So you want to go on Kickstarter?

Kickstarter — this magical website where projects get buried in tons of free money.

We have been given the privilege to help with two projects (Tracker and Zulu Zion) being published on Kickstarter recently and I have to tell you it’s no picnic! Crowd funding is a great way to start your business but it is not a shortcut to doing less work. The thing is that all the effort you would normally put into sales and marketing you have to put about twice as much of it or more into PR and social media and it all has to be done in less time on top of everything. It is crazy how many people think they will just send out a couple of e-mails and Mashable will post their shiny product on their site because it is just that great. Well think again because in reality you will have to prepare your launch strategy for about a year in advance doing all the planing, research and connecting with various potential channels. After you have pledged on some 10 or 20 projects, read all the instructions and spam mailed your presentation to some tree-hundred news site editors you are about ready to start. And still after that much time and work no one can guarantee your success. The fun part is that when you actually do launch the product you will probably have to manage a crisis or two, respond to comments if you are lucky enough to even have interest from people all while spam mailing those three-hundred editors for the fourth time trying to get at least a reply let alone an actual post on their site.

So what would I advise? Do your homework! Do the basic stuff like registering on Kickstarter, backing a couple of different projects and get a feel for the whole thing and not just the positive stuff, back the losers too, there is much to learn from mistakes of (so many) others. Talk to neutral people who are not your friends of family you need decent objective opinions. Post your idea to forums and other crowd funding help sites to get opinions from people who are your potential backers. Also write a timeframe for a publishing/marketing plan and put aside some marketing funds, you might need that too.

Campaign recommendations? Keep it simple, it has to be understood just by reading the headlines. Same goes for the rewards, no complicated structures or long unreadable lists. Create a good video that speaks about your story and why people would want your product. Set a calculated goal based on funding needs and don’t forget about unexpected costs and fees.

Check out these projects we helped with:

… two active ones:

… two successful ones: ☺

… canceled/unsuccessful one:

  • Oivo, pocket phone charger