In the ever-evolving landscape of entrepreneurship, Kickstarter has emerged as a powerful catalyst for creators to turn innovative ideas into reality. Kickstarter offers a unique opportunity for creators to raise the funds needed to kickstart their projects. This makes the platform perfect for both innovative products and creative works. However, the story doesn’t end when you declare your Kickstarter campaign successful; in fact, that’s just the beginning.
Although Kickstarter provides the financial boost necessary to bring your ideas to life, the main goal should extend beyond the campaign itself. It’s important to have a clear plan for transforming your successful Kickstarter project into a sustainable, thriving business. This journey involves careful strategizing, effective execution, and unwavering commitment.
Before exploring the post-Kickstarter phase, let’s briefly talk about the fundamentals of running a successful Kickstarter campaign. This includes crafting a compelling value proposition that resonates with potential backers, setting achievable goals, and creating an engaging video that captures the essence of your project. These initial steps lay the foundation for your campaign’s success, setting the stage for what comes next: building a lasting business that stands the test of time.
How to transition from crowdfunding to sales
Transitioning from crowdfunding to sales is a key phase in building a sustainable business from your project. The following are some of the steps that can help you make this transition smoothly:
1. Product development and refinement
After a successful crowdfunding campaign, refine your product based on backer feedback and any lessons learned during the campaign. Ensure that the final product meets or exceeds the expectations set during the crowdfunding phase.
2. E-commerce platform development
Set up an e-commerce website or utilize established platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, or Amazon to start selling your product directly to customers. Invest in professional product photography and product descriptions to make your product stand out.
3. Marketing and promotion
Develop a comprehensive marketing strategy to reach a wider audience beyond your initial backers. This may include social media advertising, email marketing, influencer partnerships, and content creation to generate buzz.
3. Customer support and engagement
Provide exceptional customer support to build trust and maintain positive relationships with your customers. Engage with them through social media, newsletters, and forums to gather feedback and address concerns promptly.
4. Distribution and fulfillment
Establish a reliable supply chain and fulfillment process to ensure timely delivery of orders. Consider warehousing solutions if necessary to scale efficiently.
5. Diversify sales channels
Explore additional sales channels such as retail partnerships, wholesale distribution, and international markets to expand your customer base.
6. Pricing and profitability
Re-evaluate your pricing strategy to ensure it covers production costs, overhead, and leaves room for profit. Monitor your financial metrics closely to maintain a healthy bottom line.
7. Continuous innovation
Continue to innovate and iterate on your product to keep it fresh and appealing to customers. Listen to feedback and adapt to changing market trends.
Building a sustainable business from a Kickstarter campaign
When you launch a Kickstarter campaign, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of launching the campaign. However, the time eventually comes for a creator to transform their Kickstarter project into a sustainable business. Therefore, a creator must go beyond the crowdfunding phase and focus on building a solid foundation for long-term success. This section explores the key strategies for turning your project into a thriving, sustainable enterprise.
1. The foundation: your business plan
Before hitting the launch button on your Kickstarter campaign, the most critical aspect is having a well-crafted business plan in place. This plan serves as your roadmap, guiding you toward a sustainable future. A detailed and solid business plan should comprise several crucial elements such as:
Target market: Understand your target audience inside and out. Who are they? What are their needs and desires? How will your product or service fulfill those needs better than the competition?
Product or service: Define what you’re offering. Your backers should have a crystal-clear understanding of the value they’ll receive. Be sure to highlight what sets your project apart from the rest.
Marketing strategy: Outline a comprehensive marketing strategy that includes pre-launch, during-campaign, and post-campaign phases. How will you reach potential backers and customers? What platforms and channels will you utilize? Effective marketing is the lifeblood of any successful business.
Financial projections: It’s crucial to provide realistic financial projections. Calculate your costs, pricing strategy, and expected revenue. This will not only help you determine your Kickstarter funding goal but also guide your financial decisions as you move forward.
