My last post in this series was about how I utilized Storify.com as a part of my marketing strategy for the Kickstarter campaign I am helping out on. Let me take a moment to explain a bit about Kickstarter, as some of you may not be sure what the big fuss is.
What is Kickstarter?
Kickstarter is, in a nutshell, one of the most popular fundraising sites out there in a new trend of crowd-funding. It’s a sort of marketplace where capital is collected from interested parties, in support of creative projects and business endeavors. A user can search for projects that interest them and support a project financially at any level. Unlike traditional investing, you don’t get any ownership over the project, but part of the model of Kickstarter is that different levels of contributions can qualify for different levels of awards, which are defined by the project owners. Each Kickstarter campaign must set a target amount and a target time at which to acquire this full amount from supporting members… If the target amount is not received by the deadline, then the Kickstarter isn’t funded. That is, no one who contributed will end up paying. This assures that people only get funded as long as they will actually have the full amount they need to achieve their goals.
This model is responsible for much of Kickstarter’s popularity. The competition aspect keeps followers engaged, and the more the campaign team embraces this notion of “racing towards the finish line” in a spirit of fun, the more enthusiastic supporters feel about joining along to help the project race against the clock for their fundraising. Because of the inclusive nature of running a Kickstarter campaign, it is perfectly suited for social media marketing.
Is Kickstarter something you should consider for funding your own project?
Something to keep in mind when asking yourself this question is that it is actually a lot of work to get money on Kickstarter. Not only do you have to spend the length of the campaign promoting the heck out of it on social media and other venues, but you also have to be ready to deliver the goods on any awards you offer at the end of it. Most people find Kickstarter campaigns exhausting. But, if you are ready to tackle the work and feel like your project is well-aligned with this method of fundraising, it may just be worth a try. After all, some people have tremendous success on Kickstarter and end up raising the funds they need to make a dream come true (and then there are those lucky souls who get way more than they ever dreamed possible).
Just make sure you’re asking for something appropriate to this method of fundraising… Set very specific targets for things you will spend your money on, like materials, services, production processes, travel, equipment, or easy-to-define project phases (and don’t expect to get people to pay your groceries and rent just so you can have time to make something). The more easily people can understand where your money is going, the more likely they are to trust you to be responsible with their gift.
And if you don’t feel equipped to make regular social media updates, you might find Kickstarter is not the venue for you… Either consider other methods for fundraising, or add people to your team who are enthusiastic and consistent communicators on social media channels.
In my next post I will talk about the elements that I think make a Kickstarter campaign successful.