter.com

Kickstarter.com is a crowdfunding platform that helps entrepreneurs raise money to complete a range of creative projects.

In order to put your project on Kickstarter, you have to shoot a video, and all the videos on the site seem to be fairly high quality. What types of projects get funded? One example I saw was a dance project, and they need to raise $2,500. So far they have 31 backers who have pledged about $1,000 -- a little less than half the goal -- and they have nine days remaining to get the project funded.

Aside from a warm fuzzy feeling, what do you get for your monetary support? Well, in the case of this dance project, if you pledge $10 or more you get a big, fat thank you; if you pledge $20 or more you get a mix CD; pledge $40 or more, and you get to be a guest at one of their modern dance classes; $100 or more and you'll receive a special behind-the-scenes video.

So does this platform really work? Well, consider Jessica Frech. She wants to be a music star, and she needs your money to do it. She's looking for $8,000 and – oh my goodness, so far she's got more than $28,000. Here's what her backers will receive: for $1 or more you get a thank you; $10 or more you get a signed hard copy of the album and a digital download of the album before it's released; if you give $100 or more you get a People of WalMart 2 special limited edition poster and access to a special live, online concert and other assorted goodies.

Now, I happen to know that there's a project in here that went way over the top, and you may have heard about this because it's available in Apple stores now. It’s called the TikTok watchband and basically it lets you put a little iPod Nano on your watchband on your wrist. They have raised an incredible $942,578.

So here's the deal. If you want to help support someone's entrepreneurial dream and creative spirit, go to Kickstarter.com and click on Discover Great Projects. And if you’re doing something creative or perhaps making a product and you need some money to pull it off, click on Start Your Project. Of course, like I said, you need that high quality video in order to present your project and get people to donate. It happens at Kickstarter.com, "the world's largest funding platform" – that's their second tagline.

Andrew Lock is a self-described maverick marketer and the creator and host of Help! My Business Sucks, a free, weekly Web TV show full of practical small business marketing tips, advice and resources to help small businesses "get more done and have more fun."

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