“The shortest way to success is building a business around a skill set that you are passionate about,”said Salvador Briggman, creator of the crowd funding help sites CrowdCrux, Kickstarter Forum, and Crowdfunding PR. “All of the successful people I’ve come across in Kickstarter or wherever have centered their business around what they are passionate about.”
Salvador was born in El Salvador. He was adopted as a baby and grew up in Massachusetts before heading to George Washington University in Washington DC. “I went in thinking I was gonna do psychology. I thought of doing creative writing and [even] taking a medical track. Out of all of that, I did blogging and this crowd funding arena for the past three years.” There was a time when he got involved with various tech start ups, but none of them succeeded. He stated that the experience helped him progress into his current work.
He started CrowdCrux, the first of his three websites, during his junior year of college. The idea stemmed from an assignment that prompted him to create a mini-thesis; Salvador studied how different types of businesses fair when raising money via crowd funding. According to him, specific publishing items (ex. books) depend more on a person’s local network and how they are able to spread the word. Generalized items (ex. tools, accessories, gadgets) “see pledges from strangers because of the desire to own the product.”
CrowdCrux is a blog and informational resource that specializes in providing info for those who are creating or in the midst of a crowd funding campaign. “[The site shows people] how to get products off the ground,” said Salvador. He added, “We come out with an article every day.” The site also has a podcast that showcases individuals who have run successful crowd funding campaigns. “I interview people who share exactly what they did. It’s a resource for people who want to find out how to launch a successful campaign, [and] I’d say 90 percent is free.” Salvador explained that CrowdCrux was not his original name for the site, but he chose to get creative.“I knew I wanted it to be something related to crowd funding. I wanted something like ‘hub.’ I liked ‘crux’ because I like the center.”
Here’s the CrowdCrux logo.
Kickstarter Forum emerged after Salvador saw that no platform was available for those who wanted to share their crowd funding experience. He created it as a place for individuals to tell their stories, find tips from others, and warn others of common mistakes.
Crowdfunding PR came last after Salvador was consistently asked for additional help in getting others’ projects attention. “On Crowdfunding PR, people can submit a free press release. They can pay to have a press release written (it costs $159, which is lower than other sites); they can pay to have the press release sent to different media outlets. I wanted to target the average person. They can market their project in an affordable way through Crowdfunding PR.” Numerous crowd funding projects that have appeared on Crowdfunding PR have been successful. A bag, called an Urban Pack, raised $84,000, which was the highest amount raised out of projects promoted on Crowdfunding PR.
“Your job as an entrepreneur is figuring out problems,” said Salvador. “That’s how you earn your place. That’s how you keep people from copying you.” There are many roadblocks for would-be entrepreneurs to overcome. “Nail down who your customer is. Figure out how to market the business. Inadvertently, I learned about content marketing. Figuring out the marketing involves putting out great content.”
“I struggled with turning this into a full time business. Psychologically, that can be scary. There’s a huge uncertainty aspect. I made sure I had a base income from the site. I did everything I could to monetize the site. Every entrepreneur struggles with finding a reliable income stream. It’s very tough.”
He continued, “You have to become known as a consultant in that area [you specialize in].” Salvador insisted that the best way for one to start a company is to decide the people he or she wants to service. “Work backwards and find out what they need. By that time, you know those people so well that you know what they want.” He also suggested that creating what one wants instead of researching what others need is generally not as successful. “No matter what kind of business you’re in, figure out how to make it more scalable. The more that you create things that are scalable, the easier it is to grow in the long term.”
Salvador also shared more general advice for dreamers. “The best way to live your dream is to help other people succeed first or help them live their dream. How are you improving other people’s lives? That’s what it’s about. If you improve a lot of people’s lives, your life will become better. If you keep doing it a lot of times and monetize it you will be very successful.”
For those desiring to launch successful crowd funding campaigns Salvador highlighted preparedness. “Do your homework before launching. Find people like myself who are writing about crowd funding. Learn from other creators.” He also suggested one should add personality to his or her campaign. It helps the individual stand out. In the end, success boils down to marketing, PR, and how effectively one communicates his or her idea.
“Find your target audience. Where do they go online? Where do they go in person? Create an email list. It’s going to make a huge difference in the first day. That first week is like a golden opportunity.”
At the interview’s close, Salvador mentioned that although he has accomplished much he has not settled. “Mark Cuban has a famous saying. That people should not follow their dreams but should follow their effort.” He is working tirelessly and looking for new ways to expand while helping others. “It’s the people that put in that time and effort that are successful.”
Check out his sites in the links below!