Hacking Kickstarter: How to Raise $100,000 in 10 Days (Includes Successful Templates, E-mails, etc.)

Hack Kickstarter

Mike Del Ponte co-founded Soma, which raised more than $100,000 on Kickstarter using virtual assistants and free apps.

I first met Mike Del Ponte two years ago when he was running marketing at BranchOut, a startup I advise.

Before joining BranchOut, Mike had explored a variety of career paths, including preparing for the priesthood at Yale Divinity School and serving as a peacemaker in the West Bank.

Earlier this year, Mike came to me with a new product idea called Soma. Soma is, in its simplest form, a high-end competitor to Brita water filters. It combines Apple-inspired design (e.g. sleek glass carafe) with a subscription service that delivers the world’s first compostable water filter to your door. From form to function, from funding model to revenue model, Mike was eager to disrupt a sleepy but enormous market: water. I became an advisor.

To launch Soma on Kickstarter (and raise $100,000+ in just nine days), Mike and his team used some of the techniques that helped BranchOut grow to 25 million users in just 16 months.

You can replicate what he did.

This post includes all of their email templates, spreadsheets, open-source code to build landing pages, and even a custom dashboard Soma’s hacker Zach Allia built to monitor their Kickstarter data, social media, and press.

[12/06/18 Ed. Note: Some templates are currently unavailable. We have reached out to the author for new links.]

This post is as close to copy-and-paste Kickstarter success as you will find. And even if you have no interest in Kickstarter, Mike’s approach is a blueprint for launching nearly any product online for maximal impact and minimal cost.

Enjoy!

UPDATE: Soma is offering a 7-course, private dinner with me at a historic mansion in San Francisco (travel included) as one of their Kickstarter prizes. At the time this post was published, there was still one spot left.

Enter Mike

How many times have you dreamt of launching a new product, only to let your dream fall to the wayside?

I don’t have the money to even get started! What if it fails?

In the past, these excuses held some weight, as bringing a new product to market could be incredibly expensive. Oftentimes, you had to prototype, build, and then hope the world wanted what you were selling. If not, you could end up with a warehouse full of debt: unsellable inventory.

Now, there are new options. Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and IndieGogo allow you to introduce (test) a new product before you start manufacturing, removing a huge amount of risk. If people like what you’re proposing, you can pull in thousands or even millions of dollars to fund your dream. At the very worst, you were able to test your idea without investing much time or money.

But planning and running a Kickstarter campaign is often done in a haphazard fashion.

To prepare for ours, we didn’t want to leave anything to chance, so we interviewed 15 of the top-earning Kickstarter creators. Their projects ranged from a grizzly bear jacket to a gaming console that raised nearly $8.6 million on Kickstarter. What we learned is that whether you’re successful or struggling, your Kickstarter campaign is often “40 days of chaos,” as one creator put it. Either you succeed beyond your wildest dreams and are overwhelmed with inquiries from backers, press, retailers and investors, or you struggle to achieve your goal and frantically beg bloggers and friends to spread the word. Either type of overwhelm can be a huge headache.

So, we got creative.

Using virtual assistants, growth hacking techniques, and principles from Tim’s books, we raised over $100,000 in less than 10 days. Having accomplished our goal with almost 30 days to spare, we are now relaxing for the holidays. The Kickstarter is behind us, allowing us to get back to product development as we get to know our new community of 1,600+ committed customers.

Here are the steps we used to do it…

Step 1: Start with principles that require less work and yield better results

We chose three core principles for our Kickstarter strategy. The hacks and tactics we’ll share with you are cool, but these principles were the foundation of our campaign. Make sure you understand them before moving forward.

  1. Minimum Effective Dose. MED is the smallest input needed to produce a desired outcome. For example, if you want to boil water, the MED is 212 degrees Fahrenheit. Increasing the temperature above 212 degrees will not produce a better result, it will just waste resources. We wanted to focus on the 1-3 things that would allow us to raise $100,000 in 10 days, and eliminate everything else. MED is described in detail in The 4-Hour Body.
  2. Outsource and automate. These two steps allow you to get results by delegating tasks and setting up automated systems so you can focus your energy on more valuable projects. The #1 resource we found for outsourcing is Zirtual. Zirtual provides US-based virtual assistants (VAs) for as little as $399. Do not run a Kickstarter campaign (or your life) without VAs. They will save you countless hours of work. The 4-Hour Workweek is the best book on outsourcing and automating.
  3. Prep and pick up. Chef’s don’t prepare meals like you and me. They don’t start 15-60 minutes before dinner. Instead, they prep everything in advance (sometimes days before), so they can just heat the food and make it look nice when it’s time to eat. This concept was critical to our success. Our goal was to do 90% of the work in advance. For example, crafting emails 2-3 days early so we just needed to click “send” when we launched. We learned about prep and pick up in The 4-Hour Chef. It’s a game changer.

Step 2: Find the MED for Kickstarter traffic

If you want to raise a lot of money on Kickstarter, you need to drive a lot of traffic to your project. And you want that traffic to be comprised of prospective backers of your project. Applying the concept of MED, we knew we needed to discover and focus on the best traffic sources.

My friend, Clay Hebert, is a Kickstarter expert. One of the things he taught me is a simple trick using Bit.ly tracking. Bit.ly is a link shortening service used by millions of people…and Kickstarter. If you add a + to the end of any bit.ly URL, you can see stats about that link. For example: here are stats for the shortlink Kickstarter generated for our campaign http://kck.st/VjAFva+.

Click here for full size image

Bitly 1

Click here for full size image

Bitly

To discover the top referral sources, we gave our VA a list of Kickstarter projects similar to ours and asked her to list the referrers for each project. Almost without fail, the order of top referrers was:

  1. Facebook
  2. Direct traffic (primarily via email)
  3. Twitter
  4. Kickstarter
  5. Blogs

Based on this data, we decided to focus all of our attention on just two goals:

  1. Getting coverage on the right blogs
  2. Activating our networks to create buzz on Facebook, Twitter, and email

We knew that if we did this, we would be listed on Kickstarter’s “popular projects” sections, which is how you get people who are browsing Kickstarter to check out and back your project.

Step 3: Use the 80/20 rule to focus on the best media targets

At Soma, we were fortunate to get a ton of press in just 10 days (Forbes, Fast Company, Inc., Mashable, Cool Hunting, Business Insider, GOOD, Salon, Gear Patrol, Thrillist, The Huffington Post, and many more). We made mistakes and learned a lot. This section offers our best advice on how to get the MED of press and succeed on Kickstarter.

