Kickstarter is a wonderful place for new ideas to get a jump-start. Not only the platform provides opportunity for new ideas and projects to gain some monetary funding to get started, but it also is a wonderful place to gather support, valuable feedback, generate interest and awareness in your idea and get the first level customers for your project. But making it a success is not that easy. Over the last couple of years, I have worked with various campaigns and seen fair share of success and failures. In this article, I would like to touch upon a few potential reasons for failure of such campaigns.
1. If you start from Kickstarter – Many people think that Kickstarter is the place to start. This is not true. It is not a place to start. It is a place to take your idea further, to the next step. So, the best way to go about getting crowdfunding is to first work on your idea on your own as much as you can. Take it to the platform when you can move no further on your own. So, start at your desk, work on the project as much as you can, when you can not move any further on your own, then go to seek help from others. Remember the old saying, “God help those, who help themselves”.
2. Lack of well defined idea – Before any one gives you a penny, he has to understand your idea, then he has to identify with it, then like it, then see a potential in it's success, then only he will spare his penny for it. As long as things are in one's mind, they are arbitrary in nature. Once these are put on paper, they start getting shape. Same goes for your idea as well. Give it a proper shape. Define it. If your campaign shows that the idea is not concrete, people will not understand it. If they do not understand it, there is no chance they will identify with it. Most of the ideas fail at this stage only. They are not well thought of.
3. Presentation of idea – Once you know what you want to build, the next step is to present it in your campaign. The better you present, more are the chances of people identifying with it.
- Video – is not mandatory. But you should think that it is mandatory. “A picture is worth a thousand words”. A video is probably worth a million. Do not take shortcut here. Nobody expect a professional video. A video recorded by a Smartphone is good enough.
- Show your idea – Use the video to show your idea and your work, rather than asking people to read about it.
- Show yourself – Use the video to show yourself (and your team) to the world. People like to know who they are paying to. They also want to show the strength of your team.
- Use your assets well – Use everything you have in the campaign; videos, audios, images, drawings, sketches and finally texts.
4. Utilization of goals – It is very important to tell people what you want to do with their money. Your goals (and stretch goals) should be specific and so the details of what you are going to do with that money. Be very specific.
5. Just the campaign is not enough – Campaign is not a solitary entity. It needs a lot of help from external sources as well. So, as your campaign runs on the Kickstarter, you need other campaigns to support it as well. You have various options:
- Create a web page
- Create social media accounts; Facebook, Twitter. Just creating them is not enough, keep them active. Better to start these one month before the campaign goes live. Through out the campaign period keep activity going on all fronts. Post updates, interact with people, answer their questions.
6. Aiming too high – Are you aiming too high? Higher funding goals are difficult to achieve. No harm in keeping the target low. If get funded once, and deliver on your promise, you have a better chance to get funded on second campaign. So, rather than aiming for a long shot, you can go phase-wise.
7. Preparation for funding – In real life, have unknown people ever given you money. Your answer will be, NO. This applies to Kickstarter as well. People who do not know you will not give you money even if you promise them to take to the moon. So, you have to find people who you know and let your campaign reach to them first. Chances are higher that they will support you. So, target to get money from friends, family and acquaintances first on your campaign. Once this happens, the campaign will gain traction on Kickstarter. This will bring it to the attention of whole community of backers. Then these unknown people will start backing you.
Hope this article helps you in avoiding the pitfalls in crowdfunding campaigns. I wish you all the success in your campaigns and if you need help, just leave a message.