#6 Crucial Tips for Launching Your First Kickstarter Campaign
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Kickstarter was an incredible revelation for musicians, poets, painters, designers, filmmakers, and all other creatives and creators upon its launch in 2009. Between then and now, more than ten million people from all around the world have pledged almost $3 billion to successfully fund over 100,000 projects.
Kickstarter projects allow creative people to fund their projects without relying on so-called angel investors—many of whom are known to outright steal ideas. Kickstarter’s platform allows you to bring your idea to fruition with little or no risk of incurring losses from intellectual theft.
Having said that, there are a few essential steps that you need to be aware of in order to make an impression on potential backers and ensure your project’s ultimate success.
Cover all the Basics
Kickstarter campaigns are typically launched on a platform designed to help you achieve your goal through other people's support; the keyword here being “people.” So just like in any other conversation, you need to keep in mind some basic engagement rules such as introducing yourself and explaining the story behind your project.
You need to be as open as possible as you ask for people’s support; you need to explain in detail how much money you need and what you plan to do with the money you receive. You also need to talk about the rewards backers will earn for investing in your project—preferably using images—and show at least a little bit of frustration at the thought of not being able to achieve your goal.
The essence of a crowdfunding project is to convince people to invest in your idea. However, regardless of how good your idea is, it’s your presentation and character that most sways investors in your favor. So after covering all the above details, be sure to thank everyone at the end of your video.
The idea is not enough. Advertise
Nearly all of the best and most highly-funded campaigns on Kickstarter invest heavily in advertising. You shouldn’t buy billboard ads, but a highly-targeted approach can do wonders. Adam Trakšelis from Millo is currently preparing for a product launch on Kickstarter, and said that he uses Facebook Ads as his primary channel for finding interested people.
“It is a great tool in many regards. First of all, there’s plenty of advice on how to use it, so everyone can do it. The real value lies in the ability to target very narrow audiences which are most likely to be interested in your product and buy it on Kickstarter. However, herein lies the biggest risk as well—if you’re bad at qualifying your audience, then you might get a lot of interest and signups, but no sales. To avoid that, instead of just using generic terms, I’ll ask people questions my product solves to qualify their real needs, like:
- Do you like drinking smoothies?
- Does your blender’s noise disturb your family?
This will help make sure that the people experiencing the problem my product aims to fix are the ones clicking my ad. You should identify your own set of questions to ask.”
Ads also help with traction and momentum.
Traction and Momentum
Once your Kickstarter campaign is ready to roll, you have 30 days to make sure that it’s seen and funded. Nonetheless, Roman Khan’s argues that it’s the first 48 hours of a campaign that make the most impact.
Khan’s Hillary Clinton campaign on Kickstarter was shooting for $50,000, but due to the traction created in the first few hours, it ended up bringing in $144,000 instead. The Linjer Luxury Goods founder focused on reaching his goal within the first week, but ended up getting his project funded in the first 48 hours. Trying to reach your goal as quickly as possible is excellent for traction, which, in turn, opens the door for word-of-mouth marketing. And as a direct consequence, your chances of being featured in the platform’s newsletter (or on its homepage) are increased—which gets even more potential backers checking out your pitch.
Traction and momentum are key Kickstarter factors to ensure that your campaign gets a flying start.
Have Enticing Rewards for Backers
One of the costliest and most common mistakes creators make is misunderstanding the base intent of potential investors. As the creator, you’re focused on how great your product is and how it’s going to delight your future customers, or fulfil some unmet need in the market. But if you look at it from the perspective of an investor or a donor, you’ll realize that their first question when considering whether or not to back your project with their heard-earned money is, "What’s in it for me?" Launch your campaign with this at the front of your mind and you halfway towards securing solid backing and funding.
Again, remember that the end product you are putting out is not for free—even though your intention is to raise as much cash as possible. Don’t expect a pledge of $100 if the item you’re selling is only worth $20. By using this tip, a book campaign for Escape From Island Jesus set a goal of $8,000 but ended up accruing over $15,000.
What you need to do is design your price points and rewards properly so as to reach your goal, while at the same time giving your project’s backers the best possible deal.
Engage Your Community
Some supporters may not be interested in pledging or making donations to your project, but will greatly help in advertising it. Once again, you need to appeal to human emotions to get people to be more proactive in your campaign. Cultivate good relations with your supporters by always being honest about everything.
Trust is a two-way street. To receive it from your supporters, you need to show it by sharing details about your project. Let them know what you’re doing, what your goals are, and exactly how you intend to achieve those goals. Also, frequent updates are a sure way to engage them, and nothing builds confidence more than real-time replies to comments or messages.
This Kickstarter tip is sure to help you build a long-lasting relationship that may transcend the campaign and create a fan base for you.
Since it’s a professional platform, don’t expect investment in your product if your campaign is substandard. Quality matters—a lot—when seeking to get any amount of money out of anyone’s pocket. It goes without saying that people do not like parting with their money. However, a quality video that is articulate will help convince potential backers to take the plunge.
Your presentation needs a certain level of professionalism to make the mark. For instance, if you're not well-versed in making videos then be sure to hire a professional videographer. And if you have doubts about what to include in your presentation, conduct some research about previous projects that were successful and integrate those methods into your campaign.
In doing so, you end up building your potential supporters’ confidence in you and your product, which in turn makes it easy for you to achieve your goals.