The 80/20 rule teaches us that 20% of stories will yield 80% of your press results. This was absolutely the case for us. One week into our Kickstarter campaign, we reviewed our press coverage. Surprisingly, the post that earned us the most money was on a site most people have never heard of: www.good.is, the online property of GOOD magazine.

We stopped and asked ourselves, “Why did good.is outperform bigger and more well-known media outlets?” We discovered that good.is was in some cases 10x more valuable than other press because the audience is relevant, the readership is substantial (400,000+ unique monthly visitors), we got an introduction to a writer at GOOD, and we reached prospective backers through GOOD’s daily email and its Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Therefore, when making your media list, these are the four things to look for:

  1. Relevance – will their readers LOVE your project?
  2. Readership – how much traffic does their site get? [TIM: For a quick idea, I use the SEO for Chrome extension]
  3. Relationships – do you know at least one person who can make a strong introduction?
  4. Reach – will the blog reach prospective backers by promoting your post via email newsletter, RSS feed, Facebook, Twitter, and other channels? [TIM: This is the most neglected checkbox. Blogs that expect you to drive all traffic to their posts are a waste of time. Remember: big site-wide traffic does not mean each post gets much (or any) traffic.]

What follows is a 5-step process for making the world’s greatest media list. Your VA will do 90% of the work. We’ve included email templates you can use to delegate these projects to your VA.

[12/06/18 Ed. Note: Templates are currently unavailable. We have reached out to the author for new links.]

I. Find relevant bloggers using Google Images

Start by looking at who covered Kickstarter projects similar to yours. You can do this by using a simple Google Images hack. If you drag and drop any image file into the search bar at images.google.com, you’ll be shown every website that has ever posted that image. Pretty cool, huh?

Click here for full size image. Below, the Porthole by Martin Kastner.

Google Image Search

Here’s the process your VA will use:

  1. Find 10 Kickstarter projects similar to yours, and for each, do the following.
  2. Right-click and save-to-desktop 2-3 images.
  3. Drag and drop each image file from your desktop into the Google Images search bar.
  4. Review blogs listed on the results page to see which might be relevant to your project.
  5. Fill out the following fields in the attached “Media List” spreadsheet: Publication, URL, first and last name of the writer, and links to relevant posts by that writer.

You now have dozens of blogs that have a high probability of relevance, all neatly organized in a spreadsheet. Your VA can find more sites like the ones in your media list by searching SimilarSites.com.

II. Research site traffic on Compete.com

Bigger is not always better. But it is helpful to know the size of each blog’s readership. Have your VA research how many unique monthly visitors each blog has and add that data to your media list.

III. Identify relationships on Facebook

This may be the most important part of your PR efforts. For us, eight out of ten valuable blog posts resulted from relationships. Either we knew the blogger or got an introduction. When we pitched a blogger without a relationship, less than 1% even responded. With introductions, our success rate was over 50%.

How do you identify relationships? Facebook. Have your VA log in to your Facebook account, search for bloggers in your media list, and add mutual friends to your spreadsheet. You can also search on professional networks like BranchOut or LinkedIn.

IV. Discover each blog’s reach on email, social media, and RSS

After witnessing the value of good.is featuring Soma in their email newletter, we completely changed the way we thought about press coverage. A blog post is just the beginning. Once you get covered, you need distribution. You need to reach your prospective backers through email, RSS feeds, and social media.

To estimate a blog’s reach, have your VA research how many followers it has on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and RSS. Once you make your short list of media targets (see below), you should also sign up for each blog’s email newsletter.

You won’t really know what your reach will be until you’ve landed each story and received a commitment by each blog to promote your posts. But don’t worry, we’ll help you get both below. So keep reading.

V. Review your media list and turn it into a dossier fit for a Seal Team 6 secret mission

Ok. So now you have a really strong media list…and all you had to do is send four emails, which we wrote for you. Not bad. Now it’s time for you to double check your VA’s work and create your blogger shortlist.

  1. Open your media list spreadsheet and look at the mutual friends you share with each blogger. Delete the people you do not know well enough to ask for an introduction. Email the people who remain and say, “Hey ____, I saw you’re friends with [name of blogger] on Facebook. Do you know him well enough to make an intro next month? I think our Kickstarter project could be a good fit for [name of blog]. Thanks!” Based on the answers you get, rate how strong your relationship is for each blog (1 = strong, 3 = weak). If your VA didn’t find any mutual connections, tweet or post on Facebook: “Please message me if you know anyone at [name of blog]. I have a great story I’d like to share with them. Thanks!” I did this twice and immediately got introductions.
  2. Spend some time on each blog and judge for yourself how relevant it is. Rate relevance in the spreadsheet (1 = extremely relevant, 3 = not relevant).
  3. For each blog, research the writers your VA found. Based on their past posts, are they really the best bloggers to cover you? Is there anyone at the blog who is a better fit?
  4. Now, sort your spreadsheet by relevance, relationships, and readership (in that order) to prioritize your outreach. Have your VA find email addresses for the top ten bloggers in your spreadsheet. At this point, you should only focus on ten bloggers.
  5. Using this template, have your VA make a one-page brief for each of the top 10 bloggers. Print these out and hang them on the wall like wanted posters or put them in a top secret dossier. Whether you fancy yourself a bounty hunter or the next James Bond, your mission is to find, befriend, and get covered by these bloggers so the dream you’re launching on Kickstarter can become a reality.

Step 4: Turn bloggers into buddies

The only thing better than pitching a blogger through a friendly introduction is becoming friends with the blogger yourself.

If there’s one thing we learned from our Kickstarter campaign, it’s that friends are incredibly generous. They will go to great lengths to help you succeed. Blogger friends are no exception. Some of our blog posts came from close friends who offered to help before we even asked. For example, this Fast Company article by Amber Rae that got over 6,000 Facebook likes and 4,000 tweets in just 10 days.

The key is to genuinely form friendships with bloggers. They get pitched every day by strangers who don’t care about them and only want publicity. Do the exact opposite. Really care about them. Figure out ways to be helpful. Hang out. Even if they don’t end up covering you, at least you’ll have a new friend.

Step 5: Get the story and make specific requests to maximize your reach

Once you connect with a blogger that is interested in covering your project, your job is to make it as easy as possible for them to write a story that is valuable to their readers and to you. The benefit of starting with a shortlist of just 10 bloggers is that you can really get to know their blog and writing style. Armed with this information, you can tailor your pitch to their needs. For example, after receiving an email introduction to a blogger at Gear Patrol, the ultra cool men’s digital magazine, I sent over this pitch (to someone not named John):

Hi John

It’s great to meet you. I’m a huge fan of Gear Patrol and wanted to pass on something new that could be a nice fit for your kitchen section. I’ve attached an image of the Soma glass carafe and our revolutionary water filter. Our Kickstarter page has a video and bullet points on why Soma is unique.

