Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform that has revolutionized the way individuals and businesses fund their creative and innovative projects. Kickstarter allows creators to raise funds from a global community of backers who pledge money to support projects they believe in.
Kickstarter operates on a simple premise: creators set a funding goal and a deadline for their project. They then create a compelling campaign page, complete with project details, rewards for backers, and a video pitch. Backers can browse through the projects listed on Kickstarter and pledge money to those they wish to support. If the funding goal is met by the deadline, the project receives the pledged funds, and backers receive their rewards. If the goal isn’t met, no money changes hands.
As we explore the advantages and disadvantages of Kickstarter, we’ll consider factors such as the potential for exposure and funding, the creative freedom it offers, and the challenges of meeting backer expectations. Understanding the pros and cons of using Kickstarter is crucial to determine if it aligns with your project’s goals and audience. This is true whether you’re an aspiring artist, an entrepreneur with an idea, or someone with a passion project,
The pros of using Kickstarter
There are several compelling advantages to using Kickstarter for your project:
1. Access to a large audience
Kickstarter boasts a vast and diverse user base of potential backers, giving your project exposure to a global audience. This wide reach can help you connect with people who share a genuine interest in your project.
2. Funding without debt or equity
Kickstarter operates on a reward-based model, meaning backers contribute funds in exchange for rewards, products, or experiences related to your project. Unlike traditional loans or equity investments, this approach allows you to secure funding without incurring debt or giving up ownership of your venture.
3. Market validation
Launching a Kickstarter campaign provides an opportunity to gauge the market’s interest in your idea. If your project resonates with backers, it can serve as a strong indicator of potential success in the broader marketplace.
4. Creative freedom
Kickstarter encourages creativity and innovation. You have the freedom to pursue your passion projects, artistic ideas, and niche products without conforming to the demands of traditional investors or publishers. This creative independence can be incredibly rewarding.
5. Community building
Running a Kickstarter campaign fosters a sense of community around your project. Backers become more than just financial supporters; they become advocates and stakeholders in your success. This community can continue to support your work long after the campaign ends.
6. No upfront costs
Setting up a Kickstarter campaign is relatively low-cost compared to other fundraising methods. You don’t need to spend significant amounts on marketing or product development before you can secure funding.
7. Media and PR opportunities
Successful Kickstarter campaigns often attract media attention. Positive press coverage can significantly boost your project’s visibility and credibility, potentially leading to additional opportunities for growth.
8. Risk mitigation
By using Kickstarter, you can mitigate some of the financial risks associated with launching a new venture. If your campaign doesn’t reach its funding goal, you’re not obligated to deliver rewards, which can save you from potential financial setbacks.
9. Flexibility and transparency
Kickstarter provides a transparent platform where you can communicate directly with backers, keeping them informed about your progress, challenges, and achievements. This transparency builds trust and fosters a sense of accountability.
10. Feedback and iteration
Engaging with backers allows you to gather valuable feedback that can help improve your project. You can use this input to make adjustments and refinements, potentially leading to a more successful final product.
The cons of using Kickstarter
The following are the cons of utilizing Kickstarter for crowdfunding, including potential challenges:
1. Uncertainty of funding
The primary con of Kickstarter is the inherent uncertainty of whether your project will be fully funded. Not all campaigns succeed, and even well-planned projects can fall short of their funding goals. This uncertainty can be disheartening and leave creators regretting having waster their time and effort.
2. All-or-nothing model
Kickstarter operates on an all-or-nothing funding model. If you don’t reach your predetermined funding goal by the campaign’s end, you receive no funds at all. While this approach can motivate creators to set realistic goals, it also means that even if you’re close to your target, you won’t receive any funding.
3. Fees and costs
Kickstarter charges fees, including a 5% platform fee on the total funds raised and payment processing fees. Additionally, there may be costs associated with creating and delivering rewards to backers. These expenses can significantly reduce the funds available for your project.
4. Competitive environment
Kickstarter is a crowded marketplace with numerous projects vying for backers’ attention. Standing out amidst the competition can be challenging, especially for new creators without an established audience or marketing strategy.
5. High expectations
Backers on Kickstarter have high expectations. They are not just investors but also your project’s early adopters. Meeting backer expectations for quality, communication, and delivery timelines can be challenging and stressful.
