Recap: Crafting a Great Kickstarter Campaign

Stoke welcomed Clarissa Redwine, Kickstarter’s Design and Technology Outreach lead for the west coast, for a Lunch + Learn and a Community Workshop on Monday, December 10th.

Redwine shared valuable insights and campaign tips from her experience working with Kickstarter the past three years. Since Kickstarter’s launch in 2009, people from almost every country have backed a Kickstarter project, and Kickstarter projects are also created all over the world. To date, Kickstarter has reached $4 billion in funding, with over 150,000 successfully funded projects.

During both sessions, attendees were able to ask questions specific to their projects and learn about the key features of a successful campaign. Read on for a recap of the day’s events and what attendees learned during the Crafting a Great Kickstarter Campaign sessions.

Tell Your Story

Why are you considering a Kickstarter campaign? You should be able to answer this question quickly and genuinely, and some of that response should contain “because I love [the thing that you love].” Through a Kickstarter campaign, you are asking others to join you in bringing your project to life and telling them how you’re going to make it happen.

Redwine imparted this message during the Crafting a Great Kickstarter Campaign workshop by telling the story of the very first successfully funded Kickstarter project, which was a surprising amount ($35), and for a very creative endeavor, “Drawing for Dollars,” which is essentially what it sounds like.  Read an interview with the project creator on the Kickstarter blog.

You should tell your own story in four ways:

  1. Creating a project video

  2. Describing your project

  3. Providing rewards for backers

  4. Updating supporters on the process

Redwine detailed the fundamental elements of each step to creating a Kickstarter campaign, outlined below.

Create a Video

Or other materials that tell people what your project is about. Workshop attendees discussed the most important features of a compilation of Kickstarter campaign videos: creators avoid a “commercial” feel and invite backers to partake in the process and passion of the project.

Describe Your Project

Tell people the solution that your project offers. How did you initially come up with this idea? Give backers insight into your project development and tell them about your team. Backers should know exactly what you’re creating and why.

Offer Meaningful Rewards

In a Kickstarter campaign, you create rewards for backers at each tier of support. Redwine challenges Kickstarter campaign creators to go beyond the sticker and t-shirt rewards and to develop meaningful offers that give backers a view into your work. This can be a tour of your workshop, VIP access to an event, or a product created from the results of your project (i.e. condensed smog, turned into a ring, created from “the largest air purifier in the world”).

Update Your Supporters

Continuously update your backers on the progress that you are making on your project. Being able to share in the progress and development of the project, along with the excitement and determination of your team, will help backers understand and support you while on your project journey. Show iterations of your product as you adjust details. Show your team celebrating the first successful launch or overcoming that seemingly insurmountable challenge.

Mean It

What deeply connects you to your project will also be what deeply connects your backers to it; your ability to translate this in your Kickstarter campaign will affect its success. Redwine emphasized the importance of inviting your community to support your Kickstarter campaign early on, before you plan to launch it. This will help you excel in the first few days of your campaign being live, as you want to avoid inching slowly to your campaign goal.

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