As a new entrepreneur, I am considering using the Kickstarter platform to raise money. Join me as I dive deep into what it takes to create a successful Kickstarter campaign! The following includes key takeaways from LittleMight.com‘s experience raising over $300,000 on Kickstarter as well as a few other crowdfunding campaigns we researched.
Kickstarter Campaign Components:
- A Great Story: Communicate why you want to launch this product or service. Who will your product or service help? An authentic compelling story and is a must.
- Research: Do your homework. How much money will you need to successfully create your product or service?
- Timing is Everything: Plan to launch your campaign during a season your target market needs and wants your product and on a day they will likely be online.
- Minimum Goal: Set a realistic minimum goal, but go as low as you can. Momentum matters on Kickstarter. The quicker you can hit your minimum goal, the better.
- Simple Rewards: Keep your rewards levels simple. Every new reward level will complicate your delivery after the campaign.
- Relationships Matter: Be open, sincere, and generous with your backers. Communicate with them. They will return the favor and spread the word about your project.
- Early Bird Deals: Use early bird deals to create momentum. Discounts, early delivery, limited editions, and bonus gifts are all good options for early bird deals. Limit the number of early bird deals you’ll provide to create scarcity.
- Compelling Video: MWP research of 7,196 projects revealed that projects that have a Kickstarter video are 85% more likely to achieve their funding goal. Write a script, create a storyboard, choose your music carefully, and get lots of feedback!
- Campaign Page: Pay special attention to the campaign page. Common sections include an introduction, social proof logos, unique selling proposition, freebie to encourage social shares, specs, features, testimonials, rewards graphic, and project timeline. Hire a graphic designer to create the page.
Plan Your Pre-Launch
A relevant, organic email list and media outreach plan are both parts of a successful Kickstarter campaign pre-launch.
7 Ways to Build an Email List
- Consider offering a complimentary guide or a similar relevant digital freebie in exchange for email addresses. Add this information to a landing page, a page where you’ll send web traffic.
- Add this lead magnet or offer to your email signature and link to the landing page.
- Personally reach out to your existing audience and people you know and ask for their email addresses.
- Offer giveaways in exchange for email addresses and promote the giveaway to help build your list.
- Use a plugin like KingSumo giveaways. Don’t give away just anything. Make sure you give away something that your target market wants like related products and services.
- Use BuzzSumo to find influencers who blogged about something you’re giving away and ask them if they’ll share the giveaway.
- Send out a few emails before the giveaway to build excitement.
- Post the giveaway on related Reddits and subreddits.
- Build a following on social media and direct that traffic to your landing page.
- Use Canva to create quick quote images that are highly shareable on social media.
- Use the RiteTag browser extension to give you a list of hashtag suggestions based on real-time engagement.
- Add a call to action to each social media post ideally driving traffic to your landing page.
- Add content and content upgrades to Medium.com. (This was their most successful way to collect email addresses.)
- Repost your blog articles on Medium.com.
- Keep some of the content “hidden” until someone offers their email address in return for the content. This is a content upgrade.
- Create content linking to a premium content download in exchange for an email address.
- Promote your content in relevant forums. Add a short description, a few questions, and then link to the full article. Engage with others in the forums.
- Promote content on LinkedIn, Facebook groups, and Reddit.
3 Easy Media Outreach Steps
- Create a highly targeted list of relevant websites that promote content similar to yours.
- Use tools like BuzzSumo, Link Explorer, and Google Images to find relevant websites.
- Find a few Kickstarter projects similar to yours and save the URLs. Plug those URLs into the Content Research tab of BuzzSumo.
- Export or save the results in a spreadsheet.
- Save images from other Kickstarter campaigns and then use Google image search to find out which websites promoted those campaigns.
- Consider using a tool like Followup.cc to help you remember who to reach out to and when.
- Create a press folder.
- Include high-res and low-res image sizes.
- Write a detailed description of the product.
- Add your project video.
- Write short, personal emails to your media contacts and include a link to your press folder. (Don’t send mass emails.) Include the name and date of your project launch with a link.
Track Your Campaign Progress
Add Google Analytics to your Kickstarter campaign to track your progress.
Stretch goals are not an official part of the Kickstarter platform. However, some organizations offer extra bonuses if the project raises more money than they originally requested. While this can help you raise extra money, it can also cause your project to go over-budget and behind schedule so use caution creating stretch goals.
Although Kickstarter may be an attractive way to raise money for a new project, it can be daunting! The great news is there are a number of organizations that offer services to help you launch a Kickstarter campaign. Whether you ask for help or choose to handle your campaign alone, I hope this list helps. Have you participated in a Kickstarter campaign yet?