In January of 2014, Portland-based musical duo The Doubleclicks raised $80,923 on Kickstarter with an initial project goal of $18,000. When all was said and done, Angela Webber offered some helpful advice for how to run a successful Kickstarter campaign. Following is a recap of some of their most important tips.
1. Set a Realistic Goal
While there are exceptions to every rule, a good benchmark is to expect to raise 20% of your goal on the first day you open your campaign up to the public. To do this, you’ll have to create some buzz around your first day and let people know when to expect the campaign to go live. Use social media to set things up so that you have the momentum in place for an amazing first day.
With this in mind, Angela recommends setting the minimum goal possible in order to make your project work. You can always raise more after you complete your goal. It may be a good idea to keep your team as small as possible so that you can keep the minimum goal down, too.
2. Do the Math
Try and do as many estimations as possible. When setting your goal, look at past projects that are similar to yours, and compare your current fan-base to that of the project you’re looking at. Keep spreadsheets of everything, and crunch the numbers. In the Doubleclicks’ case, their initial estimates weren’t all that far off from their end results.
Then, you can move on to creating a timeline for when you expect to have rewards shipped out. This means contacting prospective T-shirt vendors and the like beforehand for price and timing estimates. A moderately accurate timeline is key for keeping your fans happy and excited.
3. Research Shipping
Do a trial shipping run for every reward level you expect to ship out before you go live. This means actually packing up boxes with all of the items and bringing each package to the post office to get a price check. Then, you can create pricing for each of your pledge levels with the right margins in mind, eliminating guesswork. If you’re using BackerKit, you can save tons of time and money by calculating postage rates with the BackerKit Shipping Calculator before purchasing.
4. Update Regularly
One of the most important keys to The Doubleclicks’ success was their practice of updating regularly. Aubrey and Angela released multiple updates a day on Twitter and various other social media platforms to keep people informed and excited while the campaign was still live. Then, once the campaign ended, they stayed regular and kept backers informed with a weekly update. Showing up and having something to say is half the battle for keeping people engaged, and you can plan out your tweets and posts in advance in order to guarantee that your backers always have some new news to engage with.
5. Use BackerKit
The Doubleclicks needed a way to allow backers to update addresses and to select and pay for add-on items, and their solution to this was to use BackerKit. Like most other BackerKit-supported projects, they made more money via add-on sales in BackerKit to pay for the cost of the service. And, they didn’t have to email back and forth with thousands of backers to get things organized.
In the end, The Doubleclicks kept backers happy and went on to make their crowdfunding dreams come true by raising 4.5 times their official goal. While there’s no secret trick to guarantee a successful campaign, Angela and Aubrey’s practices led to a pretty well-organized experience, as far as things go. You can find the full article here.
We hope this finds you well and you’re looking towards an exciting adventure in crowdfunding. As always, feel free to reach out to [email protected] for more info and advice on crowdfunding success.