First thing’s first, you need to clearly and succinctly explain exactly what you need the money for, how it will be used and why. Give your project a story, but keep it short and to the point. No one wants to read about your life story, but they do want to know how you got this idea and the story of the product thus far. Paint them a picture of hard work and persistence and they’ll be backing you in no time.
Kickstarter is all-or-nothing. If you fail to reach your total funding goal, even by a dollar, by the established deadline, your backers will not be charged and you’ll receive nada.
So, to increase your chances of hitting your goal by the deadline, don’t set it too high, but seek a realistic amount that takes into account how much it will cost to manufacture, package and ship your final product, as well as the cost of the various rewards you offer your backers. Also, remember to budget for the 5 percent fee that Kickstarter collects if your project is funded.
Not many people simply give to entrepreneurs out of the goodness of their hearts – they want to get something in return. Rewards are often what motivate people to back your project, so you’ll want to make them as creative and personalized as possible.
Kickstarter rewards can be valued between $1 and $10,000 and must be products and experiences, not cash. Make them personal and add value to your product. Think about the type of person your service or product targets. What is it they are looking for? The more enticing the rewards, the more high-level backers you’ll attract.
Read Kickstarter’s official guidelines. We’re serious. Just like with sites like Google, when you follow their rules and suggestions, they tend to repay you in kind with higher click through rates and visibility.
Not just that, but revisit the Kickstarter guidelines frequently as they tend to change often.
While not required, Kickstarter campaigns that feature a video tend to do better than those that do not. However, this does come with a bit of a side warning: it needs to be a high-quality video. Meaning, don’t expect that you can shoot it with your phone, with no planning and it will only take an afternoon. Put some time, thought, and maybe a little money into it.
The video will often be the first (and only) piece of content a potential backer will see before deciding to fund your campaign. The best videos are short, personal and passionate. Tell the human side of the story behind your project. Use the first 20 seconds to briefly discuss what inspired you to create the project, then use the rest of the video (typically less than two minutes) to outline why it should be funded and what stage it’s currently at.
Once you’re ready to launch your project, it’s time to spread the word in your personal and professional networks, both online and off.
While mass emails may seem like the most logical, and fastest approach to publicizing your project, our experience showed that those who opted to write dozens of personalized emails to friends, family, colleagues and tech industry influencers instead had much better results.
In addition to your personal outreach to friends and family, you should also consider drafting a press release about your campaign to send to local print, TV and radio media, as well as online media and bloggers who write about products like yours.
Now, when it comes to press releases, you need to think like a journalist. What snappy headline will get people to click the article? What are their readers looking for? If the journalist sees the chance to get traffic to their site, they’ll give you the eyeballs you need.
Funding can ebb and flow for Kickstarter campaigns. Try not to get discouraged. Simply continue to get the word out. Write press releases. Contact bloggers in your industry and give them the product to review on their blog. Keep people updated on product progress. Don’t assume that, once the project is online, the funding will take care of itself. Keep working and keep your eye on the bigger picture.
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