The joy of people who want to be helpful, but only if you pay them….the downside of crowd-funding.

Recently I launched a Kickstrater campaign for my new book. It’s a tall order as the costs mean that producing the book will be around £40K! I don’t have that sort of money. If I did, I almost certainly wouldn’t be running a campaign on Kickstarter.

Now, I have no objections to people being entrepreneurial. I think it should be applauded. But, why should I be barraged with a whole bunch of “business folks” saying that they can make my project a success? I wouldn’t mind, if they didn’t start by attacking the other folks who do the same. Or perhaps making wild unfounded claims that they have helped securing over a 1000%, yes, 1000%.

Wait a moment. If I had a £1 kickstarted campaign, and it raise £1000 then that is correct. But, I need to raise £40,000 so that would mean….hmmmm…£40,000,000?

I’d be up for that one!

I also performed a WHOIS look up on the domains as I was curious to see if there were any similarities. The two companies SMT, and Crowdfunding services, share the same domain name address registration. Now this doesn’t mean they are the same company, and the fact that they have the same client on their websites……just an observation…..thats all.

Have a read of the emails below. None of them state any form of confidentiality in the content, and they were unsolicited message to me, so its fair game to put them on record. By the way, I have added my comments in bold within their emails.

Here is number one:
“Hi,

I am Jonathan from www.smt-agency.com , the first online marketing company specialized in CrowdFunding. I have personally reviewed your crowdfunding campaign in Kickstarter and I am certain our Digital Agency can bring more exposure and visibility to your project and help you reach your goal. We have been working with a wide variety of crowdfunding campaigns and the results we have obtained speak for themselves. So far, we’ve helped raise thousands of dollars thanks to our targeted marketing actions and the advised tips we’ve provided to our latest clients .
I assume you may already have been contacted by many of our competitors or that you will be soon. We aren’t the kind of people who will tell you that we are the best and the others are just plain lame. [You just have Jonathan, in writing] That wouldn’t be fair; I rather prefer explaining to you why SMT Agency is the company you should work with in order to give your crowdfunding campaign the most chances to succeed.
First of all, we are the only company that directly operates a leading crowdfunding portal. “Best-Crowdfunding-Websites.com” is the most trusted source for news and Information about the Crowdfunding Industry with thousands of visitors every month. [Interestingly, this website, is registered by the same company as amt-agency,  and Crwodfunding Service. Coinicidence, and no wonder they are the only folks with a direct relationship, oh wait, if you look at the SMT website is does show they are the operator of that independent site. By reading this email, it wouldn’t sound like that would it. ] Just take a look at our website and you will see by yourself how professional and comprehensive it is. When an article about your campaign is published in our website, you ensure your project’s credibility and increase your chances of successfullycompleting your crowdfunding campaign.
Moreover, we are not a One-Man-Business like most of our competitors [No you aren’t a one man band. I’d like to think of it as more like a multi-website split personality group]. SMT Agency is an international company with offices in the United States and in Europe and with an In-house team of experienced online marketers and content writers. We do not outsource any of the work we’re doing for you because we know how to do it best and we know how to reach your audience efficiently and profitably.

Last but not least, when you sign up for any of our packages, you very shortly receive our insights about your campaign and relevant tips to help you raise more money, create the best Rewards structure and improve all the elements of your crowdfunding campaign page.
– Get a sponsored article about your project published on Best-Crowdfunding-Websites.com for only 49 dollars. It is the perfect way to enhance the buzz about your campaign, build trust around your project and most importantly, get more exposure on the Web.
– Choose our “Article Promotion” kit and, in addition to the above, we will organize a targeted advertising campaign on the largest websites in the world. Your 
– Choose our “Article Promotion” kit and, in addition to the above, we will organize a targeted advertising campaign on the largest websites in the world. Your article will be displayed on sites like Fox News, ABC news, Yahoo, NBC news, The Examiner, Forbes, CBS, for one entire week and for only 149 dollars.
– Purchase our “Multi-Channel Promotion” kit and, in addition to all of the above, we will write ONE Professional Press Release that will be indexed on the Major 
– Purchase our “Multi-Channel Promotion” kit and, in addition to all of the above, we will write ONE Professional Press Release that will be indexed on the Major Search Engines (Google, Yahoo!, Bing, Ask). That is, we will promote your crowdfunding campaign in both the largest websites PLUS Facebook and Twitter for only 299 dollars! This is definitely the best solution for any Crowdfunder who wishes, and needs, to reach a much larger audience.
If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to contact me. Our phone number is (315) 215 0910. I’ll be more than happy to consult with you.
Marketing Manager
(315) 215 0910 contact@smt-agency.com
www.smt-agency.com
Marketing Manager
(212) 461 4894 contact@crowdfunding-services.com www.crowdfunding-services.com
SMT Agency offers you three options to promote your campaign online: 
You can order your promotional kit at http://smt-agency.com/solutions-crowdfunders/ now!
Your campaign is already running, so don’t wait any longer and let us assist you in successfully funding your project.
Best Regards,
Jonathan
Your Partner for Crowdfunding [ no you won’t be]
This message was sent by SMT Agency LLC, 1250. Third Avenue, 10th Floor, Manhattan, New York, 10022, USA
If you believe that you received this email by mistake please click the link below to unsubscribe:
Jonathon – This is an email newsletter subscription. One I didn’t subscribe too. In the UK that’s against the law.Data protection rules require I opt in to newsletters.
Here’s number two: 
“Hi,
My name is Jerry [or is that Jonathan?] and I represent www.Crowdfunding-Services.com, the leading crowdfunding advertising and promotion company that offers the widest range of tools aimed at enhancing your crowdfunding campaign results.
I just discovered your campaign Cheetah – Namibia in Kickstarter and the impressive work you have done so far. I am deeply convinced that our company can definitely help getting your campaign fully funded.
Indeed, Crowdfunding-Services is not just another crowdfunding advertising agency. We are the ONLY ONE who has built the largest and most trusted network of targeted Premium sites related to Crowdfunding in order to give you REAL chances to succeed. This is what sets us apart from our competitors: An exclusive network that has proven to bring backers to many crowdfunding campaigns.
Here is what you get when you sign up, depending on the package you choose:
– One Article published in the Leading Crowdfunding Portal
– Specific Press Releases about your project, written by professionals and Indexed on Google, Yahoo! and Bing
– Forum Marketing
– Reviews posted on Influencing Blogs fitting your crowdfunding category
– Social Media Promotion
– Content Promotion
– Banners placement on leading Websites
– Sponsored Articles posted on Premium Websites
– Mobile advertising
– Video Advertising
Discover our three outstanding packages   and start raising even more money for your project now!
Do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions. I’ll be glad to set up a phone conversation at your convenience.
Best,
Jerry
The Road to Success 
This message was sent by Crowdfunding Services LLC, 1250. Third Avenue, 15th Floor, Manhattan, New York, 10022, USA [You and Jonathan must pass each other on the stairs? Same building just five floors above SMT]
If you believe that you received this email by mistake please click the link below to unsubscribe:
Jerry, same comment as before, oh and I looked at your case studies. Most of them only just made their targets. None of your case studies, actually show what you did. There are no testimonials from your clients? How about having them sit in front of a camera and say something. They should be used to doing that as they created videos for Kickstarter.
Finally of today’s selection: 
“Good day!

