What is the best way to drive traffic from within Kickstarter?
I've had three successful projects that were buried in the stacks and stacks of projects. I would love to make staff pick, as well. If backers can't see the project, they are unlikely to back it, after all! Here are my suggestions: Updates at least once a week, even if there isn't any activity. Keep them positive and talk about how great your product is. Have a finished project/prototype for people to see. My videos are rough, but they definitely aren't photoshopped! I'm not a big fan of buying social media likes. Keep the features to three points. It seems more realistic and pragmatic. Above all be cheery and respectful in all messages to backers. That doesn't mean caving into every suggestion, but thanking them for the time and suggestions.I try to make every project something that I would personally pay money for. Much better than trying to build a project that is going to net $1M on KS. :)Have a great day!
How do you determine the right goal for your project?
For both of my projects, I determined the minimum (bare minimum!) I would need to accomplish the goal. For my first project, this included a TON of research about paperwork I would have to do, related fees, supplies (minimum orders and bulk orders to get the best prices for my backer rewards), etc... The more facets you have to your project, the more difficult this task will be.You should also give yourself a buffer, about 10-15% of the bare minimum you calculated depending on your risk factors, to account for unexpected rises in prices of supplies or an unexpected permit or certification you may need, etc. If you end up not needing it, you can put it toward your inventory order for that new business you're launching, or you can put it toward improving the experience for your backers (such as newer or better artwork/print quality/other feature of your rewards).If you're still not sure, you may want to reach out to a project creator who has done something similar to what you plan on doing. I think you'll find that many Kickstarter Creators are more than willing to help a fellow Creator! If you're launching a food business, feel free to reach out to me.
Vincent B. Donadio
What inspired you to launch your first project?
I saw the fantastic opportunity kickstarter holds. About 50% of all kickstarter campaigns are funded! That's incredible! Then I started looking into different projects and found that backers really like high quality materials. Products made of materials like carbon fiber or titanium have a really high rate of success (about 75% for carbon fiber). So I decided that I would make something out of carbon fiber. 48 hours later I had my product made and campaign submitted to kickstarter. I plan on a new kickstarter campaign every few months now! My first campaign that I'm doing right now was more of an experiment to see what I could do with something as simple as a ring, and it exploded! I plan on some pretty technical projects in the future.
Serial Backers - Describe your motivations!
100+ campaign backer here. I know the creator. I like to support friends, so they usually will get a backing. The creator backed one of my campaigns. It's not terribly frequent, but I like keeping a healthy crowdfunding ecosystem by supporting those who support me when I can. The reward will arrive quickly. It's fun to have campaigns with quick turnaround, especially if the reward isn't terribly expensive. The campaign plays on my nostalgia. I love that some of the architects of my childhood games have made a resurgence in the crowdfunding space. Keep tabs on the cultural zeitgeist. Some of what I back is for research of crowdfunding, honestly. Feeling mighty. Knowing that someone's dream can only be fulfilled if people like me help out lends itself a feeling of goodwill, as long as the creator doesn't come off looking desperate. The product is exactly something I've searched for before but couldn't find. Very niche reason here, but a bluetooth typewriter keyboard is something I've looked for, but could only find months later on Kickstarter. Usually if the product is something I could find something easily on Amazon, unless they have an awesome pitch video, I go for the thing I can have arrive at my house in 2 days.
What is the best way to get backers from Instagram?
Late to the party, but these tips still stand:Make sure there is a link to your project page in your bio, and that you point people toward it. It seems straightforward, but you'd be surprised how many people forget to do this! Every time you point folks somewhere else, you point them away from an opportunity to back your project. While you *can* drop a link into the copy for your post, few people are going to copy-paste that somewhere — just put it into your bio, and let people know you've got the a "link in bio." :) You can also try some promotional/engagement activities to make sure people actually know you're running a campaign. Try sharing some behind-the-scenes sneak peeks, announcing new reward tiers, or letting people in on the cool things that are happening as your campaign runs. There's a lot of noise on social — bring people into the fold in genuinely interesting ways to set yourself apart. Interaction can really help, too — for instance, if you're doing something like having backers vote on a design/style choice or what add-ons you'll create, let folks on Insta know, and send them to your project page where they can weigh in (if they back!).And, of course, don't spam your followers. Stay interesting so they stay interested!
At what point is a prototype complete enough that you feel comfortable running a project to make the product?
I've found people can assume all kinds of things no matter how hard you tell them its a prototype. You have to use clear language saying it's a prototype and the contents will change - and even then some will discuss why the map looks bad lol! Personally I would get it looking as close to the real thing as possible - use 3D design or 3D print to create mockup parts, or hand make it, - it's the design and style that attracts a lot of people whether it's a beautifully hand printed cloth map or a plastic rocket, it's these things that get people excited so spend the time to make them. Cancel that friday night out where you'll spend the cost of making the 3D prints you so desperately need but think you can't afford. It's all or nothing when you get to launching the project and everything you can show up front or reveal through the project will give you so much more to say to people. People are visual and need cool graphics, awesome models, 3D visualisations - not walls of text. You don't need it to be production ready, it just needs to look cool!hope that helps!
Chris Birch, Modiphius
What's the best way to handle tariffs for international shipping?
I think it would be difficult to know all the potential tariffs in advance. You could offer that as a service outside of kickstarter. Do a quote, send them a paypal invoice and then ship the products. It would be labor intensive though.
Graphic Representation of Reward Levels
Personally I prefer to keep my reward levels as simple as possible. Less levels means simpler fulfillment, which means I can get back to drawing comics.That said, yeah, some kind of visual depiction of the reward tiers is REALLY NICE. Keep it simple and iconic, so people scrolling down can get used to quickly parsing each repeated reward and wonder what this new icon means.
Are people more likely to back creators who have backed other projects?
I think I would be more inclined to back a project from a creator who had backed other projects. I feel like this ecosystem only works if we're both giving and receiving within the community. On top of that, I think if you're serious about running a campaign, you'd have gone through the backer process yourself at least once to see the experience.
Kristen Horner Da Silva
How do you maintain momentum throughout your campaign? Any tips for getting through that tough middle period?
Don't make the "in between" too long. People have short attention spans. Think about what gains traction on Facebook, twitter, etc. Quick bursts of headlines, short pieces of information, and so forth. Get down to the point of what you're asking for, and keep it relevant. Also, try and find a target audience through Facebook "groups" etc of people that you think would be naturally inclined to look at your stuff. - Ben