Crowdfunding 101: Free Kickstarter Advice for Creators

Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by collecting small amounts of money from a large number of people, often through the internet. While there are several types of crowdfunding, at Enventys Partners we specialize in marketing rewards crowdfunding projects on Kickstarter or Indiegogo, as well as equity crowdfunding projects.

Crowdfunding provides significant benefits to business owners and project creators, including access to capital from a network of early adopters who want to see your business succeed, credibility and proof of concept, exposure, pre-sales and much more.

For a more in-depth overview of crowdfunding, read this blog post.

At Enventys Partners, we’ve worked with more than 750 crowdfunding projects since 2012, so we’ve learned a thing or two about how to ensure your crowdfunding project is a success. Below we’ve compiled answers to some of the questions we get asked most frequently, along with links to learn more.

If you’re just getting started with your crowdfunding project and hoping to learn a little more about what to expect, or if you would like to get some advice from our team of experts before entering into a formal partnership, check out the questions and answers below.

Is my idea a good fit for Kickstarter or Indiegogo? How do I know if my idea will be a bad crowdfunding project?

While we can’t predict a project’s success down to the number, there are several things that can be indicative of whether a project will flop.

Consider these nine warning signs of a project that is a bad fit for crowdfunding:

  • You don’t have a working prototype.
  • You can’t offer a unique, tangible reward.
  • You have no support lined up for day one.
  • You don’t have a free product to give away.
  • Your product is very similar to the competition.
  • You will need to set a very high funding goal in order to fulfill your rewards.
  • You need to launch quickly and don’t have enough time to prepare.
  • Your perks or rewards are prohibited by Kickstarter or Indiegogo.
  • You are already selling your product elsewhere.

To learn more about how to decide if your project is a good fit for crowdfunding, read this blog post.

How can I find a manufacturer for my crowdfunding project?

Sourcing can be both exciting and overwhelming; your product is that much closer to becoming a reality, but choosing the right manufacturer can make or break your chances of continued success after your crowdfunding campaign.

A great place to start looking for a factory to work with is to find out where similar products were made. Reach out to the company behind those products and ask who they worked with and if they’d recommend them. At this point you’ll also need to consider what you are looking for in a factory; for example, do you want to work with a domestic factory or go overseas? Do you want to work with the factory directly, or go through a broker or agent? What type of manufacturing do you need specifically?

Once you work through these questions, you can begin identifying potential factories and evaluating them against each other to find the perfect for match.

For more about finding the right factory to manufacture your crowdfunding project, read this blog post.

How much money do you think I can raise on Kickstarter or Indiegogo?

We are asked this question frequently, and, unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible to make an estimate without working on the project. Each campaign is so different in terms of product features, price points, timing of the campaign, etc., so it’s quite difficult to predict an outcome with no data.

What do I need to know about creating a Kickstarter or Indiegogo video?

Keep in mind that a good crowdfunding video is short, at about two to three minutes, and is compelling and engaging.

As you’re creating your video, be sure to include three key parts:

  • First, you need to introduce your project. Show the product in action, and be sure to highlight its key features and uses.
  • Second, provide the viewer with some background information. Go into detail about the project’s backstory: what inspired you to create the product, how it came to fruition and where you are going.
  • Third, ask the viewer to help you make your product a reality by contributing to your project. Tell them exactly why you need their help and what you plan to do with the funds you raise.

For more information about how to create the perfect Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign video, check out this blog.

How important is PR for my campaign?

Enventys Partners employs a full-time, in-house crowdfunding PR team that focuses on the startup, entrepreneurial and crowdfunding space, as well as niche industry publications in fashion, outdoors and consumer technology verticals. By combining traditional PR methodologies such as copywriting and dissemination of strategic releases with unique, relationship-based product pitching, our PR experts are able to garner media coverage that converts into backers.

However, press coverage cannot be guaranteed, and, furthermore, public relations should not be viewed as, or expected to be, a major contributor to campaign funding. Rather, public relations for crowdfunding campaigns aids in reaching funding goals by establishing credibility among potential backers for a brand or product they are unfamiliar with. Media outreach should be supplementary to your other promotional efforts and never banked on as a primary driver of campaign funding. Our data shows that the platform is typically responsible for the highest percentage of funding because of loss attribution. Good media coverage supports platform marketing by providing credibility to potential backers researching the campaign.

