Crowdfunding 101: Achieving Success on Kickstarter and Indie-Go-Go
1. Deliver on your promises. More than just asking for money from people, your Kickstarter campaign builds a reputation. People may forget your project but they won’t forget if they gave you money and got nothing back. Deliver what you promise, even if you over-promised. “It’s much better to fail to fund than to fail to deliver,” said presenter Jake Parker.
2. Get social backing for your idea. It’s helpful to have a base of people who know and like your work, because they follow you on social media. Kickstarter can amplify your reach. If you put logs on a fire that is barely going, it won’t help much. However, once you have it going, adding a few logs and you can build a fire. “Social media is kindling, Kickstarter is putting logs on the fire,” Parker said. One way to test a project out is create a Facebook page about the product and see how many likes you can get. If you can’t get at least 1,000 people interested, it may be difficult to fund.
3. Thank your backers. Send a thank you note to your backers. You can message each person through Kickstarter. Most people ask requests or to make announcements. Presenter Jackie Estrada notes that her backers have always appreciated her thoughtfulness.
4. Don’t over commit on levels or bonuses. If you promise 70 unique prints for one level and it fills up, it could be more work than you anticipated to fulfill those orders. Once you have a backer on a level, you can no longer change the text. It’s better to promise less at first, as you can always add more in the center section (where you can edit to change the terms).
5. Factor in the costs of using the platform. If you have physical products, shipping can take a big chunk of your funds. International shipping costs more than you think. On Kickstarter, sending a comic book and some art can cost $20-40 to send to England or Australia. Plan on around 25% for shipping costs. Also, Thaeler Remember that the funding total isn’t what you get. Between Kickstarter’s take and payment processing, you’ll be out around 10%. Then there’s thank you money. One person said he spent $2000 on Comic Con passes and gift cards for people who helped out on the project. If you have the following, you might even try going solo to raise the funds without Kickstarter, like this woman did.
6. Create titles for your funding levels that tie into your project. For their project to fund The Monsters Meet on Court Street comic book, Jackie Estrada and her husband Batton Lash named funding levels after monsters in the book. There’s a werewolf, mummy, witch, and vampire level.
7. Poll your backers. Your second Kickstarter is different than your first one, because now that you have new fans of your work, they may want something different than they wanted the first time. Find out what backers would like for levels and bonuses by asking them in advance.
8. Use Kickstarter to promote your work after your project ends. Kickstarter leaves projects up that have been funded and that’s a great opportunity to promote your work to people who missed the campaign. Kickstarter doesn’t allow you to change anything after your project is funded. So Parker suggests, just before a project ends, let people know where they can pre-order the product on your site or to see your other products.
9. Illustrate levels and bonuses. Graphics are easier to read than text and all of those levels and bonuses can become confusing. Make it easy for backers, use graphics or diagrams to illustrate what you’re offering for each level and bonuses. Some Kickstarter pros suggest using graphics and a video to promote your project.
Clearly the popularity of pop culture products such as fantasy and character related art, costumes, movies and a plethora of other related products and services is a tremendous opportunity for hobbyists and even full-on entrepreneurs. Crowdfunding can be a highly useful element of the fundraising and marketing scene.
Source: Cheryl Conner – Forbes