It is painful to run a kickstarter campaign and see donations coming in, and then not reach your goal – in which case you get no money and the few donations you have are returned – ouch.
Here is the good and the bad of it all, here is the story of agony and here is the story of the opposite.
For Micah, who is a a friend of mine, Kickstarter had been a long-standing goal. He knew friends who had run campaigns and earned enough money to create new work or travel for fairs and residencies. When a gallery showed interest in a large-scale concept he’d been rolling around for a while, Micah decided it was a good time to give Kickstarter a try.
At first, his efforts seemed to be paying off. In the first few days, he shared his Kickstarter on social media and earned quite a few donations from family and friends. Unfortunately, life was pretty busy and Micah didn’t have time to really focus on his Kickstarter as the days progressed. He pretty much relied on the campaign to run itself.
The clock wound down and when it did, Micah came up short. Even though those close to him had offered to help, he didn’t meet his goal and was unable to collect any of his donations.
Frustrated and a little embarrassed, he asked people he knew who had run successful campaigns what he’d done wrong.
Armed with their advice and determined to make it work this time, six months later Micah tried again and this time he met his goal, funded his project, and had money to spare.
Then there are the two students in the Praxis Center Kickstarter course right now who just achieved their goal – Nika from Berlin, raised €2,129 (euros) and Seth, from L.A. raised $2,035 in just this past week. You could meet them in the class if you want to.
There are definite steps you can take when running a Kickstarter to make sure you have the best chance of reaching your financial goals.
- Offer leveled incentives. These should be rewards for backers at every donation level that truly connect them to you and your work. Put some thought in and make them count.
- Keep in contact with your backers. Whether you blog, email, snail mail, or carrier pigeon, a major part of running a good Kickstarter is telling people how things are progressing.
- Share, share, share. Don’t just rely on a single social media post to family and friends to get the word out. Be proactive. Share often and ask others to do the same. Make use of social media hashtags to link your project to the wider world.
Crowdfunding is a whole new world of potential. With the right toolkit, you can make Kickstarter a powerful ally in your quest as a career artist.
There is nothing particularly intuitive about creating a Kickstarter campaign if you’ve never done such a thing before. The good news is, Praxis Center also has a team of experts ready to support your journey. When you subscribe you receive unlimited access to content and a virtual classroom. Don’t go it alone!