2. Delivering on Kickstarter campaign promises
Once your Kickstarter campaign ends successfully, the real work begins. You have a duty to your backers to meet their expectations deliver your product or service on time and meet the quality standards you promised during the campaign. Failing to do so can damage your reputation and undermine your chances of building a sustainable business. Stay organized, communicate transparently with backers, and keep them updated on your progress to build trust and loyalty.
3. Building a customer base
Building a sustainable business means expanding beyond your initial backers and tapping into a broader customer base. Online marketing, social media, and public relations are your allies in this endeavor. Leverage these channels to create brand awareness, engage with your audience, and convert curious onlookers into loyal customers. Remember that your Kickstarter backers can be valuable brand advocates, so nurture your relationship with them.
4. Financial management
Careful financial management is the bedrock of a sustainable business. Ensure that you have a clear understanding of your financial position and enough capital to cover your costs until you start generating revenue. Budget wisely, and don’t underestimate your expenses. Keeping a keen eye on your finances will help you weather the challenges that come with business growth.
Case studies: How successful Kickstarter campaigns transitioned into sustainable businesses
The following case studies illustrate why transitioning from Kickstarter to a sustainable business requires careful planning, effective communication, community engagement, adaptability, and the ability to learn from both successes and failures.
1. Pebble Technology Corporation
Pebble, a pioneer in smartwatches, launched its first Kickstarter campaign in 2012. They faced significant challenges in manufacturing, production delays, and stiff competition from industry giants like Apple. To overcome these challenges, Pebble focused on community engagement and open communication with backers. They regularly updated backers on progress, sought feedback, and delivered on their promises.
Eventually, Pebble raised over $10 million, showcasing the power of customer loyalty and transparency. However, despite early success, Pebble struggled to maintain its market position, ultimately being acquired by Fitbit in 2016. The key lesson here is that while Kickstarter can kickstart a business, long-term sustainability requires adaptability and continued innovation.
2. Exploding Kittens
The creators of Exploding Kittens, the popular card game, ran a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign in 2015, raising over $8 million. Their challenge was maintaining momentum and keeping players engaged after the initial excitement. To do this, they focused on expanding their product line, creating new game variations, and building a strong online community. They leveraged social media and humour, aligning with their game’s theme, to keep their audience engaged.
This strategy paid off as Exploding Kittens continued to release successful products and maintain a loyal customer base. The takeaway is to think beyond the initial project and explore avenues for product diversification and community-building.
3. Oculus VR
Oculus, a virtual reality headset company, famously began on Kickstarter in 2012 and raised nearly $2.5 million. Their challenge was to develop and market a complex product in an emerging industry. Oculus strategically partnered with industry leaders, attracted top talent, and secured additional funding through venture capital.
In 2014, Oculus VR was acquired by Facebook for approximately $2 billion, cementing the project’s success. Oculus demonstrates that Kickstarter can serve as a stepping stone to attract the resources needed for long-term growth. However, not all projects will have the same level of success in securing outside investment.
4. Elevation Lab
Elevation Lab, a designer and manufacturer of innovative Apple accessories, used Kickstarter in 2011 to launch its first product, the Elevation Dock. They encountered production challenges and cost overruns due to design changes. However, they learned from their mistakes, refined their processes, and continued to release successful products. Elevation Lab’s key strategy was a relentless focus on quality and customer feedback, resulting in a loyal customer base that supported subsequent campaigns. The lesson here is to be resilient in the face of setbacks, continually improve, and prioritize customer satisfaction.
The bottom line
Transitioning from a successful Kickstarter campaign to a sustainable business is a critical step in your entrepreneurial journey. A well-thought-out plan is paramount to harness the momentum gained during crowdfunding. Focus on building a loyal customer base, delivering on promises, and maintaining transparency. Diversify your revenue streams and adapt to market changes to ensure long-term viability. Additionally, never underestimate the power of community engagement and continued marketing efforts. Remember, sustainable success isn’t achieved overnight; it’s a gradual process that requires dedication and adaptability. Stay committed to your vision, and your Kickstarter project can evolve into a thriving and enduring venture.
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.
With a PR package from Pressfarm, you can generate publicity and win backers over to your Kickstarter project.