NEW YORK – Entrepreneurs and other users of crowdfunding site Kickstarter have been seeking the secret to becoming a "Staff Pick" for some time without much luck. Not even people who have been selected know why it happened.
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There's good reason for wanting to be a Staff Pick: It can be a boost for those seeking to raise cash on the site for their startup or creative project.
Staff Picks can get prime placement on the Kickstarter's website, can be promoted on Kickstarter's social media accounts, or appear in Kickstarter's "Projects We Love" widely-distributed email. That type of promotion can increase the chances someone will see the project and donate money to it.
Staff Picks are selected by Kickstarter's 98 employees. Those that study Kickstarter say there's not much that can be done to increase the chances of getting picked. But experts offer these tips to try to get the attention of Kickstarter's staffers:
FOLLOW GUIDELINES. Don't break the rules when it comes to your campaign. Make sure all of Kickstarter's rules are followed, and that the project's page is updated frequently and has exciting rewards in exchange for donations. Kickstarter has a handbook on its site, https://www.kickstarter.com/help/handbook.
NETWORK: Instead of focusing on being chosen as a Staff Pick, time is better spent promoting the project online and getting journalists and bloggers to write about your project, says Piers Duruz, the founder of crowdfunding information website CrowdfundingDojo.com. Make sure to email everyone in your network and send out links on your social media accounts.
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TWEET EMPLOYEES: Kickstarter publishes posts on its blog that introduces its employees to readers at https://www.kickstarter.com/blog . In the blog posts, employees say what they like in a project, and which projects they have backed. Duruz advises those trying to be Staff Pick to tweet links to employees who have liked similar projects. Duruz says he knows of one person who took his advice and became a Staff Pick, but he can't be sure if the tweet made the difference. You can also tweet to Kickstarter's Twitter account or share it on their Facebook page.
EMAIL THEM: Kickstarter gives out an email address, firstname.lastname@example.org, for users to send projects they want staffers to take notice of. Try sending an email if your project is written up by a blogger or journalist, says Salvador Briggman, founder of crowdfunding info website CrowdCrux.com. Don't just email them begging to be selected as Staff Pick or write a long email about why you should be picked, says Briggman.