It's been a few weeks and we're still over the moon that we were completely funded on Kickstarter. We wanted to take the opportunity to thank everyone who donated, shared, or helped us with this huge project. We truly couldn't have done it without them, but we thought it would be fun to tell you all about some of the other things that helped us reach our goal.
1. Visuals! The true MVPs of this project were our very, very dear friends Lizzie Morgan and John Ward. They're the incredibly talented production team who helped us produce the campaign video. People want to know that your project is legit and one of the best ways to demonstrate this is by having a team of people who believe in your make you look good. We know how privileged we were to have their help - but if you don't have immediate access to super generous and talented friends, some basic production work will do the trick too. Lean in! Make a vlog, a series of tiktok videos, draw a stop motion - Anything creative and visual to help the audience connect with who YOU are. Don't be shy or stiff.
2. Tell your story. Honesty time - We had the body of our project written for MONTHS before we posted the project. Then, the day before it went live, we scraped all of it and rewrote from the beginning. We realized that the campaign didn't tell our story. How can audiences connect enough to back you if they don't understand who you are or where you're coming from?
3. Write down every single person you've ever met. Seriously, every single one.
The spreadsheet we had with the contacts from just the two of us was truly something to behold. Start working on this with plenty of time in advance because you'll also need to think of the most effective way to contact them - social media, email, or call. Think about who they're connected to and how they can help you spread the word. Friends who work at media organizations or huge companies with Slack channels are like gold. Get everyone in one place and start to organize them.
4. Think about your niche. We're a family run and queer-owned bakery in Brooklyn, NYC. Two groups we knew we wanted to go after are people who would be interested in queer-owned businesses and NYC foodies who might be excited about a new bakery, We scoured articles and posted on reddit boards to get the attention of these people.
5. Make sure people know that Kickstarter is all or nothing. Not everyone knew that we wouldn't get the funds if we didn't hit our goal. Let them know and understand why it's so important to hit it.
6. Be realistic about your goal. Because it's all or nothing, don't get greedy while you're asking. Write out exactly what you'll need the funds, in addition to project expenses, and don't add on much of a buffer.
7. Strategically grow your social before your project launches. This is one thing we actually didn't do, but wish we had. While we ran a few giveaways and partner profiles as the Kickstarter was active, we realized that it would have been more beneficial to have developed that audience in the few weeks leading up to the project so we would have had a brand new, newly invested and captive audience.
8. Look into Projects We Love. We were very fortunate to be noticed earlier on by the team at Kickstarter and give a coveted Project We Love badge. Contact them when you submit your project for review to see if you meet their criteria.
9. Stay calm. Crowdfunding comes in waves. We made $10,000 in less than a week, but then stalled for almost 14 days in the middle of the project. Keep plugging on your list, keep promoting. Keep everyone in the loop and let them know when all hands are on deck at the end.
We could probably come up with a lotttt more tips and tricks for those looking to launch a successful Kickstarter campaign, but that's what we have for now. If you own a small business and want to chat - feel free to contact us and we'd love to chat with you! To view our final project, click here.