Designing a new product is only the first step to launching it. Once you’ve got a great idea, it’s time to find funding so that production can begin. Kickstarter is a great tool for small business funding, especially short-term funding. This is particularly true if you have a brand or an idea with a strong social media following already. Here’s how to harness Kickstarter to fund your next venture.
Kickstarter works on an all-or-nothing basis. For example, if you set a $10,000 goal, you receive funding once you are over the goal line. If your backers fall short and only pledge $9,800, then you don’t receive any funding and your backers aren’t charged. For this reason, it’s important to have a large audience who’s already passionate about your brand and your ideas before you post your campaign.
Some great ways to get a Kickstarter audience together include:
- Harness social media. If you have an established brand with a following on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, then let those communities know that you have a new product in the pipeline.
- Participate in communities. Online communities such as forums, social media groups, or content curation websites often have sub-communities dedicated to your niche. Reddit is a great source for tapping into niche communities, and users appreciate new solutions to existing problems.
- Use paid advertising. Put a post on your blog or social media about the new product design, and use Promoted Posts on Facebook or your social media of choice to reach more people who are interested in the product. You can target users of certain demographics who have a targeted set of interests, making it simple to reach the perfect user base.
Campaign Best Practices
Once you have an audience, it’s time to start crafting your campaign. Following best practices for Kickstarter campaigns gives you the best chance of having your campaign accepted, and maximizes your chances at a great turnout. Here are some best practice tips:
- Be clear about the product. Your campaign description should clearly outline what your product is, what problems it solves, and why your backers should want to invest in it.
- Have a set timeline. Backers want to know when they can expect your product to come out. Be honest about your timeline, and plan for unexpected hiccups that might extend production.
- Choose rewards that your backers want. For each donation tier ($5, $20, $50, $200, etc.), offer a reward that’s even better than the last. This incentivizes high pledges, and gives your backers a tangible “thank you” for their investment. Choose items that are relevant, as well. For example, if you’re launching a coffee line, then offer an ounce of beans for $5, a coffee mug for $20, and a cafe merch basket for $50.
- Add stretch goals. Your base goal should be within reach, and you should have multiple higher goals that give you and your backers something to strive for. Include added features for each stretch goal.
- Use media to your advantage. Include videos, infographics, pictures, and mock-ups to connect with your audience and convey the product and the brand.