Before you launch, do your homework

Before you create your project on Kickstarter you will want to do some research. You need to know how much it will cost to execute your project and produce rewards. And you need to know who your audience is going to be. I will examine each of these aspects in more detail, starting with audience since it is often the most overlooked.

Without an audience, a project will not get funded. You will want to have a good idea about your audience before your project launches. I often find people searching for an audience while their campaign is running. I certainly did this the first time around, and I don’t recommend it. If you are lucky enough to already have an online audience, then you probably already know how to reach them. This section is primarily for people who don’t have an audience and are trying to build one through a Kickstarter project. For those of you with an audience, you may want to read it anyway. It just might help you appeal to an even larger group of people.

One aspect of the project that you probably already have in mind is how much money you’re going to go for. It’s time to dig a little deeper and figure out exactly what it’s going to cost to do your project. Your costs will come from the project itself and in fulfilling rewards. You will want to have a good idea about how much money you will need for each of these areas. They will play an important role during the next phase when you must set your funding amount.

For the product, look up different prices related to the item you are trying to produce. For example, if you are making a book, look online at all of the different printing options. What is the cost of a hardcover? What is the cost of a softcover? How much does it cost to ship the item? How many do you need to produce before you get a discount? What supplies or materials do you need to complete the project? Do you need specialized instruments or tools? Make a list of everything that you will need and how much it will cost. You will need to come back to this list later.

For rewards, make sure you research shipping costs as well as production costs. If one of your rewards is going to be a T-shirt, then you will need to know how much it costs to make and ship the item. Often people don’t factor in the cost of rewards into their funding and then are left without enough money to complete their project.

One example of someone who might not have put enough time into researching her costs is Paula Patterson. According to a New York Times article, On Kickstarter, Designers’ Dreams Materialize, her V-luxe iPad entertainment accessory ended up costing a lot more time and money than she originally thought.

You may already have an idea of what your project is going to cost in total. However, now is the time to refine that estimate.

A Kickstart’s Guide to Kickstarter TOC:

pssst…you can read all of this offline by downloading the e-book.

A Kickstarter’s Guide to Kickstarter: Introduction
How Kickstarter “Kickstartered” it’s own website
Understanding Kickstarter
The Basics of Kickstarter
Kickstarter is an updated version of the Parton Model
Kickstarter is like girl scout cookies…without the calories!
Make sure your project has an ending
Some additional benefits to running a Kickstarter project
Perry Chan’s Six Principles on why Kickstarter projects are successful
Yancey’s thoughts on getting funded
Brainstorming Your Project
What is this damn thing about?
Simplify your project for success
Is your project a Purple Cow?
Making Lemonade And Telling A Good Story
Reward The Patrons
Naming Your Kickstarter Project
Doing Your Homework
Before you launch, do your homework
No one cares about you
Some People Care About You
Who is Your Audience?
Where is Your Audience?
Resonating With Your Audience
Crossing Chasms
What Will it Cost?
Understanding Profit Margin and Costs
Setting Your Goals
Make or Break Decisions
Running the Numbers
Focus on what you need
Reasonable funding goals
Why be Reasonable?
How long your campaign runs depends on one thing, momentum
30 days or less
Managing Deadlines
Going for the BIG bucks
The Allure of a Large Backer
Pricing theory, thoughts about pricing your Kickstarter rewards
The Paradox of Choice
Crafting Your Pitch
Creating a compelling pitch for your Kickstarter project
Four questions people want answered when visiting your Kickstarter page.
Show some credibility to get more backers
Clarity is your friend
How to ask for Support
Kickstarter is a video-driven site
Examples of great pitch videos
Launching Your Project
Launching your project
How to track the progress of your Kickstarter campaign
The 30% Kickstarter project “Tipping Point”
How to engage an audience with a Kickstarter project: Idea & Story

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Separated from my family during El Salvador's civil war, by death and adoption, I was reunited with them at the age of 16. I do entrepreneurial art projects that are meaningful, relevant, and push me creatively.

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