We don’t think that one successful project makes us experts by any means; however there were a few things that we learned through the process that made a big difference in our project. And with our company being focused on having a community based foundation, we want to share some of the things we learned along the way, with hopes that by doing so the crowdfunding community will get bigger and stronger.
Here are some things to consider during your campaign
- Make sure you have a great product! Ask people for advice and take their advice. We made surveys on google drive and asked people to take the surveys so that we could understand what the market wanted. We got people to take the surveys by posting them on Facebook and by emailing friends and relatives. Real data makes the development process more of a science than a guessing game. Get data!
- Don’t just get on Kickstarter with the first prototype. You will likely only have one shot at it, so take the necessary time and get it right. We delayed our project by 1 month when we decided to launch our wallet in four colors rather than in just black. It took so long because it was hard to find suppliers that could make custom colored elastic at the right price and MOQ. But we think it made all the difference.
- Before you launch tell people you know that you are doing a Kickstarter project and ask for email addresses so that when you launch you can immediately have thousands of people viewing and backing your project. We probably emailed about 3,000 people within an hour of launching. Read this article and apply it to your launch day it was very helpful for us.http://fourhourworkweek.com/2012/12/18/hacking-kickstarter-how-to-raise-100000-in-10-days-includes-successful-templates-e-mails-etc/
- Make your Kickstarter page look professional! If your project looks sloppy people might lose confidence in your ability to actually do what you say you will. The tools offered by Kickstarter to create your page are definitely lacking. If you look at our page, you will see that a lot of our text is actually just pictures that we made in PowerPoint and Adobe Illustrator and then inserted into our page. This gives you more freedom to make your page look however you want since you don’t have to rely on Kickstarter sub-par word processor.
- After your first day and after your friends and family have backed your project, you are left to your own devices to continue to build awareness. We contacted blogs and websites, but we found it was really hard to get their attention. After long consideration we ended up enlisting the help of a marketing team, Funded Today. They made a huge difference. The payment to them was based on a percentage of our total amount funded which we liked because they were paid based how effective they were. I would recommend something like this. It was a huge part of our success. No matter how good your project is, you will never be successful if no one knows about it.
- Understand your costs inside and out before you start your project. Figure out your marketing budget, cost of product, cost of shipping, fees to Kickstarter, fees to Amazon, and any other fees related to your project. You don’t want to have a successful project and then end up losing money.
- Stay on top of your backers’ messages and comments. Your backers will determine if you will succeed or fail. If they are willing to trust you enough to back your project, you owe it to them to respond to questions and comments that they make. Try to respond to all of them within 24 hours. Keep them up to date and in the loop. This is a lot of work, but you have to do it.
As we said before, we are not experts but these 7 things made a big difference in our project. In summary, make a great product, do whatever you can to build awareness, and make sure you are keeping your backers updated and happy.
Hope this was helpful and good luck with your project!
The BASICS Team