We think Soma could be a great story for Gear Patrol for these reasons:

Innovative gear – Soma is the world’s first compostable water filter: made of Malaysian coconut shells, vegan silk, and food-based plastic.

Sleek design – The Soma carafe is made of decanter-quality glass, in a world of plastic pitchers. The hour-glass shape is unprecedented in the industry.

Made for busy guys – Soma delivers your water filters right to your door so you never forget when to change it.

If you’re interested, please let me know how I can make the writing process easy for your team. I’m happy to send more hi-res photos. We launch Tuesday at 8am PST.

Thanks for taking the time to check us out,

Mike

The good thing about Kickstarter is that most of the information and assets bloggers need for a story can be found right on your Kickstarter page, including high resolution photos and the embed code for your video. We built a press page and wrote a press release. In retrospect, they may not have been worth it given the amount of time we spent on them. All you need is a DropBox folder with hi-res photos and 5-7 bullet points about your project that you can paste in an email. The key is to make sure you package everything in a way that’s convenient for bloggers.

[TIM: For more real-world successful pitches (e.g. Wired Magazine, Dr. Oz), see my post “From First TV to Dr. Oz – How to Get Local Media…Then National Media“]

Once you get the story, your work is far from over. Remember, you want to ensure each story reaches people who will back your project. So after a story is confirmed, make sure to ask the blogger the following questions, ideally in person or over the phone one week prior to launch.

  1. “We’re launching on Monday at 8am PST, can the story go live at that time?” If they say “no,” ask for the story to be published at another time on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday 8am-5pm PST, ideally in the morning. If they say, “I’ll try,” push for a confirmation of the date and time your story will go live. We missed out on a lot of valuable traffic because big blogs posted our story at night or on the weekend.
  2. “As a subscriber to your email newsletter, I always read the stories you curate and am sure others do, too. Can our story be featured in your newsletter?”
  3. “We’ve found that Facebook is the #1 source of traffic to Kickstarter. Can you post our story on your Facebook fan page the morning it goes live? Cool! And I’m assuming you’ll tweet it out, too, right? Awesome!”
  4. “I follow you on Pinterest and noticed you have like a gazillion followers. We pinned a new picture of our product. If I send you a link, would you mind repinning it?”

Once we realized how important timing and promotion were, we started making these requests. To be honest, initially I was nervous. I thought it would be more polite to not bother bloggers. But then I learned two important lessons. First, bloggers work hard to create content and they want it to be seen by as many people as possible. And second, bloggers won’t get annoyed by your requests if you’re polite, explain why timing and promotion are so important, and give them the time and help they need to work within the confines of a content calendar they may not control. The more you befriend bloggers and consider their fears and motivations, as well as your own, the better your results will be.

What I’ve just shared with you is a step-by-step approach to getting the most effective media coverage possible. I’ve worked with PR firms that charge $20,000 a month and spend three-months planning a launch. Follow our advice and there’s a good chance you’ll get better results without spending anything.

What I’m about to share, how to activate your network, is equally as important. In both cases you want to create what Tim calls “the surround sound effect.” Especially on the first few days of your launch, you want people to see your project everywhere – on blogs, Facebook, Twitter…everywhere. One tool that creates this surround sound effect is retargeting. For as little as $500, you can display banner ads on various sites to 10,000 people who have seen your project, but may not have backed it. I haven’t heard of many Kickstarter projects using retargeting, but it’s something worth investigating.

Step 6: Segment and activate your network

Someone recently asked us, “How did Soma raise $100,000 on Kickstarter in just nine days?” Our answer: friends. The secret to our success was leveraging our personal networks. Our friends introduced us to bloggers, were the first to back our project, and promoted Soma to their personal networks via email, social media, and word of mouth. Your friends are super heroes. Treat them as such.

The way to activate your network of friends is to give them a sense of ownership. Let them know they are part of the team. That way, they are working with you, rather than doing you favors.

Our Kickstarter launch team included three full-time teammates, two virtual assistants, one intern, and an army of friends. Our network of friends had a strong sense of ownership because we engaged them months before the Kickstarter launched. Here’s how.

  1. Ask for (and listen to) your friends’ advice. We asked for feedback on everything from our name to product design to pricing.
  2. Offer them “sneak peaks” that no one else gets. We showed our friends product renderings, pictures, and our Kickstarter video long before we released them to the public.
  3. Throw a launch party. Having a large group of people in one room, all excited about your project, creates a united energy you can’t create through emails, phone calls, or one-on-one meetings. Invite over 50 motivated and influential friends, show them your Kickstarter video and make a speech telling them why you need their help and exactly what you need them to do. The people who attended our launch party ended up being our first backers and our most passionate evangelists.

Segmenting friends to ensure appropriate messaging

I went through the tedious process of making segmented email lists for my personal network. Since this involved making decisions based on my personal relationships, it was impossible to outsource. It was annoying, but worth it. I exported all of my Gmail contacts, about 7,200 total, into an Excel spreadsheet. Then, I deleted 6,000 contacts I did not have a meaningful relationship with. The remaining 1,200 contacts were divided into three groups: influencers, in-the-know friends, and acquaintances.

  1. I identified my influencers using Klout, which measures online influence. Go to www.klout.com, connect with Facebook, select “friends” from the drop down menu in the upper right hand corner of the screen, then click on the “top klout score” tab half-way down the page on the right. This will show all of your Facebook friends, ranked by Klout score. Anyone with a Klout above 60 was put on my influencer list. Our goal for this group was for everyone to share Soma on Facebook and Twitter, right when we launched, to create the surround sound effect.
  2. My in-the-know friends were already aware of Soma. They knew about the Kickstarter campaign, and that we wanted them to back our project and spread the word. The people in this group, regardless of their Klout score or financial resources, were ready to hustle for us.
  3. Acquaintances were people I hadn’t spoken with in a while. They needed to be told what Soma is and why it’s important. This group was by far the largest, comprising at least 1,000 of the 1,200 people on my master list.

Each of these three groups received a different email when we launched, which you can see here. The acquaintances received a mass email sent via MailChimp. The influencers and in-the-know friends each received a personalized email, everyone was slightly different.

