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July 8, 2014
Be the Potato Salad
Author Ferret Steinmetz offers this pithy advice on how people can run appealing campaigns for funding
. Although it's somewhat facetious, it's based on a real-world example of a guy who managed to create a Kickstarter for potato salad
. He started with a goal of USD 10 and at this writing he's broken 41,000 with over three weeks to go.
The thing he's offering is, nominally, is himself making potato salad. Yes, really. He's raising a few bucks to make potato salad. Why, then is he getting tens of thousands? Ferret's answer is, basically, "entertainment." The potato salad concept is silly and as the campaign has grown, more silly and goofy things have been added, like "a bite of the potato salad". Clearly that's not something you'd normally pay three bucks for, but so far over 600 people have thought it was funny enough to do that.
And there's the trick: make your campaign about "how you make the donator feel" and you can be more successful than trying a serious approach, especially if what you're pitching is something potentially desperate or depressing. By making this potato salad silliness feel like fun, it became something people wanted to feel involved with.
The lesson about Kickstarter or Indiegogo or any donation drive is that you get what you give
Words of wisdom for the new media age.
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