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Mediatwits #104 Special: Crowdfunding the News, Musicals, Documentaries and More

posted Dec 17, 2013, 10:54 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Dec 17, 2013, 10:55 AM ]

As traditional sources of funding for media become harder to come by, many digital media purveyors are turning to a new source: crowdfunding. The fundraising method has gained traction in a diverse cross-section of the industry, from musical productions to news magazines. Using websites such as Indiegogo and Kickstarter, some media initiatives are far surpassing their fundraising goals on those platforms. Is crowdfunding a viable option for media projects to rely upon to meet their financial needs? This week, we’ll chat with guests who have used crowdfunding to kickstart their own projects, as well as Indiegogo CEO Slava Rubin. We’ll also have Ernst-Jan Pfauth of the news magazine De Correspondent; Todd Ruppert, co-producer of the upcoming musical “Happy Days”; and Zak Piper, co-producer of the documentary “Life Itself.” They’ll be joined by roundtable regulars Andrew Lih of American University and Monica Guzman of GeekWire and Seattle Times, with PBS MediaShift’s Mark Glaser hosting.

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10 Social Media Tips for a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign

posted Dec 17, 2013, 10:47 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Dec 17, 2013, 10:58 AM ]

Crowdfunding campaigns, when run well, can seem effortless, almost magical, if you’re watching from afar. Seeing the money and backers pile up, especially in the last phase of a campaign, can be breathtaking, when everyone is hugging and high-fiving.

However, crowdfunding is not a walk in the park. Unless that park is covered with broken glass. And a lion ate your shoes at the entrance gate. And he is now chasing you.

There is anxiety, especially during that famous mid-campaign plateau. There are sleepless nights, when instead of counting fluffy sheep you’re counting all of your Facebook friends who haven’t contributed yet. And don’t forget about the obsessive-compulsive “refreshing” of your campaign page to see if there are any new backers. Yes, crowdfunding can be stressful, but if you do the proper prep work — and create the right relationships on social media — crowdfunding can be full of great joy and excitement.

Below are some hard lessons I’ve learned after helping run many crowdfunding campaigns.


The day you launch your crowdfunding campaign is not the day you should start considering whether or not to use Twitter or Facebook. Or Instagram. Or Tumblr.

Bottom line: You need to at least be on Twitter and/or Facebook to have a decent shot at crowdfunding, and you need to have been using them for a while. If you’re reading this and want to crowdfund but are not on these platforms, don’t fret; start social media-ing today, and postpone your plans for crowdfunding until you’ve established a solid social media presence.

Why do you need to be on social media in order to crowdfund well? Because if a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it…you get the picture. You can have the best campaign in the world, meant to support the best project in the world, but if you don’t have a way to spread the word, it won’t matter. You won’t raise the money you need. (One exception to this rule is if you have a tremendously large email list of fans or potential donors, or have built up fans on another social platform.)

What happens if you start a campaign without laying down the social media groundwork and without that kind of list?

Facebook is a great way to get started with social media, but you have to move past your personal Facebook page for crowdfunding success. If you only post your crowdfunding campaign to your personal Facebook page, you will place the burden of the success of your campaign on the shoulders of your friends and family. Don’t do this, unless you want to get uninvited from Thanksgiving.

Of course you will promote your project on your personal Facebook page sometimes, because your real life friends want to know what you’re up to and want to support you. But you should also have a Facebook fan page for either your project or a larger entity under which your project will fall.

Filmmakers often have a page for their production company so that they can showcase all of their individual movies there, alerting fans of their previous work to their new work. Authors often opt for fan pages for themselves so that fans of previous books can find out about new ones, and so on. Chances are that the project you want to crowdfund for is not the last thing you’re going to do. Make your social media presence a significant and lasting one.

No matter how amazing your film or book or custom leather bracelet or designer ice cream cone idea is, no one is sitting around flipping through projects on (insert your crowdfunding platform of choice) looking for your project. Yes, all crowdfunding platforms create a hub for your campaign, but no, it’s not their job to drive traffic to your hub. That’s your job.

Even a firmly established and trusted brand has to work it to hook their crowd for a new crowdfunding campaign. Kartemquin Films has been making documentaries out of Chicago for just shy of 50 years. They have lauded films such as “Hoop Dreams,” “The Interrupters” and “The New Americans” under their belt. If you’re in the docs industry, you know them. One might think thatthe crowdfunding campaign for their latest project, a documentary about Roger Ebert called “Life Itself,” would have no problem raking in the dough, especially with big names like Martin Scorsese and Werner Herzog behind it. But the team behind this campaign is not resting on its laurels. Instead, they’ve created a very active and interactive campaign that draws in long-time Ebert fans and younger cinefiles at the same time. One of their simplest and most effective social media moves: dedicated one of the movie reviews from Ebert’s vast catalog (he wrote almost 8000) to each backer. This is a smart way to use an available resource and welcome each new supporter into the fold.