After personally reviewing your Kickstarter campaign, I feel we can help
your campaign attract more attention so your crowdfunding project can get
more money.

My company CrowdFundBuzz.Com has helped many crowdfunding campaigns
achieve and even exceed their funding goals – some by as much as over
1000% – and we can help you too. Please note – that was not a typo – I did
mean to say over 1000% (one thousand percent). [You sure that’s not a typo. You can actually prove via independent financial scrutiny that you can make that claim?]

I realize you probably have received – or very likely soon will receive
communications from other companies offering services similar to Crowdfund
Buzz but there are two very important distinctions between my company and
every other that you need to be aware of so you can make an informed
decision to help your crowdfunding project succeed:

1) Crowdfund Buzz is the pioneer in crowdfunding promotion.  Our founder
Matt Cooke formulated an affordable, effective service model that helps as
many people as we can at the lowest possible price to fill a need
crowdfunders had no access to before. Every other company you may discover
has copied, replicated and/or otherwise ripped-off what Matt created with
his vision back in March 2013. [ Hey! SMT take note. You have ripped of these guys…shame on you]

2) Not content to rest on our laurels as the innovator in crowdfunding
campaign promotion, Crowdfund Buzz’s current president Howard Sherman
continues to perfect and improve the original proven model Matt Cooke
designed which empowers us to get superior results for our clients that
our competitors can only envy.

Our competition can copy our pricing, our service models, and deliver a
rough approximation of the services we offer but what they can’t copy is
the experience, expertise and energy of the Crowdfund Buzz team which
brings more results to more people faster than any other company of its
kind.  We are proud of the results we have gotten for our clients which no
other crowdfunding promotion company can even come close to.

Please don’t think I’m bragging.[You are so understating it]  While we’re proud of our legacy and very
happy to help people reach their crowdfunding goals, we’re very concerned
that an  unsuspecting crowdfunder like you will be taken advantage of by
unscrupulous companies who can charge you very hefty fees, promise you a
lot then end up delivering very little, if anything.[You know you are absolutely right there]

If you decide to pass on my offer I’ll completely understand.  But please
don’t waste any of your precious money on other companies who usually come
up short, might rip you off or even disappear entirely leaving you holding
the bags while they run away with your money like a thief in the night.[Now I read this as, if you don’t play with us, we don’t want you playing with anyone]

I realize that might sound harsh. [Can I be blunt]  If you’d like, I’ll be glad to share
with you the feedback we’ve collected from clients who ultimately hired us
to help promote their crowdfunding projects after they wasted their money
and lost precious time when they hired other crowdfunding advertising
companies that just couldn’t deliver what they promised or follow through
on what they committed to do. [Instead of trying to get me to email you, put it on the website where we can all see it. Be proud of what you do, and stoop being so self-decpracting]

I invite you to our website at http://www.crowdfundbuzz.com to explore all
of the different services available to you.  While you’re there please be
sure to read the many testimonials we’ve collected from satisfied clients
as well as review our many success stories.

If you have any questions or need more information feel free to call us at
888-983-1682 so we can discuss your needs directly.  You can also email
our company president Howard Sherman.  His email address is
howard@crowdfundbuzz.com.  It might sound strange that a company president
wants to hear from the general public but he does.  Every time Howard
talks to a crowdfunder he learns from the experience which helps him does
his job better as he helps everyone he talks to make their crowdfunding
project better.

We will be happy to answer all of your questions and tell you more about
how we can help your crowdfunding project succeed like no other company
can.

Best regards,
Julia. [or is that Howard?]

=======================================================
So, finally…Crowdfunding Services and SMT Agency, both have the same client success story on their site. Either of the following must be applicable:

1. They are the same company with two different websites.
2. One of them is lying.
3. The project had enough money for them both to provide marketing services
But whether any of these are true or not. There is no evidence on either site that their work (the marketing people above) was the thing that made the project successful.
However, I do have to thank the above folks for giving me the opportunity to tell you about my Kickstarter Campaign. Here is the link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2055269985/cheetah-namibia

It really is a great book, with amazing pictures. Not only that but some of the profits will be going to the AfriCat foundation. Unlike those above, these are real predators needing our help…..

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