30 September 2014 | 13 Comments
One of the most misguided assumptions I make on a daily basis is that everyone knows what Kickstarter is.
PS. Just in case you’re not familiar with crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, crowdfunding is when you pool contributions from various people to support a project in exchange for various rewards. Kickstarter is the most widely used crowdfunding website—on Kickstarter, if the funding goal isn’t reached within a certain timeframe, no one is charged a cent, and no rewards are distributed.
Times have changed since then. Kickstarter is much better known, and it’s a part of my daily life, so it rarely even occurs to me that some people don’t know what it is (or what crowdfunding is). But I still run into quite a few people who have never heard of Kickstarter, or maybe they’ve only heard of it because of a specific project that might greatly skew their frame of reference.
While there is a broad spectrum of familiarity with Kickstarter, in terms of those who don’t know what it is or aren’t comfortable with the platform, I’d recommend looking out for the following categories:
- People Who Have No Idea What Kickstarter Is: I think it’s really important to be inclusive to people who have never heard of Kickstarter or who have heard the word but know nothing about it. Explain the core concept to them. This is for backers and creators alike. If you’re a creator building a fanbase before you launch by attending conventions and events, you might try what Chip Beauvais has done and create a brochure to give to people (he has a customizable version on his website).
- People Who Have Backed Your Project But Have Limited Knowledge of Kickstarter: If you look at your backers’ histories, you might be surprised to see how many first-time backers there are. This is great–you’ve introduced a new person to Kickstarter–but there’s a certain responsibility that comes along with that. Something I try to do on my campaigns is to take time on project updates to explain how to do things like add a shipping cost to a pledge, how to change a reward selection, or how the backer survey will work. I try to also remember that repeat backers come into my project with certain expectations set by previous projects they backed. For example, if someone has only backed one or two other projects, and both of those projects allowed backers to add extra copies of the product after the campaign, I need to go out of my way to emphasize that our campaigns work differently.
Do you still encounter people who don’t know what Kickstarter is? What do you do to introduce the platform to them in an inclusive way?