One of our jobs as a tech development partner is to keep know all of the ways to help our clients and not just the newest updates to SDKs and programming languages. We also keep on top of the best ways to attract investment funding, whether that’s from VCs or Angel Investors, or from newer crowdsourced methods, such as Kickstarter.
KickStarter is a new type of funding, but it has helped successfully launch almost 113,000 projects. With such a substantial number, it’s important that this is something we, as entrepreneurs, examine closely.
Here are some other numbers that demonstrably show that Kickstarter is, and will continue to be, a huge source of funding (for the full list, see their website):
• Over $2.6 billion pledged;
• Almost 11.7 million people who have pledged money;
• 3.6 million people who have invested in multiple projects; and
• 33 million total pledges.
Obviously, KickStarter cannot be ignored; while crowdsourcing may not provide all the funding you need, it will provide a substantial portion. With projects that really hit it out of the park, you can blow past your goals: Just check out the M3D Pro, which asked for $100,00 from pledgers; as of writing this, they just past $486,600 with 16 hours still left in their campaign!
At this point you maybe asking yourself about other Crowdsourcing options, such as IndieGoGo. We are specifically focusing on Kickstarter in this post. We personally believe that Kickstarter campaigns have the highest possibility of success, including nearly 3 times as many monthly visitors (at about 27 million to IndieGoGo’s 9).
That being said, IndieGoGo has some unique features (including better options for cash strapped ventures and immediate cash in the bank) we are looking at in more detail, and will probably discuss in another post. For a more in depth discussion on the difference, check out this post.
So, how does one go about starting a successful KickStarter campaign? The same way you start anything else – with the first step.
Step 1: Identifying Your Audience
Hopefully this was something you did from the get go. Researching your target audience is an essential part to creating an excellent design. But even if you have, there are some specific considerations for creating a good campaign: including where your audience hangs out (digitally) and the best way to get their attention.
See many KickStarter noobs think that you can just roll out of bed and start a campaign. In fact, a successful project generally ends with the campaign launch. Before you get going on the campaign, you need to generate a buzz, figure out a way to make people look at your project.
As always, the best way to do this is to identify and target gatekeepers to your target market. If you get them excited, they will get others excited. So identify your audience and figure out how to make your project even more attractive to them.
Step 2: Hook Your audience
Creating a story that draws in your audience is a necessary part to a successful KickStarter Campaign. This is basically a pitch, but the story should be more about why you are launching this project; what it means to you, why you’re doing it and why your target audience should be interested in it.
The story can be told to your audience in many ways, but one of the most successful is through a compelling video, often called explainer videos. An Explainer Video is a fun way to inform your audience of the benefits of your product or service. But you have about 10 seconds to get people engaged; in other words, start with a bang.
This type of video is not only good for drumming up some excitement, but also for putting right smack dab on your landing page (aka campaign page). Your campaign page is very important, because it’s the first thing people will see when visiting your Kickstarter page. While the video will do most of the…talking… your Campaign page has to hook people – so make it awesome!
Step #3: Asking for the Right Amount
Honestly deciding how much money to ask for is one of the hardest tasks. If you ask for too little, you won’t have enough money to do what you need to do. If you ask too much, well you won’t hit your KickStarter goal. Which means you get none of the money given to you.
So figure out the bare minimum your company needs to survive and ask for that. Afterall, if people love your product or service, they can give more than the amount you are requesting. But again, if you don’t meet your goal, you get diddley. And you end up with less cash!
There are many more tricks to crafting the perfect KickStarter campaign, but you’re going to have to reach out to us for more secrets! After all, if we give our expertise away, we’ll be out of a job! Give us a call at 408.802.2885/408.621.8481 – or click to contact us!