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What Is Kickstarter and How Does It Work?

How To Run a Successful Kickstarter Campaign
Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform focused on creativity that helps bring creative projects such as picture books, film, music, art, theater, games, comics, design, photography, and more to life. It’s an All Or Nothing model. If the project does not reach its funding goal, the donors do not make a payment.
This is a different model from another crowdsourcing platform, Indigogo, which gives you the money that was pledged even if you don’t reach your goal. Indigogo is more focused on entrepreneurs for early adopters and innovation seekers to find new tech before it hits the mainstream.

But here’s the thing — for a picture book, your donors expect a book delivered to them. If you don’t have the money to close the gap, you won’t be able to deliver. This is why I like Kickstarter for picture books.
Kickstarter is also a large platform with more than 17.6 million backers. Your Kickstarter project can be shared within this community to help make it go.
Here are some notes that I took after reading a lot of articles on how to run a successful Kickstarter project.

How To Run a Successful Kickstarter Campaign:

  • The most popular pledge is $25. You want to have a reward for that level.
  • Early Bird rewards help to make a project go. You can have different levels of Early Bird rewards.
  • You can limit the number of people for Early Bird. Ideally, you want the Early Bird backers to = the number of people you need to get the project to go.
  •  Kickstarter takes a 5% fee. There is an ADDITIONAL fee for payment processing which is also 5%. SO THE FEES total 10%.
  • Don’t forget to factor in taxes for your share of the income. You write off the fees based on expenses of the project as long as it’s in the same time period (i.e. your tax year) but additional income would be taxable.
  • The length of a Kickstarter campaign is 60 days maximum but projects that are 30-35 days are usually more successful and because the money comes in the first week and last week but not much in between so longer is actually worse.
  • A video increases the chances of a Kickstarter campaign succeeding by about 20%. Shorter is better. 1-2 minutes.
  • You want to set up a marketing campaign pre-launch.
  • You also want to set up a marketing campaign for the duration of your project. It’s helpful to set up your email databases prior to when your Kickstarter campaign launches.
  • Your marketing database should include PR outreach. Use Buzz Sumo to research which influencers have covered something similar. There is a free trial for Buzz Sumo.
  • You need the product image to be 640 x 480 pixels and 4:3 aspect ratio.
  • Your Kickstarter campaign page should be professionally designed. You will want to add graphics to break up the text.
  • After a successful campaign ends, Kickstarter takes 2 weeks before the funds arrive.
  • You want to set up a Pre-Order page once your Kickstarter ends since there will be additional traffic and buzz around a successful project.

Any questions or suggestions on running a successful Kickstarter campaign? Thanks for sharing in the comments.

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