Join Richard Bliss for an in-depth discussion in this video Build your crowd first, part of Kickstarter Crowdfunding Essential Training.
- You're drawn to Kickstarter because you want to find a way to raise money for a particular project or idea. But my advice is that you need to start first with the crowd. The word crowdfunding is made up of two words: crowd and funding. Funding is actually fairly easy to find. You can beg, borrow, and steal money. I don't recommend that, but it's easy to find different ways to get money. But a crowd? That's unique. A crowd is really all about you. A crowd starts with you. It's built on your reputation and interests. Your personal crowd usually consists of family and friends. Your personal crowd reaches into areas where you are not as well known, but your reputation extends to those areas.
The more distant the group, the more your reputation begins to represent you rather than personal contact. In order to build up a crowd big enough to support your particular project on Kickstarter, you need to have touched multiple people within multiple groups. And remember, when seeking crowd funding, you almost never have a funding issue. Money's always easier to find than a crowd. Crowdfunding is about building a crowd before asking for funding. Now where do you find crowds? You find crowds by going to where they are gathered and then offering something of interest to them.
This is important. You first give to the crowd before asking for something back. Some ways to find crowds include online clubs like Meetup.com where you can meet face-to-face. Online communities. Social like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. These are places where the crowd has already gathered and where you can go and participate and contribute. Face-to-face meetings like public speaking, lectures, and conferences are other ways to connect. Creating content that your target crowd is interested in will build up your reputation as someone who has brought value, whether tangible or intangible to the crowd.
Over time, a crowd will form around you. Small or large, it will be a crowd of people who have come to know you through your contributions and reputation connected to something they are passionate about. Now this is important. I realize you're looking to Kickstart a project because you're passionate about something, but you need to work together with your community, with your crowd, which means you have to find something that they're passionate about as well. Sharing the passion helps you be successful. Building a crowd takes time and significant personal investment. People give money to people they know and trust.
Your goal, is over time, to extend your reputation as strong as possible to those places your target crowd is gathered, whether in person or online.
Richard outlines the importance of finding your niche and cultivating an audience before launching a Kickstarter campaign. Then he shows how to create the campaign itself, setting up a profile, establishing pledge levels, and crafting the most important elements of the crowdfunding campaign: your video, graphics, project description, title, and rewards.
You'll learn how to launch and monitor a campaign, use the Project Creator interface, interact with backers via messages and comments, and more. Finally, you'll discover how to analyze the performance of your campaign with the analytics dashboard, and generate a backer survey to stay connected with your crowd.
This course includes knowledge checks to help you self-check your understanding, a free prelaunch checklist to keep you on track, and examples from current Kickstarter campaigns that can help you reach your funding dreams.
- Building your crowd and fan base
- Creating a good Kickstarter profile
- Analyzing a successful Kickstarter page
- Building a campaign that explains your project
- Staying connected to backers
- Setting up shipping and rewards
- Setting duration and funding goals
- Creating pledge levels
- Adding video, text, and graphics
- Verifying your identity and connecting to banks
- Responding to messages and comments from backers
- Tracking Kickstarter campaigns