Who doesn’t want free money? On Kickstarter, you can ask your community to support a project you are passionate about. If you get funded, the money comes no strings attached!
Here’s what you need to know about Kickstarter, which I learned about at a local networking event:
- Your project must be artistic in nature (you want to write a book, make a CD, etc). Projects are grouped in the following categories: Art, Comics, Dance, Design, Fashion, Film & Video, Food, Games, Music, Photography, Publishing, Technology, and Theater.
- You do not have to pay anyone back, or give them a stake in your project in exchange for the money. It really comes no strings attached! (But successful projects offer “rewards” for various donation levels. See below for more.)
- Non-profit status is not required. In fact, charities and causes are not eligible.
- Kickstarter employees vet every project submitted, so only the most deserving projects make it onto the site.
- About 50% of Kickstarter projects are fully funded, which I think is incredible.
- If you do not hit your fundraising goal, you do not get a single penny. The idea is that the most worthy projects (and most passionate artists) will receive attention and money.
- You retain 100% ownership of your project, but Kickstarter takes 5% from the funding total if you meet your goal, and Amazon (which processes the payments) takes another 3-5%.
Here is the successful Kickstarter campaign that a friend of a friend made:
TIPS to create a successful Kickstarter campaign.
- Asking for money turns people off. Instead, ask them to be part of your project.
- Offer rewards for donations, including a thank you email, a postagram, copy of the book you’re writing, the CD you’re recording, plus bumper stickers, videos, T-shirts, dinner, meet and greet, etc.
- A 30-day campaign gives your project a sense of urgency, while a 60-day campaign drags on.
- Have your campaign end on a Saturday. Most people get paid Friday, and even though donors’ credit cards are not charged until the project is fully funded, people feel more generous after payday.
- Make a video to explain your project. It’ll be much more successful than a photo and a written blurb.
- Be personable and passionate in your video pitch. Don’t use a script.
- Budget 20-60 hours a week during your 30-day campaign to get donations rolling.
- Reach out to your community via phone, individual emails, blogs, traditional media, Patch, etc. to draw attention to your Kickstarter contribution page.
- If your project fails, try a new approach and submit it again.
- The average funded project received a little over $5,000, so don’t ask for too much. Of all the projects on the most funded page, only a handful hit six figures.