Quick Kickstarter Lesson Recaps: #6-10

24 October 2019 | 1 Comment

I continue to revisit the Kickstarter Lesson posts I’ve written over the last 7 years in chronological order, highlighting the core elements of each.
The Project Video (#6): If you’re a first-time Kickstarter creator, I highly recommend including a project video. Start by storyboarding your video. Ideally you’ll use your friend who is an expert cinematographer, but it’s more likely it’s you with your smartphone or webcam, which can be fine. But more importantly, what should you cover? The first step is to watch a lot of successful examples. Some of my own guidelines include: limit it to about 2 minutes and also clearly convey your passion, what your project is, and what is unique/interesting about your project. And that’s it. Keep other details for later down the page where you might also have supporting videos.
The Funding Goal (#7): Calculating your funding goal is absolutely crucial. It’s a delicate balance between keeping your threshold for success as low as possible and preventing yourself from going bankrupt. Even though backers have nothing to lose by backing the project at any time, many backers will be hesitant to back a project they don’t think will succeed. Conversely, when you reach your funding goal, backers are much more willing to fund it. In the article I go in-depth with hard numbers, and finish with an important message: It’s not too late to turn back. Crowdfunding is not the only option. Just make sure you consider all the factors before you set your funding goal and launch your Kickstarter project.
Reward Levels (#8): The best way to figure out your reward levels is to study similar projects and know your costs through and through. This is the customer’s ultimate financial interaction with you, so consider the way your reward levels appear to the backers. Comparing reward levels to retail is important. Also comparing the reward levels within your project against each other can be just as important.
Timing and Length: (#9): In most cases, I don’t think the success of projects are tied to the time of the year. Much more important is the timing of the manufacturing and fulfillment process. Also, consider your personal schedule. I wouldn’t recommend doing order fulfillment yourself, but if you’re going to do that, figure out a time when you aren’t needed at work, and then plan backwards from there. I go into more details about the time of month, day of the week, and time of day in the article, along with some general guidelines about project length.
The Taste Test & Stealing Ideas (#10): Here I discuss sharing a digital sample of your product. Don’t worry about someone stealing your ideas. First, it’s expensive to print out anything. Second, the best thing you can do to protect your intellectual property is post it publicly. Your downloadable sample does not have to look polished, but be sure to show what the final product will look like by posting a few finished pieces. Some people may not like the product, but now they have an opportunity to give feedback. Even if you disagree with their feedback, that connection could change them from a potential backer to an enthusiastic backer.
If you have any questions or thoughts about these topics, feel free to share in the comments!
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