Do you have a great idea for a creative project, but lack the funds to make it happen?
Whether you’re a programmer with a genius tech concept, or an artist looking to put your life’s work into print, Kickstarter could be the perfect fit for you. With Kickstarter, you can crowdsource funding from backers around the world, allowing you to achieve your dreams without generating all of the seed money yourself.
In this Kickstarter guide, I’ll discuss the common traits of successful campaigns, along with some common mistakes. By the time we’re through, you’ll know whether or not Kickstarter is the right option for you, and how to use the platform to develop your project. Let’s get started!
Kickstarter launched back in 2009, and since then they’ve helped creatives like you land nearly $2 billion in project funding. Kickstarter’s campaign model has two major benefits: it gives you a platform to share your idea with the world, and helps you secure the funding necessary to make it happen.
Just signing up for Kickstarter isn’t enough, though. You need to have a clear vision for developing a product or service that people truly want. That said, if you have the drive and the talent, Kickstarter can help with the rest.
Crowdfunding as a concept has its roots in such areas as book publishing and military campaigns. However, the term “crowdfunding” itself has only been around for a little over a decade. The two main types of crowdfunding are reward-based (like Kickstarter) and equity-based (where backers receive equity in the company).
The popularity of crowdfunding has risen exponentially in the last few years — it’s actually surpassed the venture capital industry as the most popular type of startup funding. In 2010, the crowdfunding industry generated $89 million in project funding. Just five years later, that number grew to $34 billion.
With companies like Kickstarter at the forefront of the industry, this funding method will continue to grow at astronomical rates. By 2025, crowdfunding is expected to generate at least $1 trillion!
Which One is Best For My Project?
Kickstarter is one of many options for crowdfunding projects. The other major players in the industry are Indiegogo and GoFundMe, but there are several others out there if none of these seem to suit your needs.
Let’s break down some of the key characteristics of each platform to determine whether or not Kickstarter is indeed the right choice for your project.
Each of these services has its own set of limitations. For example, GoFundMe requires a Facebook account to leverage some of their advanced features, like their “verified campaign” qualification. On the other hand, Indiegogo’s rules and regulations are so lax that they’ve developed a reputation for hosting more scams than Kickstarter or GoFundMe.
All told, each of these services is tailored to serve a specific corner of the crowdfunding market. They’re all capable of helping you raise money for a creative project — just make sure to pick the one that seems like the best fit!
1.) Once you’re ready to create a campaign, the first step is to choose a category and title for your project. Possible categories include art, food and technology. It’s crucial that you select the category that best describes your project in order to garner as much exposure as possible.
2.) Next, you’ll need to tell your story in an engaging text summary. This is your chance to tell prospective backers who you are, what you’re making, and how long you expect it to take. It’s important to show people that you’re passionate and serious about your project while being realistic about your expectations and goals.
3.) Creating your rewards is the next step, and it can be a tricky one. While reward guidelines vary considerably depending on the project, here are some general tips:
4.) At this point, it’s time to shoot your campaign video. One of the most common mistakes people make on Kickstarter is neglecting the importance of a great promotional video. If you post a low-quality video on your campaign page, people may think you’re not serious about the project. After all, if you can’t make a decent promotional video, why should anyone believe you’re going to create a project worth backing?
Make sure your video starts with a bang, because most people will only watch the first minute. Explain what your project is all about and why people should support it in a clear and concise manner.
In order to make the most of your Kickstarter project, you’ll need to be dedicated to its success. Here are a few pointers to help you along the way:
Many projects simply fail to reach their goals. There are many different reasons why this happens, but here are some of the most common mistakes that lead to unsuccessful campaigns:
Launching a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign can seem overwhelming at first, but as long as you take the step-by-step approach, you’ll find that it’s actually quite manageable.
No matter what your project is or what your goals are, these guidelines can help ensure your Kickstarter campaign is a success. We wish you the best of luck!