This post shares an opportunity that I think is out there just waiting to be developed by the best media salespeople.
The latest buzzword on the web is “Crowdfunding” — pitching your project to the general public seeking financial support for putting your ideas into action – and this process is something that should be on your radar as a potentially profitable purpose for this people to promote themselves in traditional media.
With the press reporting success stories from sites like Kickstarter.com (the most high profile site for Crowdfunding right now) allowing users to raises thousands of dollars in days, hundreds of thousands in weeks, and millions of dollars over a couple months – individuals and organizations are beginning to turn to these Crowdfunding sites instead of seeking single investors or trying to get bank loans.
The trick to getting a project funded is having enough people become aware of the project within the fundraising time period (usually 30 days) and contributing dollars to it in order to reach their project goal (hit the goal, you keep the dough. Fall short and all the investors’ money stays with the investors.)
Most people posting projects have a limited sphere of influence, and unless their concepts spreads beyond their circle of friends, their project won’t get the funding it needs and as a result about 40% of Kickstarter projects fail to hit their goal. That’s where a traditional media seller and their undeniable access to a qualified audience becomes a benefit.
The majority of projects right now are being posted by individuals and small creative groups (artists, musicians, filmmakers, writers, inventors), but lured by the success of these individual’s projects, small businesses will be the next entities to profit from these Crowdfunding sites.
How can they resist success stories like these?
- Many of you may already be aware of the Atlanta school bus monitor who suffered abuse from her middle school riders. The “crowd” decided she deserved a vacation and they’ve raised close to $700,000 in her name.
- A builder of a 3D printer raises over $830,000
- A guy with an idea to build a watch strap around an iPod Nano has surpassed $900,000 and is closing in on a million
- A creator of a web comic raises $1.25 MILLION dollars to reprint his comics in book form
- And the big kahuna to-date – a unique watch design that has surpassed TEN MILLION DOLLARS in funding!
Small and mid-sized businesses looking to increase their services, personnel, products lines, or even expand to multiple locations will begin looking to the public to support their efforts, and traditional media will play a role in helping them spread the word and gain that financial support. They won’t just be trying to get people into their stores, they are going to be using media to increase the public’s awareness of their Crowdfunding pitch and getting them to invest within the limited time period to successfully reach (and surpass) their goals.
You owe it to yourself investigate the different Crowdsourcing sites.
Start with these:
Not the first of its kind, but the one to have finally “tipped” the concept
Started primarily for musicians and bands, but the school bus monitor project got them major media coverage and a huge boost in users, diversifying their project pool
This one holds special value for me, you because it is based my current city of residence (Columbus, Ohio) and is gaining media coverage and support
Think in terms of broadcast, print, and online campaigns inviting readers, viewers, listeners and web visitors to help support an advertiser’s project.
- Limited edition products
- Help a popular restaurant expand
- A carpet cleaning company needs a new van
- A pub wants to create a new microbrew
- Manufacturing company needs a new piece of machinery
- Technology company wants to patent a new process
Applications and opportunities are endless — and the sellers with vision have the chance to get there FIRST.
PS: Learn more about successful Crowdfunding in Columbus by joining the local MeetUp group. Support the efforts of their organization by donating to their crowdfunding project on indiegogo. Contribute at the $150 level to receive a free one-hour brainstorming consult with me (just three available!)