A Meta-Discussion: How to sell a post?

Nob Akimoto

Nob Akimoto

Nob Akimoto is a policy analyst and part-time dungeon master. When not talking endlessly about matters of public policy, he is a dungeon master on the NWN World of Avlis

Related Post Roulette

12 Responses

  1. Avatar Jaybird says:

    If I were trying to get Balloon Juice to post a link, I would ask them to prove that liberals would donate more than the hypocritical glibertarians. (They’d probably demand a law that funded graduate school fully, however, paid for by “the rich”, instead. “Doesn’t *EVERYONE* deserve a Doctorate?”, could be the post explaining why they didn’t link.)

    If I were trying to get Instapundit to post a link, I would say that I needed help from the Army of Davids to tackle the higher education bubble.

    If I were trying to get Andrew Sullivan to post a link, I would play up the whole “adopted country” thing, make notes about being a liberal among conservatives, a conservative among liberals, an American among the Japanese, and Japanese among the Americans.Report

  2. Nob Akimoto Nob Akimoto says:

    Of course shorter Nob:

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      Multimedia. Put together pictures. Put together a youtube. Give a speech in one youtube containing your best 90 seconds. Give a speech in another containing your second-best 90 seconds.

      Wear “fun” clothing and smile a lot in the opener and closers but be serious in the middle.

      Make eye contact. Make more eye contact. Make EVEN MORE eye contact.

      Talk to us like you know us. Talk to us like we are friends. There are a great many things you can accomplish with affected familiarity. Use that to your advantage.Report

      • Avatar Snarky McSnarkSnark says:

        Jaybird’s right, here. You have to push people’s empathy buttons. You have to make yourself the product–which means actually featuring a picture of yourself looking friendly or pathetic (depends on your marketing approach).

        Otherwise, you’re just an abstract idea of a person. And they don’t get much money.Report

  3. Avatar Snarky McSnarkSnark says:

    It might help if you were an orphan….Report

  4. Avatar dhex says:

    please take this in the spirit it is offered. i’ve been refusing a fair amount of crowdsourced-related freelance gigs lately because they share a lot of common thoughts, so if i seem like an asshole i apologize.

    that said: you seem to have no hook.

    your pitch page is faaaaaaaaaar too long.

    you skip from 50 to 250. too big of a gap. the immediate payoffs are of very limited scope. keep in mind that you’re asking for a significant amount of money for an end result with a very narrow appeal.

    your end degree is wonkish and unsympathetic; your plight, while depressing, isn’t totally fucked. you obviously wouldn’t want to pile on more misery, but it makes for a better tale.

    were you more heavily weighted towards obvious “do gooder” status, or a member of a more sympathetic marginal group, you’d have a better narrative and in wider quarters.

    the photo on the indiegogo site is very abstract – we have no idea who you are at first glance. i think a group photo would work if you tutored young kids or something along those lines. everyone looks far too happy for the tone you’re trying to set.

    the really successful crowdsourcing projects have an end product which someone can enjoy. that obviously doesn’t apply here. but even in the case of non-material projects, donations that support a symbol or cause, people have to feel better about themselves to pitch in to the degree you’d like them to.

    to be honest i’ve thought about this for a bit and i have no idea how you’d package this better beyond going the video route, presuming you’re presentable enough and have a decent speaking voice. tell stories, and make sure those stories make someone want to play the hero. if there’s a tragic angle, play it until you feel ashamed. and then keep going.Report

    • Nob Akimoto Nob Akimoto says:

      Thanks for the feedback, this helps a lot.

      As it seems at this point I’m going to have to try a different pitch style after the current one, I’m trying to figure out how to set up a proper hook and get things going.

      This is difficult of course, and I suppose it’s hard to play the tragic/screwed angle when I’m the one doing it.Report

  5. Avatar Pyre says:

    Ages ago, Karyn Bosniak made a SaveKaryn webpage which brought the internet panhandle to the forefront of everyone’s consciousness. She was interviewed on the Today show a couple of times and everyone hailed this as a great way to raise cash. However, except for giveboobs (woman wanting breast augmentation), the ones that came after did poorly as the internet panhandle moved from novelty to last week’s news..

    While crowdsourcing hasn’t sunk in popularity quite as quick, it is cooling off some. Thusly, you have to be a little more sales-oriented. In this spirit, I decided to take a look at your Kickstarter (Sorry, Indie Go Go).

    First, the more popular a service, the more hits you’re likely to get. Kickstarter is more popular than Indie Go Go or Rockethub. I don’t know what the difference is from the end of putting a campaign up but Kickstarter is more likely to get hits. It’s the same difference that there was between Ebay and Yahoo Auctions. In some ways, Yahoo Auctions was better in terms of getting stuff but Ebay was better-known so more people went to Ebay to buy/sell.

    The actual pitch:

    You do too much in terms of generalities. You also have some word bloat.

    “A degree in global policy studies provides both the analytical skills and the necessary cachette to make a difference in the greater world.” How are you going to make a difference?

    “I’m in the process of embarking on my long-term career.” Well, given that you’re asking for help with a Master’s, that seemed to go without saying.

    “A graduate degree would give me a head start in bringing smart, effective policies to the global arena. I need your help.” How are you going to bring smart, effective policies to the global arena? Also, this should be one sentence. Something like “I need your help in getting a graduate degree that would allow me to bring smart, effective policies to the global arena”.

    “This also comes at a time when I’ve started blogging about global issues facing the world.” This is exactly the point where you lost me.
    First, it makes it sound like you’re asking me for money so you can use your degree to blog. Not the best investment for my Kickstarter dollar.
    Second, I may start asking how hard you’re really working towards your degree if you take the time to plug your blog in the “Why a global degree? part. You mention your blogging down below so why mention it here?
    Third, stating that you blog about global issues in this day and age is like stating that you know how to run Windows. It’s not something that makes you stand out in the crowd. What you want to do is to show me how you have used your studies to make a difference beyond what a fifteen-year-old with a Gamespot blog can do.

    Personally, I’d eliminate the entire paragraph and talk about your blog in the part where you make Global Issues more understandable.

    The perks:

    I can’t see why I’d be interested in these. Ignoring the IP issues which mean that you aren’t actually giving me anything, you’re reinforcing the image that I’m paying you to blog. Frankly, if I wanted to blog, I’d do it myself. Yeah, it might be more emotional and less fact-oriented (“Why Mitt Romney is our last line of defense against Socialist Muslims”) but, if I’m going to blog, I’m going to want it in my own words. Why would I want to pay anyone for that?

    Now, if I was in High School and I wanted someone with experience to fact-check my world history report, that might be worth $50 to me. If I needed research assistance on the U.N.’s Climate Change policies for a college level course, that might be worth $250. If I’m looking to make a pitch at my business that involves international policy, having someone be a junior level consultant and help prepare my business case might seem like a steal at $1500.

    In many ways, given the subject of your Kickstarter, your perks are a reflection of your ability to have your Global Policy degree make a difference. Saying “I’ll blog for you” is both lazy and tells me that your degree can’t really make a difference. Show me that your Global Policy degree can make a difference through your perks. Show me that this is something that you feel passionate about by coming up with more creative and useful perks than “I’ll blog for you.” Look at this project not as putting up a cardboard sign saying “Give me change” but as a way of selling yourself. Look at it as your resume. Look at it as your way of showing how Global Policy can make a difference. If you bring the creativity and the enthusiasm, then people will see that and the donations will reflect that.Report