You don’t have to be on all of the social media platforms that exist. That would be exhausting. Instead, pick the right platforms for you according to:
where your audience is;
what you can reasonably handle in your daily life.

For example, if you are a filmmaker, you’re likely posting videos and commenting on the videos of others on YouTube and/or Vimeo. If you have a fashion-themed project, make sure you’re on Instagram. If your project is attractive to foodies, find people who love pictures of food on Pinterest. There is no cookie-cutter plan for social media; you have to find what appeals most to your specific audience.

Yes, your dream project is important and deserves much discussion, but the key to effective social media is hooking people quickly. Tweets need to be short, awesome punches that people cannot resist clicking on and re-tweeting. On Facebook, you can write longer messages, but don’t go into multiple paragraphs; you’ll have plenty of copy to dive into on your campaign home page. And never underestimate the power of a good picture on Facebook.

Anyone who gives you advice on how to make a “viral” video or “viral” crowdfunding campaign is not trying to help you; they are taking advantage of you. There is no guaranteed way to get millions of people to see your crowdfunding pitch video, so focus on what you can control: giving your crowd consistent (and consistently engaging) messages that remind them that you’re still working hard and that they are still a part of the team.

Understand what your audience wants, then give it to them. In some cases, a crowd connects with a creator on a personal level, but how do you do this without TMI (a.k.a. too much information)?

In 2012, I consulted on a Kickstarter campaign for Katie Todd, an indie singer who produces her own albums and has a dedicated fan base on Facebook. For every 10 backers we gathered, we released a cute or goofy picture of her from her childhood. This was mildly embarrassing for Katie, but a great incentive for her adoring fans to get their friends to contribute so they could see the next picture. This was a fun (and free) way to make the backers happy while also getting them to do some recruiting. Win-win.

Recently at a Doc U event on crowdfunding by the International Documentary Association, Adam Chapnick of the crowdfunding platform Indiegogo said, “If you’re asking for money, you’re doing it wrong.” This couldn’t be more true. No one likes the guy who says, “Come on! Give $10 to my campaign.” Instead, try these:
“Help me spread the word: LINK HERE”
“Know anyone who might like this? LINK HERE”
Who can help me find the next backer? LINK HERE”

These are very basic, and you should put your own shine on them, but you get the drift. You get people on your side without putting your hand in their pockets and, in the course of it, they become invested in your success. A handful of re-tweets (or spreading the word about your project at their office) is way more useful than one $10 donation.

These crowdfunding campaigns are grueling, masochistic marathons (30 to 60 days, generally), so you have to pace yourself. Hydrate. Take your vitamins. Take a walk. Take a shower. Eat a vegetable or two. Take breaks from checking for backers. Shut off your computer. Turn the reins over to a trusted collaborator for a day while you take a technology sabbath. Use tools like Twuffer,Hootsuite, or TweetDeck to schedule tweets ahead of time. (Hootsuite can do Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+, too.)

Overall, give yourself breaks from the grind so that you can return to your tasks with vigor.

Once you’ve met your crowdfunding goal (and even if you didn’t), show respect to those who tried to help your dreams come true. These people are now a part of your project, so keep them up-to-date. Invite them to share milestones with you. Let them know when you send out perks. Let them know when your project gets reviewed. Send them an update when you win your Oscar or Pulitzer.

The other side of this is also letting your backers know when things don’t go as planned. If you’re late sending your perks out, notify them. If your book is going to take longer to complete than you anticipated, be honest about it. They’re not going to be mad when you hit a snag; they’ll appreciate that you respected them enough to keep them in the loop. The crowd might, however, start to worry that they’ve been fooled if you fall off the face of the Earth.

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Crowdfunding Without Kickstarter,,, crowdfunding softlaunch.

posted Nov 26, 2013, 10:56 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Nov 26, 2013, 11:01 AM ]

When Kickstarter rejected Lockitron, founders Cameron Robertson and Paul Gerhardt built their own website to crowdfund their phone-enabled door-locking device. After 24 hours, they'd reached their goal of $150,000 in preorders. By the end of their 30-day campaign last November, nearly 15,000 people had reserved a Lockitron, with advance orders totaling almost $2.3 million for the San Francisco-based startup.

Dozens of other entrepreneurs got in touch, wanting to know how they'd done it. Robertson and Gerhardt decided to share the code behind their crowdfunding site at, which anyone can download and customize for free. It's an attractive option for tech-savvy product designers who don't meet the project guidelines of Kickstarter and its brethren.

