So you’re on the path to get something crowdfunded and you’ve picked Kickstarter as your campaign platform. That’s absolutely great! Kickstarter is a great place to get started.
But the task can seem daunting, especially to someone who’s new to crowdfunding and/or Kickstarter. Don’t worry, though, even veterans can be a little daunted at times with crowdfunding. It’s a perfectly natural response.
Below you’ll find some tips on how to crowdfund with Kickstarter, although several of them could be used with any crowdfunding site.
1. Be the Campaign. Or at Least its Face.
If you’re starting a campaign, you need to be the face of that campaign. Backers will contribute more to a project if they know who’s behind it, simply because being the face of the campaign means you’re passionate and genuine about the campaign.
2. Keep the Campaign Short
You should ideally keep your campaign short. 30 days is ideal in the estimate of Kickstarter’s employees and managers.
Longer campaigns aren’t necessarily more successful. In fact, they can be less successful than shorter ones statistically speaking.
3. Give the Reader a Reason
This doesn’t necessarily mean giving a cool physical reward, though. Sometimes readers simply want to help a compelling story along the way.
So when you’re writing the copy and making the video, make it a compelling story that will grab the viewer/reader and keep them watching/reading until the very end. You should ideally make it so that backers want one thing and get the other as the icing on the reward cake.
The community you build during crowdfunding is one of your greatest resources. So don’t forget to engage with that community a lot and create a good relationship with them. They’ll be the ones backing you and spreading your story, so having open honest communications with them will get you more recommendations.
5. More Copy? This Time it’s a Newsletter.
Yes, more copy will help. But this time you’ll want to be writing a newsletter. Newsletters let the subscribers know what they’re getting and include easy to access reports and other information while being relatively short (usually a page) and cleanly laid out. So compared to other copywriting for your campaign, the newsletter should be fairly easy to create and maintain.
6. Create Rewards
Taking from part of number 3 above, you should also create enticing rewards for those groups of backers who actually want a physical manifestation of their reward for backing your campaign. These people exist, regardless of what you might think about them, and catering to them will help immensely. So create a reward of some kind, such as a copy of the product you’re trying to sell. Maybe even add special higher tiers for autographed copies of the product or extras like behind-the-scenes videos.
7. Don’t Skimp on Quality
Whatever you do, don’t skimp on quality. Cheaping out on quality now will do nothing but hurt you both immediately and in the future. So make sure you take time to make everything, including photos and videos and copy, professional but engaging and friendly. Take the time now and reap the rewards later.
8. Organize like it’s the only Thing Worth Living For
This one might be incredibly tough for a lot of the creative geniuses behind products being launched on Kickstarter. Believe me, I understand completely. I’m actually writing this with a complete clutter covering my desk and threatening to fall over on the floor every time I strike a key on my keyboard.
But, unfortunately, a disorganized “mess with a particular system” (as I call my desk) won’t work with Kickstarter. You need to be organized.
Keep everything in one place, whether it’s a physical folder in a filing cabinet or a folder/subfolder network on your computer. This may or may not help you, but it certainly will help anyone else, especially the press and other influencers who you plan to contact about advertising your campaign.
9. Don’t Spam Mass Messages to Everyone you can Possibly Dig Up Contact Information For
Sure it might seem like you should spam everyone. But mass messaging isn’t actually about spam. Rather you should message the people who want to be messaged. Mainly this will be your subscribers who’ve signed up for a mailing list, though there are other groups that qualify.
Use your mass messaging powers responsibly, and you will be rewarded in the future. Abuse them and you’ll suffer in the future.
10. Know your End
This one isn’t quite as morbid as it sounds at first. You should begin your campaign by asking yourself what your end goal is in the campaign. It might seem obvious at first, but take some time to think it over. The result might surprise you.
11. Refine your Message as you Campaign
It’s very rare to have a perfect message immediately. Yes, you should have already ironed out the major kinks early on, but there can be small ones that you’ve missed still lurking around. That’s why you continually refine your message. Make sure to get feedback on what was good and bad.
Although, you shouldn’t immediately assume that what someone says was bad actually is. If only one person says it, it might not be true to the broader audience. But if ten thousand people say something is bad, it might be time to re-evaluate that part of your message.
12. Don’t Slap an Arbitrarily Large Number on your Campaign
It might seem like fun to just say your campaign will cost ten billion US dollars. But slapping an arbitrary and large number on a campaign will be almost immediately obvious to most people.
Instead, you should take time to work through the math and determine a good solid number that will get everything you need done, and then go slightly above it. It’s better to have an overfunded project than one that rarely meets its needs because you underestimated something at some point.
13. Get Backing ASAP
It can be hard to get backing early on, but it’s also the best way to insure success for your campaign. The sooner you have backers the more popular your project appears to be. And everyone wants to be on the popular train. So work hard and get backers in the first day of the project. It will pay off in the long run.
One great way to achieve this is to reach out to people to back the project before it launches. Reach out to people you know. Close friends, maybe even relatives. If you get them to pledge even a small amount right at the start of the project launch you’ll find yourself with a much higher rate of success.
14. Follow up with Early Backers
Make sure you take the time to get back to the early backers and chat with them. Get their feedback and make them feel like they’re part of something BIG. Get them to leave positive feedback about their experiences once you do this. This will add to the popularity of your campaign, which will net you more pledges later on.
So there you have it. A nice, hopefully concise series of tips to help you get started crowdfunding on Kickstarter. It can seem daunting if you’ve just skimmed through all of this, but the vast majority of it is easy to remember.
Best of luck to you and your campaign!