- Is your campaign title (“name – description”) clear, concise, yet interesting ?
- Is your campaign listed in the proper categories?
- Is your main pitch video professional, informative, and concise (and ideally less than 5 minutes in length if possible)?
- Have you adequately explained, via video and in your written pitch, why you are crowdfunding, and how the funds you receive will be spent?
- Are your estimated milestones and delivery dates reasonable ?
- Have you adequately explained why backers and the general population will benefit from your product? If similar products and services already exist, how is your product different?
- Did you take into account the crowdfunding site’s success fee as well as the payment processing fees that will be deducted when the campaign ends?
- Did you include enough photos, images, charts, and infographics to visually communicate your idea and future plans?
- Are your rewards and perks diverse, and do they cover the entire spending spectrum?
- Kickstarter pages show you and your company’s profile – is your “bio” accurate and professional?
- Your Kickstarter profile also shows how many other crowdfunding campaigns you have backed – have you contributed to any other campaigns (are you an active crowdfunder)?
- Are you careful about saying what is “guaranteed” versus “what may or may not ultimately be delivered”?
- Have you cleared your schedule?
– your title is what will be shared in social media links, indexed in search engines, and is the first thing people will read when they stumble on your project: make sure it’s good.
– every crowdfunding site has many different project “categories” and subcategories, so make sure you spend time searching to find the best fit.
– your pitch video is the most important thing on your page: you want to sell your idea and product, so don’t make it too long. People get bored and lose interest quickly. You want your pitch video to give them enough information and spark enough interest to make them scroll down to the rest of your page and consume your written content. The rest of your campaign page can be used to describe the super technical details.
– crowdfunding is serious business: you are asking people to give you real money. Many projects ultimately fail and products are never delivered due to the natural failure rate of startups and business in general. But every once in a while we hear about fraudulent campaigns where project creators intentionally deceive. Are your expected expenses/expenditures truly necessary or helpful to complete your project and ultimately deliver your product?
– consider adding extra time to allow for common issues, but more importantly for the inevitable problems you will never see coming.
– you need to be knowledgeable about your product and industry: have you spent hours and hours researching similar campaigns across crowdfunding sites? Do you know which ones failed, which ones succeeded, and why? Do you know your main competition in the retail sector? If not, you need to go back and research again to both validate your idea and be prepared. Your backers will be asking you plenty of questions in the “comments” section so you need to be ready to explain it all.
– almost every crowdfunding platform takes a success fee (usually 3% to 10% of the amount raised). And then another small percentage goes to the payment processor company. Make sure you consider these fees when you calculate your funding goal.
– people love photos, images, and video, so the more you include the better. Just make sure they are relevant and are done professionally. You can visit our Resources page for some links to photo editing apps and infographic creators.
– your backers will vary in their commitment to your cause and their own financial backgrounds, so make sure you have something for everyone. Some will just want to donate a few dollars to show their support, others will want to pay for the product itself (pre-order it), and more serious backers could be willing to pay through the nose for exclusive/customized rewards. This is where pre-crowdfunding research really helps – through conversations and surveys you should have a good idea of exactly what your future backers want.
– make sure your website URL and contact info is accurate, that you have a good picture of yourself, and that you professionally describe your background. This link to your Kickstarter profile information is very prominent and will be noticed by most people viewing your crowdfunding page.
– while it’s not relevant to your actual campaign, if you have backed many projects it could signal to some people that you are familiar with the crowdfunding process and know what you are doing.
– the crowdfunding process is unique – depending on which crowdfunding platform you choose, you may or may not be 100% “guaranteeing” your backers a finished product. This is where the technical difference between “pre-ordering” and “crowdfunding” comes into play. It is generally understood that crowdfunding projects fail in the end – something can go terribly wrong and the funds won’t be returned. But many backers don’t understand that concept, and even if they do, they won’t accept anything less than a 100% refund.
– but what if there is no money left? How much did you really promise, either in your pitch page, video, and in comments? Be confident and excited, but you also need to be honest and realistic. Spend time honestly thinking about the challenges you face and make sure to address them in the “Risks and Challenges” section of your page. Also familiarize yourself with the crowdfunding site’s “Terms of Service.”
– everyone is busy with personal things, but successful crowdfunding takes a lot of time. You will need to spend hours and hours a day marketing on social media, reaching out to sources, fielding questions, and providing updates. If you know that you will be super busy with personal/unrelated things during the weeks of your campaign, you really should consider delaying your launch. Crowdfunding is an active process that requires your full attention.