Biz Features

Kickstarter Advice: The Obvious and the Obscure

by . August 1st, 2014

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There’s tons of Kickstarter advice online. Some of them are stuff you probably already thought of while looking at successful campaigns, and others could make you feel like a double-0 agent. The best thing about Kickstarter advice online though, is that almost everyone’s got different opinions on the medium because it’s so new. There isn’t that one setup that everyone and their mom uses.

Here’s a summary of Kickstarter advice to help you make sure that your campaign works.

1. Make an awesome video


If you checked the difference between a successful Kickstarter and a failure, chances are the success had an amazing and informative video, while the latter had a really bad one or none at all. Hire a studio if you can, but if you’re broke and without videographer friends, there’s tons of video tutorials online and probably a camera rental near you. Note that a great video does not mean a high-budget video. Take Bunch-o-Balloons for example.

2. Go out and make friends with your audience

Always remember that at its core, a Kickstarter campaign is a social thing. Even if you’re really shy, it’s important to know that the creator of the campaign is devoted enough to hang out with the people that support it. Plus, people would rather donate to a friend than a douchebag. And I’m not talking about saying hello and thank you. Get to know them a bit. Try to remember the date of Bob’s daughter’s recital if you can. Send personal messages rather than mass-emails.

3.Be transparent

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Dizzy by KJCS
It’s really terrifying to show crucial information about your project online, when you have no funds, and everyone else around you does. However I think the definite pros outweigh the possible cons for this one. People want to know what you can do, what you have done, how fast you can do it, etc. They just want to know that you didn’t build their hype for nothing.

4. Build an audience prior

It’s gonna be really difficult if nobody knows about your project. Utilise social media sites. If you don’t have a good following, try ones where people get an equal chance at virality. Reddit and similar sites have channels that were made for anything and everything. Even Kickstarter. (shoutout to /r/entrepreneur and /r/startups) Other than that, you could search for the online communities for your topic.

5. Promote before you even begin

A good way for your Kickstarter to get buzz on day 1 is to get buzz on day -1. Makes sense. There’s a bigger chance for people to gather to you if they know that you care enough for your project to get out there that you care for the Kickstarter campaign. Go out there, tease a bit. Just make sure people know something is coming up and that it’s big.

6. Know your pledge levels

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Glossy by Kayusa

It’s obvious that pledge prize costs are way past the normal cause… well you want to keep some money for the company, right? However here are a few statistics to help you at the end of the day: Most people pledge $25, but the average is $70. Which means around that area and a bit higher is your safe zone. Use this data to lead people to more expensive pledges by making vastly more tempting prizes on those levels.

7. Ditch the obvious prizes

While we’re on the subject of prizes, don’t be lame. Everyone’s got a mug, a magnet, a notebook, a t-shirt. You know. The stuff you get at one of those boring meetups. Be surprising and stand out. They don’t even have to be that valuable. They can be stupid, as long as they catch attention.

8. Keep it short

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A little (1.43m) soldier and friends – 1917 by DrakeGoodman

Even though you have the option to have a 2-month long campaign, it’s been proven time and time again that campaigns a month or shorter have higher chances of success. Keeping it short shows two really important things. One is that you’re confident enough that you campaign will be loved and needed. The second is that people have less time to think whether they want to donate or not. People like limited edition things. They like being elite.

9. Organise well

If you think Kickstarter is some easy money tree you can leave alone, think again. Kickstarter is a strategy game in itself. You have to know what you’re doing before, during, and after the campaign. Know what makes you special. Maybe surprises towards your community during certain days or if you passed a certain figure. Your audience as well as your staff is your orchestra, and you have to know how to get that symphony out.

10. Keep your goals attainable

Part of knowing your audience is knowing how much would be willing to pay for a project like yours. Don’t set a picture book about pocket lint at millions of dollars. You’re never going to get funded. Depending on your project, $10,000 seems to be a popular choice at Kickstarter. Remember that this is just to help you start your project, not keep you alive for the next decade. Same thing with stretch goals. Don’t go promising reincarnation and time travel if you can’t do it.

11. Find the most valuable bloggers to help spread the word

A cool trick noted by Tim Ferris is to save images of similar Kickstarter projects, then dragging them to Google Images. This will show you webpages that have posted these photos and have probably talked about the product in question. Once you know the blogs most likely to talk good things about your campaign, find out who has a good reach. A blog with a good probable reach is not always the biggest one. Check traffic at Compete.com, and create a team of elite blogs that will get your name out there. And make friends with them. Not only can they get publicity for your campaign, but also your product when it’s available. These guys can also be a great source of referrals and information.

12. Create a landing page

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Flying Squad’sby Dhanu

It’s known that you get more hits if you share a non-Kickstarter URL. It just looks more elite and less door-to-door salesman that way. But you can push this even further by prompting calls-to-action in your landing page. Post the video there so people know what it’s all about, but add visible and easy links to your campaign’s social media pages AND the Kickstarter page. That way, you didn’t only make the process cleaner at the beginning, but also lead people to your communities where they talk about your product.

If you have more advice, tell us with the comment box below.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

I do grown-up things to pay for my childish whimsy and rule the universe one step at a time while at it. Join me for the most fantastical, out-of-this-world adventure your trudgy 24/7 startup will never have.

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