The latest available stats show that 109,553 launched projects on Kickstarter have collectively garnered pledges worth $737 million. It’s stunning that more than 4.5 million people have together agreed to “invest” hundreds of millions of dollars without any expectation of making a profit. Of course, it’s not altruism, because backers do expect to be on the inside track for free tangible goods the project produces.
There are certain techniques and do’s and don’ts that must be followed in order for a project to be successfully crowdfunded on Kickstarter.
It’s more about inspiration than just numbers
One key mistake many people make is to look at this platform like traditional funding sources such as a bank, VC or angel investors. Kickstarter is less about number-crunching and more about inspiring a community to take action in support of a cause, activity or individual they believe in.
Build your community
It’s no secret that celebrities do very well on Kickstarter. That’s because they already have a huge community of loyal fans who are only too willing to shell out a few dollars to get a piece of whatever the celebrity is dishing out through the project. The point here being that having an existing community to tap into makes it very easy to succeed on Kickstarter. If you don’t have a community like this, start building one right away.
Pre-launch preparation is a must have
On a related note, pre-launch preparation is another key aspect. You need to have press and blog coverage all lined up to explode and trigger a viral buzz and get the ball rolling quickly. Hire a professional crew to create a video pitch that makes your project appealing and gets it featured. Do all the groundwork and due diligence to make sure the Kickstarter review goes through smoothly.
That brings us to the core part of what makes a project succeed on Kickstarter. Studies have shown that a project that gets featured has an 89 percent chance of being successful. On the other hand, a project that is not featured has a mere 30 percent chance of success.
Shorter time and less money can take you long way
Two other major factors that impact the level of funding are the project’s length and cost. While a few breakout stars such as Pebble Technologies have raised in excess of $10 million, the majority of successful projects on Kickstarter are in the $1,000 to $10,000 range. A project is that needs a month or less is much more likely to succeed than a similar project that requires two months.
Your backers deserve a “great” reward
The most important factor is still the rewards. It’s human nature that people will pay for something they want. The simplest technique, as officially suggested by Kickstarter, is for the reward to be the project’s creation itself. If a singer is cutting an album using crowdsourced funds, it’s logical to reward all backers with a free copy of the album.
This can be further refined by creating reward tiers. For example, someone who pledges the most popular amount of $25 may get a free download of the album. Someone who shells out above the Kickstarter average of $70 can be given a signed DVD of the album. Pledges above $100 can be rewarded with an album and concert tickets.
There’s a lot more to it, but the important thing is to follow the above tips and think of Kickstarter as a community that can be leveraged by making use of personal connections and admirers who are ready to vouch for the innovation.