At least six projects have run Selfstarter campaigns since late last year, Robertson says. Scout is one of them. The home security system, which begins shipping this year, has nabbed more than $300,000 in preorders since February. Bypassing traditional crowdfunding platforms allowed Scout to continue taking preorders beyond its monthlong fundraising window; it also meant not having to fork over a cut of the cash collected. "Selfstarter probably has saved us over $13,000 in fees," says Dan Roberts, Scout's Chicago-based founder.

We talked to Robertson about offering Selfstarter to other pre-tailers, and what 'treps need to know before taking the DIY route to crowdfunding.

Selfstarter's Cameron Robertson
Selfstarter's Cameron Robertson

What did you hope would happen when you gave away the platform?
We hoped that it would serve a couple of purposes. One was that if people wanted to use this and run with it, they could. The second was to demonstrate that some of the crowdfunding platforms are flawed when it comes to supporting this kind of product. Kickstarter encountered a lot of problems because products weren't delivering and people wanted their money back. Selfstarter gives you the flexibility to say, "We can take money up front, or we can wait and take money when the product is shipped." It shifts the risk away from the backers and onto the project creators.

Are there other benefits of cutting out the middleman?
All of the excitement and the press and the commentary linking to your project are now linking directly to your website [not to Kickstarter's]. So you don't lose out on the long tail of traffic with regard to SEO. It is much more directly funding you as a company as opposed to just funding a project.

What tweaks should Selfstarter users expect to make?
Selfstarter is a skeletal framework. It's a starting point. It is not a crowdfunding website-in-a-box per se. It doesn't have any capability to send update e-mails to keep backers posted about the project. There is no dashboard where you can easily fix errors that come up or switch people's addresses. It really does need a fair amount of customization and development.

Any tips for 'treps interested in Selfstarter?
We recommend that people think long and hard about why they want to run their own crowdfunding campaign. Is it because they were rejected from a platform, or for some other reason? If the only reason you don't want to go with Kickstarter or Indiegogo is because you have to pay their 5 percent fees, I think you may want to reconsider. The advantage of having a prebuilt platform that's tested--that developers are working on constantly to make sure is running well--is very helpful. But if your team already has a bunch of software developers on it, and you were rejected from Kickstarter, then I think Selfstarter is an interesting route to take.

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Crowdfunding Problems: The Struggle for Rewards

posted Nov 4, 2013, 10:12 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Nov 4, 2013, 10:15 AM ]

Do you want to know the secret to great rewards? Hopefully you have been promoting your crowdfunding campaign, and now you are getting people to the campaign page. With all of these eyes on your rewards you want to make sure you have something that appeals to everyone. Check out the reward types below and let me know in the comments what has worked for you.

1. Intrigued, but not Convinced

These are people that can still help you, but don’t want to donate to your campaign. It is your job to make sure it is as easy as possible for them to help. This means giving them a call to action that fits their expectations. When You Wish, a crowdfunding platform, does a great job of helping its campaign creators to do this by adding a reward where the cost is simply a Facebook like. If you are using a platform that doesn’t directly do this you can still add something in the body of the description right under your main video. Depending on your project it should be something like, “Check out the rewards to the right and pick your favorite! Make sure and share us on Facebook!”

Icons are used in this crowdfunding campaign as a call to action.

2. Convinced Follower

These are the people that are willing to go through the donation process, but don’t have a lot of money to put towards your campaign. The best way to attract these people is to have a low level reward. The best low-level reward is a $3 Production Diary. A production diary is a film term, but can be applied to any campaign. People just want to be involved and stay involved and keeping them constantly updated (through getting them to donate and not just through the crowdfunding platform’s tools) is the way to do that.
TIP: People who are willing to donate $1 are just as likely to donate $3.

3. Casual Contributor

According to Kickstarter, the most common donation amount is $25. This means for whatever reason when people see a $25 reward they are more likely to donate than if there were only a $30 reward. I am sure there are other factors that affect this, but why go against the odds? Make sure you have a reward at this level that maximizes profitability. For example, if you are crowdfunding a film offer a digital download as opposed to a DVD at this level.

4. Core Contributor

These are the people who will donate at the $100 level. This level will be comprised of your core followers. If you reach out to them through direct emails and phone calls you should be able to get many contributors at this level. Offer exclusive things like signed dvd’s or let these people get their rewards before anyone else.
Exclusivity is KEY at this level.