Personalized emails require much more time than one mass email, but we put in the extra hours to honor our friends and reinforce that they’re part of the team. One tool proved to be a huge time saver. TextExpander allows you to paste any saved message – whether it’s a phone number or a 2-page email – into any document or text field, simply by typing an abbreviation. For example, when I type “ppush”, a basic form of the email above appears with fields for me to fill in the name, in this case “Joe”. It’s a must have app that probably saved us 1-2 hours a day in typing.

One tool that we did not use, but should have, is Boomerang, a Gmail plug-in that allows you to schedule emails. We crafted emails to our influencers and in-the-know friends the day of our launch, using TextExpander, then slightly customized each one. What we should have done is write and save these personalized emails a few days before we launched. That way, we could have scheduled them to be automatically sent by Boomerang the second we launched. This would have freed up many valuable hours on launch day.

Step 7: Use landing pages to spark sharing

Social Sharing

You’ll notice in our email templates that we often send people to landing pages we built for our Kickstarter launch (rather than to our Kickstarter page directly). We realized that most Kickstarter creators do one of two things:

  1. They ask for too many things (“Back us! Tweet! Like us on Facebook! Email friends!), which often results in people doing nothing at all.
  2. They ask for just one thing, which people do, but miss out on other actions their friends might do if asked the right way.

We wanted to have our cake and eat it, too. So we asked our friends to click just one link, which of course, had 3 ways to help! Then, when they returned to their email, we had a subsequent ask, which was to forward the email to others.

Why it worked: Essentially we were asking them to do just one thing at a time, typically just to click something.

Throughout the campaign we built two more landing pages. Each were meant to maximize sharing on social media, primarily Facebook. We included videos so our friends were incentivized to visit the landing page and got value. These videos were recorded on an iPhone. They were free to make and only took about an hour to shoot, edit, and upload. Highly recommended.

Landing Pages2

The emails and landing pages were sent out on days 1, 2 and 9, usually at 8am. We’ve left them up so you can check them out: Day 1, Day 2, Day 9. You can see the emails and Kickstarter updates here.

These landing pages were critical when it came to creating the surround sound effect. We know because every time we launched one, we got flooded with texts and emails saying, “Dude! I’m seeing you guys everywhere. Congrats!” When you get a lot of people sharing the same link on Facebook, it’s displayed to more people, who share it with even more people, and you get this virtuous viral burst that keeps growing.

You can make your own custom landing pages by using our opensource code.

Final thoughts

If you look at our advice, it essentially boils down to empowering people and making it easy for them to contribute to a worthy cause. Always try to empathize with other people. And take the time to say, “Thank you.” It goes a long way.

The best story we heard about using Kickstarter to derisk a business was by the founders of Hidden Radio, which raised $938,000 on Kickstarter. Inspired by The 4-Hour Workweek, they wanted to test out ideas as much as possible. So before building a prototype, they submitted product renderings to a few design blogs. The response was positive, but they didn’t rush into manufacturing. Instead, they tested their idea again as a Kickstarter project, knowing it forces people to put their money where their mouth is. 5,300 people backed their project, which provided proof of concept, capital, and a big group of customers willing to provide free market research. To us, this is a great example of hacking Kickstarter. It’s about a mindset, not just tricks and technology.

Although we stopped marketing our Kickstarter on day 9 of the campaigin, our page is still up and you can reserve a Soma until January 11, 2013. If you’re fast, you may also get a private, 7-course dinner with Tim Ferriss, which is the last reward listed on our Kickstarter page.

Tools

Zirtual – US-based virtual assistants. ($399 and up)

TextExpander – Paste frequently used text and pictures into documents, emails, and text fields by simply typing an abbreviation. ($34.95)

Boomerang – A Gmail plug in that allows you to schedule emails. You can also receive reminders to follow up on an email you sent if the other person does not reply. (Free)

MailChimp – A service to design and send mass emails. (Free if you have less than 2,000 subscribers and send less than 12,000 emails per month)

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing – This book provides critical insights on how best to position your product amongst the competition. ($11)

Brainfluence: 100 Ways to Persuade and Convince Consumers with Neuromarketing – A must read for anyone doing any form of marketing. The sections on pricing and copywriting will be incredibly helpful as you craft your emails, video script, and Kickstarter page. ($17)

Custom Kickstarter dashboard – We built this Chrome extension to manage our Kickstarter campaign. You can see your Kickstarter, Facebook and bit.ly metrics, as well as tweets and press. All updated in real time. You can even see Klout scores of people tweeting about you and reply right from the dashboard. (Free)

Click here for full size image

Kickstarter Dashboard

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 500 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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544 Replies to “Hacking Kickstarter: How to Raise $100,000 in 10 Days (Includes Successful Templates, E-mails, etc.)”

  1. Thanks for sharing the superb information! Wish I had found this BEFORE I launched in March. Will be going back next month a helluva lot wiser, and better prepared.

    Now, why the hell are you holding a hurley in the topmost picture?

  2. Awesome tips. This continues to be a great resources for creators. As another tool – our unofficial KickstarterForum.org site recently turned 1 and has been a great resource for creators looking to get feedback on their campaigns.

  3. Great Info. I’m 1/3 into a Kickstarter Campaign. Not on Facebook, like many of the campaigners, but I haven’t raised one cent. I’ve tried changing the project image and even offering the image for free to the first bidder. No takers. I just want to get this project out there as it has a positive message about the rewards of perseverance. [Moderator: Link Removed]

  4. This stuff really works. We followed this plan exactly and we’re up on $77K in 7 days on IndieGogo. [Moderator: Campaign reference removed.] Cheers.

  5. This is a fantastic post. Thanks for sharing in such detail. There is one thing that really stands out to about all of this…your product.

    Too many companies think if they follow the process outlined above to the letter (and even if they are truly as good about it as you were), that that guarantees them success. It doesn’t. In fact, most people that attempt to emulate this will probably only see a fraction of your success for any number of reasons.

    A big one is the product. If you’re product was average this wouldn’t have worked. So please, before everyone starts doing this or enlisting a marketer to follow this process, understand that if your actual VALUE isn’t that great, you won’t succeed. See the signs early and close up shop if it doesn’t work.

    1. They’re selling a container for water . . . what are you talking about. The crux here was the perceived value of the product. There are already products like this. You can sell or get just about anything funded as long as you sell it right . . .

      1. “world’s first compostable water filter” Sounds different to me. Not to mention, just because the product isn’t REVOLUTIONARY doesn’t mean it isn’t excellent. MacBooks aren’t revolutionary (it’s a computer..), but the design, OS, etc. make them very attractive to some (large) portion of people.

        Marketing can cover a lot of BS, but it’s covering less and less IMO.

