How to crush a Kickstarter Campaign with Podcast Interviews

Kickstarter is an almost magical way of raising funds for a cause that people deeply believe.  As more people visit the page, the pledges increase, and the goal is quickly passed….or the campaign languishes and dies a painful and public death.  While crowd funding can last as long as 60 days, those lasting 30 days or less have the best chance of exceeding the goal.  While it seems counterintuitive, the reason is momentum.  If a campaign plateaus, it’s dead.  Without some major jolt it stalls.

The activity of the first few days is vital to the meeting or exceeding the goal.  For those with huge mailing lists or social media following, a couple of blasts can be all that is needed. For everyone else, if you are going to meet your financial goals you need to get the message out quickly to those who could truly care about your cause.  Forget the paid Facebook ads, there is a free way to talk directly to tens of thousands of your ideal donor on the week your Kickstarter campaign launches.  The secret is being an interviewed podcast guest.

Podcasts are more accurately called on demand radio.  Your potential supporters are listening on their desktops, laptops, smart-phones. Starting in 2016 podcast will be able to be downloaded directly to new cars.  In 2015, it’s estimated that 1 in 5 adults regularly listens to podcasts.  With over 200 thousand podcasts in the US alone, it is a highly targeted niche audience.  You don’t need to get on the biggest show, but the one with a significant percentage of listeners that potentially relate to your cause.

Turning listeners into customers is a proven process.  The six step system has been used by authors, coaches, brands and e-commerce.  It has been shown to work well in both the business to business (B2B) market and the business to consumer (B2C) market.   Now let’s apply it to a Kickstarter campaign:  An eco-friendly clothing product.

Step 1: Define you ideal listener

The first step is defining exactly who you want to talk.  Getting on the wrong show will be a waste of your most valuable resource: Your time. Think of your dream supporter.  That person who will love your product and cause so much that they will donate and amplify your message by sharing it with others.  Early on you need amplifiers as much as donations.  You ideal donor typically knows and connects with other ideal donors.

Define this dream listener with both the demographics (who they are) and psychographics (how they think).

Photo courtesy of Purakai
Photo courtesy of Purakai

For our example, our dream donor we want to talk with is Environmental Erin.  She or He is 20 to 35 and loves the ocean, whales and everything associated with a sustainable green lifestyle.  They have disposable income and actively support causes they believe.  They are into technology and social media.  They live online and turn to their phone to listen to podcasts and interact with friends.

Step 2:  Define your expertise as a guest

Many guests struggle with this.  What makes me an expert?  The legal definition of an expert is someone who by their experience, education or experience knows more than the average person.  If you started the Kickstarter campaign, you are the expert about it.  You alone can speak to the history or the idea and how the funds will ultimately be used.  It’s your story, and you are the expert to explain it. After spending nights and weekends developing this Kickstarter campaign, you will be seen as an expert by the host and listeners.

Step 3: Identify and introduce yourself to the podcast host

Our podcast guest makes a one-sheet that he can attach to an introductory email.  This mini press page shares everything the podcast host needs to say “yes” to his request to be featured on the podcast.  The sheet has his image, credentials, brief bio, a summary of the campaign, contact information and maybe even a testimonial from an individual the podcast host knows and respects.

In the email to the host, our guest focuses on what he can offer the host and listener. He doesn’t want to talk about his product; he wants to educate, enlighten and entertain the listener about the need and the cause.  He wants to inspire with an image of what can be.

Our guest looks through iTunes for podcasts his ideal listeners already may listen and contacts the host of three ideal podcasts like:

Step 4:  the Podcast Interview

While the interviews could be recorded weeks or month before the launch of the Kickstarter campaign, the hosts agree to release the episodes live on the week the campaign launches.  This way the message can be heard on dozens of shows by tens of thousands of potential donors when the listeners need to take action.

Our guest realizes that his goal on the podcast is to make the host looks like a genius for introducing him to the audience.  He takes this interview as seriously as if he was talking to a room of thousands.  He shares stories and builds rapport with the host and listeners.  He gives them a chance to know, like and trust him.  In a 30 minute interview, he ensures they understand, relate and support to the Kickstarter cause.  Instead of selling, he focuses on serving.  He talks about extra resource back at his website. He mentions an infographic, a free checklist of the top 10 ways to support the cause and even a short video they can watch.  He even directs them to a dedicated page he’s set up with everything they discussed.

Step 5:  Listeners to Visitors

Since the interview is evergreen, meaning it could be heard for weeks or months, it’s vital that whenever the ideal prospect visits the site they get the information and experience they expect. Even if the campaign is over, you want to engage and capture this visitors information. This is why they were sent to the dedicated welcome page  Here the visitor finds the information he couldn’t “see” on the podcast.  On the page he immediately know’s he’s in the right place.  He’s reassured with the podcast name and the host’s picture. It builds trust and makes him feel special, instead of just being another nameless, faceless visitor.

Step 6:  Visitors to Leads

On the welcome page, all of the information is available.  While some information like the video and infographic is available with a simple click, other resources like a coupon code require the visitor to provide his name and email address.  Sharing this information is the first mini transaction.  The lead has provided something of value (his contact info) for something of value (the coupon code). Automated nurturing can now be triggered, or the lead could be handed off to sales to help further to close the sale.

The smart podcast guest realizes that he talked to thousands of potential customers. It cost 30 minutes of his time and required no travel.  Everything but the interview can be coordinated with assistance or outsourced.  The interest, traffic, and leads generated can be used in other areas of the cause.  He can study the analytics to determine what podcasts and nurturing sequence provided the best return on time invested.  Continually improving the process, he builds a source of high quality, self-qualified, sales-ready leads.