My name is Dalton Metzler, I recently had a very successful kick starter campaign that got funded over 300% of my goal. Kickstarter can be a very rewarding and fun experience, it can also be very hectic. When you start a kickstarter campaign you need to have a clear plan and goal on how you’re going to spend the money, a realistic timeline, and when you truly believe that you will be able to deliver your rewards. Without organization, things can go south very quickly, and people will get mad. I’m going to let you know the things I wish I knew before I started my Kickstarter Campaign.
You need a realistic funding goal.
When we first started kickstarter we took the time to decide weather or not we should go with Indiegogo.com or kickstarter. Kickstarter it self is a very built up community, which is approval only, so when you do get approved most of your funding will come from the community it self. Knowing that kickstarter is all-or-nothing, people will put a small funding goal in-order to have a chance to get the money. What I’ve learned is that, it’s not a good idea to do that. If you set your self short of how much you realistically need you may run out of money before the rewards get delivered.
Have your manufacturing ready before you launch.
Another huge thing is having all your manufacturing agreements ready with whatever companies. Manufacturing is the most time consuming and can come with many project delays. You want to make sure you have everything ready to go like you already have the funding so that your project gets delivered on time. You don’t want to disappoint your backers with constant delays.
Have a solid plan.
Before you launch make sure you have a solid and realistic plan on how you plan to use these funds and how you plan to actually accomplish everything that you are saying. You want to make sure that you aren’t over talking your self and you have a solid action plan and will be able to finish it.
Have a plan for crazy success
“We were so worried about getting the word out that we never stopped to think “what happens if this actually works” – as such we didn’t plan to be completely overwhelmed with customers. While it’s a great problem to have, make sure that you have a staffing plan for crazy success, and a rewards plan for crazy success. We pulled many all-nighters!”
Don’t offer a stretch goal
Offer your backers your absolute best product/reward (assuming your Kickstarter is product focused) for the best price you can, don’t worry about adding stretch goals. They complicate your production plan and aren’t needed if you’re offering an innovative and new product with already attractive rewards. Your backers want your core product.
Understand your shipping options and fees
We did not have any idea how much interest we would get from international backers – the problem was that we did not pre-negotiate shipping rates and as such, during our Kickstarter we had no way to receive international backers (and provide rewards). Further, we did not fully understand how much domestic shipping would cost us and we undervalued it in our financial model. Make sure you sit down with the major carriers and understand your worst case domestic and international fees. With these under control you’ll bring on more backers and better be able to fund your production.