Kickstarter and crowdfunding are changing the world.
This revolutionary new platform of creation and innovation, entrepreneurship and investment is upending the traditional games of commerce. With such waves working to transform the world of business there are bound to be ballsy strategies, successes and startups from which the aspiring entrepreneur and wishful inventor ought be able to learn.
Yet in an arena of constant change, charismatic ideas and intriguing innovation it can be difficult decipher the necessary nuances to dominate a Kickstarter campaign.
The thought of attempting a prestigious push alone is all too terrifying for many a creative to consider.
But others before blaze trails of trials, systems of success and pitfalls of failure from which entrepreneurs as a whole may benefit.
Here let us examine many of the common calamities of crowdfunding campaigns through the eyes of our accomplished guests and take tried and true tactics for our own future successes.
The 8 Awful Kickstarter Screw Ups Startups and Founders Fall Victim to
1. Overly Aggressive Anticipation. We all feel it.
Throughout our lives we live in the ever expanding world of instant gratification. Such is the species. We want our success, rewards and excitement now and are rarely willing to wait.
This blessing and curse can corrupt the most intentioned of entrepreneurs in their efforts to create true greatness.
Success depends upon timing. When will you pull the trigger?
“You don’t have to swing hard to hit a home run. If you got the timing it will go.” -Yogi Berra
In Kickstarter this is crucial. Building campaigns controls lives and lures creators into a state of isolated uncertainty.
Many great creators I so thankfully have been able to connect with through this journey have shared similar mantras.
Is your project primed for success? Planning out processes, marketing and the culminating creative endeavors of your work is pivotal to pushing early Kickstarter craziness and dominating the dollar amounts.
Brian Gibson of Seally Cap recently shared as much in his enlightening interview. External factors forced this experienced inventor to pre-emptively activate his assault on crowdfunding community. Without focus, adequate attention and masterful marketing the campaign cancelled and previously neglected nuances pursued.
Yet after fixing issues of launch love Seally Cap is now soaring high and actively receiving offers for Shark Tank and other inventive avenues looking to showcase the success.
2. Faceless Fail. Why so serious?
Seriously. Where did this idea of corporate cults and secret success come from?
Which campaigns most captured your mind and stimulated your senses? Think. Almost certainly the most influential creations, the ones you backed and built a connection with were those of personal power.
That is what Kickstarter is. It is the personal platform of success and creative awesomeness.
Past guests and enterprising inventors everywhere understand this paradox of perfection. It is in the individual the investment is ultimately made. People place trust in the creators, the innovators and the idea makers of the future. Few and far between are the bland businesses making a killing on Kickstarter.
It takes a bond to build a backer.
Surely in the arena of personal products there is a place for you. Accepting the idea of individual innovation in regards to a product pushes other annoyingly complex concepts to the campaign however. How much me might I put into my pitch?
This is the million dollar question. It is one for which I have not the slightest idea.
Humor, individuality and fun fuel serious success in many a crowdfunding campaign but can also spell failure for unaccomplished individuals.
“Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.” -Bruce Lee
Be authentic and genuine. All else seems faux pas and falls dreadfully far from the mark.
3. Thoughtless Goals. Why are you starting a campaign?
I have never built an amazing product. I have never sourced a successful manufacturing run.
Odds are neither have you.
In order to succeed with Kickstarter or any other platform a balance must be beautifully conceived.
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” -Larry Elder
Though we all dream of dominating with the next Oculus Rift, Ouya or Potato Salad campaign which crushes founder expectations you must feel free to separate yourself from such strategies. With current stats hovering around 40.8% success rates among campaigns it is prudent to perceive where success stays.
Though less sexy, the vast majority of funded endeavors come from those barely beating goals. Only half of all successful creations garner more than 11% above their intended targets.
Placing goals at anticipated minimums makes for higher chances of success.
4. Slow and Steady….does not exist.
Kickstarter is a powerful platform…but it is also a search engine. In order to achieve maximum success simple game dynamics need to enter the equation.
For funding this means making it to the charts.
In order to triumph you need the organic eyeballs of backers to boost your project. Push for this in all you do.
“The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.” -Olivia Wilde
Kickstarter is a business. They’re paid when you make bank. It is in their best interests to help campaigners succeed. Because of this they will work their darndest to show the most popular projects and push their own agenda.
