Kickstarter Success - Card Deck
Kickstarter is a fun way to make money, but less than 43% of projects get funded. Now you can greatly increase your chance of success.
[NEW REWARD UPDATE - all rewards (except the £1) will now include a PDF of the cards]
[NEW REWARD UPDATE - a new reward for one Kickstarter Success and one RUNNING LEAN card deck has been added]
Have you ever dreamed of running a Kickstarter project, but not known where to start?
Have you already tried doing a Kickstarter project, but failed to get it funded?
Well you’re not alone!
I surveyed 54 people, who had backed at least one Kickstarter project, if they would like to run their own campaign and 32 of them said they would.
But did you know that only 43% of projects are successful?
I only found this out after my first project raised just 4% of the funding goal!
4%! That’s pitiful!
After this painful experience I was frustrated and puzzled, but I wasn’t put off.
In fact the opposite was true.
My first failure made me determined to understand what makes a Kickstarter project successful.
And now I know!
I started by reading everything in the Kickstarter School and blog.
I went through dozens of funded projects to see if there were obvious similarities.
I scoured the Internet, Facebook and Twitter for crowdfunding success stories.
Most importantly I contacted a bunch of people who had run successful campaigns. I listened with envy as they recounted how exciting it was to wake up every morning, log in to Kickstarter and see how much money they had made whilst they slept.
With my head about to explode with facts, figures and advice, I launched another Kickstarter campaign.
This time it took just 13 days to hit the funding target … and all those people I interviewed were right! It was exciting waking up each morning to see how much money I had made overnight.
What this second experience taught me is, Kickstarter success can be learned!
It also taught me that anyone can do it.
It is a bit like learning to drive.
When you first get into a car, trying to think about all the different things you have to do and in what order, is overwhelming. But once you break the tasks down into simple steps and put them in order, it becomes fairly straight forward.
A Kickstarter project is similar.
There are a lot of things to do, but if you follow a methodology which tells you what tasks to do, when, the process is pretty simple.
If you understand the common characteristics of successful projects you can simply copy them.
And that is why I created the Kickstarter Success Card Deck.
I wanted a simple way to share what I had learned.
WHY A CARD DECK?
Initially I planned on writing a book. After all I had two large notebooks full of great information from my research.
But then I thought, the problem with books is the really important stuff gets lost amongst all the not so important stuff. The reader is left to try and extract the diamonds from the sand.
What people actually want is just the diamonds!
They want the quickest and easiest way of getting the knowhow out of the heads of the experts into their heads!
And so the idea of creating a card deck was born.
I had already created one card deck for another project and that had worked really well. Take a look at the Running Lean Card Deck project.
It is a tough challenge reducing a couple of hundred pages of notes into 52 cards, but hopefully the hard work has paid off.
The 52 cards provide a roadmap to help anyone run a Kickstarter project from evaluating an idea to fulfilling the pledges.
They also include three cards covering some advanced strategies which could help you double or even triple the money you earn from your Kickstarter projects … but more about that later.
THE CARD CONTENT
Each card is numbered and they follow a logical order to make creating and launching a project easy.
The cards cover three broad areas; planning, pre-launch activities and post-launch activities.
The planning cards focus on evaluating your project idea to make sure it is suitable for Kickstarter and then defining how you will present it, the rewards you will offer and how to ensure the project will make money if it is successful.
The pre-launch activities cards provide very practical advice and tips on how to create your project. This includes the sales copy, photos, diagrams and video.
You would be surprised at how many successfully funded projects lose money because the creator did not fully understand all the costs involved.
If all these elements are right and work together you will build an incredibly powerful and compelling story.
Kickstarter success is all about the story. A strong story can make an average project fly; a weak story can kill a great project stone dead.
Also, before you launch you must plan and undertake most of the marketing activity. Having interviewed a lot of Kickstarter entrepreneurs, the one thing that separates the winners from the losers is the quality of marketing they did BEFORE they launched their project.
A good marketing campaign will put you in control of your own destiny and should double the amount of money your project makes.
The last group of cards, post-launch activities, focus on what you should do during the campaign. In particular, how to engage with your backers. If you do this well, they will become your sales team and evangelists.
Oh, I almost forgot.
As I mentioned earlier there are also three cards, explaining three advanced strategies, which are amazingly powerful. So powerful they could enable you to turn your one-off Kickstarter project into a full time, profitable business.
I’m not going to tell you what these strategies are here, because that would be unfair on the people who back the project. What I will tell you is these three techniques are proven to work and are used by some of the MOST successful serial Kickstarter entrepreneurs.
COMBINE WITH RUNNING LEAN
The Running Lean methodology is a step-by-step process for starting a new business. An important element of Running Lean is testing your product or idea before committing too much time, money and resources. Kickstarter is the perfect way of testing products before overcommitting to a project.
Therefore I've added a reward which combines a Running Lean card deck with the Kickstarter Successs card deck. For more information on the Running Lean Deck click here.
The Running Lean Deck is being printed in March 2014.
USING THE CARDS
The card deck can be used to:
- Learn about how Kickstarter works
- Act as a checklist when launching a Kickstarter project
- Teach others about how to launch a successful project
- To allocate tasks when a team of people is working on a project
It is important to say. Using the information on the cards won't guarantee your project is successful, but I believe it will make any project much better.
ABOUT THE CARDS
The cards are twice the size of standard playing cards.
- 52 cards Twice the size of standard playing cards (95 mm x 140mm)
- CMYK color printing 350 gsm high quality art paper
- Plastic coated for long life
- Plain cardboard tuck box
N.B. the final card measurements and materials may be slightly different depending on which printing company we use.
I’ve been involved with Internet businesses since 1996.
I experienced the dot com boom and the subsequent crash.
I’ve watched ecommerce blossom from being glorified mail order, to becoming a high street killer.
I’ve seen blogging mature to threaten the global newspaper industry.
And I’ve marvelled at the way social media has taken over the lives of millions of people.
I have worked in big companies doing mergers and acquisition and in smaller online businesses helping them grow.
I have also started three Internet businesses, which are all thriving today.
I tell you this to put it into context when I say that I believe crowdfunding is one of the biggest and most exciting opportunities to be enabled by the Internet.
It is something special and truly revolutionary.
The reason most businesses fail is because they spend a lot of time and money building products and services nobody wants.
Services, like Kickstarter, eliminate a lot of these startup risks.
You describe your idea and if people like it they will commit to pay you. There is no better validation of an idea than people willing to pay for something before it is even created.
Likewise, if people don’t back an idea, that is a success too.
It tells you your original assumptions were wrong and you would have wasted a lot of time, money and hard work if you had gone ahead with out testing the market first.
Crowdfunding is changing the way businesses are started. It is reducing the risk, lowering the barriers of entry and opening up the opportunity to everyone.
Despite the fact that Kickstarter has raised almost a $1bn for projects, the website only launched in April 2009. The industry is still in its infancy.
Anyone who takes the time to understand crowdfunding today, will have years of exciting opportunities ahead of them.
Don’t wait any longer, start today and kickstart your life!
Please note that Kickstarter is a registered trade mark of Kickstarter Inc. Kickstarter Inc has not been party to creating these cards and have not officially endorsed them.
Risks and challenges
The risks of investing are low.
The design for half of the cards have been done, although on funding they will all be re-drawn by a professional graphic designer. There is a risk that this process will take longer than expected, but it will get done!
A manufacturer has been identified and all the costs are confirmed. Our estimates are based on getting 500 decks printed.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)