5. The Angel Contributor

These are generally going to be corporate or business sponsors to your campaign, the ones who donate more than $1,000. In order to reach these levels of donations you need to have above average reward offerings, and contact sponsors who might be interested in the purpose of your crowdfunding campaign. A great example of a reward where a stranger might buy a $10,000 reward is Kickstarter’s Veronica Mars Campaign. Rob Thomas offered a speaking role in the movie. This worked because The Veronica Mars Campaign had a large amount of credibility. If you look at USC’s crowdfunding campaign for Cancer Research on When You Wish they were able to get 40 corporate sponsors to match each dollar that came in. Both are great approaches to getting those high level donations.
A while ago I wrote a guide on crowdfunding reward basics that you can find at When You Wish.

Do you have a burning crowdfunding question? Leave your question below or ask me through any social media channel and I will answer it in a new post!

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How equity crowdfunding will work and what to watch for

posted Oct 30, 2013, 11:58 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Oct 30, 2013, 11:58 AM ]

Fancy being a venture capitalist? Hook the next Twitter or Facebook before it goes public?

Good luck with that. But the door is ajar. If your personal net worth is $1 million or more, or your annual income is at least $200,000 ($300,000 for couples), startups and other private firms can now pitch their wares directly through social media and other mass-marketing channels without publicly registering the shares.

In this way, companies seeking capital no longer need a pre-existing relationship with a potential backer. Now they have open access to the universe of “accredited” investors — an estimated 8.7 million wealthy U.S. households whose inhabitants are considered sophisticated enough to understand what to watch for, and what to watch out for, when presented with such potentially lucrative but risky opportunities. There are no limits on the money accredited investors can sink into a venture, though a company making a general solicitation must attempt to verify that the investor meets the proper criteria.

Also see: What it means to be an accredited investor (VIDEO)

Yet this provision — part of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, or JOBS Act — gives even the savviest investors one more reason to be careful about the companies they keep.

What to watch out for

“Anyone with an email address or a telephone can get solicited,” says Timothy Spangler, chairman of the Investment Funds Group at law firm Kaye Scholer LLP.

So keep your “paydar” sharp. Remember what the comedian Groucho Marx said about clubs — he wouldn’t belong to one that would have him as a member. Cautions Spangler: “If this is such a great opportunity, why have [companies] had to reach so far?”

“Be aware of where the solicitation is coming from,” adds Daniel Gorfine, director of financial markets policy and legal counsel in the Washington office of the Milken Institute. “If it’s not coming through a trusted intermediary or facilitator, pay extra attention.”

Even if your financial adviser is the intermediary, do your homework. How did your adviser discover this venture? Has the offering been thoroughly vetted? What restrictions does the company place on investors regarding liquidity and voting rights? How will the company use your money?

Says Gorfine: “Understand the message, and the messenger.”

What to keep an eye on

For those who aren’t accredited investors, consider this: Soon, giving money to private firms could become much more public. The Securities and Exchange Commission has come out in favor of allowing anyone to invest in startups and other entrepreneurial ideas.

Also see: SEC advances ‘crowdfunding’ rules

Under these proposed regulations, which could take effect early in 2014, venture capital no longer will be exclusive to the rich. While rules pertaining to private offerings for accredited investors would be unchanged, private firms could also attract investment from non-accredited investors via online “funding portals.” These websites would facilitate so-called equity crowdfunding – or more accurately, “crowd investing.” Entrepreneurs already raise money through crowdfunding websites, including Kickstarter, Indiegogo and RocketHub, but selling shares is prohibited. The names and number of sites that intend to offer equity crowdfunding to smaller investors won’t be clear until the SEC’s final ruling.

Opening the funding gates to all raises concern that securities regulators unintentionally are making it easier for scammers to prey on the unsuspecting and uninitiated. But certain investor protections are built into the law. For example, investors using a funding portal would be able to review a company’s audited financial statements and investigate investors and officers with 20% or more ownership of the business.

Moreover, investments made through online portals are capped. Someone whose annual income or net worth is below $100,000 cannot invest more than the greater of $2,000 or up to 5%, or $5,000, each year. Those whose net worth or income is greater than $100,000 – including accredited investors – could invest no more than 10% of their income or wealth via a portal, up to $100,000 a year. Securities purchased online would have to be held at least 12 months before they could be sold.

“It’s a great opportunity in theory,” Kaye Sholer’s Spangler says. “We have to find out in practice how well it will actually work.”

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Crowdfunding Planning: Strategic Thinking vs. Tactical Thinking

posted Oct 30, 2013, 11:51 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Oct 30, 2013, 11:51 AM ]

I’ve been guilty of it myself: using the words strategy and tactics interchangeably. Beyond semantics, however, if you’re hazy on the difference, your crowdfunding preparation will be too. So formulate your plan in the correct order.