  6. Just wanted to say thank you for such a detailed and useful article! The google docs templates are exactly what our campaign needed. We launch in September and now we’re pushing for the $100K in 10 days. Cheers!

  7. Helpful information. Lucky me I discovered your web

    site by accident, and I’m surprised why this coincidence did nnot happened earlier!

    I bookmarked it.

  8. Thank you so much for sharing !! I recently funded 105% of my goal thanks to your tips. Greetings from Santiago · Chile. [Moderator: link removed]

  9. I used this post to raise almost $60,000 for my farm’s Kickstarter. I’ve sent it to countless friends considering the process, and I still think it’s the top post online for Kickstarter success. [Moderator: Link Removed]

  10. In the email pitch template you are using a link to kickstarter page before kickstarter launch date (‘Our KICKSTARTER PAGE has a video and bullet points why Soma is unique’).

    However, I am pretty sure that the final link is generated only after you launch the campaign. Am I right? I want to start informing journalists about the kickstarter 2 weeks before the launch and give them access to the kickstarter link so that they can share it on the launch day, but It seems that it is impossible. I am missing anything here? Any tips or suggestions would be appreciated.

    Cheers,

    Pav

    1. Hey – i’ve had this question too. Apparently, you can use the “preview” page as your link and when the kickstarter launches, the preview will forward to your actual kickstarter page where people can support you.

      Lauren

  11. This article is seriously a GOLD MINE!!!!!!!! Everyone should share this with anyone who is starting their kick starter!! THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing this! Its knowing that there is unlimited abundance in the universe that we can all succeed and that helping each other get there is the human thing to do! Gracias!

  12. Invaluable information Tim! Following this to the T right now and have raised $5000 in the last 4 days.

    The custom landing/squeeze page with the 3 buttons has been a fantastic way to get people to share.

    We also put a retargeting pixel on the landing page (using http://www.adroll.com) to re-market these people later in the campaign across facebook.

    Thanks for the great post!

    –Chase

    Tribe Wallet Co.

    [Moderator: links removed]

  13. Great resource, thanks so much! I was just wondering what happened to the custom kickstarter dashboard(Kickstarter Status Board) Google chrome extension? Is it named something else now or has it been deleted? This would be really helpful for my upcoming campaign. Thanks!

  14. Tim – Your guide help me raise over 20K in two weeks (still 24 days to go!)

    This post has been the most valuable resource during my Kickstarter: http://kck.st/1tnGknE

    Love using the squeeze page (they helped us get over a 1K shares very quickly) and the bit.ly tracking.

    Best,

    –Chase

  15. Tim – I’ve used a lot of your techniques in my very first Kickstarter campaign which I launched yesterday. Thanks for all the awesome resources you put out there. I know you wrote this in 2012, but a bunch of it still applies…

    Also, I think I remember you writing somewhere about the Buckwheat pillow – my Kickstarter is for my company which sells memory foam pillows. I’d love to send you one or get your opinion on ours – it’s a whole new take on memory foam pillows.

    Thanks!!

  16. Hi Tim,

    Even though your article has aged a bit, many of your tips and tricks definitely still apply.

    We have created REST, The World’s most compact foldable chair, and launched our first campaign 2 days ago, and by using a lot of your recommendations we have reached 35% in less than 3 days – That is crazy 🙂

    Simply want to say thank you!

    [Moderator: link removed]

  17. Awesome article. I have a question: In the email that was sent to “John” in Gear Patrol you gave a link to your Kickstarter page before you went live, but as far as I know, the only way to do this is by creating a “preview page” and then sending a link for that. Is this what you did here? Or if anyone else knows how Soma did this. Thanks! 🙂

  18. Can’t believe it, the 4hww is on my desk next to my computer and it didn’t come to mind to do such a thing. I think i’ll use the information i’ve received from here for a different purpose, if I just modify it slightly it should work wonderfully. As always, thanks for the great post and keep up the good work Tim.

  19. Hi Mike,

    Mind glowingly useful post. My ambitious short film kickstarter campaign doesn’t launch until early January.

    I had one quick question – for someone who doesn’t know coding, is there a simple was to make custom landing pages with the sort of sophistication yours had?

    Many thanks for this and all the best with your future project/s!

    Mark

  20. Wow, even 2 years later I still find this info very helpful. Thank you for posting, and thank you for leaving it up!

    I was excited to check out the Kickstarter Dashboard created by Zach, but it seems it has been removed from the chrome store. Is there any way I can still access it?

  21. I have a tip for you. I started alerting the press as I finished putting together my video, writeup, rewards, etc. I had a few inquiries back and was ready to go. Then I realized that Kickstarter wants to give the project one last approval. That process took 5 days and although during the 5 days the project pitch was improved with their help, I lost a bit of momentum with my press contacts. People of the press do not like to wait. So, my advice is to wait until you “can” launch the project before getting everyone excited. [Moderator: link removed]

  22. (Awesome points for you for sharing all this!!!) I have a question about the scheduling of your media outreach plan. I don’t see the info here. Basically when did you reach out to particular media. More specifically:

    1)Did you reach out to blogs before the campaign started, after, or both/multiple times? And did you ask them to blog about you before during or both?

    2)Did you get covered by main stream media before or during your campaign? Did you solicit that coverage with a press release and if so did you do solicit it before or after your kickstart launched? Was getting blogged about a major factor in getting coverage by main stream media?

    Thanks,

    Jesse

  23. Hey There. I found your weblog the use of msn. This is a

    really neatly written article. I’ll make sure to bookmark it and come back to learn extra of your helpful information.

    Thank you for the post. I will definitely comeback.

  24. Has Zirtual’s price just gone up since this post? It does not appear to me that the price range for Zirtual is accurate? Looks like the lowest price is $399 a month and that is for only 16 hours from the ZA.

    1. Their price has gone up, but it’s not surprising since this post is over two years old. I spoke with Zirtual and they seem very professional, but I’m not sure if that warrants the high hourly rate. I’m going to look at some other more affordable options first.

  25. Thank you for all of this valuable information! Some of this really helped me a lot particularly in the email and other letter templates and on finding the bloggers in the right place. You rock! 🙂 I have my kickstarter live at the moment for another 19 days and your marketing tips helped so much, as well as the launch party (in the form of a facebook event) worked really well 🙂 and I have managed to get backers from friends and their friends and I messaged past project creators I had backed and let them know about my project and many of them backed mine.

  26. This post is now 3 years old, but I’m hoping somebody can help me out – Klout no longer allows you to see your friend’s scores, is there another way to quantify the influence of your social media network online?

