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Crowd Funding your Business: 5 Kickstarter Tips for Creatives

I first heard about Kickstarter about a year ago at a Spark & Hustle event. As a creative entrepreneur I instantly fell in love with the crowd funding concept. I loved that I could help fund an entrepreneur’s dream with only a few dollars.

Crowd funding is the collective gathering of people who pull their money and resources together to support a common cause or project. Kickstarter is crowd funding for creatives. For example, a band wants to produce a CD and the budget is $5,000. They run a Kickstarter campaign to raise capital upfront by preselling items like merchandise and CD’s. At the end of the campaign, if successful, the band produces the album and then ships the CDs out to those that bought them. KS is an all or nothing campaign so if the band reaches their goal in 30 days, each person’s credit card would be charged for those items they “prebought.” If the band does NOT reach their goal, they will not receive any of it and the contributors do not get charged.

As you can imagine, it’s scary to think you have one shot in 30 days to do it right. I have learned a thing or two since I launched my campaign 28 days ago and if I had to do it again, I would do a few things differently.

  1. Plan ahead
    First, figure out your financial goal. The budget I need is actually close to $10,000, but I wanted an attainable goal since it is an all or nothing campaign. The great thing is you CAN go over you goal! Give yourself at least 4 months before you actually need the funds. You have to put in a lot of time upfront to write your description, figure out your rewards and create your video. All of this has to be done before you submit your campaign to Kickstarter to get approved. Not everyone gets approved.
  2. Make a video
    Don’t stress out about this, but DO plan. Find someone that can help you edit, but don’t try to win an Oscar with this thing. Communicating everything clearly is key: 1.Introduce yourself and tell your story. 2. Explain the project. 3. Include images – people are visual 4. Explain what Kickstarter is. 5. Talk about your rewards. 6. Clearly tell your audience HOW you need their help. Remember to keep your video short and concise, no longer than 5 minutes.
  3. Explain Kickstarter
    This is where I could have done better. At the end of my video I should have explained how it works. I explained it in the description, but get it all in your video somehow. Here is something I sent out later to explain what the heck kickstarter is.
  4. Create your contact list
    Have a list of your supporters that you send about 4 emails to throughout the course of your campaign. Let them know upfront you will keep in touch with them about progress. Also let them know how they can help you. Nathaniel Hansen has a great blog that gives a strategy for your email list.
  5. Have a marketing plan
    You have to remind people several times during your campaign, so get creative. The goal is to remind without annoying them! One of my rewards I was preselling was a poster from my line. Halfway through my campaign I let my followers know I was designing a new poster each day for 14 days. This allowed me to introduce something new each day while reminding them of my campaign.

As I write this post we are almost at our goal. Feel free to check out our campaign and see an example of our video and rewards. Hopefully this inspires you to launch your OWN campaign. Save the Dreamers!

Jenn Sprinkle is a serial entrepreneur and our CRAVE Dallas partner.  She is the owner and designer of Jenn Sprinkle Creative, a studio providing a creative approach to branding and marketing. She is also launching a new line of wedding invitations nationally through Kickstarter. She loves sharing the adventures of being married to an entrepreneur on her Eat Cake blog.

Twitter: @Jenn_Sprinkle
Facebook: Jenn Sprinkle Creative
LinkedIn: Jenn Sprinkle


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Comments

3 Responses to Crowd Funding your Business: 5 Kickstarter Tips for Creatives

Christoph says: April 11, 2012 at 12:13 am

AND don’t forget at kickstarter as well as at professional funding platforms i.e. http://www.INISMO.com:
Never promote your idea, promote your TEAM who is able to REALIZE THIS IDEA (feasibility) and in addition show that your business can grow and make revenue (scalability & business model).
To attract attention, try to share your enthusiasm with potential investors, people love to see emotions – that’s why the video is very important. But be aware it is good, because ‘first impression counts 90%’!

Reply
Stephanie says: April 11, 2012 at 3:15 pm

Such great advice…I have my business on Crowdbackers, another crowdfunding website geared towards entrepreneurs. It has been a struggle. We went into the process without completely understanding it and getting up to speed took awhile. Still plugging away though! And even if we don’t make our funding goal, we’ve made valuable connections and gotten so much experience at social relationship building!! http://crowdbackers.com/project/100/Orange-County/Stephanie-Devine/Skincare-Startup

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