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What strategies are there to create a successful Kickstarter campaign?

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Kickstarter has become the standard platform for crowdfunding new projects.  What are the best strategies for creating a successful Kickstarter campaign?
initiated May 3, 2011 in Success Stories by Mike Masnick (22,930 points)   59 99 160

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Whatever your project is, make sure you price backer rewards at levels that make potential backers confident that you strongly believe in your own success.

I failed to do this with my Keyglove project, and it really showed. It was obvious enough that someone actually called me out on it, prompting me to cut the backer reward prices in half, after which time I saw a significant increase in support, ultimately meeting the fundraising goal in time.

If you price your rewards in such a way that you're hedging your bets against failure by dumping the risk on backers, that kind of doubt is both obvious and contagious. Kickstarter is not meant to be an insurance plan, but rather a way to find people who believe in your product as much as you do and will support it accordingly. If you don't wholeheartedly believe in your own project, then why are you working on it? And if you do, then there is no need to skimp on backer rewards.

response added Oct 12, 2011 by Jeff Rowberg (270 points)   1 1 4
edited Oct 12, 2011 by Jeff Rowberg
@jrowberg I'm intrigued by what you're saying, but I don't understand it. How is overpricing rewards a "hedge against failure"? ("Failure" in what sense?) Clearly if you don't make your goal, you won't have to deliver anything, and clearly if you do, you must charge enough to cover your fixed costs. So it seems like your cost should be driven by your estimate of your fixed costs (?).

I ran a successful campaign on Kickstarter and published a post about my experience here:
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response added Aug 20, 2013 by roy morejon (140 points)  
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I've never lead a Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign, but I've been involved with the back-end on a few that my friends were running.  

I think the trick to a successful Kickstarter campaign is to avoid thinking of it as financing or fundraising endevour, and treat it for what it is: Marketing.

Can you make some money? Yes. but it's much better at getting the word out, and generating interest in a project, and tying an idea to something tangeable.  So be honest, make it a comminucation with your audience not a speech dictated to the audience, and recognize that the goal of croudfunding is to get the word out, not to get money in.
response added Dec 2, 2013 by Kyle Clements (2,460 points)   3 9 17

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