  27. I read the whole article and I am still lost. I came here from Google while looking for help on Kickstarter campaigns and I think even after reading through I still feel retarded stupid when it comes to Kickstarter.

    Is anyone here happened to be interested in helping launch a Kickstarter campaigns and in return, get a cut? It’s to raise funds to make the game with animations, right now my game is just mainly text and old school.

    [Moderator: link removed]

    So basically with the funds, we can create the animations on the match engine (eg. free kicks, goals, corners, saves, etc.) If anyone is interested, contact me please.

  28. Tardy to the party, but trying to see if your kickstarter status board is still available? I am unable to locate it and the links in the article come up invalid?! Thanks in advance for your anticipated courtesy and considerate reply.

  29. Mike,

    Thank you so much for your generosity in sharing this amazing helpful post with clear steps for executing a successful Kickstarter campaign. Do you have any tips regarding your video? I’d appreciate any information you’d be willing to share, but also have a few specific questions:

    1) I’ve read a number of articles that recommend shooting a professional video. Do you agree with this or would an i-phone or digital camcorder edited using iMovie or a free trial of Final Cut Pro suffice?

    2) Do you have a ballpark estimate of what a reasonable budget would be for a professionally recorded and edited Kickstarter video?

    3) Do you have any tips or tricks for keeping down costs associated with the video?

    Again, this post is so helpful. Thank you again.

    Best,

    Jonno BD

  30. Hi Mike,

    You are super awesome. Thank you for sharing such an incredible information. I am about to launch a campaign myself, and looking at your message was really inspiring. All the best to your success Mike.

    Cheers

  31. It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d most certainly donate to this outstanding blog!

    I guess for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.

    I look forward to fresh updates and will talk about this site

    with my Facebook group. Chat soon!

  32. Hi, I read through this article to prepare for a Kickstarter campaign. But I felt that a lot of things made me curious(and rewarded when I did) to explore the site. Good job on practicing what you preach. Keep up the good work!

  33. Dear Mike,

    Really well done article! I am about to launch a Kickstarter to support a line of baby board books that use original non-commercial art and a parenting guide that coaches parents to interact with their infants to improve language acquisition and cognitive ability etc. For each book we sell we are going to donate one along with the parenting advice to community-based organizations that support underserved mothers. The goal is to address the growing literacy gap between the “haves and the have nots.” By the time children, who have not been read to on a regular basis, reach kindergarten they have a 30 million word deficit.

    Anyway, how much time should one spend on testing a product – by sharing it with bloggers? A month or two?

  34. (Kickstarter Dashboard) Guys I’ve benefited hugely from this guide and supporting docs. So cool of you to share. You have earned a loyal supporter . Wondering where the Kickstarter Dashboard it!? The link to it doesn’t work? I’m a month out from project launch and for obvious reasons it would be amazing to have it. Thanks!

  35. As always, a terrific posting.

    Question – Suppose I have a product in mind (a “dingbat”) based on the precise material (apparently a plastic) that I have seen in another product (e.g., plastic football) that is on the market and which is in no way related to my new dingbat. How would I find the manufacturer of that exact plastic material (which would require minimal changes in pattern, shape, and size for my product)?

    Wouldn’t the prudent maker of a plastic football refuse to disclose the source of the plastic they use? I have already tried internet search, but no luck so far. Any ideas?

    Thanks so much.

  36. How did you extract 7500 emails? I am trying to extract all emails in my gmail account using various google scripts provided online, however they don’t work well.

  37. The level of expertise in this article is stunning…As a session musician/songwriter I was a part of the cutting edge of the Internet and electronics dawning. Having said that, I was almost totaling lost reading this through for the 2nd time. Not your fault, of course—but I wish my own perception could have decoded everything. I’m former sax with Beach Boys, Aretha, etc.

    I would love to do a ‘Kickstarter’ project but am hard-pressed to put even day-one together.

    I really appreciate the knowledge you have shared with us.

    John Renner

    [Moderator: email address removed]

  38. I’m gearing up to launch a Kickstarter campaign for a music product I invented. My main dilemma is enough capitol to even start a successful campaign. I’m operating on a shoestring…essentially a few 100 dollars. That’s why I need the funding. How do I make a quality video, enlist some of the $399+ resources mentioned and run a successful campaign? Has Kickstarter become a professional marketing ploy as opposed to real grass roots funding? Is it possible to run a successful campaign with only a few hundred dollars for resources? P.S. I do have some video/editing know how and some marketing experience so I’m operating on an extreme lack of cash as opposed to ability.

    Thanks for any suggestions and input!

    Gary

  39. Awesome!! Here’s how I’m segmenting my list based on your advice:

    Inferno (people with a large influence who are interested to help)

    Embers (people who don’t have a lot of influence but are super stoked)

    Sparks (people who vaguely know what I do and will get stoked)

    Tinder (people who are in my network)

  40. Hi! This is a great article, very helpful! We are trying to use it for our kickstarter campaign. Can you explain how to read the info from SEO? Also, it seems that Kloute only gives info on people who are members on Klute. So many of my FB friends are not possible to analyze in terms of their Klute score. Would you be able to advise on that? Thanks!

  41. Hi – I read this thing like 20 times before launching our campaign for EZSTAX. We have a design kickstarter that helps people organize their closets, offices and more with a series locking dividers that helps people stack, sort, and select and item from the middle.

    We’re 40% funded after a day using quite a few of the organizational tactics listed above. Thanks very much Tim! We’re now trying to find ways to keep the momentum going. I wish the kickstarter dashboard was still available as it looks like a great way to keep on top of things.

  42. Hi Tim / Mike,

    Quick question:

    Do you advice to do crowdfunding via a platform or own website?

    As you will do most of the marketing yourself you can ofcourse have preselling

    and stuff on your own website.

    Im wondering how much more traffic/interested people a kickstarter & co will bring in

    for the 10% fee in the end.

    While building a site you can keep for years can cost the same and you can presell

    there without any fee.

    What is your take on this?

    1. Hi Dennis!

      I can speak from current experience on this. We are at about day 8 of a 45 day campaign on Kickstarter and we’re at about $21k for funding. That’s 210% of our 10k goal and we’re very happy so far. The project is called EZSTAX if you want to check it out.

      Kickstarter has it’s own community of backers that are always looking for the new thing. A lot of them are “early adopter” types and that’s exactly what you need to get a new project off the ground. I thoroughly read this post multiple times and used quite a few of the pointers to set up our media strategy before we launched but the truth is we emailed probably 200 bloggers and magazines and we’ve only had one blogger in the organization space agree to write about us. We’re supposed to be on Israeli TV this weekend, but that’s just because the host of a show there found us on their own, not from our promotion.

