Running a Kickstarter campaign can be difficult. Preparation alone requires weeks of research, months of drafting, years of...okay so maybe not years of anything but experience is certainly a plus. The launch is all the more nerve-racking when you consider that once its out there, its out there forever. Making it a success requires excess outreach, routine followup, milestone updates and so MUCH MORE! The Superego Kickstarter experience was a most memorable one. The Redressing America With Hemp campaign was successfully funded October 16, 2015, achieving over $5000 beyond our $25K goal and 500 supporters worldwide! As minority entrepreneurs, our Black History Month gift to you are these 10 important strategies that you should implement when launching your own campaign! Check out our Kickstarter video below and then we will go right into our strategies!
1. High Quality Video and Visual Campaign- So you have a great product that you want the whole world to see and buy; the most important thing you can do is have a great video that showcases this product and why its a must-have! A well put together video is more likely to get shared throughout the internet and potentially go viral. Also remember that the modern-day human has a short attention span so try to keep your video concise. Overall, your campaign page should be very product focused and extremely visual with both high quality videos and photos.
2. Compelling Rewards- It's extremely important to include some of the product advertised in the video as your reward offerings. Put a limit on a few of the good ones to reflect its exclusivity and add a sense of urgency. You might also consider adding a couple older products, if any, as more classic rewards. Providing an opportunity to meet the team at an event or over a meal (paid for of-course) usually tends to be a popular top-notch reward item.
3. Share Campaign Preview for Feedback- Before making your Kickstarter live, you can create a hidden preview of your campaign. Make sure you take full advantage of this feature! This will allow you to send a link to family, friends, or even strangers for input and suggestions on how to make your campaign better. No matter how great you think your Kickstarter campaign may look, its ALWAYS best to get multiple outside perspectives. We did this for our campaign and it proved to be very beneficial
4. Utilize Your Networks- Whether its a school, work, or charitable organization, it is crucial to utilize ALL networks in order to successfully fundraise. Reaching out to people you know for support will give your campaign the boost it needs when you first launch. If you're anything like me, you probably despise asking for help or money; well for your Kickstarter, you'll have to put your pride aside and take that ride! Exhaust every network you know and ask them to support you and your campaign, but remember its a marathon so pace yourself!
5. Connected on Linkedin- Linkedin is the network of networking! If you have any school alumni networks make sure to take full advantage of them. You can search your networks based on specific keywords; find which keywords are relevant to your campaign and target those who have them in their Linkedin profile. All you have to do from there is send a message, some people even have their e-mail addresses on their profile, that works too! To make things easier, come up with a general email script that you can copy and paste to everyone (make sure not to sound robotic, but genuine in your outreach).
6. Track Your Contacts- It is not enough to simply reach out to everyone you know; you MUST also keep track! Create an outreach schedule that will allow you to be more efficient when following up. Whether its via phone call, email, social media or text message, its important that you keep track of when you first contacted each person and when you plan to get back to them. This can be done most effectively using an excel spreadsheet.
7. Mobilize Your Efforts- It's always good to have a big team of people helping you i.e employees, interns, brand ambassadors, friends, family, etc. Having multiple individuals on your team will expand your potential outreach. You may think you can do it all on your own, but trust me its going to be tough, even with a few people on your side.
8. The Power of Facebook Ads- It may seem weird to promote your campaign on Facebook, but it could prove to be a great tool! Facebook Ads allows you to target very specific audiences based on demographic info, locations, and even interests. This can help you reach very specific people that might be interested in your product. It may seem counter-productive to spend money while you're trying to raise money, but it may help you in the long run. The greatest part about it is that you can put as little or as much money on the Ad as you want (try starting with a $10-20 Ad and see how many people you reach).
9. Cross-Promotion and Collaboration- The biblical maxim, "Do to others as you would have them do to you," is not only a golden rule of life, but of Kickstarters as well. Find a campaign that you like and support by sharing, donating or promoting via one of your own Kickstarter campaign updates. Odds are the love will be returned so be sure to prepare a cross-promotion template that outlines how you would like your campaign to be represented within other Kickstarter campaign updates. Collaborating with other successful Kickstarter venturers in any capacity is usually a good method. Another good idea is to collab with a brand for one of your rewards, which brings us to our last strategy.
10. Inserting New Reward- We designed a hemp bandana with Recreator and inserted the reward midway through the campaign. Inserting a new reward is best if exercised mid-campaign during slumps. We found that the amount of pledges started to plateau, so we decided to insert an exciting new reward and even notified those who already pledged, inviting them to up their pledge. This gave us the boost we needed during a slow period.
We hope these steps help you in getting your very own Kickstarter Campaign funded. Getting fully-funded may seem like a big task (and it is), but we did it and so can you! If you have a Kickstarter campaign running now and would like to share, head over to our Submissions Page!