Have you decided to raise funding and/or pre-sell your product on Kickstarter? Amazing. I think it’s a brilliant move. Sharing your project on Kickstarter is an excellent way to create brand awareness, test the market, and begin building a community who appreciates your products and your mission.
Taking a product from concept to production can be a long and arduous process. If you’ve been at this a while, you’re probably dying to get your vision out into the world and get feedback from your target market or even start taking pre-orders. Trust me, I get it, but I want you to consider that properly preparing ahead of your Kickstarter launch could mean the difference between a successfully funded campaign…or one that fails.
Since you’re already committing to the time and effort to run a Kickstarter campaign, you may as well lay as much groundwork as possible so you can capitalize on every opportunity your crowdfunding period may have in store!
Here are 6 steps you should take to prepare for a successful campaign:
1. Give yourself enough time to develop and begin implementing your Kickstarter strategy
Shoot for 2-6 months of prep time before you launch the campaign. You may be hesitant to commit another 2-6 months of preparation to your Kickstarter, but the truth is the more thought and attention you give your Kickstarter “pre-launch” the more likely your chances are for a successful campaign.
2. Find someone who has done what you’re trying to do and learn from them
Seek out a mentorship with them, take one of their classes or simply study their tactics and utilize what feels relevant for your project.
3. Get crystal clear on your target market
Having a clear picture of your ideal customer and how your product fulfills one or more of their desires gives you a compass to navigate the decisions you’ll be making about your Kickstarter (e.g., copy, images, video and rewards).
Consider creating an imaginary bio for your ideal customer. What’s his/her name, age, occupation, relationship status, favorite blog, book, tv show, website, or hobby? When you create content from here on out bring, this person to mind and write as if you are speaking to them! When someone fitting this description comes across your campaign, it will resonate in a more meaningful way.
4. Determine how your product adds value to their life
Determining how your product adds value to a customer’s life or satisfies a personal desire is incredibly impactful for your Kickstarter:
Does your product streamline their workday giving them extra time to spend with family and friends? Show them how.Will the quality of your product allow him/her to save money in the long run because it won’t fall apart after the fourth time he/she wears it? Make sure they knows this.
Can your product give them the confidence to set bigger goals and share their vision with the company (generating a deeper satisfaction in their working life)? Give them examples of how this is possible. Knowing your ideal customer is critical to your success. Figuring out what desires your product can fulfill and crafting your message to demonstrate this will be a total game changer.
5. Create beautiful visuals that display your product and share your mission
Your product photos and Kickstarter video should educate potential backers about your product and hook them on a personal and emotional level. Visual content performs light years ahead of plain text on most social media platforms, so aim to create images that encapsulate your brand identity and demonstrate your product’s functionality! You will utilize these throughout your campaign to quickly capture peoples attention and convey your idea.
Over the last two years I’ve been developing a furniture piece called The Sparkbaord. It’s a customizable, framed cork board or magnetic whiteboard that comes with a piece of art to cover the cork or whiteboard workspace when they’re not in use…a mouthful, I know! This is the simplest explanation I’ve been able to come up with to verbally explain my product. Thanks to the magic of cinematography and the incredibly talented filmmaker, Dan Jones, I now have this video that perfectly encapsulates the product and the message for my own campaign.
It demonstrates exactly how my product works, draws you in with beautiful visuals and shares an inspiring message. I cannot overstate the value of having visual representations of your product. Create several bite-sized visuals to share with friends, family and your extended network so they can simply turn around and share the excitement with others with little to no fuss.
6. Pinpoint the right bloggers and prime your personal network
Mike Del Ponte, founder of Soma Water, goes into painstaking detail about how they researched and connected with the right media outlets and bloggers going into their Kickstarter campaign. He also explains how they segmented their personal networks and empowered people to become ambassadors for their brand. You can find all the detail in his article: Hacking Kickstarter: How to Raise $100,000 in 10 Days.
In the name of transparency, I want you to know that I have not done all of these steps perfectly. In fact, I wish I’d given myself more time to really dive into each one. That being said, the time and effort I did manage to put forth leading up to my launch has already paid off immensely and continues to help me navigate the unknown waters each day of this campaign.
The Sparkboard’s campaign is already 95% funded! Check it out on Kickstarter!