Screen Shot 2013-10-23 at 8.54.32 AM

Make sure you don’t to jump from your goal, which is the measurable objective—let’s say it’s raising $10,000—and go straight to the tactics, which are the actions you take in order to achieve your goal.

Your strategy is your vision of how to attain your goal. It should be a consciously and purposefully devised plan, and one that you can clearly communicate.

Here are the components of a Strategy:

  • Understanding your story and your brand
  • Having firm grasp of the big picture
  • Having an intimate knowledge of your market
  • Knowing your competition
  • Making a realistic assessment of your weaknesses

Here are some components of Tactics:

  • Tools
  • Logistics
  • Hacks

Have you heard of the “what if” test? It’s sometimes called Sensitivity Analysis and it’s a tool that allows you to test whether you are putting forth a strategy or a tactic. Simply ask the question to determine if it contains an idea. If it does, you have a strategy; if not, it’s just a tactic.


Let’s say with your $10,000 goal you want to create, and star in your own reality TV show about buying run-down properties, fixing them up and flipping them for a profit. You feel qualified because you love real estate, you have taken a couple of architecture classes, you’re a great bargain hunter, you do great under pressure, and you acted a lot in college and always got the lead roles.

Is all that enough?

Using the above example, ask yourself:

  •  What if I create a reality show to renovate and flip houses? (Strategy)
  • What if I write a treatment? (Tactic)
  • What if I make a great demo tape? (Tactic)
  • What if I move to LA? (Tactic)
  • What if befriend industry professionals like  television agents, real estate brokers, builders, and contractors (Tactic)

Considering there are at least five other similar reality TV shows just like your idea that already exist, if you start to implement all those tactics without making sure you have all your strategy components in place, you won’t get far, right?

I know what you’re thinking: This is a far-fetched example! But it works because it starkly illustrates whether you’re working strategically or tactically—because sometimes it’s really hard to wrap our heads around the difference.

People want to jump into tactics because they are actions, and actions make us feel like we’re moving our agenda forward. With so many tools out there—and more being developed faster than you can bookmark them—creating crowdfunding tactics is, relatively speaking, the easy part. It’s the strategy that’s tougher.

So whether your tactics include marketing automation, split testing, or the latest, hottest hack—all great tools to have in your arsenal—be sure to proceed with a clear strategy before deploying them. Otherwise all those time savers will produce the opposite effect.

Get in front of your idea. (Strategy) Don’t count on tactics to push you to the finish line. (Strategy)




Image scourtesy of:

What if Explain xkcd


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How to gamify your crowdfunding campaign like a Boss

posted Oct 30, 2013, 11:30 AM by Unknown user

What does Gamification mean?

Gamification is the use of game thinking and game mechanics to engage users in solving problems. Gamification is used in applications and processes to improve user engagement, return on investment, data quality, timeliness, and learningWikipedia

and our definition of crowdfunding:

Crowdfunding (alternately crowd financing, equity crowdfunding, crowd-sourced fundraising) is the collective effort of individuals who network and pool their money to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations. –Power of Crowdfunding


So when we apply the definition of gamification to crowdfunding, we get more ways to engage audiences, contributors, and team members into solving our funding problem. Sounds pretty good to me. In fact, at the bottom of this post I’m going to show you 10 actionable ways to apply these concepts to your own campaign.

Why do you want to Gamify your own campaign?

gamification and crowdfunding
Gamification can potentially be applied to any industry and almost anything to create fun and engaging experiences, converting users into players.” -
Gamification techniques strive to leverage people’s natural desires for competition, achievement, status, self-expression, altruism, and closure.” –
Gamification is the process of using game thinking and game dynamics to engage audiences and solve problems.” – Gabe Zichermann
When supporting another crowdfunding project, backers have a natural desire to want to share their good deed. Gamification can accelerate that desire to share and accelerate some other key factors that were not present before. Competition, achievement, and special treatment are only 3 of the powerful elements that can drive us as supporters (and creators) to spread the word about how awesome they are. Running a campaign without any elements of gamification is like shouting at people to pay attention to your thing. The marketing world can tell you that interruption marketing has been getting crushed since before 2001, see Permission Marketing for extra credit on that one.
You want to see some examples? I thought you would never ask:

Projects with gamification, and using “gamification techniques” to explode their campaign financing.

