Successful Kickstarter projects share many of the following attributes. A friend of mine is writing an ebook about how to get the most out of Kickstarter so you can successfully fund your creative project. He was kind enough to share some high level Kickstarter Tips here in this post. When the book is ready, I’ll do another post and provide a link to the book.
In a nutshell, here is a summary of the kinds of things you should be thinking about in order to get the most out of your Kickstarter campaign.
- Time to prepare – Give yourself at least 2-4 weeks to prepare all the materials and develop your promotion plan before you launch your Kickstarter project.
- Great, researched project idea – one that is well described and communicated using descriptive text, pictures and a video. Do your research. Not every project gets funded and very few lead to a feeding frenzy. The video is extremely important. Work with skilled people to make your video. Watch other project videos to learn what works and what doesn’t.
- Clear and achievable funding goal – Be clear on what you need the funds for and why. Remember Kickstarter is an “all or nothing” platform so if you don’t reach your goal, you get nothing. And, you can’t change the amount once you launch!
- Clear and compelling set of rewards – don’t confuse your backer with too many tiers of rewards. Keep it simple and make sure that each tier represents sufficient value for that level. Don’t undermine your efforts by giving out items that are expensive to produce or difficult to fulfill. Many funded campaigns have raised less than they thought simply because of the cost of fulfilling the promised rewards. Be flexible and creative but be smart about what you are promising.
- Optimal Campaign Duration – if your campaign is too short, you miss out on potential word of mouth and other PR. If it’s too long, you risk getting ignored because there is no urgency to fund.
- Prepare your Pitch – How you come off and how you pitch your project can make a huge difference. Be clear, be engaging, be natural. Make it fun, natural, and compelling. Your pitch should pump people up about your project and show both your enthusiasm and your ability to follow through.
- Promotion Promotion Promotion – easily one of the most important things you’ll need to do is to actively (and we mean actively) promote your project. Use all available means to drive people to your Kickstarter page. Use Social Media, ask followers to re-tweet and re-post and re-blog. If you can make it newsworthy, let popular websites and news sites know about it. Keep people informed about your progress, and share any good news or milestones like “We’re halfway there!”
- Be proactive, responsive and grateful – You will get lots of questions and comments, during and after your campaign. Be responsive to these inquiries because it lets people know you are serious about your project and you value the people you are asking for money from. Listen to your backers. Thank your backers.
- Patience and Endurance (and maybe a sprint at the end) – Kickstarter is like a long race that really doesn’t last that long. There will be times when pledges flow in steadily or in bursts, and times when you feel nobody cares. Stay positive and stay focused on promoting and being responsive. Many projects that hit the tipping point of around 30% funding often go on to raise all the funds for the project. This doesn’t happen by itself, you can plan on being busy, particularly towards the end, as you respond to requests, thank your backers and ask them to help spread the word even further.
Please comment if you have anything to add regarding Kickstarter.