      I would suggest first of all that you focus on making a great product, second on making a great presentation that people want to share (not just slick and nice, but something that people want to talk about), and thirdly on how to promote it to specific media sources that cover exactly what you do. We’re still hopeful that if we can get some of the bigger media sources like Mashable or Huffington Post to cover us but I think the big waves come by making a few ripples first.

      To answer your question very directly, we think Kickstarter has been worth the 10% that we’ll pay because their traffic has brought us an audience of just the right kind of people for our project that would have been hard to connect with otherwise.

  43. This is a super amazing article and so incredibly useful, I’m following each and every step in preparation for the Kickstarter campaign. However, I am getting super frustrated at the reporter outreach part! I have 5000 friends on Facebook and I literally have no close contacts with any of the reporters I am trying to reach out to. My friends list sucks?

  44. My hubby sent me this article, and I found it to be very informative. I have a few problems, though, I could use advice on.

    1. I already have my funding site up. Can I still turn it around to be successful, or do I need to launch a new campaign?

    2. I have no money at all for things like Zirtual. How do I do all the things you say turn over to your VA? It’s just me, myself and I…with a little help from my hubby.

    3. How do I create the messages used on the landing page for sharing? You know, when a person clicks on the Facebook icon, there’s specific wording you want them to share. How do I create that so it says what I want?

    Ok, so I guess that’s a good start of all the questions I have for now. BTW, my project is a café, so it’s not like people get an item or can pre-order product for the funding. Any ideas on how to tweak the campaign for such a project?

    Thanks for all the help you’ve already provided.

  45. OK Tim, I’m going to use this method to see if I can launch a TV show for my client. If you have any more advice, thanks! I’ll try to document everything too. Wish me luck! 😀

  46. Planning my indiegogo campaign for an upcoming webcast series now, so your timing is perfect! Very excited to hack and shorten its duration. Speaking of, I don’t see the duration of planning even with the hacks. Prep being 95% of any project, would you be willing to share how many days/months it took to prep using these hacktics? Thanks for all you’ve shared!

  47. Crowdfunded among insiders last year to raise $47,000 development for a webcast series concept. Now ready to leverage Indiegogo for production. With planning being 95% of anything well-executed, can you share how many days/months it took to prepare for the 10 days of live crowdfunding? Thanks SO much for sharing your hacktics!

  48. YOUR ARE BRILLIANT.

    YOUR MIND IS BEAUTIFUL.

    Your systems are helpful and often essential. A few I have been practicing for as long as you have been alive 🙂

    Two years ago, I lost my mother, who was also my best friend and my only family member. After this life altering experience I decided to completely transform my life.

    I am a woman. I am single. I have always paid my bills on time and ALWAYS worked for ‘the man’. I have worked full time since I was 15. I put myself through 6 years of college. I am an artist and have a day job that is completely unrelated to anything connected to my core being. I want to quit my day FOREVER.

    I decided to get a website, start a blog, create a t-shirt brand with my ‘text’ art, expose my plans for the ultimate alternative, mobile housing unit, and branch out into a lifestyle magazine and video-log. I want to help other ‘singles’ (a term I WON’T use, as it often refers to dating and hook-ups). Profits from my endeavors will assist orphan children and the elderly. Those who are totally alone on this planet.

    In my past I was ambivalent about money, distrusting of business, offended by commerce, advertising and marketing, and I stopped watching the news in 1984 lol. It’s true.

    I really, really, wish that someone (I won’t mention any names) would make the ultimate guide for dummies. Your knowledge and shared information with partnered associates is absolutely phenomenal and I have read just about everything you have written (4-hour Chef should be delivered at my doorstep in about a week via Amazon), but as I have NO business background AT ALL and did not grow up in post .com Silicon Valley, I often feel overwhelmed by all the information of ‘How To’s’.

    *If you’re still reading this, I will continue.

    In the last year I have procured a seller’s permit, EIN, RN from the FTC, got a trademarked company name and logo, a business phone and email, got free Square Register for my phone, a website, begun writing my blog and have a year’s worth of content ready to go (un-launched), I have a business bank account, a pay-pal account, Evernotes, Mailchimp, Basecamp, I’ve already hired and used two designers, practiced using Instagram and Pinterest, made business cards, selected packaging and all the product needed to produce my t-shirts including the printers. All on a self-funded, living from check-to-check financial status. All by myself 🙂

    BUT

    There is still marketing, PR, RSS feeds, SEO, e-commerce, tracking, VAs, Crowdfunding, launching, etc., etc., etc.,

    I could really use some direction on WHAT TO DO FIRST, WHAT TO DO NEXT. Ugh! Help! Just a truly minimal, pithy, step-by-step, how-to would do wonders. If anyone can do it, YOU can!

    Keep up the great works.

    I adore you Mr. Ferriss, and thank you for your time.

  49. Thanks for the great info Tim! My kickstarter has 9 days left. The trouble I had was finding connections from my current friends to bloggers. I had to resort to cold-emailing bloggers. BTW, I used Zirtual and if you haven’t heard already, they shutdown and displaced all their contractors. Now I am out $499 http://read.bi/1L2XIdc

  50. Hi Tim & Mike,

    I want to thank you for this amazing articles, we are running a Kickstarter campaign right right now and the information in this article helped us so so much in many many ways!

    I also love how open and collaborative you are about all this info! It is very nice to see how we all win with collaborative platforms, thanks not only for the invaluable info on the article but also for putting all this info out to support even further the collaborative models!

    THANK YOU! (If we can ever help you in any way please let us know!

    Ez. K

  51. Well crap Tim – this is simply amazing man!

    Have you checked out Incredible Dream Machines by Greg Jacobs yet?

    Did a write up on my blog here – I’ve been learning A-LOT from it

    Jeff Lenney

  52. Wow I literally just learned more relevant information about marketing then my whole degree…..thanks for nothing Griffith university. Thanks Tim and Mike.

  53. Good day,

    I’m working towards becoming a career screenwriter, and was wondering if you had any thoughts as to how to get noticed. Further, do you feel these kickstarter techniques could be applied to funding a feature film?

    Thanks for all the content. (Your amazing Jamie Foxx podcast got me stuck in a Ferriss-spiral. With this newborn at my side, I’ve been taking in your content for… lemme do the math here… 15 hours straight.)

    Thanks again.

