Crowdfunding Marketing is a Minefield – Here’s Your Map Through It.
So you went ahead; you clicked the button to launch your crowdfunding campaign and you’re on your way. Crowdfunding marketing may be on your mind, maybe not.
As far as you know you’ve got your crowdfunding pitch video polished, your perks are perfect & your crowdfunding story explains it all.
All you need to do is work hard on your crowdfunding project and just answer questions that come in, right?
Within the first 48 hours you need to slog through 30-40 emails from different people from different websites telling you how epic your project is, how awesome your idea is and how they and they alone can do the best possible job to promote a crowdfunding campaign. Your ego swells as you’re told your crowdfunding campaign has been personally picked out for its fluffy feeling and other gibberish.
And that, in the immortal worlds of Penn and Teller, is bullshit.
That’s because practically every crowdfunding marketing “company” that contacts you is very likely not a company at all but a sham operation.
Why do I say that?
From my standpoint — long standing experience. From YOUR experience all you have to go on are your eyes and your intuition.
As the saying goes; “Don’t believe everything you hear.” Or read either, when it comes to your crowdfunding project.
Borrow my eyes for a few minutes and tap into my Internet street smarts and get schooled on the confidence tricks far too many try to pull when trying to make money promoting a crowdfunding campaign.
If I were to share the details of each and every bogus website, fake claim to status as an authority or a “guru” this crowdfunding blog post would be dozens and dozens of pages long and take me weeks to write as I attempted to catalog, document and otherwise expose all of the crowdfunding scams out there that promise to give you the best crowdfunding marketing but only follow through on pocketing your money.
In some cases, websites you pay for crowdfunding marketing will send you a bunch of vague emails, never send you details or documentation of any actual promotional work they actually did and end up telling you “Oh well, we did the best we could.” Others do in fact deliver something you could call crowdfunding pr but it’s of such low quality as to be useless. A crowdfunding press release loaded with spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and a totally dead “tone” are dead-on-arrival generating no interest or excitement at all. These crowdfunding promoters didn’t actually scam you but they didn’t help your crowdfunding campaign at all. They just helped themselves to your money.
Over the years, so many crowdfunding advertising websites closed as new ones opened peddling the modern equivalent of snake oil. The patterns are as diverse as they are disturbing. It would be a full time job for any three people to properly track it all.
Most websites that revolve around crowdfunding advertising hold to one or more of the following underhanded, unscrupulous or questionable tactics:
Some confidence tricksters dab their toe in the water of crowdfunding promotion and see if they can make a buck – then find out they can’t and they shut down fast.
Other crowdfunding PR websites make a lot of fast money selling their lies to a naive public before they’re forced to pack up their tent and open a new one elsewhere.
(Translation: “Shit! We’re getting hammered with 20+ negative reviews on Yelp! Time to jump ship to a new website with a clean slate and no negative reviews!)
Here’s a Yelp page collecting reviews of just one crowdfunding promotion website that has accumulated no less than 20 negative reviews in under three months. Don’t just read the first 6 reviews listed; scroll down to the bottom and click to view the other reviews too. You’ll get quite an education on how wrong advertising a crowdfunding project can go.
And yet still others entice you with promises of epic crowdfunding marketing but only deliver shoddy services if they deliver at all.
Still more crowdfunding advertising websites post fake claims that totally fall apart under any scrutiny at all WARNING: Many crowdfunding marketing websites do this. MANY. You need to read this article for three critical reasons:
1) Joe Daniels takes you through the entire hoax from the initial message you get through your Kickstarter or Indiegogo project to dissecting the entire scam with surgical precision.
2) Joe goes on to tell you exactly how you can do the exact same background research on any crowdfunding promotion website you are thinking of paying.
3) The website he took apart and exposed as a scam operation is no longer in operation. The sad thing is — this happens all the time. Older websites close and brand new ones open. And the whole cycle can happen in 72 hours or less.
While others are a lot harder to spot at first glance unless you dig deep and know the true origins of a supposed crowdfunding promotion company
The question remains: How do you know for sure you can trust a crowdfunding promotion company? How can you believe what they claim?
In essence – how do you know for sure you’re picking an authentic, experienced and qualified crowdfunding pr company at all? Even if they’re not a scam they might suck. When it comes to you shelling out your cash for advertising a crowdfunding campaign you want to be sure you’re getting honest effort and real resources, don’t you?
Here’s how you can know for sure….
The Crowdfunding Advertising Buyer’s Guide
Use this handy checklist when considering the purchase of crowdfunding promotion services.
Is the website verified by any third party?
A CrowdfundBuzz review will reveal we are accredited by the Better Business Bureau and are also Trust Guard verified.
If the website you are thinking of handing over your credit card to is not verified by either the BBB or Trust Guard then you shouldn’t give them a dollar of your money.
Because almost every crowdfunding advertising website I’ve ever seen is either lying through their teeth or exaggerating to the point of absurdity about how good they are, how long they’re doing what they do or how many resources they have to do what they claim to do. Many of these crowdfunding marketing websites have addresses listed as a pack-and-ship mailbox rental place (think UPS Store) if they list an address at all (MANY DO NOT!).
Going further, we’ve stumbled across several websites that use fake names and grab pictures of people they find on the web and pass those pictures off as their own. We’re sitting on many examples of the misrepresentation of people on crowdfunding success/promotion websites all over the Internet.
