3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Launching a Kickstarter Campaign
If you have just started or are planning on starting a company that sells products of any kind, you have most likely thought about running a crowdfunding campaign on a platform such as Kickstarter or Indiegogo.
While the idea of increasing your cashflow with crowdfunding pre-orders sounds very tempting, there are some very important things to consider before you rush into your first campaign.
1. How unique is your product?
The golden days of crowdfunding are behind us. Back in the early 2000s there were far less startups offering their products on platforms like Kickstarter and crowdfunding in general was a relatively new idea, meaning it got a lot of media attention.
Nowadays the media-hype around crowdfunding has largely vanished, leaving only specialized media with a fairly small audience writing about noticable campaigns and products. However, due to the great success stories the early crowdfunding days have produced, pretty much every potential startup considers running a crowdfunding campaign. The consequence being that the crowdfunding platforms are more ‘crowded’ with projects and audiences decreasing.
In addition, people backing crowdfunding projects regularly are not interested in the 850th belt project, but rather truly innovative products. They are first movers and on Kickstarter because they can be the first to get their hands on something truly unique and innovative with a great discount.
So, ask yourself if your product is unique enough to grab the attention of the Kickstarter community or if you are offering something that’s been there before.
The easiest way to check this is to search Kickstarter for past campaigns with the keywords of your product. If there were past campaigns check how well they did. This will already give you a good idea if it is worth investing your time on a Kickstarter campaign.
2. How many of your own contacts can you bring to your campaign?
This is probably the most crucial point to consider as it will largely determine the success of your Kickstarter campaign. If you do not bring some of your own backers and contacts into your crowdfunding campaign your project will most likely fail. Just social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, Kickstarter also has its own algorithm that prioritizes which projects they show to their users based on interest, interaction and early success.
If you can activate enough of your own contacts to back your project early on, Kickstarter will spread the message to a lot more potential backers. Unfortunately, just having your friends and family back your project will not be enough to do the trick. Rather invest your time and resources into building your own audience before the crowdfunding campaign goes live. This will not only help you tremendously in your crowdfunding efforts, but also after the campaign when you sell your product in the open market.
3. How much time and resources can you spend on this campaign?
The previous point already speaks to the time it takes before a campaign to build your own audience. Any successful campaign takes careful planning and enough preparation time. Although a campaign can be built on the platform within a couple of days, there is hardly a point to rush into such a project as it is very likely to fail. So, if you need to get your product on the market asap and cannot invest the appropriate time to prepare, crowdfunding is not a good choice.
In addition to the time factor, there is also the initial investment question. Do you have a budget for a proper introduction video and a photoshoot? Without a good video your project has slim chances of gaining traction. The photos of your product are of course equaly important and to tie all those things together into a nice visual presentation you should have a graphic designer to help you.
While there are plenty of other factors to consider, these three questions will help you get a rough understanding if crowdfunding is for you, or if you should take a different route.
Let us know if we can help if you want to go for it!
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