10 Tips for Launching a Successful Kickstarter

You may or may not know that I launched my business, Studio Skate, through Kickstarter! This past May I was studying abroad, trying to figure out a job plan for the summer. When the job I had lined up fell through, I realized I had an opportunity to grow my skateboard art Etsy shop into a bigger business.

I LOVE Kickstarter. It gave me the chance to start my own business at 21, generated interest in my artwork, and made the financial side of my biz super stress-free. Something that is very important to any business owner. 

If you have a talent, idea, product, or existing small business, I hope you will consider my 10 tips for a successful Kickstarter campaign. I believe they will help you reach your funding goal, and you can hit the ground running with your dreams! 

1. Start social media accounts before your Kickstarter launches 

It’s totally possible to generate interest in your Kickstarter before launching your campaign! For Studio Skate, I utilized Instagram the most to promote my campaign. I was selling my artwork and a product, so sharing pictures on Instagram created a great visual. If you are selling a concept or an e-book, a text-based platform like Twitter could be a better option for you.

2. Make a video 

Kickstarter stresses the importance of making a video of your campaign, and I can’t recommend it enough either! A video gives your viewer the chance to connect with yo and see that there is a real person behind the campaign. 

A video does not need to be fancy or high-budget by any means. Just sit down in front of the camera and talk. Let your enthusiasm and drive shine through. I edited my video myself, and it received a lot of positive feedback. I once even had someone recognize me in person months later from my video! It really establishes a great personal connection and trust. 

3. Create a logo

A logo makes your campaign appear professional and trustworthy, and will also help make your brand recognizable. If you aren’t able to create a logo yourself, consider hiring a graphic designer to design one for you. And if outsourcing work isn’t in your budget, reach out to a architecture or design student that has Adobe Creative Suite skills. They are often willing to work at a cheaper rate, and are typically very enthusiastic to get the work. 

4. Offer a range of rewards, even at the smallest $ amount

Show your appreciation for backers (the people giving you money) by offering rewards for their donation. I recommend providing rewards at every price point, even $5. In the past, I have been interested in donating to a Kickstarter, but was turned off when their minimum reward amount was $25 or higher. You should show people that you value their donation, no matter how big or small. 

5. Create images of each of the rewards you will offer 

If you are going to offer posters, keychains, prints, paintings, or even a skateboard…show pictures of these rewards!! People want to see that the prize they are receiving is a real + tangible thing. Take time to research your rewards and make a list of them. If you don’t have them on hand to photograph, photoshop the rewards. 

6. Reach out to past customers/admirers

If you already have contacts or friends who are interested in what you are up to, or your product, reach out to them and send them a link to your campaign. In my situation, I had already been running an Etsy shop and sold hand-painted skateboards to happy customers. When my campaign went live, I sent them a quick message on Etsy to let them know I was expanding, and many of them happily supported me!

7. Post updates

Kickstarter enables you to post updates via your campaign as often as you'd like. Send out quick messages letting your funders knowing how close you are to achieving your goal, and thanking them for their help so far. Also encourage them to share your campaign with their friends who may be interested! 

8. Be active on social media

Remember how you created those Instagram and/or Twitter accounts before your launch? Maintain them! Post updates of how far you are in your goal to keep people interested and excited. You could also consider hosting a giveaway to generate social media shares +follows.

9. Say thank you...during your campaign.

If you feel comfortable doing so, send out a personal message to someone who has donated to your campaign, and give them a personal thank you. During my campaign, I met someone within the skateboard industry, who ended up becoming a friend + collaborator of mine. 

10. Don’t be afraid to share share share! 

You may feel shy or obnoxious sharing your Kickstarter campaign, but don't. If you are passionate about what you are doing, you should want to share it with the world! I know I personally felt afraid to share my campaign on my personal Facebook page, but your close friends and family are the people in your life that support you the most, and they will want to help you reach your goals too!

What ideas have you found helpful for your Kickstarter campaign? Or if you've already launched a campaign, do you have any do's + dont's to share?