This is a guest post from Aradia Goseling. Find out more about Aradia at the end of the article.
Wouldn’t it be great to get an advance on a project before wandering into that wild goose chase that is research, design, & experimentation? A way to field test your idea for initial interest & viability?
Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform geared towards creators. (Crowdfunding simply allows lots of people to give you small amounts of money toward a large monetary goal in order to realize a project.) It’s become a popular platform to help creatives branch out in new directions.
I launched a Kickstarter a few weeks ago so I’ve got a few tips to give you an edge of wading into crowdfunding for the first time! Today, I’m taking a bit of time from running my own to go over a few tips to help other artist get started.
1 FUNDING ON THIS PLATFORM IS ALL OR NOTHING.
You set a goal and if you don’t fully hit that goal, none of your pledgers pay what they pledged. The “all or nothing” tag line seeks to protect both pledgers & creators. Meaning, you don’t have false promises of support & people get what they asked for.
2 YOU HAVE TO PUT TIME, AND OFTEN MONEY, INTO THE SET UP & PROMOTION.
Putting together prototypes is a good use of your efforts because they make a big impact on potential pledgers. But also focus on crystal clear copy and as many pictures as you can put together.
3 YOU’LL GET SICK OF IT.
You should be aware that by the end, you’ll likely be sick of talking about your campaign. A drawback of promoting something that isn’t yet created is that you will have to make up for the lack of a product with a lot of words to explain the potential product.
After you’ve got your campaign set up, the trick is to tell everyone! (The marketing efforts required here are akin to running your business operations.) And don’t be afraid to repeat yourself. You might be bored, but most people you’re talking to haven’t heard any of it yet.
4 BE SENSIBLE WITH YOUR REWARDS.
Pledgers earn prizes, called rewards, for pledging various amounts. You set the rewards. And it’s important to put together rewards people would actually buy.
Many set ups on Kickstarter involve tiers starting with a basic form of the main creation. Each successive tier thereafter adds on something else. The question is: does this work for what you’re offering? If you find yourself hunting for ideas to add on more complicated things to your product, it’s likely these are not going to be rewards people actually want.
Don’t forget to be sensible with yourself too! Underestimating the time needed to create & deliver rewards can lead to big problems. And this may discourage pledgers from buying from you in the future. So plan for the time it will take to make the rewards a reality and err on the side of more time rather than less – that way you can at least deliver on time, at best surprise them early!
5 BE GENEROUS WITH YOUR REWARDS.
It’s important to focus on the experience you want for your people. You can do this in a variety of ways: via the style of your copy (are you a storyteller or a bullet-point lover), video & pictures (a great place to showcase your personality & what it’s like to interact with you as a creative), and fun rewards (think…what would be *REALLY* cool iterations of your main offering or what would make your main offering even more exciting and fun).
6 PLAN FOR FAILURE, AS WELL AS SUCCESS.
While it’s great & fantastic to get your Kickstarter funded, for 2 out of 3 projects it doesn’t happen. While it may be a blow to your ego, to fail to get funding is not the end of the world.
For one, you can always re-launch your project.
You’ll have to create a new page within your profile for it, but it’s possible to try again. The benefit of this is that you can get feedback on your first try and tweak it to do better the next time around.
Another thing to remember is that all the promotion you put into your campaign still counted toward your overall business marketing.
You’re still getting your name and your art out into the world more and more, whether or not it results in a fully funded project.
And you will have learned a lot either way – after your Kickstarter concludes don’t forget to apply the newfound knowledge!
Keep track of analytics, views, clicks, referring sites, and demographics/psychographics for valuable marketing feedback.
Aradia Goseling is an intuitive artist, specializing in fiber & wire art. Through her work, she seeks to bring a bit of myth, meaning, and magick into people’s everyday lives. Her work can be found at Aradia’s Hand & she just wrapped a Kickstarter for her journalistic masterpiece journals.