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Kickstarter 101: Tips to Launch a Successful Project & Get Full Funding

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 11:12am | by Guest Author

While Kickstarter can be a vital tool for wanna-be entrepreneurs, more than 55 percent of campaigns launched on the crowdfunding site are not successful, PCWorld reports. Of those roughly 60,000 businesses that do not make their funding goal, 40,000 of them don't even reach the 20 percent mark. If you are contemplating using Kickstarter to generate startup funds, these tips will give your campaign the best shot at success.

Before You Launch Your Kickstarter

First, review the Kickstarter guidelines to ensure your project qualifies. Kickstarter does not allow self-help material, bath and beauty products or social networks, among other products or services. Reading over the guidelines will also help you brainstorm some incentives that do meet the guidelines.

Next, evaluate your idea's appeal to the general masses and your supporters. When you have a strong support base pre-campaign, you're more likely to succeed. As Open Forum notes, successful fundraiser Mike Del Ponte built 10,000 social followers before launching a Kickstarter, then leveraged those supporters to raise $100,000 in just nine days.

Announce your campaign with a splash. Del Ponte successfully targeted blogs in his area and launched a massive social campaign. While these are wonderful strategies for engaging with an online audience, don't forget to reach out to local supporters as well. To make an impression, consider printing postcards or booklets from OvernightPrints.com to explain your project and how people can support it.

Lastly, choose rewards that will accommodate a wide spectrum of donations. If your minimum rewarded donation is $100, you're alienating folks who might want to support you but can only give $20. Your rewards don't have to be costly, either; you could always let customers name their reward or arrange for a personal meeting with you to incentivize donors without paying for promotional merchandise.

When you do set up your campaign, select a long fundraising window to have a better shot at making your money. Campaigns often take a long time to get off the ground, and a short window may doom you to failure.

While the Campaign Is in Progress

For the duration of the campaign, Kickstarter will be a full-time job. To raise the funds before your fundraising window expires, be active and engaged on a daily basis. If you only have a couple hours a day to give, ask friends or family to help you.

Get the word out on social media by promoting your campaign in a general manner or sharing accomplishments such as hitting the 10-percent or 100-donor mark. Your followers won't mind short updates and can easily share a tweet or Facebook post. Email updates are easy to send to those less-connected folks who may nonetheless be interested in supporting you—but, they can become spammy if used too often. Consider limiting these to once a week, and do not forget to close the email with a generous thanks to your potential supporters.

Additional ways to maintain excitement through the campaign: guest blogging, setting up a new incentive halfway through the campaign and designing a custom newsletter just for donors.

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