Kickstarter and other crowdfunding organizations offer entrepreneurs and innovators tremendous opportunities to enable them to raise funds for their projects. In 2014, an estimate of about $529 million was donated to Kickstarter projects– that’s over $1000 per minute. However, accomplishing a successful Kickstarter campaign is never easy.
1. Begin with the end in mind–recognize the reason for a Kickstarter campaign
It may sound obvious, but you have to decide on what you stand to get before you plan your project campaign. Your goals may include raising funds, creating awareness or testing demands, but identifying what’s a priority has a significant impact on other decision-making processes.
2. Test, refine and perfect your messaging before you launch
You have an understanding of the idea because it’s yours, but how will your consumer understand this idea? Ensure you organize all the content you intend using for the campaign in a single document, forward to anyone who is interested in your idea and will provide constructive feedback.
3. Take time to shoot an attractive video
There is a good reason why Kickstarter’s how-to recommends creating an engaging video. According to Kickstarter, projects with videos have a success rate of 50%, and 30% for projects without videos. Creating a video gives you the opportunity to present your idea to the world. Therefore, ensure you have an attractive story and an excellent description or demo of your product.
4. Your funding goal should be strategic
Eliminate the urge to select a vast, arbitrary funding goal. Instead, decide on the right amount of money required to give life to your project, and supply to your sponsors. Ensure other factors such as the minimum order size form your manufacturer, packaging and shipping cost and other essential items are not left out. Once you know the amount you need, don’t stray too far above it–it is preferable you have a successful campaign that’s overfunded than one with an aggressive among that fails to meet its funding goal.
5. Your rewards should be clear and compelling
Select rewards levels that fit the product you are selling, ensure you offer entry-level rewards for individuals who are interested in your work and wants to participate. Structure your reward to include features for sponsors alone with the aim of motivating others to support now instead of wait for your official launch date. Also, if you consider going into retail in the long run, know that retailers will consider your Kickstarter “prices.”
6. Build a group of backers – run a pre-launch campaign
By default, people prefer supporting the winning team. You are more likely to get sponsors for your campaign if your project is close to or already funded. Before launching a Kickstarter project, ensure you create an email list of people to share your project with the minute it is active. Be confident when you ask your contacts to check out your page and share with friends. Adding to the list, ensure your network involves people who are ready to back your project, preferably at a high reward level. The benefits of this include:
- It demonstrates traction
- It may place your project on Kickstarter’s trending section, thus, makes your project more visible to the audience in Kickstarter which consist of more than 19 million visitors every month.
7. Remember offline audiences
Obliviously, there is need to create awareness of your project online, but you should not neglect offline audiences you have access to such as industry events, meetups, weekend farmer’s markets or any place you may find people who will pick interest in your project. Besides creating awareness, offline interactions provide customer feedbacks and insight you won’t find online.
8. Make yourself available and keep the conversations alive
Kickstarter is a vibrant community of individuals who are passionate about innovations. Your sponsors and potential backers are always curious or inquisitive. It is essential your response is understandable and on time. Being available shows that you care. Also, ensure you engage your sponsor using Kickstarter’s update features to keep them updated during and after your campaign. We had lots of questions coming in from different angles; this feature was a full-time job while the project was active.
There is no key secret or magic formula for crushing it on Kickstarter. The methods described above were effective for our project’s success, and we trust you find them useful while you plan, launch and run your project using crowdfunding platforms.
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