Kickstarter is easily the most well-known amongst the new breed of so-called ‘crowd funding’ websites. In case you aren’t familiar with how crowdfunding works, essentially a person can create a campaign on Indigogo, Kickstarter or similar sites in order to solicit the direct financial support of hundreds of thousands of individual backers as opposed to working with a bank or seeking out venture capital.
This opens up a lot of interesting opportunities; music, film, programming and web development and other arts can be crowd funded with support direct from the fans, inventors can bring new products to market without having to deal with venture capitalists, and a myriad of other possibilities open up that simply are not possible under more traditional funding models - thanks largely to social media's powerful reach.
Funding can happen, if...
Let's be realistic: not every crowd funding campaign is successful. In fact, most of them fail to meet their fundraising goals, and thus never make it to market. As new advancements in finance technology starts to conquer the world, brand new crowdfunding techniques for promising young professionals are likewise being introduced and used, particularly with the help of different social platforms - this goes for Kickstarter, too.
Your simple, no frills 7 step crowdfunding social success map:
- Set Realistic Goals – “Perhaps the most important part of any Kickstarter or crowd funded campaign is setting realistic, achievable goals,” according to Craig Morris, CBDO at LifeIsASnap.com. “Doing so demonstrates to potential backers that you have performed your due diligence and research before rattling the cup, so to speak.”
- Partner With Known Entities – Partnering with other highly respected social media accounts, busines entities or those experienced in crowd gathering can also be of great value, particularly if you do not have a social reputation of your own that you can leverage for support. Being able to demonstrate a working partnership with a well-known and respected manufacturer can help convince donors you are the real deal.
- Do Not Overpromise – One classic mistake that many Kickstarter campaigns make is overpromising what they will deliver. Before you launch any crowd funding campaign, you should make sure that you will be able to deliver what you are promising to any and all potential backers, or you risk upsetting a very large number of people - and becoming the laughing stock of social circles on Twitter and Facebook.
- Build a Creative Reward Structure – Putting some time into developing a creative reward structure will also help persuade people to back your project. Offer backers items of real value and interest, structure your contribution tiers correctly, and you will find people much more willing to donate to your crowd funding campaign.
- Promote, Promote, Promote – Once you have launched the campaign, you typically have only a limited amount of time in which you can attempt to secure funds. If you don’t raise the amount stated within that short period, you lose it all. This means that during the entire time period your fundraising campaign is live your entire organization should be promoting and prospecting as much as they possibly can so that you can meet your goals and collect the funds.
- Leverage Social Media Wisely - Social media signals help increase the awareness your crowdfunding campaign exists - and helps spread the word virally. The higher the tweets, Facebook Likes and Google+ 1's your fundraiser receives, the greater your chances of being fully funded. Don't fear sharing pictures of your campaign/project on Instagram, too, and have your kids' large social media following help pass the photos down the line.
- Use Video Content – One final tip for running a successful Kickstarter campaign is to invest in some quality, socially acceptable video content. Having a video with very good production values gives potential backers a real look into your project and often times is the convincing factor in persuading an individual to make a donation. They are also great for impressing those deep-pocket backers looking for projects they really support to invest in.
By keeping these six tips in mind when you are designing and building your crowd funding campaign, you will keep the focus of your project very lean and tight, which will definitely help you appeal to potential backers that utilize social media often. If you’re interested in getting your hands on a professional media toolkit that contains a lot of additional information on Kickstarter campaign successes, you can grab one here.