by Art Piccio . November 14th, 2015
Empathy has been a recurring topic on UCreative, showing up post after post. But the simple idea of people understanding others is well worth repeating because not everyone has it.
Here, we’re going to examine the most common areas for improvement to help your Kickstarter or Indiegogo pitch to get some traction.
No one has any illusions about Kickstarters being for anyone other than the project owners. But most investors excepting maybe your spouse cares about you. They want to know what’s in it for them.
Here’s Seth Godin nailing it.
Instead of talking about yourself, you should talk about your audience. Tell them how much you understand what they are going through, and what you will do about. No one wants to listen to someone to keeps talking about themselves like some borderline sociopath.
Don’t sell a video game –sell achievement or affiliation. Don’t sell a pair of fancy headphones– sell esteem and self-actualization.
If you’re selling a product and don’t target a specific human need, you’re going to be in for a bad time. A crash course in needs theory is usually suffient for most Kickstarters though.
McClelland’s acquired needs theory says that all humans desire achievement, affiliation, or power, in varying proportions. Usually one of the three is dominant. Maslow’s famous hierachy says we all want to satisfy in order, physiological, safety, social, esteem, and self-actualization needs.
It does not matter what theory you describe to in particular. It’s best to look at these theories as frameworks, rather than be-all end-all truths about behavior. What’s more important is you are filling a need first, selling a product second.
Keep the specs sheets out of your sales pitch. Specifications and features are only benefits to the few people who already understand your product. You want to appeal to everyone who can fund your project, not just people who understand it — which is basically no one.
If you’re still not getting it, here’s a video that explains it quite well. Skip to 0:52 to get straight to the point.
Think about every infomercial you’ve seen. We all know most of the items sold via infomercial aren’t really all they’re cut out to be. But why are they so compelling? Because they show you exactly what the benefits are.
A lot of the time we don’t listen to good advice or buy good products if it’s from people we don’t like. How you come across on your Kickstarter pitch can mean the difference between getting funded and being dead in the water.
Much like whatever you’re trying to sell on Kickstarter, you are a product. Well, not exactly. It’ would be more accurate to say that you have a brand. Every single person you know is known for something. True or untrue, what they are known for is their own personal brand.
Of course, there are people who like you now. But they’re not necessarily the kind of people you need money from. They’re the people who already understand where you are. Chances are no one knows or cares about who you are.
How you project yourself should resonate with your target Kickstarter investors. If you can’t write the pitch, direct someone who can. If you can’t do a proper voiceover pitch without frying all your vowels, have someone with experience read it. You should give them someone they want to back. You don’t even need to be charismatic, necessarily.
In a way you have to create a character that is sort of you, but isn’t necessarily you. For this, it makes sense to look to drama and performance art for inspiration. Check out comedian and writer Steve Kaplan’s take on creating likable characters:
The reason no one cares about your Kickstarter or Indiegogo is really the same reason no one cares about any pitch made through traditional channels.
While the tools of startup capital acquisition have changed, it’s become clearer than ever that the same old sales and marketing psychology principles apply.
As is the case with everything else, the availability of new technology has not done much to change the way people behave at a fundamental level. The biggest difference perhaps is it is now easier and faster to support or reject funding proposals.
Tell us your crowdfunding insights and stories below!
Arthur Piccio manages YouTheEntrepreneur and has managed content for major players in the online printing industry. He was previously BizSugar's contributor of the week. His work has appeared multiple times on The New York Times' You're the Boss Small Business Blog. He enjoys guitar maintenance and reading up on history and psychology in his spare time.