5 skills you need to create a successful Kickstarter campaign

Next month AppyLab will be taking to the Kickstarter stage with a crowdfunding campaign that we hope will finally bring our little Lairies to life. We’re experiencing equal measures of excitement and gut-clenching anxiety.

So now seems like a good time to take a breath and share a few lessons we’ve learned from our crowdfunding prep so far (it’s early stages for us so please do drop us a message if you have any tips).

1. Stamina

Getting ready to crowdfund appears to be 98% hard labour, 2% good idea. There’s a towering mountain of work to be done before you can actually put your begging bowl out, and that means you’re going to need a decent amount of lead time as well as a few buckets of blood, sweat and tears.

Some of the things we’ve done before asking for a penny in investment:

Built a website: Our Kickstarter investor friends told us that a web presence will help us with credibility up front, an important element when we’re asking people to trust us with their hard-earned cash.

Produced lengthy campaign content: All our favourite crowdfunding campaigns include detailed explanations of the idea, images, videos and well thought-out incentives. We’ve also had to hone our business case and figure out achievable milestones.

Put together a PR and marketing plan: We figure the platform isn’t going to help us much if we don’t help ourselves, so we’ve created a publicity strategy that can adapt depending on what happens during the campaign. We’ve also been all over social media, looked at paid-for marketing (none attempted so far — anyone else tried paid-for Kickstarter advertising?), and created email lists and campaigns.

Created a budget: Who knew asking for money could be so hard? Putting the budget together for the purposes of literally kick-starting our project has been the biggest challenge to date. Our biggest tip of all is acknowledge that you don’t know what you don’t know, and ask someone who’s been there. People are quite frankly amazing and you’ll be brought to tears by their willingness to share their expertise.

Built almost half of everything: You thought the whole point of this was to raise funds to start your project? If only… We’ve written and edited stories, designed and animated characters, recorded voiceovers and audio, built 50% of our app and user-tested the whole lot. So far.

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