Several people have asked for tips and best practices for running a successful Kickstarter campaign. I had a fantastic experience and hope that these tips and tricks will inspire you to create your own project.


Five Tips and Best Practices for Kickstarter

  1. Get organized first: It's tempting to hit launch and then get everything in order, but I strongly recommend that you organize everything related to your campaign before you make your campaign public. See tips below for exactly what you'll need to pull together.
  2. Create a video, but keep it under a minute: People are short on time and have even shorter attention spans. Get to the point as quickly as possible.
  3. Keep your rewards simple and relevant: My campaign was for a book, so all of my rewards were books (1, 2, 3, 5, 10 and 20). I didn't include stickers or other crap that most people don't want.
  4. Line up first day (ideally first hour) backers: Ask 20 people to make pledges within the first hour of your campaign. Make sure you give these wonderful, generous, kind people a few days notice with instructions about how and when to make their pledges. For example, send them a preview link to the campaign via email and tell them you plan to launch on Tuesday at 6pm. That way, when you actually launch on Tuesday at 6pm, they are familiar with the campaign and ready to pledge. The early backers create momentum for your campaign and demonstrate interest before sharing it with the rest of the world.
  5. Be persistent but not spammy: I emailed my contacts 3x during the campaign: launch announcement, reminder, and last chance. I included updates on campaign progress in each email with a link to the campaign and request for them to share. I posted to Facebook 4x since it's not as invasive as email. I asked Backers to post to FB as well.

Things To Organize Before Launch:

  • Kickstarter page content
    • Copy: Be concise and use image headers or pictures to break up text.
    • Rewards: Include a range price points and offer things people actually want to buy. Keep descriptions short and accurate.
    • Video: iMovie has templates that make you look like a pro.
    • Imagery: Try to tell your story through pictures instead of just words.
  • Contact list
    • Sources: Export your contacts from your email client to get your list started. Only include people you actually know. If there are individuals/businesses/press you plan on contacting, organize that info as well.
    • Spreadsheet: Include email addresses/names for everyone you want to contact and column headers to track info including contact frequency, pledge status, pledge amounts.
    • Tracking: Update your spreadsheet regularly. The last thing you want to do is ask someone to pledge if they already backed you.
  • Non-Kickstarter content
    • Email: Compose the email you plan to send and include a link to your campaign (duh). Decide whether you are contacting people individually or as a group. Consider bcc if the folks on the email don't know each other.
    • Facebook: You can share on FB via Kickstarter. I recommend writing what you want to say beforehand.
    • Twitter: Get your 140 characters ready.
    • Social media (in general): Decide whether you are contacting people as yourself or you want to create a separate account for your project. I launched a Facebook page for Peanut Butter or Jelly after the book launched.

That's about it. I loved everything about the Kickstarter experience and hope that you do, too.

Good luck!

AuthorDeborah Kelson
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