“Turn your marketing into an event, and you will transform your results.” — Jeff Walker

What is Today’s Episode About?


  • We’re going to look at why KS as a platform is so darn effective.
  • My personal history… Comics Revenues Tripled in 2012… same year I started using KS
  • Nearly 40 Million in Comics funding, more than $1 billion overall
  • First time creators on their very first book taking in easily 4-5 figures. (My first comic made $9.)
  • Why?

Core Lesson/ Parable

  • Jeff Walker
    • Quoted him last Session. Not a household name… unless you have an internet business, and launch online products… e-books, courses, membership sites, software.
    • Best Selling Author — Launch: An Internet Millionaire’s Secret Formula To Sell Almost Anything Online, Build A Business You Love, And Live The Life Of Your Dreams 
    • Guy has been teaching people not just how to sell products, but how to launch them, starting with nothing, no audience, no product even… since the early days of the internet when AOL was still mailing CD-ROMs to people’s houses.
    • Forbes — http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericwagner/2012/09/11/why-jeff-walker-is-the-400-million-dollar-man-and-7-lessons-you-can-learn-from-him/
    • Created a Formula for Launching products online… I read the book and one of my biggest aha’s was… Holy Crap! KS essentially created a platform to make it super easy for anyone to implement this Secret Formula.

9 Mental Triggers that are At Work on Kickstarter

  • What’s a Mental Trigger?
    • Triggers directly influence how we act and make decisions, they act on a subconscious level.

1) Authority

  • People tend to follow people in positions of authority.
    • Doctors in white coats… actors in white coats.
    • Following “leaders” is a way our brains have evolved take stress off. “Be like Mike”
  • Kickstarter makes us look good.
    • Remember Myspace?
    • Kickstarter makes it super easy for technically unsavy to make a great looking sales page.
    • “Oh, you’ve got a Kickstarter?”

2.) Reciprocity

  • Powerful principle… if someone gives something to us, we will feel some obligation to give them something back in return.
    • X-mas Cards — Study sent to random strangers… got one in return from some 60%.
    • FREE E-books in exchange for an email. —
    • FREE bread at restaurants.
  • KS is founded on this principle of reciprocity. Not donation… it’s a pledge and reward.
  • Best designed KS always give something of value…even before people donate.
    • Ex. Free digital copy C is for Cthulhu book

3.) Trust

  • Supporting a PERSON as well as a Product
    • Why video is so important, and why Your voice and visage is important
    • All things being equal – buy Know, Like and Trust
  • Transparency – what the money will be used for
  • Build trust over time… how you run your campaign. Great campaigns get backers to increase pledges.
    • ComixTribe for Life example

4.) Anticipation

  • Trigger that grabs people’s attention
  • Campaign! There are stakes here… When is it going to launch? Is it going to fund?
  • Stretch Goals? What will they be? When will they unlock?
  • Reveals – New pledge levels.
  • Milestone bonuses.
  • Great campaigns all use this trigger to their advantage.
  • How high will it go?

5.) Likeability

  • Know like and Trust… like is a big thing.
  • Influence — “I like you.” Top auto-salesman example.
  • Good campaigns use that. John Lee’s THE STANDARD campaign… he’s a likeable guy.
  • Potato Salad guy — $55K on KS. Likeable.

6.) Events and Rituals

  • A campaign is an event… people love events. They get pulled into them, make them feel apart of something bigger than themselves.
  • Different than putting an item up for sale– anyone can do it.
  • Events have a start and stop time.
  • Group of people coming together…
  • KS rituals — the first day launch (being a day one backer)
  • Stretch goals unveiling
  • Campaign has Stakes
    • Elections are a huge business… winning and losing is on the line.
    • KS is ALL or NOTHING funding
      • Why it kicks indiegogo’s butt
      • Why its a faster funding method than Patreon
  • “Turn your marketing into an event, and you will transform your results.” — Jeff Walker

7.) Community

  • Community powerful trigger… by and large, we act like the people in our community tend to act.
  • KS allows for instant community building
    • Reading Rainbow campaign brilliant at that. Got tied up in the movement, changed their avatars on social media.
    • Team Mighty Titan – Joe Martino
    • Backer Pledges… means something to some people

8.) Scarcity

  • Scarcity – One of the most powerful triggers known to man.
  • When there is less of something, we want it more.
    • Why is Action Comics #1 worth $1,5 million (or more)
  • Fear of loss more powerful than the appeal of gain
  • KS builds in Scarcity
    • Time – There’s a clicking clock… you usually have 30 days to get in, and once that’s up, you can never get in.
    • Pledge levels — Set Limited Reward (good thing to do, they go QUICK!)

9.) Social Proof

  • The idea that when we see other people taking action, we’re more included to follow suit. “Monkey see, monkey do.”
  • “9 out of 10 doctor’s recommend” – Authority and Social Proof
  • 300 billion burgers sold
  • Sylvan Goldman , shopping cart, 1937 Piggly Wiggly
  • Amazon.com knows this — Highest correlation to sales is ratings and reviews.
  • iTunes knows this — Ratings and reviews. 
  • KS knows this
    • $ total funds raised
    • Backer Total
    • Backer comments
    • Social Shares
  • Best KS projects harness this — Cthulhu



  • How Have YOU been Effected by Mental Triggers?
    • Take 5 Minutes and see if you can think of one example for each of the nine triggers on how You’ve been triggered to take action you might not otherwise have been.
  • All of us our busy, but we all can spare 5 minutes to do this. [NA — What comes out on paper may surprise you. And if you’d like to share the results of your ComixLauncher with me, I’d love to see them. Email me at [email protected], subject line: ComixLauncher #4.]

Wrap Up

  • I hope you enjoyed this dissection of Kickstarter. Why it works so well, better think about how you might harness the the mental triggers built into KS and dial them up to an 11 for your own campaigns.
  • Thanks for Listening.
  • Tease future episodes
    • Guests coming up!


  • Jeff Walker — “One of the most important thing to remember about these triggers is that they are not isolated. Many of them are closely related, and they work synergistically. When used together, the impact is compounded.”
  • KS platform is greater than the sum of its parts. The more of these mental triggers inherent to the platform that you take advantage of, the more powerful your campaign will be.

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