Tips for a Successful Kickstarter CampaignMarch 10, 2021
If you’re looking to start a business, you’ve likely heard of Kickstarter in the news and maybe even have seen a post to fund a campaign pop up on your social feed. Kickstarter can be a great way to get your new business off the ground, but first we need to understand what it is, how it helps you achieve your goals, and tips for ensuring you use the platform successfully.
What Is Kickstarter?
Based in Brooklyn, New York, Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform whose mission is to help entrepreneurs bring their visions to life. You can create a Kickstarter campaign for just about any kind of project category from arts & crafts to technology and finances.
Since its launch on April 28, 2009, Kickstarter has arguably become the most popular crowdfunding site. As of November 10, 2020, almost 4.9 billion U.S. dollars have gone into successfully launched campaigns.
How It Works
Like many online business tools, Kickstarter is very simple on the surface. Any entrepreneur can create a Kickstarter page to share their idea and get backers to fund their campaign. They can even explain how they plan to use the money raised to run the project. However, it’s important to note your campaign will have to go through Kickstarter’s review process to ensure it meets their guidelines.
Once your project has been approved, it is up to you to market your idea to attract as many backers as possible. Kickstarter campaigns typically run between one to 50 days, and creators can use backer rewards to encourage backers to fund their idea during this timeframe.
It’s important to remember that Kickstarter’s funding model is all or nothing. Fail to reach your funding goal, and all the money raised is refunded to your backers. Should you meet your goal, though, Kickstarter will take 5% of funds raised as a fee for using their platform, and they also charge a 3%-5% payment processing fee.
Steps for Launching a Kickstarter Campaign
The idea of crowdfunding is exciting. Right at your fingertips, you have a tool that allows you to raise thousands and potentially even millions of dollars from backers all over the world. Although it might seem easy – the truth is you’re going to have to put in some serious work to ensure your Kickstarter is a success.
Here are the main factors to consider when planning out your campaign:
- Goals: What is the funding goal that must be met to launch your project?
- Timeline: How long will your campaign run?
- Campaign channels: What channels will you use to promote your Kickstarter campaign?
- Costs: What are your projected campaign costs including Kickstarter fees, fulfillment costs, and backers’ rewards?
Top 5 Tips For A Successful Kickstarter Campaign
- Create a Valuable Idea
Before launching your Kickstarter, you need to have a solid reason why people should support your project. With Kickstarter, you’re not just selling a product, you’re selling your story. People might fund your project to see what will result, but they might just be excited about playing a role in creating something new. With a strong story, it’s more likely people will want to participate in your efforts.
- Engage and Reward Your Supporters
Once you’ve begun to attract backers, it’s important you communicate with them and reward them for their support. You should strongly consider creating reward tiers based on the amount people donate to you. For example, backers who donate $5 might get your final product and a branded magnet but those who donate $20 will get the magnet, product, and a cool t-shirt.
It’s also important you stay in frequent contact with your supporters. By posting frequent updates and sharing your progress, you’ll not only satisfy those who’ve helped you already, but it could convince others to donate as well. People will see that you care by answering comments, messages, and questions, building the trust people need to invest their money into your project.
- Keep It Professional
Once your campaign is underway, ensure you keep it organized, on track, and frequently updated. You need to treat your supporters with as much respect as you would a large investor.
By presenting a professional page, your backers will have more trust in what you’re doing. This confidence will be evident with the amount of funding you’ll receive.
- Create and Follow Your Timeline
It is crucial to create a timeline as it will establish several conditions, like how long your campaign will run, how long it will take to create the finished product, and delivery dates for your supporters’ rewards.
While you can run a campaign for up to 60 days, the most successful projects on Kickstarter typically last for 30 days or less. It’s important to create a balance between your backers’ attention spans and the duration of your campaign. Once your campaign is done, make sure to also leave enough time to finish your product so you don’t upset backers with late or rushed rewards.
- Set Your Funding Goal
As Kickstarter uses an all-or-nothing funding model, it’s important to set a viable and realistic funding goal. This means you should avoid setting your funding goal to an unrealistic amount while not setting it so low that you won’t be able to finish your campaign.
When defining your funding goal, make sure to account for:
- Production & manufacturing costs
- Employee salaries
- Company overhead like rent, packaging and shipping costs
Starting a Kickstarter seems simple enough, but it is vital to plan properly to ensure a successful campaign. Make sure your idea is viable and set a funding goal that will allow you to run a campaign that will satisfy you and your backers. If you’re starting a new business, with or without a Kickstarter, make sure to think about how you will get your products into your customers hands. A 3PL like Fulfillment Works can help you successfully manage and ship thousands of orders at competitive prices.