We’ve been getting a lot of questions about how to start a project on Kickstarter, and I wanted to clear things up.
When we opened the doors to Kickstarter four months ago, we launched with a simple invite system: our earliest users and project creators got a handful of invites to spread to other people as they like. Nothing revolutionary, but it worked: lots of new projects have been getting added everyday since. People find invites on Twitter (over 1000 existing users have invites to pass out) or through friends (or friends of friends), and others contact us via the site.
There are many points of entry to start a project, and we are always looking for ways to make sure more invites get into the wild while not overwhelming our team of five — of which I’m the sole customer service rep. Yesterday alone I went through several hundred emails from people looking to start projects. All of them will get a response (some may need to be a bit patient), and hopefully many of these projects will soon be live and — knock on wood — getting funded.
When I correspond with potential project creators, I’m not nearly as interested in the aesthetics of their project as I am how it fits into the Kickstarter ecosystem, and how well they understand how Kickstarter works.
Here are the things we encourage potential project creators to consider:
- How will you tell people about your project? The key to a successful project is asking your networks, audience, friends and family for help. Kickstarter is a tool that can turn your networks into your patrons; it is not a source of funding on its own.
- Rewards are very important. Offer something of real value for a fair price. And more experiential rewards, things that loop backers into the story, are incredibly powerful. Most of the successful projects include them — take a look around the site and you’ll see some great examples. PS: Three or four reasonably priced rewards seems to work quite well (think of it as S, M, L, XL).
- Include a video. It’s more personal.
- Be clear and specific about your project’s goal.
- And finally, when it comes to your funding goal, raise as little as you’ll need to move forward. Projects can raise more, but never less.