More Crowdfunding Tips
In yesterday’s post we shared Kickstarter project tips 1-7. These are the best practices of a successful crowdfunded projects. In this post we’ll share the final seven.
Kickstarter Projects Tips That Get the Green
8. An Organized & Designed Project Page
Your Kickstarter project page is your contributors window into your endeavor. Be concise, thorough and transparent. Successful projects explain why you are the best person/company/group to complete this project. This is where you include any qualifications and past experiences to build interest and momentum. Of course, you want to create a sense of urgency as you have limited time to reach your financial goal. Remember Kickstart Tip #3 — founders as the driving force? Tell your story in a compelling way and don’t skimp on how the page looks. Contributors are judging you on form as well as function.
9. Know Your Audience
Similar to any kind of marketing (online or offline), you must know your audience. With a Kickstarter project, it’s about understanding your potential backers and what convinces them to pledge dollars. Research which groups that have a high probability of being interested in your product. Creating personas may be particularly helpful. One successful Kickstarter did in-depth research on similar projects, combing through backer lists. They found each individual backer on social media and sent direct messages. If this practice feels a bit “stalkerish,” there are other ways to learn about your audience before your Kickstarter project officially launches.
10. Building A Community
Another success ingredient for Kickstarter projects is building a community using social media. You want a broad platform so you have a wide reach. That means building relationships with influencers in your industry in advance. For example, are you launching a new line of organic, locally-sourced applesauce? Perhaps sharing samples and talking to mommy bloggers should be high on your list. Cultivate multiple relationships with those who can help you spread the word about your crowdfunding project.
11. Have a Solid Marketing Platform
As with most business ventures, you need to have a solid marketing platform in which to communicate your message. You want to plan out each of the following elements in advance of your project start (at least six months ahead of time):
- A well-crafted marketing message and specific call to actions
- Pitch documents for media coverage
- A Newsletter template and map out a content publishing schedule
- Corresponding Email Campaigns that complement and support your marketing materials
- Flyers that your supporters can hand out, when appropriate
- A fully-functional website with special Kickstarter landing page(s)
- Published blog articles on your project
In your correspondence, ask backers to support you. Be open, sincere and generous. If you treat them like friends they will feel more invested in your project and are more likely to get others on board to pledge. Make it easier for them to share — especially your tiered rewards. And, you’ll want to balance communication between mass messages and personalized emails. Successful Kickstarters break your social network into subgroups where they found that tailored messaging was better received. Of course, follow-up and thank individually.
12. Update Frequently
Throughout the process you’ll be communicating with friends, family and fans. There was a recurring theme when I researched Kickstarter success elements: frequent and thorough updates. This is a way to share the experience with your financial backers; act as if they were on the team along with you. Don’t be shy in asking others to spread your message with their networks. Plan on sharing updates pre-Kickstarter launch as well during and after. Upbeat messages will build momentum for your project.
13. Organization: Everything In Its Place
Kickstarter winners routinely shared this advice: stay organized and on-time with your commitments. They also confessed it was the most challenging piece of the project. Be vigilant in how you organize email campaigns and correspondence so they are timely and they contain current info.
Having pre-written correspondence before the project begins will reduce unnecessary stress while crowdfunding is in swing. That said, leave enough time to modify and fine-tune your updates with the latest and greatest info.
14. One Final Message
Apparently once your Kickstarter project ends, you can’t change your page. So, in the final hour, add a final (and strategically written) message to the main page. Add something like “Go to my website to follow this project.” Your page will be frozen in time… so have a useful goodbye message for anyone who visits the page once the Kickstarter project closes down.
Have you run a crowdfunded project? What Kickstart tips would you add to our list?
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