Make or Break Decisions

Probably the three most difficult questions of any Kickstarter project are how much, how long, and how to price rewards. The next series of posts will focus on addressing these though questions.

While researching this book I came across a post call Kickstartup by Craig Mod. It provides some detailed analyses and great insights on these very tough questions. I highly recommend checking it out, as it was mentioned by most of my interviewees as an important reference.

How Much?

Picking your funding amount is difficult, because if you go for too much, you risk losing it all. With Kickstarter’s all or nothing model, the biggest risk you take is setting your funding goal too high.

I will look at why it is so difficult to get large amounts of money from Kickstarter and why you might be better off going for a smaller amount. I know what you are thinking. What about those people who make tens of thousands of dollars for their projects? A lot of those are outliers. I want to talk about what a typical project can expect.

How Long?

One of the emotionally difficult decisions you will have to make is how long to run your campaign. As soon as you press go, the clock starts ticking, and it doesn’t stop or wait for you to figure things out. This can bring a lot of stress because your entire project is at stake.

However, the clock can also be a powerful ally. It forces people to choose whether they’re going to help you or not, and it gets the word out quickly. If everything goes well, the clock can rally your supporters and make your project a success.

Setting the length of your Kickstarter campaign is about sustaining momentum and meeting production deadlines. The maximum campaign length is 60 days, but as you will see, you may want to run a shorter campaign.

Pricing Rewards

The Creating Rewards page of the Kickstarter school informs you that the most common pledge is $25 and the average pledge is $70. You do not have to have these price points, but it might be a good idea to create tiers at or around these price points. Craig Mod provides further insight with his analysis of the top projects during March, 2010. He found that the highest grossing reward amounts were $25, $50, $100, $250 and $500. Craig concludes that people don’t mind paying $50 or higher for projects they love.

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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