Having trouble understanding how to use Kickstarter to fund your ab fab concept? Feeling lonely and depressed cuz you’re the only one you know who hasn’t scored a roomful of gold via crowdfunding?
Well, despair no longer, pally. You too can be an entrepreneur and get your new web series or indie film all the $$$ it needs. Cuz the Wonderful World of the Interweb has – you guessed it – a workaround for ya:
Inside the Booming Business of Kickstarter Coaches
by Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan
Here’s a staggering statistic: Kickstarter backers pledge roughly $1.5 million every day.Crowdfunding is a big business, despite its image as a folksy, grassroots-style approach to money. It’s so big, in fact, that it’s spawning a cottage industry of professionals who can help you cash in on your idea. For a fee.
Kickstarter turned five this year, while its wilder older brother, Indiegogo, is nearly eight. Dozens of other splinter sites have popped up in their wake, and Kickstarter alone has raised more than $1.3 billion over its half a decade of existence, distributed to more than 70,000 projects. It’s a boon to startups, artists, and activists, and a risk for fools too easily parted with a dollar.
It’s also home to a service industry unto itself—dozens of small companies and experts you can pay to help you crowdfund. There’s TeeLaunch, a company that will help you print and send out all those t-shirts you promised your backers. Or BackerKit, an outfit devoted to helping you deliver your final product on time. But before any of that happens, you have to sell yourself to the world. And for that, there are a growing handful of unusual agencies devoted to helping you pitch.
Alex Daly didn’t set out to run other peoples’ Kickstarter campaigns.
She’s a filmmaker who funded a documentary on the site and was so successful, other people started asking her for her natural expertise. Over the course of the last two years, she’s run dozens of successful campaigns—in fact, her agency, Vann Alexandra, has a 100 percent success rate getting projects funded. It has garnered the nickname “the crowdsourceress,” and today, she’s regarded as something of a wunderkind at getting the internet—an elusive bunch—to believe in the ideas of the designers, artists, and filmmakers who hire her.
Let’s say you’re trying to crowdfund an idea for a gadget. Daly and her team can manage nearly any aspect of the process, beginning months before the launch of the final campaign. That could include producing a video for you—arguably the most important, emotional part of your pitch—as well as planning which blogs and other media outlets you should reach out to.
If you don’t have a Twitter feed or a Facebook page yet, Daly’s team can set one up for you. If you need coaching to nail the presentation, or copyediting on your description, they can help you with that too. They’ll even help you hold up your end of the bargain once your project is funded, managing everything from order fulfillment to payment processing.