Thursday, April 19, 2012

What is your sticky story? (Updated)

A friend wants to use Kickstarter to raise $25,000 for a film. He is a brilliant filmmaker, and his films have won many awards, but he has never had success attracting money.

One secret to a good Kickstarter campaign is having a good, 'sticky' story that people respond to. Finding your story can take months or years. Two examples:

1. Slava Menn spent six months researching Kickstarter and writing a small, emotional story. Then he raised $18000 the first day of his kickstarter campaign.

2. Chris Guillabeau took two years to figure out what he wanted to say. Then he became a successful pro blogger in 279 days.

Sticky stories have certain qualities.

The book 'Made To Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die' lists six elements of a sticky story:
  • Simple — find the core of an idea
  • Unexpected — grab people's attention by surprising them
  • Concrete — make sure an idea can be grasped and remembered later
  • Credible — give an idea believability
  • Emotional — help people see the importance of an idea
  • Stories — empower people to use an idea through narrative
I suggested that my friend concentrate on writing a small, sticky story. When he has that story, I think he will be on his way to successful Kickstarter campaign. (Jennifer Fox's account of her Kickstarter campaign shows what else is required, besides a sticky story.)

People don't care that much about your story. They care about their needs... An effective story must activate the listener's world view. Chris Guillabeau's story activates the world view of people who want to live unconventional lives.  Someone who wants a conventional life and a secure 9-5 job will not care about Guillabeau's story. It just won't matter how sticky, well written, or factually true Guillabeau's story is if the person hearing it has a world view that is opposed to an unconventional life.

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