Kickstarter has demonstrated some seriously awesome results in recent years. Since its launch in 2009, over $600 million in funds has been pledged to more than 40,000 projects, funded by around four million backers. If you have a great idea and are thinking about starting a Kickstarter campaign to get some funding for it, check out these ten tips to get you started.
1). How do I want to explain my idea?
The first step to building a Kickstarter campaign is to figure out how to ask potential funders for their help. Start by explaining in detail what exactly you need the money for, how you plan to use the funds, and why these funds are necessary for your project to go forward. Try to avoid being vague or misleading; you want to gain viewers’ trust so that they will choose to help support you.
2). How do I decide how much to ask for?
The downside to Kickstarter is that if your project doesn’t meet its goal, you won’t get any funding at all. That means that even if you are just a dollar short of you requested funds, none of your funders will be charged and you won’t get a dime. Setting too high of a goal means that you run the risk of not reaching it. Setting too low of a goal may leave you with not enough money to complete your project. So take into account all of the costs that are associated with your project, and try to ask for as close to the amount you expect to need as possible. Don’t forget to factor in the five percent fee that Kickstarter collects if your project is funded, as well as the processing fees that Amazon charges.
3). Is there a way to ensure that Kickstarter chooses to accept my project?
Make sure that you follow all of Kickstarter’s official guidelines when posting your project. Also, try to back up your numbers and ideas with figures, technical drawings, photos, or other helpful documents to make your ideas seem as developed as possible.
4). Why do some people create videos for their projects?
While videos certainly aren’t required, Kickstarter recommends them, because projects with videos are fifty percent more successful than those without them. If you choose to include a video, make sure you read our top 5 Kickstarter video marketing tips!
5). Should I offer a reward, and if so, what do I offer?
Rewards are a great way to earn backers, because people are more likely to offer funding if they feel that they are getting something in return. If you choose to offer a reward, you’ll want to offer different rewards for different levels of funders, to encourage higher levels of funding. For example, the creator of the iOS app 1 Second Everyday offered the app for free to anyone who donated one dollar to the project. Those who pledged more than $150 got rewards like their name in the app’s credits or an invitation to a private party at the creator’s home. The person who pledged the highest amount of funding received a visit from the creator himself, who promised to fly anywhere in the U.S. for the meeting.
6). Who decides how long my project will last?
Kickstarter projects are open for pledges anywhere from one to sixty days, and you get to choose the length. Kickstarter recommends shorter campaigns, about thirty days or less, because these have proven to be the most successful.
7). Which category is right for my project?
Kickstarter classifies projects in one of thirteen categories, including art, comics, dance, design, fashion, film, food, games, music, photography, publishing, technology, and theater. An additional thirty-six sub categories divide the projects even further. Try to choose the category and sub categories that best describe your project.
8). How often do I need to update those who helped fund my project?
It’s entirely up to you how often you choose to update your backers. Some people update them every day, while other space out their updates more. You can also choose to show these updates publicly on your Kickstarter page, or to share them only with backers.
9). How do I get the word out about my Kickstarter project?
The first step in publicizing your new campaign is to reach out to your family and friends. Try to take a personal approach, if possible. The next step is to go public. You may choose to create a press release to send to local print, radio, or TV stations, or to bloggers and other online media venues that may be interested in your project.
10). So how do I get started?
Once you know what you plan to do with your campaign and how you plan to do it, it’s time to build your Kickstarter project. Begin on Kickstarter’s Start page, and choose the option “Start Your Project.” Choose a catchy and interesting title that will be easily remembered by anyone who sees it, as well as an image that represents your project well. Create a brief bio about yourself and include links to your social media accounts or website. After you submit your project, it will take Kickstarter a few days to review it. If they reject it, don’t worry, you’ll have the chance to review any reasons that they provide and to revise your project and appeal the decision.