Media Production

How to Succeed on Kickstarter

To date there have been more than 100,000 projects launched on Kickstarter, but less than 43% actually meet their goals and are funded. What’s the problem? You may be sincere, hard working, and even had a great cause to fund, but without covering these important bases, the odds of striking out are huge. Here’s a good list from our social media team of what you need to succeed on Kickstarter:

1) Don’t assume people will find your project.   What are the odds that thousands of people will just stumble on your Kickstarter page? You have to drive people to the page via social media, blogs, live conversations, presentations, and more. People don’t show up magically. Unless you have a strategic plan for getting people to your project page, nothing will happen.

2) Set a reasonable financial goal.   Most people shoot too high. Here’s the stats:  Of the nearly 45,000 projects that have been funded: Roughly 30,000 raised $1,000-10,000 / roughly 6,000 raised $10,000-20,000 / roughly 4,000 raised $20,000-$100,000 / only 671 raised $100,000 or more. Your dream may be big, but the people that donate aren’t as passionate as you. Keep your funding goals modest.

3) Make Kickstarter only one leg of the stool.   If your project needs more than a few thousand dollars, you should be thinking about other fundraising strategies as well. Personal meetings with potential donors, email campaigns, and direct mail are just a few of the options. Don’t put all your fundraising eggs in one basket.

4) Know your potential donors.   Having lots of social media followers is no guarantee they’ll become givers to your project. “Most of your funding will come from your existing crowd,” says Kim Boekbinder in Forbes. That’s why, straight out of the gate, you’re at automatic risk of oversharing. “It doesn’t matter how noble, worthy, or amazing your project is,” she says. “It probably won’t go viral and no amount of nagging celebrities to tweet about it will help. Use your crowd, even if that’s just 50 of your friends for now.” Plus – remember that older people have more disposable money, so don’t assume 20 somethings will carry the freight. Know what excites them and the causes they want to fix or products they’re looking for.

5) Don’t give them too much information.   Some Kickstarter pages go on and on. We did a study with a major nonprofit client at our media company, Cooke Media Group, and discovered the longer they take to learn about your project, the less likely they are to give. Don’t pummel them with information. Make it short and to the point. Have a compelling video. If you can’t pitch your idea in a few sentences, then you don’t know the idea well enough. For the few who love data, you can always refer them to links elsewhere.

6) It’s not about you.   Yes – people want to give to a passionate person producing a great project or product. But the slightest hint of ego or narcissism will drive givers away. Be humble. Present your case in a compelling way. If the donor thinks your Kickstarter page or project is about making you a star, you can forget their donation.

Any other good hints you’ve seen that work on Kickstarter?

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  1. Great advice… Big dreams are great, but it is the little steps that you must take first to arrive at your destination. Persistence is a key.
    R. Paille

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