Here are just a few to check out;
1. Wastleland 2 – (raised $2,933,252)
Wasteland 2 by inXile entertainment — Kickstarter and gamification techniques
2. Kingdom Death: Monster – raised $2,049,721 ( 14 stretch goals achieved)
Kingdom Death on Kickstarter, Crowdfunding Gamification


Projects that are not games, but use the “gamification methods” in their rewards:

1. The Game of Books - raised $109,970

The Game of Books Kickstarter and Gamification
2. Trace   (raised $161,260)
TRACE The Most Advanced Activity Monitor for Action Sports by ActiveReplay — Kickstarter gamification example
I only highlighted a few of the elements that helped these campaigns expand their reach, I’ll challenge you to explore these campaigns a bit further and see how many different methods of gamification you can spot. :)

How to do it?

Recently I watch as my 8 yr. old decided that his games were not cutting it and that it was time to create his own. Now I know what you are thinking, kid’s make up games all the time, so what? Well that’s what I originally thought until he started making it. I watched as it took him over an hour (as a focused hour for an 8 yr old is about 5hrs after conversion) to tape on a certain set of numbers to the front of his bowling pins in order to form a number selection for his bingo game. Simple in design, he then crafted the rules to say that the Blue Pins are added to the other Blue Pins that are knocked over during a players turn, and the Yellow Pins are subtracted from the Total. After handing me my Bingo card to start play, I started dissecting the numbers. Mathematically it was impossible for me to get a bingo, and 3x as likely for him to get one during play, hmmmm……
Key Takeaway: at any early age we look for ways to give ourselves a head-start, a leg up on the competition, and an unfair advantage.
Apply some of these techniques to give yourself that advantage that everyone else is looking for.

Gamify like a Boss

1. The Leader Board. (competition and status) Give ambassadors a unique link to track the traffic they send, create a leader board and reward the winner  Take a look at what Pat Flynn does on his Niche Site duels, and use my leaderboard template here.
2. 1/2 Levels -(hidden surprises) unlock .5 levels.  These are great for those reward tiers that did not make the cut the first time around. Give people a surprise, under promise and over deliver. The Kingdom of Death unlocked 14 throughout their campaign.
3. First-in Discount. (Special feelings) Early bird special for low qty. This will drive the initial wave (and get Kicikstarters attention) while creating a sence of urgency toward backing your campaign.
4. Random Upgrade- (Create some Jealousy/competition) Free level upgrade to random person who shares on social media on day 5, 10, 15, or whenever you feel like having a reason to update all your backers.
5. Bonus for the Friend - (Look what I got you, reciprocate?) Refer a friend bonus.
6. Upgrade ME. (Delight your customers) Product improvements at certain milestones. Adding certifications, developing features, or increasing quality standards.
7. Upsize ME.  (Delight your customers) A random backer will receive double their rewards, or get bumped up to the next level. They might just feel the need to share this with their circles.
8. Super Ambassador – Like the Leader board, some ambassadors would like to remain behind the scenes and just help out anomously. Allow them to help while remaining undisclosed, but update you campaign backers with “Super Ambassador #2″ just got this special little thing for doing some specific call-to-action, ie sharing on facebook, twitter, and pinterest.
9. Social Butterfly – Facebook competition + Pin it to win it.  Use Agropulse to simply these.
10. Thunderclap- (ViralUse to create a initial wave of attention to your message, and surprise the loudest “clap” with something cool, something that they are going to want to talk about.
To level up your own character’s EXP. points on Gamification, check these additional sources out:
  1. Gamification by Design: Implementing Game Mechanics in Web and Mobile Apps
  2. The Gamification Revolution: How Leaders Leverage Game Mechanics to Crush the Competition – amazon
  3. Game of Work, The: How to Enjoy Work as Much as Play
Here are a few more examples of how applying some gamification techniques can be used to create the attention that you need to get above the rest of the noise.
Communities: -
Course Hero - A education platform focused on learning through gaming, efficiently and effectively as possible.
Habit hack app
I hope this gives you some ideas on how to get some gamificaition into your next crowdfunding campaign. And if you are still no convinced, I will leave you with two closing thoughts;  Angry Birds, and Candy Crush.  :)
To your Crowdfunding success!
Karl Steinmeyer

Got a killer tip on how you gamify-ed something in your life or campaign? Let’s hear it 

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How to get investors’ attention? crowdfunding softlaunch

posted Oct 30, 2013, 11:16 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Oct 30, 2013, 11:16 AM ]

How to convince investors of your idea? Use the right tools to display your strengths.

In the previous article I went through some of the most important aspects investors value when deciding upon the investment in your startup. This qualitative analysis also plays a big role in the valuation that the interested parties will attribute to your startup. Therefore, it’s better to be aware about your weaknesses well before raising funds. Especially when the business is still unproven, entrepreneurs should take all the necessary steps to have a sound business case much more than creating outstanding projections. This is what we’ve learned in the past lecture, but the unsolved question is:

How do I attract investors’ first interest?

