Looking back on the failed Kickstarter campaign, I learned a lot of lessons from it. For my own good and for the good of anyone else out there interested in crowdfunding, I’ll share what I’ve learned with all of you.
First and foremost, you need to understand that Kickstarter (and any other crowdfunding site) is NOT some magical land with free money for the taking. If you believe otherwise, then don’t waste your time.
The biggest problem I had with my own campaign was not enough promotion and a lack of planning. The strongest piece of advice I can give you is not to go into a Kickstarter campaign cold. You really need to do your homework ahead of time. First, look over the Kickstarter site. Read the FAQs and tutorials. Look at the other projects. What are the really popular ones? Which ones succeeded? Which ones failed? Try talking to some of the project organizers and to the backers too.
There’s many groups and forums online as well with resources and information about crowdfunding. The aptly named Crowd Funding Forum is one such place. They have all kinds of information about running a campaign.
Another challenge you’ll have is promotion. It doesn’t matter how good your product is or how well organized your Kickstarter is – if nobody knows about it, nobody will give. It’s also not enough to promote during the campaign. You need to build up awareness by promoting it weeks or even months in advance. Remember that nobody will donate if nobody knows about your campaign.
This was my biggest problem. In spite of use of social media and a few evangelists stumping for me, it wasn’t enough. My analytics proved that I wasn’t getting enough exposure.
Entrepreneur has some excellent resources for crowdfunding. Here’s a few of them:
Check your local library or neighborhood bookstore too; they may have books available on crowdfunding.
I may run another Kickstarter campaign in the summer or fall. This time, I’ll be more prepared for it. One thing is certain: if that fails, it will NOT be due to lack of preparation.