The difference between a successful and unsuccessful Kickstarter project starts with the idea. Catchy, unique, fun and inspiring ideas are always going to garner more attention. But even the best idea can fail if it isn't priced correctly and isn't "sold" well on the Kickstarter site and across other social media platforms.
If you project is approved, a Kickstarter rep will contact you and help you to figure out the right funding goal for your project and the best rewards to offer at different funding levels. It turns out that there's some math behind all of the creativity. For example, more than half of all successfully funded projects fall within the price range of $1,000 to $5,000, so if you want to increase your odds, choose a project with a budget in that price range [source: Kickstarter].
One successful Kickstarter suggests that you figure out the minimum scope of the project and calculate the minimum amount of money necessary to achieve it. Once you have that number, decide if it's a realistic amount to raise given your social network contacts and range of influence [source: Mod].
It turns out that the size of your social network is key to the success or failure of a Kickstarter project. Every successful project begins with an “anchor audience” of friends, family, fans and clients that are firmly within the creator’s social circle [source: The Economist]. If that circle includes the kind of people with spare cash to support creative endeavors, you have an advantage. The next step is to promote your project across popular social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, providing project updates and easy ways for friends to spread the word.
Another key to a successful Kickstarter project is a good story. Kickstarter heartily encourages creators to make a video of their funding pitch. Kickstarter videos are a wonderful way to tell your personal story and make a humble plea for financial support. Most videos have a quirky sense of humor and a consciously low-budget aesthetic.
As for reward levels, Kickstarter has done the math on this one as well. The $25 level is the most popular donation, representing 18.41 percent of pledges. The $50 is the second most popular pledge at 13.57 percent of the total. Interestingly, donations of $100 have the biggest impact on total dollars raised, even though they make up less than 10 percent of pledges [source: Benenson]. What's the takeaway message? Stick with these contribution levels and you'll maximize your donations [source: The Economist]. And be creative with your rewards: Include higher pledge levels with really personalized prizes. You never know who you might hook. Interestingly, 94 percent of successfully funded projects exceed their funding goals [source: Kickstarter].
For lots more information about social networking and e-commerce sites, check out the links below.
More Great Links
- Benenson, Fred. Kickstarter Blog. "Trends in Pricing and Duration." September 21, 2010 (Accessed Sept. 14, 2011) http://www.kickstarter.com/blog/trends-in-pricing-and-duration
- Constant, Paul and Graves, Jen. The Stranger. "Could Kickstarter Be Evil?" April 26, 2011 (Accessed Sept. 14, 2011) http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/could-kickstarter-be-evil/Content?oid=7876570
- Dell, Kristina. Time. "Crowdfunding." September 4, 2008 (Accessed Sept. 16, 2011) http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1838768,00.html
- The Economist. "The micro-price of micropatronage." September 27, 2010 (Accessed Sept. 14, 2011) http://www.economist.com/blogs/babbage/2010/09/micropatronage_sweet_spot
- The Economist. "Putting your money where your mouse is." September 2, 2010 (Accessed Sept. 14, 2011) http://www.economist.com/node/16909869
- Kickstarter. "10,000 Successful Projects!" July 19, 2011 (Accessed Sept. 14, 2011) http://www.kickstarter.com/blog/10000-successful-projects
- Mod, Craig. Craigmod.com. "Kickstartup." July/August 2010 (Accessed Sept. 15, 2011) http://craigmod.com/journal/kickstartup/
- OpenSecrets.org. "Barack Obama" (Accessed Sept. 14, 2011) http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/summary.php?cycle=2008&cid=n00009638
- Walker, Rob. The New York Times. "The Trivialities and Transcendence of Kickstarter." August 5, 2011 (Accessed Sept. 15, 2011) http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/07/magazine/the-trivialities-and-transcendence-of-kickstarter.html?scp=1&sq=rob%20walker%20kickstarter&st=cse