6. Risk of over-promising
In an effort to attract backers, creators may over-promise on project features, delivery dates, or rewards. This can lead to difficulties in fulfilling these promises, tarnishing your reputation and potentially legal repercussions.
7. Time-consuming campaign management
Running a Kickstarter campaign requires substantial time and effort. From creating a compelling campaign page to promoting it across various channels and managing backer inquiries, it can be a full-time job.
8. Lack of traditional investor support
Kickstarter backers are not investors in the traditional sense. They do not receive equity or a share in your project’s profits. This means you won’t have access to experienced investors or advisors who can provide valuable guidance and support.
Tips for building a successful Kickstarter campaign
Kickstarter has become a popular platform for entrepreneurs, artists, and innovators to fund their projects. However, launching a successful Kickstarter campaign is not as simple as publishing a campaign and waiting for the funds to roll in.
To increase your chances of success, you need a well-planned and executed campaign. Here are some tips to help you write a compelling Kickstarter campaign:
Develop a clear project description
Begin with a concise and engaging project description. Explain what your project is, what problem it solves, and why it matters. Use straightforward language that anyone can understand.
Leverage compelling storytelling
People love stories so you should use creative storytelling to engage them and make them feel invested in your project. Share the journey that led you to this project, your passion for it, and the impact it can have. Make your campaign emotionally resonant.
Design high-quality media
Invest in professional photos and videos. Visual content can make or break your campaign. Showcase your project from various angles and in different contexts.
Set a realistic goal
Be transparent about how much funding you need and how you’ll use it, and set a realistic crowdfunding goal that aligns with your needs. Avoid overambitious goals that may deter potential backers.
Create tiered rewards
Create enticing reward tiers that offer value to backers. Include a range of options to cater to different budgets. This will make backers feel like they’re part of something special.
Share engaging updates
Keep your backers informed and engaged throughout the campaign with regular updates. Share progress, milestones, and any changes to the project.
Be strategic with your timing
Launch your campaign at the right time. Research the best times to launch a Kickstarter campaign based on your target audience and the nature of your project.
Develop a marketing strategy
Market your Kickstarter campaign before and during its run. Utilize social media, email lists, and any other relevant channels to reach your target audience.
Leverage your network
Don’t rely solely on strangers to back your project. Ask friends, family, and colleagues to support you and spread the word.
Earn trust and credibility
Build trust by being open and honest. Include information about yourself or your team’s background, relevant experience, and any previous successful projects.
Develop stretch goals
Consider adding stretch goals to incentivize backers to share and increase their pledges. These can help generate excitement and momentum.
Prioritize backer engagement
Interact with your backers by responding to comments and messages promptly. Make them feel like a valued part of your project’s community.
Plan for the unexpected
Be prepared for setbacks or delays and communicate transparently with your backers if issues arise.
Create a fulfillment strategy
Outline a clear plan for delivering rewards to backers. Timely and transparent fulfillment is crucial to maintaining trust.
Plan for post-campaign engagement
Your Kickstarter campaign is just the beginning. Continue to engage with your backers even after the campaign ends to build a loyal following.
The bottom line
Kickstarter offers numerous advantages for aspiring creators, such as access to funding, market validation, and community engagement. It allows innovators to bring their ideas to life while connecting with a supportive audience. However, there are also notable drawbacks to consider, including the risk of project failure, high competition, and the time-consuming nature of running a successful campaign.
The decision to use Kickstarter should be based on a careful evaluation of these pros and cons, taking into account the specific needs and goals of your project. Ultimately, when used strategically, Kickstarter can be a powerful tool for turning dreams into reality, but it requires careful planning and execution to navigate its challenges successfully.
How Pressfarm can help to promote your Kickstarter campaign
Do you need help generating publicity for your Kickstarter campaign? With a team of PR specialists, expert writers, and certified designers from Pressfarm, you can do just that!
With a professional press release, some winning guest posts, and an eye-catching media kit from Pressfarm, you can make a splash and stand out from other Kickstarter projects. Beyond creating quality content for you, Pressfarm can also help you put it in front of the right eyes.
By submitting your content to the right media outlets and startup directories, Pressfarm can help your startup rank in relevant search results across different search engines. Additionally, with custom media lists and access to a database of 1 million+ journalists, you can connect with the best journalists in your niche.