So you’ve got a great product in mind for Kickstarter. You’re sure your idea is wonderful and groundbreaking. And it probably is. But before you get started, there’s a ton of things you need to complete.

Well, not literally a ton because an actual ton of things would be quite a lot. For example, one ton of standard A4 paper would be over 200,000 sheets.

Anyway, you still have a lot to do to prepare for launching your Kickstarter campaign. So, we’ve compiled a nice little checklist for you.

1. A Video

A video is sort of like the bones of your campaign. It supports it heavily but isn’t the be-all end-all of the campaign.

That’s why it’s important to have one. The video should include clear and concise information, such as the reasoning behind the project, how you plan to have it completed, a few examples if they’re available (if not, try to make them available), information about your team (or yourself if you’re a one-person team), as well as some limited information about the campaign reward tiers and why the goal amount is set as high as it is.

That’s a lot sure, but you should also make sure to keep the video short. No more than 5 minutes long unless it’s absolutely necessary. So you have to make the information compact to fit in that time, which is difficult. But it’s not impossible. If you need help, get it. It’s worth it for this part as well as the following parts.

2. Copy

No not a copy machine. I’m talking the writing that goes on your Kickstarter campaign instead. This is the beefy meaty cover over the bones of your campaign. It’s what gives your backers the finer detail of the campaign points.

It should include lots of information in an easy to digest form of your campaign. Things like what your backers get for backing you for instance. Or maybe why you’re crowdfunding your project.

But there’s a lot more copy to consider that just that. You also have to consider copy for your reward tiers. But that’s going to be explained more below, so I’ll leave it there to avoid redundancy.

3. Reward Tiers

The next important thing is reward tiers. These tiers off an enticing series of increasing rewards at increasing prices. They’re important because it simultaneously draws in big pledges from people who can afford it while also providing rewards for smaller pledgers who can’t afford the big bucks. It’s important to build a varied list of tiers but it’s more important to make sure that each tier reward matches the amount of money listed for it.

For example, don’t set a 500 dollar tier with a reward of a new pencil set. But at the same time, don’t set a 5 dollar tier with a reward of a new car.

Keep the value of the tier and the value of the reward relatively equal. This will draw inconsistent backers while not getting their hopes up for something super exciting or expensive for little input into the project.

As for the copy, make it very very clear, without turning it into a multi-page long affair with enough legal jargon to give a lawyer a migraine. It’s all about balance here (well, here and everywhere else in this checklist). Make it clear and succinct.

4. Pictures

Pictures are also very important. You should disperse them among the main copy, but don’t overload the copy with images. The images should demonstrate what the copy is talking about at that point, and ideally would include short one or two sentence captions. If you have a product that has moving parts in some way, then a gif would be ideal to show the parts in motion. This is where having examples of the finished product comes in very handy actually. Even if it’s just a prototype version, it’s generally better to show off how the product will work to the potential backers.

5. Friends and Family

This step might be one of the most difficult ones, but it’s important so you should try at the very least. If you already have some level of backing right at the start of the campaign, other people will see that and will be more likely to join in on the pledging and rewards. This can be invaluable right at the start and can make or break a campaign. So find some people who are willing to back your project, even if it’s in small amounts, before you set it up.

Make sure when you contact them, to do so with an individualized message to. Don’t send a bulk one-size-fits-all email out to everyone on your contacts list hoping that they’ll all respond the same way to it. They probably won’t.

Yes, personalized messages to people are a lot tougher and more time consuming, but Kickstarter campaigns are time-consuming. Why skimp on the work now when you’re already most of the way there?

So that’s it. That’s the majority of things you need to have prepared before you get a Kickstarter campaign up and running. Sure there are some minor things, but most of those are dependent upon the type of campaign project you’re running. You wouldn’t really be able to send out alpha test packages of a new type of compact folding chair like you would a video game or word processor software for instance.

Go forth and campaign.