Note that coverage can be paid for, but this type of coverage typically sees little to no traffic.

Do I have to have samples before I launch my crowdfunding project?

In short, no, you do not have to have samples before launching your crowdfunding project.

However, having samples of your product that you can send to journalists can make it much easier to get great press coverage; journalists and bloggers are much more likely to write about products that they can test for themselves.

Whether you have samples or not, you will need to have a working prototype. Kickstarter requires a working prototype to launch, and while Indiegogo does not, you’ll find much more success if you have a working prototype that you can show off on your campaign page. A working prototype makes your project much more credible, which makes potential backers more inclined to take action and back your project.

How many email addresses do I need before I launch my crowdfunding project?

Unfortunately, there’s no “magic number” of email addresses that a campaign needs to be successful. Suppose you collected 10,000 email addresses but none of them converted – while it’s great that you were able to collect so many email addresses, they were ultimately useless for the crowdfunding company. However, these could be great to use after the campaign or future business strategies, email marketing and more.

The number of email address you need for success can’t be predicted, so we prefer to focus on quality over quantity and make sure we’re getting good leads that have high chances of converting. We typically run prelaunch for 3-4 weeks in order to gather those leads.

How can I protect my intellectual property during a crowdfunding campaign?

First, it’s important for us to note that we always recommend filing a patent before ever introducing a new product through a crowdfunding campaign. Consult with an intellectual property attorney to make sure you are in a good position prior to launching your product.

You’ll also want to make sure your idea is protected while you are developing your product. At Enventys Partners, we take matters of intellectual property and confidentiality very seriously. You can learn more about how we protect your intellectual property during product development here.

Should I launch my project on Kickstarter or Indiegogo?

Choosing the right platform for your crowdfunding project can be tricky, but with a little research the right choice will become obvious.

In general, it’s worth launching on Kickstarter if:

  • Your project is eligible (Kickstarter’s rules are more strict than Indiegogo’s)
  • You’re reasonably confident you can rally the funds together within the 60-day timeframe
  • You are in a Kickstarter-eligible country

It’s worth going with Indiegogo if:

  • You would like flexibility in your funding rather than an all-or-nothing funding goal
  • Your project is outside of Kickstarter’s eligibility guidelines

To learn more about how to choose where to launch your project, check out this blog post.

When is the best time of year to launch my project?

In general, there is no “best” time of year to launch a Kickstarter or Indiegogo project. Projects raise significant amounts of money year-round. However, there are a few exceptions.

First, don’t plan for your project to begin or end the week of Thanksgiving or Christmas. The first and last weeks of a crowdfunding campaign are arguably the most important, and around Thanksgiving and Christmas people are generally spending less time online, which could translate into fewer backers for your project.

Second, if your project is seasonal in nature, consider that when setting a launch date. For example, let’s suppose you are launching a new product that will be used in the snow. While it might seem best to launch this project in the Spring or Summer so that it will be delivered when it’s colder outside, historically this doesn’t hold true. Rather, launch your product when it’s seasonally appropriate. Your audience won’t be thinking about snowy weather in May, even if your product will deliver in December, so it is better to bump your launch date to November or December. The same logic holds true for products designed for warmer weather and other seasonal products.

How much does it cost to run a crowdfunding campaign?

Many different factors go into the cost of a Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign, but you’ll definitely need to budget for the following:

  • Product design
  • Prototyping
  • Photography
  • Videography
  • Expos, tradeshows and events
  • Advertising
  • Press release distribution
  • A Kickstarter marketing consultant or agency
  • Platform fees
  • Manufacturing and fulfilling rewards

Learn more about what you can expect to pay for each of these things in this blog post.

What happens after a successful Kickstarter campaign?

The short answer: a lot.

Two things of primary importance that you’ll need to plan for are fulfilling rewards and moving to an ecommerce model.

As you plan your shipping strategy, keep in mind that you will have to figure out your packaging, choose a shipping company and make sure you understand any potential issues with shipping regulations, customs and duties. You can learn more about this in this blog post.

You’ll also need to decide how to handle sales moving forward. Some great post-crowdfunding campaign options include Indiegogo InDemand, Amazon and a traditional ecommerce site. You can learn more about post-crowdfunding campaign ecommerce in this blog post and this blog post.

Ready to get started on your Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign? Contact us today to tell us more about your project and request a quote!