Business Growth Skill: Running a Winning Kickstarter
This month our workshop featured Joseph May with Breton Company, Marilee Kilpack with Gathre, Bryce Fisher with Ravean, Jenny Wecker with Fawn Design, Jake Parker with SkyHeart, and Jed Henry with Ukiyo-e Heroes.
Follow along below for a rundown of our Q & A on How to Run a Winning Kickstarter with them last week.
What questions will help me evaluate if running a Kickstarter campaign is the right thing for my business?
- Will this product be bought by a man (Kickstarter has a 60/40 skew towards men)?
- Would a millennial buy this?
- Is it something new? Or is there something similar on KS that was successful?
- Is it tech-related somehow?
- Do I have a large pre-existing audience on social media or through an email list (fewer Kickstarters are being discovered exclusively on Kickstarter’s website)?
- Am I fully committed to this? A Kickstarter lasts for a month so you have to be on-call 24/7 for that entire time period.
How important is a good pitch video?
- Success largely hinges on on a good video\
- Find the balance between infomercial and a rough mobile phone video shoot
- Videos that are too professional might get less engagement than videos that are well-made but feel a little more personal / homemade
- You don’t want to look like an infomercial, but you don’t want to look like you just pulled out your phone and started filming
- Make sure that your video is honest about your product and storytelling
- Have good sound so that potential backers can clearly hear what you say
What strategy brings the greatest return on investment?
- PR all day
- Personally reaching out to influencers and bloggers (especially with handwritten messages) can go far
- Paid vs Non Paid Ads
- Before paying for ads, you need to ask if the audience knows what Kickstarter is
- Use lookalike audiences or Kickstarter email list exchanges with companies who are similar to yours
For first timers, what are some resources and tips for getting started?
- Four Hour Work Week
- Crowd Crux Podcast
- Seven Figure Funding
- (sign up for the Braid email list to get an exclusive coupon code to the course)
- Look at other Kickstarter campaigns (especially the ones that feature products similar to yours) and reverse engineer what they did well
- Don’t give your money to people who are offering to teach you how to run a Kickstarter
- Sell a simple product
- Have a very simple product that you want to sell
- The strongest Kickstarters have very few reward tiers and get to the point
- Keep the rewards low and sell people the thing
After you hit your initial goal, how do you incentivize people to keep backing your campaign?
- Stretch goals
- Plan stretch goals and their costs upfront
- Don’t wait until your campaign has already launched to decide to do a stretch goal!
- Stretch goals can be really valuable in creative projects, but not so much in manufacturing
- Be very careful with what you promise with your stretch goals
- Plan stretch goals and their costs upfront
- Keep people engaged during the middle two weeks of your campaign with behind the scenes stuff, videos, etc.
- Leverage PR, Facebook ads, email lists
- On the power of scarcity:
- Scarcity leads to money (time scarcity leads people to back your campaign at the last minute, for example)
- Create scarcity by featuring limited quantity of backer rewards
What are some tips for fulfilling rewards for backers?
- Spend time getting to know your manufacturers
- On Shipping:
- Know how much it costs to ship, custom/duty, ship to fulfillment center
- Do not offer a country in your kickstarter unless you know exactly what it costs
- Do not launch your kickstarter unless you go A-Z knowing your costs (supply chain management)
- Don’t offer free shipping! Shipping is expensive, more expensive than you’d expect
- It can be worth it to use a fulfillment center instead of filling the orders yourself
- On fulfillment for smaller orders:
- You can find services like Uline to order cardboard boxes
- Find a postage printing service and pre-print postage
- Hire teens – If you pay them $12/hour they will do good work for you!
- Let people know upfront what you do not pay for
- For example, VAT, provincial/state taxes\
- Having multiple supply chains of multiple products in one KS means that one product could pull you down while another pulls its weight (if the cheaper item is available in smaller quantities, it’s less of a liability)
- Just sell a product. Don’t bundle in socks and stickers and everything