The takeaway here is this: Unless the website is either BBB accredited or Trust Guard verified you really and truly do not know who you are actually dealing with and can’t possibly know if anything they say is true or even the least bit accurate.
If Indiegogo, the oldest crowdfunding platform on earth, makes it a point to maintain their accredited status with the Better Business Bureau and a comparatively newer, smaller crowdfunding pr agency like us can maintain our standing as an accredited BBB business then any honest crowdfunding promotion company can… IF THEY WANT TO.
If they don’t participate in the Better Business Bureau there are any of three reasons why:
1) The crowdfunding marketing website in question would not pass the Better Business Bureau’s screening process. This entails the BBB inspecting all corporate paperwork to make sure all of the company’s state-issued documentation is in good order. Then the BBB reviews the crowdfunding promotion website to make sure it complies with the BBB’s accreditation standards (Build Trust, Advertise Honestly, Tell the Truth, Be Transparent, Honor Promises, Be Responsive, Safeguard Privacy, Embody Integrity). And finally — and before being approved — the crowdfunding advertising business agrees to be bound by the Better Business Bureau Code of Ethics. After all of that, the board of directors of the BBB chapter with jurisdiction reviews the application and all accompanying paperwork then votes whether or not to grant BBB accreditation. And guess what? That’s not the end of the story. The Better Business Bureau conducts ongoing reviews of the websites of accredited members to make sure BBB compliance is maintained all of the time.
2) The crowdfunding promotion website doesn’t want to be bound by the BBB code of ethics and doesn’t want to hold themselves to a higher standard of honesty or integrity or transparency.
3) The crowdfunding advertising entity is in “business” in the very short term to scam as many people as possible before they get exposed for the crowdfunding scam they are and couldn’t care less about the BBB one way or the other.
On a similar note, Trust Guard takes pains to verify the physical office address of any business, a secondary address (such as a home address, in my case) and other information tied to the business before they give that business the thumbs up as a Trust Guard verified business.
We are accredited members of the Better Business Bureau AND we’re Trust Guard verified. As of the publication date of this article we are the ONLY crowdfunding advertising company in the world to be both BBB accredited and Trust Guard verified.
Heck, no other crowdfunding promotion website out there has EITHER ONE. Just us. We stand alone.
Is the website established? Or are they brand new to the crowdfunding business?
This is important when you understand that a brand new crowdfunding pr website can be fully operational in roughly 72 hours from the time they first register their domain name, design and publish their website then open up their credit card merchant account and get their toll-free number (IF THEY EVEN HAVE ONE (see below)).
Click here then punch in the name of any website you’re thinking of dealing with. Look for the “creation date” of the website and you have your answer.
Here’s the most recent and relevant example:
Here’s the takeaway – they’re in business less than 30 days. Can you trust them enough to pay them $389 to promote a crowdfunding campaign for you effectively? Can you trust a website operating less than 30 days at all? We’re not insinuating that “Stuyvesant Marketing” is a scam operation but one must call into question the quality of their work, the establishment of their experience, the basis of their claims to a 900,000+ journalist database and the 6,000+ contacts they brag about. How did they cultivate so many journalist contacts in a month? Who wouldn’t be curious to know why there is no phone number or address published for these people? How does someone call them with questions? Where does someone go if they’re in New York City and wants to stop by their offices for an in-person visit if they like?
This is just one example. There are many, many others with more appearing all of the time. If a website is operating for one month, six months or even a year (which is rare!) you have no way of knowing if they have any expertise or experience let alone the crowdfunding resources or ability to deliver what they advertise either at all or with any recognizable sign of skill or aptitude.
You need to ask yourself all of these questions and have them answered to your complete satisfaction — and then be able to verify all of those answers for yourself — before you even think of spending a dime of your money on crowdfunding marketing and gambling what little precious time you have to hit your crowdfunding goal.
Where’s their proof of work? Or delivery? Or anything?
We here at Crowdfund Buzz are proud to display all of our work over the years. That’s why we have 160 screens of crowdfunding press releases on public display documenting our work for our crowdfunding clients over the years.
We also invite scrutiny of our Facebook page, Twitter feed, Google+ page, my Linkedin profile and our Instagram profile. Everything we’ve done since day one is all there.
Now here’s the fun part: Feel free to cross check our crowdfunding success stories to our press releases and social media feeds and see for yourself that the work we performed led to the published crowdfunding success.
Does any other crowdfunding PR website do this? No.
Can they be as transparent as we are? Yes, if they wanted to.
So why aren’t they more transparent? I’ll leave it to you to answer THAT question.
Peruse any ten crowdfunding marketing websites and you’ll notice an astonishing absence of prior work completed and no ability to cross-check their claims against the work actually performed.
If this is the case then before you hand over a single cent of your money to any crowdfunding marketing company ask them to send you samples of prior work that you can review and verify for yourself.
A crowdfunding marketing primer part II is possible. For now we’ll rely on the public to absorb, assimilate and understand what we’ve shared so far. Crowdfund Buzz reviews and accumulates information on every aspect of the crowdfunding world.
The most valuable thing we’ve accumulated since 2012 is impeccable expertise, unquestionable experience and proven history in furthering the crowdfunding industry itself.