Updated: May 31, 2019
Kickstarter is a great way for individuals or businesses to get the funding they need for a particular project, but it can be quite a daunting endeavor. There are a lot of components to a successful campaign. After the recent success of our first Kickstarter campaign to fund enamel pin designs, we raised over $1600 and exceeded our goal by 400%. I wanted to share my experience and knowledge with others on how they can make the most of their own crowdfunding campaign.
First of all, I should set some expectations so you don’t finish the article and think, I can’t do that! It’s important to note that even though I’m experienced with social media, have a small following on a few social platforms, and happen to be a designer and video producer, doesn’t mean that you can’t do these things also and have a successful crowdfunding campaign. Sincerity and hard work take no skill whatsoever.
Expectations – Setting the right goals
Setting the right expectations is crucial when starting a crowdfunding campaign. Your goals and expectations should line up with the rewards you’re offering, and the budget you need to do the bare minimum to complete your project. This can be mean adjusting your funding goal to something less than you initially anticipated. Although our goal was to produce 4 enamel pins, we settled on the minimum of producing just 1 pin. This meant that our funding goal was rather low, a mere $400. The kicker to Kickstarter is you only receive funding if the minimum threshold is met. Meaning, if you don’t hit your goal, you don’t get any money. This is probably the most important factor when creating a Kickstarter Campaign. Nothing is more devastating than putting in 110% of your effort only to hit 50% of your goal. Strip your wants to the bare minimum and leave room for stretch goals. Sure, it would be great to be fully funded and sustained from your backers, but that’s not what Kickstarter is for, that’s why we have Patreon (which is a platform for another time).
“Nothing is more devastating than putting in 110% of your effort only to hit 50% of your goal.”
Community – Enlisting the help of friends, family, and the Internet
Your friends and family are going to be your biggest help and support throughout your crowdfunding campaign. They will freely share and hopefully, donate to your campaign to help you achieve your goals. Our friends and family significantly helped us with our funding, whether through monetarily funding or sharing our campaign with their friends and family. Give your family and friends a heads up about your project. Ask them what they would want in a reward and any advice they might have to help you get the word out. Be sure to prep them before you launch your project that you’ll need their help. You might not get all the funding you need from friends and family, but it should get you started. If they can’t support you monetarily, ask them to share your story with their circle of friends, it’s free!
You’ll also need to do some promoting via social media sites. If you think you can get by without the aid of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or YouTube, you are sadly mistaken. You can’t be hesitant to use these platforms. You don’t have to use every platform, although that can help for maximum reach, it’s not necessary. You might want to use a certain platform based on the community you are trying to reach. Each platform has a different set of regular users that could potentially be interested in your campaign. It’s up to you to decide which platforms are best for your approach. Are you making a movie or album? You’ll definitely want to use Vimeo or YouTube to try and reach the right community. Are you writing a book? Maybe you should promote through Reddit where the written word is king. Are you an artist? Try using Instagram where a picture is worth a thousand words. The point is, you need to the help of a community to get this done, and you won’t find everything you need on Kickstarter.
“If you think you can get by without the aid of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or YouTube, you are sadly mistaken.”
Planning & Advertising – Taking it to the next level
This might seem like common knowledge, but you’d be surprised at just how many Kickstarter projects lack the basic essentials needed for a successful campaign. Do you have product pictures or mockups? If you need equipment, perhaps a picture of the machine, software, or tools you need. Make sure your pictures are consistent in
If you’re taking your campaign seriously, you should consider putting some advertising dollars behind your project with promoted posts through Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or Twitter. You don’t have to spend a lot to make a big impact. You can get by with a $15 budget on most platforms. It might seem counter-intuitive to put money towards a campaign asking for money, but remember, you’re not asking for money, you are rewarding your backers. If they’re backing your project, they want your product. Give them a reason to pledge more with great reward tiers, awesome stretch goals, constant updates, a compelling story and video, and your own money to help your project succeed.
If you’re ready to launch your own Kickstarter campaign but don’t know where to start or don’t have the know how to make the most of your project, contact Launchd Media, our parent company. With over 10 years of experience in marketing, design, social media, and video production, we have all the skills you need to help make your campaign successful. There are so many things needed to make a successful Kickstarter campaign that it can be overwhelming. If you’re looking for a more detailed consultation, design or video assets, or help with advertising, let Launchd Media help you achieve your goals.