For budding entrepreneurs, dreaming up that million dollar idea is only half the battle. Acting on a concept and turning it into a successful service or product is no easy task. Crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter can be amazing resources to help you get to that step. But while they raise initial capital and build brand awareness, they require meticulous strategy to be successful.
Sell your idea in seconds
Spend a lot of time thinking about the Kickstarter project title and a two-sentence summary, so that at the very least, someone could stumble across your page and understand exactly what problem you are trying to solve. Design your title, summary and page as if you have only seconds to grab the audience’s attention.
Don’t keep your idea a secret before you launch
Unless you’re Elon Musk or Richard Branson, it’s a safe bet that none of your friends are going to steal your idea. So don’t worry about keeping your product or business a secret before launch. You need to get your networks engaged with your project two to three months before launch. You will be surprised how many friends and family members are more than willing to help and promote and share your launch — and that’s what you need to have your campaign take off. Pre-campaign development and preparation is are two of the most critical aspects to a successful crowdfunding campaign.
Set your fundraising goal as low as possible
There are a ton of benefits to keeping your fundraising goal as low as possible. The fact is setting your goal as low as possible will only help you. When people see a campaign that quickly funds or shows momentum they are simply more likely to contribute to that campaign. You can always overfund. You need to focus on hitting at least 30% of your goal day one or in the first 72 hours. Why? Well, Kickstarter doesn’t rank or promote projects based on the amount they raise. They feature and showcase projects in the early stages that show momentum based on an algorithm. Fund as quickly as possible and Kickstarter could reward you by having your project featured on Kickstarter’s Popular Campaign pages, or newsletter. It should be noted that Kickstarter doesn’t share information on how they determine what’s popular, but we can promise that reaching your goal quickly will have a positive effect.
Assume your production timeline will be delayed
Stay conservative with your slated product release timeline. Too many campaigners try to force the production timelines which set false expectations that will quickly backfire with angry backers. EVERYONE runs into some production delays. Give yourself a cushion up front. It shouldn’t effect your fundraising efforts and if you deliver ahead of time you are a hero.
Plan ahead for a mid-campaign stretch goal
One way to get some mid-campaign momentum is to present a stretch goal (or a goal introduced mid-campaign that unlocks a new reward once met). It’s an opportunity to get back in the mind of your backers and to increase the likelihood that they’ll share your project.
Focus on backers, not dollars
This is the group that cares about the campaign’s outcome the most and will support it with their dollars as well as their personal social networks, on and offline. Let them be your evangelists, but be prepared to reward them for their unyielding support.This means staying away from talking about money, and focusing on telling backers how the success of your campaign is going to benefit them. The dollars will come if you focus on helping this group understand what they’re getting out of the completed project and how they can help build the community that will result in you reaching your goal.
Remember, these are the people behind evangelizing the campaign. They believe in you and are proud of the project. They will vote with their dollars. But, more importantly, they will communicate the importance of your campaign to their personal networks, which will result in more contributions.
Sell the ‘why,’ not just the ‘what’
Why you’ve decided to create this product is a chance to tell a personal story and connect with the Kickstarter community. People are buying your product, but they’re also buying your story. Make sure you’re solving a problem — and make sure it’s genuine and personal. The crowdfunding community likes to know why you’ve decided to drop what you’re doing and put everything on the line to bring something new to the world. It’s a big part of what makes Kickstarter so unique.