So you’ve decided to give Kickstarter a try. You have read our blog, gone to the site, familiarized yourself with the whole process, and chosen a project that you’d like to have funded. As you move through your Kickstarter campaign, there are things you can do to help make it a success. We have rounded up a few tips to help you get the absolute most out of any Kickstarter and be on your way to a fully funded project so read on, and then get out there and take Kickstarter by storm.
Before you even go to the Kickstarter website, have your plan completely mapped out. Think about your Kickstarter project like a business. Anyone going into a bank for a business loan must have a fully realized business plan before they even set foot in the door. Your Kickstarter project should be no different. By having a completely realized plan, you not only show potential investors that you are committed to using their donations in the best way possible, you also map out for yourself the way forward and have an understanding of how much capital will be needed to complete your project.
Be specific. Kickstarter very clearly states that they exist to fund single projects. That means that you as the creator need to have a very clear objective. Kickstarter isn’t a way to fund ongoing work, it’s a way to complete a single, closed ended project like a book, an installation, a film…you get the idea.
Take donor incentives seriously. Kickstarter staff will guide you as you come up with incentives to offer the people who donate to your Kickstarter. While your offerings don’t have to cost you a fortune to create, you need to invest some heart. Invite donors into your studio for an open house, offer signed copies of your work, or heck, make them dinner! Depending on your particular project, your incentives should correspond to your work and help your investors feel truly connected to what they’re helping you do.
Don’t just offer incentives then disappear. Kickstarter allows project participants to keep a blog of sorts, on your project page where updates on work can be posted. Make good use of this throughout your project so that your backers can stay connected to the work you’re doing. This helps to foster lasting relationships with your audience and patrons which is more than just a savvy business move. After all, an artist in a vacuum isn’t going to accomplish much. By its very nature, art requires audience. So keep them involved.
Share, share, share. Of course by putting your project on Kickstarter in the first place, you are taking it out of the dark so to speak and offering it up to the world. But with thousands of projects coming and going on the site all the time, it’s easy for yours to get lost in the shuffle. That’s why social media is going to be your best ally as you move through the Kickstarter process. Sure it can feel awkward to self-promote on your social media pages, but as a working, independent artist, you’d better get used to it. Besides, you don’t need to crow about your project, you just need to explain it. Focus less on the fact that you are seeking funding, and more on what the project actually entails. Include a link to your project page of course, and let your social media followers do the rest.
Let others share your work too. Kickstarter offers share buttons on your project page—use them. Some project creators go as far as drafting tweets that can be included in project updates for easy sharing by project backers. On your own social media outlets, include a line inviting others to share your Kickstarter. The more exposure your project has, the more likely you are to find enough backers to complete your financial goal.
Finally, no matter what your project, give potential backers a reason to want to be involved. Kickstarter projects reach a unique audience of people who want to be the entrepreneurial force behind creative work. While some may simply want the end product for themselves, others come with a genuine interest in funding creative work for the sake of it. It is up to you to reach both of these potential backers with your story. Make it compelling and give them reasons to want to support you. Be honest and transparent and create a clear picture of what you will create.
These are just a few tips to help you make your Kickstarter as successful as possible. Approach this like it is a whole project in itself, because that is exactly what it is. Put time and thought into what you offer the Kickstarter community. After all, as with most things in life, you get out what you put in.