You need to be the popular kid.
One effective strategy also shared during Brian’s talk was to pre-emptively push sales sky high. Soar by leveraging your network for support and success.
Emails to all involved and excited about your product is an awesome way to work in launch day drama. Early backers boost campaigns and elevate excellence into the eyes of the masses.
5. Faulty Failsafes. Uh oh.
What happens when things do not go according to plan? Do you have a plan at all?
Strategies save the ship.
“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now” -Alan Lakein
During a soon to air interview with the accomplished beers guys over at Synek a sneaky secret of success came to light for inventors everywhere.
Here the idea of audience allowed its efforts to be examined. When building a business there is often more than one way to skin the cat. Why not apply such principles on Kickstarter?
What happens when your ideal customer isn’t so ideal?
The guys at Synek planned a push to various markets of beers enthusiasts in anticipation of an awesome campaign launch. The initial push fell flat.
Thanks to proper planning however the team pivoted and pushed forward with remaining targets and are now crushing it with over a half million in support so far.
Have a backup plan.
6. Money Madness. Why crowdfund at all?
Most startups smartly use Kickstarter to create buzz and build pre-orders for an awesome product they are working to innovate.
But what happens when Kickstarter is your last alternative? Bleeding cash is a hard place to push from.
“Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship.” -Ben Franklin
Just ask Eric Jeffrey of Massage Track. In Episode 6 Eric shares the struggles he is facing fueling his business and campaign strategies starting a Kickstarter. In our interview Eric confesses his business is bordering on broke and because of this he compromises in campaigning in order to overcome the impending issues.
Also Kickstarter holds funds for two weeks following funding and thus further exacerbates the issues of cash.
Raise money when you aren’t in dire need and you will save yourself stress.
7. Kickstarting Confusion. What am I seeing?
People purchase when assurance and trust are built with a prospective seller. Before that suspicion and confusion reign.
This is an unfortunate issue of many Kickstarter campaigns.
In an awesome interview with PhD physicist Topher White he shared the true strength of Kickstarter and sales…it makes you sell. And sales are hard. As creatives, inventors, scientists and makers we are often so caught up in how we forget the what and why.
Yet what and why are exactly what make a product and company shine. People need to be able to easily explain the product. This is your challenge.
“Normal people … believe that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Engineers believe that if it ain’t broke, it doesn’t have enough features yet.” -Scott Adams
The greatest inventors all advocate simplicity in suggestion. Make a product that fits a purpose. Sell the purpose, not the product.
8. Scarcity and Sales. Call in the next ten minutes and…
As humans we respond to scarcity. It is a strong selling point in so many products people rarely perceive this tried and true method of sales.
In campaigns the idea of limited quantity can certainly strengthen the success of a project.
People want to feel important.
And we hate missing out.
“Without a sense of urgency, desire loses its value.” Jim Rohn
But what happens when you actually run out. This is the nightmare of entrepreneurs everywhere. Sales stall without product to push.
Such is the idea of campaign goals in Kickstarter. Create scarcity in the investments while still enabling as many purchases as possible. This is the crucial campaign issue.
CEO of Blanc Watches, Eddy Zhong, recently shared this very struggle in their extremely successful watch campaign to create a sense of alertness among tired individuals.
Their team sold out of Early Birds in a mere 12 hours. After prolific success in sales and funding the Spark Watch campaign crawled out of notoriety. Scarcity was so strong that individuals flocked in droves to the precious product but as supply shortened the campaign quickly cooled.
There is no secret strategy to setting goals. Just remember to consider pros and cons of pricing and pushing products to a crowd of awesome backers.
There are so many struggles that go into crafting a killer Kickstarter campaign. These are just some of the frustrating foolish mistakes all entrepreneurs make when working to build greatness.
While I certainly seem not to have the answer I hope through this and interviews with amazing inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs we can all learn and build upon the ideas of others.
I sincerely hope something of this post struck a chord with you and helps you see success in your campaign. Any thoughts on the article? What other issues do you guys feel campaign creators need to avoid to ultimately achieve awesomeness?
Thanks for reading and I would be so thankful for if you shared this article on social media so other can benefit. Kickstarter is a community of amazing people and hopefully we can help more men and women work to create the future.