Written by Jessica Ann on April 30th, 2014
How to Fund Your Business on Kickstarter
Kickstarter is a platform that helps businesses and individuals get funding to start projects. That help includes concept development, design, marketing and more. It has raised over $1 billion in funding to help more than 60,000 projects since the website launched in 2009. That is impressive, right? But how can you get involved? Can you fund your business on Kickstarter?
Kickstarter is not a money tree and many projects fail. But there are some steps you can take to increase your chances of success.
Get Your Product Right
Getting your product right is the first step to success. Firstly you should learn about Kickstarter and its audience. It focuses on creative projects that include films, books, clothing designs, technology, art, games, and much more. If your product does not fit into this description then Kickstarter is probably not right.
If your product does fit into the Kickstarter genre then the next question is: how good is it? Is it innovative, exciting or does it solve a problem? Ask yourself these questions as honestly as possible as the world of business is littered with failed products and Kickstarter is no different.
That said the world would be a boring and backwards place if brave entrepreneurs did not take chances when they were not sure of success. Kickstarter gives you an opportunity to give your idea a go at little expense. But there is a catch: you will have to work hard.
Prepare to Work Hard
People who work hard on their Kickstarter campaign are more successful than those who don’t. The concept of the platform is people investing in other people, i.e. individuals not banks and corporations. You will therefore spend a lot of time building relationships with your backers and potential backers answering queries, chatting and making sales pitches. When you conduct a Kickstarter campaign correctly it will be your full-time job.
Start Building an Audience Before You Start
The word panacea is a great word. After all who doesn’t want a single solution for a particular problem? But on the internet, in marketing and in fundraising it does not exist. That means Kickstarter is not a panacea and it is not a shortcut. You can’t expect success on Kickstarter if no one knows about it. Instead you need to build up a buzz beforehand.
This is not easy so start with your friends and family. Offer favors, cajole, demand, bribe, or do whatever you need to do to get them onboard and interested in what you are doing. Then widen the net on social media, create a small business website, and start working on your email strategy. Tell as many people as you can about the product and get them interested. Then, when you have your Kickstarter listing ready, tell them about it and ask for support. This will get things going.
Create a great video
Every element of your Kickstarter listing is important including the graphics and the text. But the most important element is the video. There are several reasons for this:
· This is a social business tool about people. And videos are a better introduction to your personality than words or photos
· People on Kickstarter like watching videos so give your audience what it wants
· The other businesses trying to get funding on Kickstarter are using video too
The last point is particularly important as many listings on Kickstarter include professionally made videos. You should consider this too. Spend time to make it as high-quality as you can. You do not want to stand out for the wrong reasons.
Give Valuable Rewards
Kickstarter backers get rewards in return for offering their money. Many of these are not only dull but are utterly worthless. Make yours interesting and make sure they are of value to the backer. That does not necessarily mean valuable (although offer as much value as you can). That means being unique, unusual or special.
Kickstarter is a powerful tool that has brought many products and creative projects to life. It is not an easy route. But if you spend time, do your research, and have a great idea you can achieve success.
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