Megan Aileen Williams writes:
I just watched your video about What Makes Kickstarter Projects Succeed or Fail, and am finding it really useful in helping my friends come up with their Kickstarter pitch. I would love your advice if possible.
Their project isn’t so clear as it is a podcast (and one that has been going for some time), so they are not producing a tangible product. The equipment is getting old and this is the main reason why they want to crowdsource.
We’re finding it difficult to articulate what the product is in a tangible sense. Have you seen any successful podcast projects? What would your advice be for us?
This is a good question, and one that many first-time Kickstarter users are sure to come up against. Kickstarter projects don’t always end up being physical products. Podcasts, Web series, etc. are valid projects that can receive funding through Kickstarter.
There’s a challenge inherent whenever you attempt to raise money for something from which the backers won’t actually receive a direct return. If you back a video game, then you’re essentially pre-ordering the game itself. A podcast is free and open for everyone, so the value of the reward has to be found elsewhere.
Try considering some extra exclusive content for backers. A behind-the-scenes weekly segment or a special members-only backer forum where the hosts frequently answer questions directly is certainly a value-add. Additionally, you might want to consider bringing backers into the show somehow — either by providing them exclusive access to a comments portion of the presentation or priority access during call-in segments.
T-shirts and other merchandise can help push a Kickstarter project a little further. Find an artist capable of doing a design that appeals to your audience and make it a reward for various contribution levels.
The project itself would need to be defined. How many episodes are you committing in exchange for funding? Will these contributions help you to record an extra 100 episodes? 1,000? Make a commitment with your audience and explain exactly how much this project will extend the life of your program.
A lot of Kickstarter’s community will fund a project even if the reward isn’t a physical item. The central focus of the site has long been about helping make someone’s dream become a reality and you might be surprised how many people will contribute if the video and story surrounding the project is appealing. Position yourself as something people want to encourage, regardless of whether or not they’ve heard the podcast before.