What tips do you have for someone who is nervous to make a video because they are shy in front of a camera?
Try having a good friend stand next to the camera, and talk to your friend. Very few people are comfortable in front of a camera, but most people are OK with talking to a friend. Do lots of takes and edit the best parts with static shots or illustrations as segues. I used to work in video, but it took me 24 takes to get something that isn't too embarrassing!
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.
How can a Kickstarter success be translated into sales when your project is complete?
I think a post campaign sales strategy is very important. For me, Kickstarter has always been used to pay for production. It's the sales after where I start making a profit. It is important to start thinking about it well before your campaign has launched. Who are the distributors that deal in your product, are there any local stores that would be interested, and what kind of trade shows can you attend to promote it?
Paul Roman Martinez
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
PR: What moved the needle, what didn't, what did it cost?
This is an aspect of crowd funding I didn't consider and found to be a bit unnerving. The amount of spam in my inbox here and through my website was overwhelming. I have not felt the need to risk the cost against what i see as unrealistic promises and predatory business practices. When a company makes claims to get you funded that include things like product placement, top billing on popular blogs or getting you on national news, for a free or tiered fees, I say, walk away. The commercial industry is definitely shifting and while this forum is a fantastic way to network and grow, it is important to remember those things happen whether or not you roll the dice on a PR/Marketing firm, use cheap apps to spam your own contacts, or actually reach your goal. there. my two cents. it's been an interesting learning experience so far ;)
How have you successfully reached new audiences?
Work your project HARD. Email relevant people and companies, find forums, twitter, facebook, contact news outlets and for serious connections, believe it or not, send them a handwritten letter.However you decided to reach out, have a clear message, be polite, understand if they can't get their heads around your idea or product. If they say no it is not personal, don't be offended.And most important, learn from this fish:Dory of Finding Nemo - Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming swimming swimming, what do we do we swim.
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.
How do you get backers from Kickstarter? Most of my backers have been from direct messaging.
Getting backers directly from Kickstarter is largely done by chance. The best thing you can do for your campaign to attract people who are browsing projects is the usual stuff; captivating image, good title, good blurb, right category, good video, good project page, etc. But it's all largely up to you to drive people to your project. Kickstarter works hard to make sure that people go to the website it's self and to make making a project as simple as possible. But their job isn't to drive people to your campaign, it's to give you the opportunity to capture consumer attention and prove that your project is worth their dollar and that you are the person/people to make get that product to them.So in summary, after you have your project page set up and launched you have to let all that work do it's job. After that you'll want to focus your attention on getting people to your project page specifically. Hope this was helpful, Best of luckZack Applewhite - Betta Games
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.