​Five Reasons You Should be Using Kickstarter (and One Caveat)

You’ve probably read our intro to Kickstarter post which gives you some of the lowdown on this crowdfunding site for creative projects. So you probably already know many of the benefits of this amazing source for funding. But what about the nitty gritty? What makes Kickstarter one of your very best asset as an artist in search of funding? Read on for five reasons you should check it out today.

Let’s start with the most common question, and the one that’s probably on your mind already. What’s it going to cost? Kickstarter operates on an all or nothing basis. This means, when you run a crowdfunding campaign you only receive your money if your funding goal is reached. It also means you only pay if the campaign is successful. Once a project is fully funded, a 5% fee is applied. There are additional payment processing fees of 3-5%. This means that while Kickstarter is definitely taking a cut, it is a no money up front venture. The only way you pay is if you are able to raise the money you need to complete your project.

Another reason Kickstarter is a crowdfunding site worth your time is that it is a niche site. Many crowdfunding sites allow all kinds of projects, from creative to charity. But at Kickstarter, the sole purpose is to fund the work of creators. Because of this, you will not be competing with charitable campaigns, and the site traffic will already be your best audience.

Speaking of audience, P.T. Barnum once said, “there’s no such thing as bad publicity” and he was right. Kickstarter is a major, multinational site with millions of visitors each month. Whether your project is successfully funded or not you are sure to gain exposure just by creating a campaign. Once you have created your project on Kickstarter, utilize all of your social media options for marketing to get the word out. Consider it your main objective to simply get people to your Kickstarter site. Once they are there, the amazing campaign you have created will speak for itself.

Before you launch your Kickstarter campaign, it must be approved by Kickstarter staff. During this process they will provide feedback about your page and your fundraising video (pretty much every project funded at Kickstarter includes a video, so be ready to make one that tells your story and stands out) and help you develop a campaign that will shine. As mentioned before, you don’t pay unless your project is fully funded so this service is included in the 5% fee taken by Kickstarter at the end. The staff will also offer lots of advice and feedback about your donor incentives. While this may sound like a reason not to use Kickstarter (after all, this is your project and you want as much autonomy as possible) remember that the folks at Kickstarter do this day in and day out. They know what makes a successful campaign (and what doesn’t) and they want you to succeed.

The fifth reason to use Kickstarter may seem a bit counterintuitive at first. Remember those donor incentives we have been talking about all along? OK sure, they’re going to cost you some money to produce, and likely Kickstarter is going to encourage you to make them high quality (after all, people are reaching into their wallets to make your vision a reality) but there is a method to this seeming madness. Each and every donor incentive you send out into the world carries with it your one of a kind art. Hand in hand with the exposure you get from the Kickstarter site itself, your donor incentives hold the potential to reach a whole new audience beyond the virtual walls of the internet. So take the feedback from the Kickstarter staff, invest a little capital, and be sure that whatever you send out into the wide world is a conversation starter!

And now, a caveat: There are so many great reasons you should be checking out Kickstarter. We will continue to offer posts about this site because it truly does hold unique potential for creators of all kinds. But there are things you need to consider when launching a Kickstarter campaign. It is important not to view any crowdfunding site as a guarantee. Nor is it a font of limitless wealth. Not all Kickstarter campaigns succeed. Just like with any funding source, there is a built in failure rate. You are not going to receive every grant you apply for, and you are not going to fully fund every Kickstarter you create. Does this mean you shouldn’t try? Of course not! There is no such thing as a wasted grant application, and the same is true for Kickstarter. Consider every Kickstarter a learning experience and remember, the only funding you will never receive is the funding you don’t ask for.

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