6 January 2013 | 16 Comments
In the first Kickstarter lesson I wrote about, I discussed something that’s important to do well before your Kickstarter project is ready: submit a very rough version of your project page to Kickstarter for approval. Today I want to mention something else that I recommend doing several months before you launch your project:
Back other Kickstarter projects.
There are several reasons for doing this. The first is psychological. I’ve seen an incredible number of Kickstarter projects for which the project creator hasn’t backed any other projects. Perhaps this isn’t completely fair to the creator, but I get a slightly self-centered impression of the project creator when I see that. Kickstarter isn’t a charity, but I’m simply more drawn to project creators who are givers before they become takers/creators.
That’s just my philosophy–let me know in the comments if that’s something you notice when you back a project. Also, something to keep in mind is that some project creators (especially if they collaborate with others) may use separate accounts for creating and backing projects. Thus I try to keep an open mind and only use this information as a tipping point in my decision to back a project, not as a key factor to consider.
Regardless of whether or not you share that philosophy, there is another reason you should back projects before you launch your own, even if it’s just a $1 pledge here and there: You can learn so much about running an effective campaign by subscribing to a project’s updates. The only way to do that is to pledge to a project, but a few dollars isn’t going to break the back.
I’ll get into project updates in a future post, but they are really important, and the best way to learn how to effectively use them is by subscribing to the project updates of other projects. You’ll see what’s helpful and motivating, and you’ll also see what’s annoying. Simply by reading these updates, you’ll become a better updater yourself.
So if you’ve never backed a project on Kickstarter, hop over to the site and give $1 pledges (or more) to a few projects that are in the same category as the one you hope to run. You’ll learn a ton by standing on the shoulders of giants.