Marketers looking to jump start their businesses have a fiscally sound new tactic. Kickstarter.com is leading the surge in crowdfunding, which enables everyday people to support projects big and small in exchange for a predetermined incentive. If you have a great idea, Kickstarter and platforms like it offer the easiest way to raise capital without giving up a stake in your business. Kickstarter has funded more than 50,000 projects since it began in 2009, and many of those projects have gone on to become stable businesses. Whether you’re a marketer looking for a way to spread awareness about your next project or an entrepreneur looking for your first break, these successful campaigns will give ideas to spark your business.
Bluetooth speakers are a new mobile accessory, but many are complicated and unreliable. Developers from Australia and Brazil set out to make the most convenient, intuitive Bluetooth speaker on the market. The result was HiddenRadio, a compact device that turns on and gets louder as you twist a cap up. HiddenRadio blew its goal of $125,000 out of the water, raising more than $938,000 in 30 days. HiddenRadio accompanied its Kickstarter campaign with a robust social media presence. With more than 16,000 followers, HiddenRadio is continuing the momentum from its initial Kickstarter. The company currently has a successful campaign for a second device, proving that Kickstarter is more than a one-time well.
Professionals are always looking for ways to boost their focus, and a recent Kickstarter campaign set out to bring the science of focus to consumers. Melon is brain-sensing headband that uses EEG technology to measure activity. Melon nearly tripled its goal of raising $100,000, thanks in part to a high-quality video that demonstrated the conception and science behind this foward-thinking projects. Kickstarter videos give users a snapshot of the project and summarize incentives. It is an ideal platform for marketers because it allows you to do what you do best: communicate business concepts in creative ways.
You may have seen a commercial for the new girl-focused building set GoldieBlox. Its national success is especially encouraging because it originated on Kickstarter. More than 5,000 backers support Goldieblox, contributing $285,000. Once a Kickstarter campaign gains momentum, it usually has a snowball effect. Keep your campaign in order by tracking expenses, returns, donations and goals with accounting software. Intuit.com enables users to try its small business software for free. It will come in handy if your Kickstarter explodes like GoldieBlox.
Fans of the 90’s show “Mystery Science Theater 3000” will be happy to know that the stars are still making fun of movies. Rifftrax is the MST3K reboot, and the guys used Kickstarter to raise money for its biggest project yet. The Rifftrax cast set out to raise $50,000 in order to buy the permission to make fun of the tween-favorite “Twilight” live in the theaters. After raising more than $250,000, Rifftrax wasn’t able to negotiate a deal with the “Twilight” studio. Instead, it used the money to buy the rights of cult-classic “Starship Troopers.” The lesson here: Kickstarter campaigns that don’t go as planned aren’t necessarily failures.