Well, you don’t need me to explain you what the main channels to create buzz or contact angels are. This is not my purpose. I’m here to suggest you some of the tips you may want to keep in mind when executing your communication plan. In whatever kind of communication effort, being written or oral, there are some principles which may be applied to get to the main target: people’s attention and, eventually, interest.

From our experience with angel investors, they receive tons of Business Plans every year. Needless to say they hardly read the first paragraph. They are so much swamped with investment opportunities that they don’t mind missing a good one as they know more will pass. As a consequence, they developed some “screening techniques” that enable them to pick some winners in a relatively short amount of time.

As the serial entrepreneur and experienced angel, Frank Peters (from Tech Coast Angels, CA) told us: “I hardly dedicate more than 1-2 minutes per business plan or Executive Summary. If I see potential, then I do want to read more, but most just end up in my trash folder.” I elaborated Frank’s and his fellow colleagues’ indications combining them with those of other investors I’ve been pleased to meet throughout my experience with Liquidate:

1. Elevator pitch

Describe your company in few words. Don’t be afraid to pass or fail. Some investors are just not interested in some sectors.

2. Be concise

No more than a 2-page Executive Summary. If you can’t say enough of your business in two pages, how can you convince your customers to buy your service/product?

3. Highlight important issues

Investors want to know your stage of development, team overview, advisors, milestones achieved and other useful KPI’s about the past performance.

4. Have a neat layout and style

A two-column layout is usually the preferred one, with a left smaller column to highlight many concepts and a larger right out to elaborate them. Use a readable font and don’t squeeze the words like canned beans.

5. Use graphics wisely

You can enrich your ES with some graphical elements but make it functional to the communication of your key values, not just ornamental per se. One-page logo is a “DON’T”.

6. Provide your contacts

If you are lucky to be picked, than make sure they can easily contact you back. The footer is a good place for that, don’t use it for confidentiality notes.All of these and more may determine whether investors will, at least, consider your Business Plan/ES and not throw it in the trash folder. Don’t let your idea be left without an investment! Read Frank Peter’s original blog post to get more guidelines for Executive Summaries and stay tuned! In the next article we will focus on how to ask investors for money: be brave, but prepared! Check out the image below for the quick overview of this post.


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Why Video SEO directed to relevant crowd - crowdfunding softlaunch

posted Oct 30, 2013, 11:04 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Oct 30, 2013, 11:04 AM ]

  1. We are asked :

    1. Why Video promotion in Youtube and other Video servers are essential to success of Rock & Roll music and business and why the bands have to implement video marketing  ?

    2. Why Video SEO directed to relevant crowd , verticals and  having more than 50,000+  views on a YouTube Video makes a difference ?

    3. And why Youtube  is 1st ?

    4. Secret : Wake up and smell the coffee. Rock and roll is a global phenomenon

  2. The answers are :

    1. Text is just text , Picture is a 1000 texts and Video is a 1000 Pictures. Which one would like to represent you . How do you want to be promoted

    2. Video SEO and View promotion will set the band’s Brands . Being on 1st page of YouTube and Google Search for relevant Key Phases  is a must

    3. How producers , record labels and talants will ever find you ??

    4. Presently there are About 382,000,000 results for rock and roll on Google search results

    5. Video equals higher viewer retention, the information retained in one minute of online video is equal to about 1.8 million written words. Subconscious can be programmed with video

    6. 70.8% of Internet users (up 7.1% from 2011) watched video last year.

    7. Do you like to read or watch ? Do you more watch  Rock & Roll  or reading about it ?

    8. More than 800 million unique users visit YouTube each month.

    9. At this time About 46% of people say they’d be more likely to seek out information about a product or service after seeing it in an online video.

    10. Is all about eyeballs and how many of them can you get and how long .The average user spends 88% more time on a website with video.

    11. Of the 80% of Internet users who watched a video ad, 46% took some action after viewing the ad.

      1. 26% looked for more information about the subject of the video

      2. 22% visited the website named in the ad

      3. 15% visited the company represented in the video ad

      4. 12% purchased the specific product featured in the ad

    12. Video increases information retention by 50% and speeds-up buying decisions by 72%! Imagine what that can do for your bottom line!

    13. By providing content regularly and using videos, your email opt-outs can be reduced by as much as 75%.

    14. Video is now the sixth most popular content marketing tactic, as 70% of B2B marketers use some form of online video with their overall strategies.

    15. Two-thirds of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video by 2016.

    16. The enjoyment of video ads increases purchase intent by 97%, and brand association by 139%.

    17. Tips: Make the  1st 15 second the most interesting part of the video. Videos that are 15 seconds or shorter are shared 37 percent more often than those that last between 30 seconds and 1 minute.