  54. Mike – what an amazing journey! Although I am not planning on using Kickstarter I am certainly going to look at implementing some of the tools and suggestions you have for direct email marketing. Wishing you all the best with Soma – no doubt your product will be a great success!!

  55. People telling me that search engine optimisation is dead or search engine optimisation is dying, could they be right about SEO?

    p.s Don’t take advice from the Warrior Forums haha

  56. Tim, How do we thank you for taking the time to SPELL this out in such detail . So helpful. I know it is years later, but do you know why the Custom Kickstarter Dashboard isn’t available as a Chrome extension anymore?

  57. I have a campaign on kickstarted [Moderator: campaign name removed] a new social media app that link and store memories over your lifetime. Family oriented and a cleaner version of what you seen in today social media. I only have 17 days to go and i only have $131.00 i paid kickstart my ad to promote my project and turnkey pr also..im hoping i get fully funded before the expiration date

    Any suggestions please help me

  58. Fantastic article- loaded with resources. I am having trouble however finding the Media List template. Does this exist somewhere?

  59. Thank you for great sharing Tim! It’s a huge help to everyone running a Kickstater campaign. Moreover, I need anyone of you here can give me some advices how to reach targeted customers when I don’t have customer, friends,..database since I move from other country. I tried to reach some local marketing agencies but it seems mostly they do social media marketing, and it’s also not easy to find trustworthy agency to work with. Kindly appreciated!

  60. Amazing info! I am very glad I had the chance to look upon on a kickstarter campaign on the inside.

    I have one question though. Can we take a look at this link: somawater.co/press

    Since it is now down(after the page was reformed) and it is not visible.

    I am interested how exactly you structured the information for the press.(related with email template

    Hi,

    We just launched Soma! Check it out: bit.ly/somawater

    The good news is there is now a new product that is beautiful, great

    to use, and as good for your health as it is for the environment. Our

    vision is to reinvent how the world consumes beverages at home.

    The bad news is that I’ll be slow to respond to emails.

    If you want to write about Soma, you’ll find everything here:

    http://www.somawater.co/press

    Thanks,

    Mike

    )

    Thanks!

  61. Thanks for your great work, Tim! Since I first started reading your first edition of 4HWW back in 2007, I’ve always wanted to create my own muse project. After almost 10 years of rumination, I’ve taken the plunge! I started my very on Kickstarter, on HOW to study wine, from the perspective of a sommelier. [Moderator: link removed] Thanks for your inspiration!

  62. A lot of Information how to rise money but no one ask please how much do you need?,no one ask please tell as what do you need money to be rise ,what is your product line,please show us the product,do have web site.and more

  63. Fantastic information, very generous of you to share such a detailed and practical approach. Wishing you every success.

    Martin

  64. I really appreciate your effort to share your case study here with us. I believe that really good is to find out the competition and analyze competitors to beat them out.

    This also helps to rank higher and gain more sales.

  65. Hi Mike thank you for this awesome blog! I found out that most successful entrepreneurs are very generous to share their tips, you prove to be one of them! One question: you said that we do need to prepare before actually posting our project on Kickstarters, how long would you advise and did you keep a retroplanning of all actions, and could you share it?

    Second question: any differences betweek kickstarter and indiegogo? Can you explain your choice (as i think kickstarter doesn’t allow you to get the funds if you dont reach your target, whereas indiegogo does. I’d love to add you in my likedin contacts and FB. Hélène Veal.

    1. It depends on your goals and the resources you already got (from audience to videos, etc). If you start from scratch, don´t have the luxury of a large team or PR agency (and have ambitious goals), you should plan at least 2-3 months.

  66. Thanksalot for sharing these valuable tools. I have bookmarked your page so that I can share the link with those we are targeting for our indiegogo campaign. Peace and continued prosperity to you.

  67. Having been through this journey, I want to add some points I consider crucial for anyone considering crowdfunding. Some of these are more related to equity crowdfunding, however they relate to all kinds of crowdfunding. A campaign without the proper preparation will almost certainly fail. Never assume that a great product alone will be sufficient to reach your goals.

    – The first day(s) of a campaign is in most cases crucial for it´s success. So make sure the first day is a success. This is a matter of social proof, many potential backers will look at how many others have invested so far and get a feeling of safety when many others have invested. “If nobody has invested yet, there must be something wrong, right?” So it actually does matter when your network invests – in most cases you won´t be able to correct this mistake later on. Do this by activating your network, time PR efforts well and provide special limited rewards for the first backers only.

    – Prepare Updates in advance. These updates must either be exciting (like new features) or show progress. If, for example, you signed a deal a few days before the campaign starts, provide this information in an update at day three, etc. People need to see progress. That gives them a feeling of safety that you will actually be able to produce / ship the product. There are a lot of examples of companies that promised great products but never delivered on these promises and people lost their money. You always want to give people a feeling of safety.

    – Don´t think crowdfunding is purely transactional. It is social collaboration. Really successful campaigns create a tribe. Backers develop a feeling of ownership, of being part of a group (“I´m part of this, we make this incredible gadget/film/whatever possible”). E.g. SpeedX Leopard, they managed to motivate their audience in a way that this audience created a Facebook group on their own. If you manage to create such an audience, there are no limits.

    – Get in touch with the platform, Kickstarter for example provides kind of a “featured” list. If you manage to get listed, your chances to (over)achieve your goals increase A LOT.

    – Look at the most successful campaigns that relate to your product and / or target audience. You can learn more from them than you would ever expect. Since we conducted the crowdfunding I got A LOT of inquiries of entrepreneurs – and I try to answer all of them.

    Obviously there is much more to a successful campaign, however I hope these points are helpful to some of you!

    Best

    Martin (Co-Founder FREYGEIST lightweight e-Bikes)

  68. Thank you Mike and Tim, I am a game designer with huge ambitions and few if any connections. I am going to apply as many of the techniques you revealed. I believe being prepared is the best course of action and truly appreciate the advise;

  69. This article is very helpful, thanks for sharing your best tips and experience!

    Actually I am developing an ecological material that involves biotechnology, if we want to patent this invention, is there any way to make a Kickstarter before obtaining the title of our patent? Just for intellectual property.

  70. Hi there and thank you for this article.As mentioned the guest posts as part of the tactics-I also use it from time to time for backlinking from good quality sites with high PA and DA.For now my favorite sites for guest posts are Blogger (www.blogger.com) and Customerso (www.customerso.com/blogs).The advantage is you don’t have to pray to someone to invite you.

  71. Great article Tim. I think it’s a bit outdated as there are so many new sources of traffic since this was posted (Instagram, Pinterest, etc.) A good reference nonetheless