The No. 1 Rule of Successful Crowdfunding

Three Kickstarter and Indiegogo alums tell how they hit it big

By The Editors

The No. 1 Rule of Successful Crowdfunding
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14 January 2016

These days, any man with a plan, a smartphone camera and an Internet connection can set up a crowdfunding campaign and call himself an entrepreneur.

Just type “how to run a successful crowdfunding campaign” into your Google searchbar.

What you'll find: “Choose the right platform.” “Make a killer video.” Or our favorite: “Know your audience.” But sitting atop that heap of hollow and vaguely helpful aphorisms is something that connects everything: excellent storytelling.

Telling a good story is the single most important thing you can do to ensure your entrepreneurial success, because a successful campaign story connects your audience to your project. It tells them not only what matters, but why it matters; it plants the seed of trust. And sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo are built on trust.

Here, three immensely successful crowdfunders share how they connected with their audience through superb storytelling.

NEBIAA shower built for the highest standards of design, experience and water efficiency.3:47

"People connect with the story, and those behind the story. Your video should make clear the inspiration and your motivation for doing this. Backers will get behind you if they believe that you are truly in love with the project and will put everything you have behind it. In our case, we started Nebia as a solution to reduce water consumption at a large chain of gyms my co-founder ran. He and his dad started tinkering. It was really just a project at first. Conveying that key part of the story made it more relatable."

Philip Winter, CEO of Nebia

Pledge Goal: $100,000
Pledge Total: $3.1 million

SKULLY HELMETSWith a heads up display, 180° blind spot camera, and GPS navigation, the SKULLY AR-1 is superhuman by design.:47

“SKULLY has always been about more than just a helmet. It was important for us to reach out beyond motorcyclists, to capture the imagination of an audience that has never been on two wheels. By telling a visual story through videos and pictures, we were able to transport them onto a motorcycle and into a SKULLY helmet. This type of engagement resulted in the birth of SKULLY Nation and made us the leading consumer AR [augmented reality] company today."

Marcus Weller, CEO and Chief Designer of Skully

Pledge Goal: $250,000
Pledge Total: $2.5 million

Gramovox Vertical TurntablePart sculpture, part high-performance stereo, this reimagined vintage audio system makes it look as though the record is magically spinning in air.3:30

"Don't just sell specs. Sell the experience. Create a campaign that allows potential backers to form an emotional bond with the product. The Vertical Turntable resonates with our team. I think our passion and emotional investment in the product translates to consumers, so make sure you love what you create. It shows."

—Pavan Bapu, CEO of Gramovox

Pledge Goal: $50,000
Pledge Total: $1.5 million

Image courtesy of © Marcus Butt

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