    18. Secrets :

      1. Video embed in your website . Video attracts 2-3x as many monthly visitors, doubles time on site, and has a 157% increase in organic traffic from search engines.

      2. Cats are more viral than dogs in video, generating over 1.6 billion views. Where as, dog videos only generated 1 billion views.

      3. Blog posts incorporating video attract 3 times as many inbound links as blog posts without video.

      4. Having video on the landing page of your site makes it 53% more likely to show up on page 1 of Google.

      5. Video and e-mail marketing can increase click through rates by more than 90%.

      6. YouTube allows you to link CrowdFunding video to CrowdFunding Campaign web page

  3. Why YouTube:

Wake up and smell the coffee. Rock and roll is a global phenomenon

CrowdFunding help  and CrowdFunding assistance to build your crowd 
      The best is for you to contact us directly at 949-442-6666 ext 103 or

CrowdFunding expertise, wisdom and resources for startups and entrepreneurs



What Small Companies Need to Know About Soliciting Investments -Crowdfunding Softlaunch

posted Oct 17, 2013, 3:03 PM by Unknown user

It just got a lot easier to reach out to investors.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has lifted its long-standing ban on soliciting investments on public platforms. When the rule was laid down in 1933, public platforms meant things like magazines and billboards—but now they include the Internet. That could be a game-changer for small firms.

With a minimum of cost and effort, entrepreneurs can pinpoint potential investors and reach out to them on social networks and other online venues. But there are plenty of pitfalls that could lead small firms to stumble—and maybe even prevent them from soliciting more investments down the road.

The Wall Street Journal spoke with Sherwood Neiss, a principal of consulting firm Crowdfund Capital Advisors, about the implications of this change and what entrepreneurs need to know. Here are edited excerpts of the discussion.

The Basic Setup

WSJ: What are the rules entrepreneurs should follow?

MR. NEISS: You can raise money from an unlimited amount of accredited investors [income of $200,000 per year for the past two years, $300,000 if married, or a liquid net worth, excluding home equity, of $1 million]. But you have to have an offering memorandum that talks about the business and the use of proceeds, you need to hire a law firm and an accounting firm, you have to go through disclosures and spend a good bit of money.

WSJ: How much might all that cost?

MR. NEISS: You have to spend between $20,000 and $40,000 to put together a private-placement memorandum to market to potential accredited investors.

WSJ: That seems like quite a lot if you're a small business.

MR. NEISS: If you have a little coffee shop somewhere, there might be crowdfunding platforms that can mitigate this and can help you come up with a very streamlined offering and documentations.…You can use standard documentation on some of these platforms, and they will help you put that together, and you can then go out to accredited investors.

WSJ: What else should you be aware of?

MR. NEISS: You have to follow the rules. The SEC requires that if you're going to do general solicitation of accredited investors, you [must] file with them 15 days before you go out there. The SEC is and will be looking for examples of people who have not followed the rules, and I would not want to be one of those first people who do not follow the rules and is held accountable. It's not going to be pretty for them.

Watch Your Step

WSJ: What are other potential pitfalls when promoting these marketing efforts?

MR. NEISS: The rules of the game don't change. You are asking for money from investors. They want to know certain things: about you, your company, how much money you are going to raise, how are you going to use that money, what the return is for them.…If you can't explain all this to them both in documentation and face-to-face interaction, you will not raise a dime from them.

WSJ: Does this make it more difficult to raise money, then?

MR. NEISS: What is going to make it more challenging for people raising equity money is that there's many means of communication. You can have someone, potential investors, saying, "You have not thought through your investment model." You need to go back to that comment, which is probably seen by everyone [on social networks and other online venues], and defend [your idea]. If you don't, you won't win…confidence and [you] will not get the money.

WSJ: Can you explain the SEC's "bad actor" rule in relation to the lift in the ban on general solicitation?

MR. NEISS: [If entrepreneurs] have anything in their past that would be considered as if they acted in a way that was frowned upon, I would not go out and raise capital. If you've done anything wrong that can come up in these databases that we have on all Americans, you will be disqualified from raising capital.

[In addition,] if you raise capital under one of the existing exemptions but don't follow the rules, you could become a bad actor. The bad-actor provision was put into place to keep people who have committed fraud from going back out and doing it again. The provision applies to more than just the business owner. It applies to executive officers, directors and promoters of the issuer. Owners of 20% of the voting equity of the issuer. Investment managers and principals of pooled investment funds and intermediaries and selling agents and their respective officers, directors and beneficial owners. While there are no set penalties, at most it is possible to go to jail if you are convicted of securities fraud
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