Are you Kickstarter-curious? Have you thought about tapping into the crowd-funding movement to make your own creative project a reality? Do you even know where to start?
If your answers were Yes, Yes, and No, then this article is for you! I am going to draw from my own experience, to give future project creators a roadmap of how to start their own Kickstarter and where they can learn more. This experience has been gained from countless hours of studying successful crowd-funding campaigns, being active in the crowd-funding community online, running my own Kickstarter campaign for Goblins Drool, Fairies Rule!, and the work I have put into planning and preparing upcoming Kickstarter campaigns for my next games and art projects.
I plan on posting more articles like this in the future, sharing deeper insights and practical advice for crowd-funding creative projects. But for today, let’s stick to the basics: If you want to launch your own Kickstarter campaign, where do you get started? Below is a list of 5 steps that will get your project started. By following these steps, you will learn how to build and launch a project, learn what has and hasn’t worked for other creators in the past, and learn what your own project goals really should be. Below these 5 steps is a collection of online resources which have been invaluable for my own learning. I’m sharing them with you because you are all just so damn beautiful.
If you find these steps and resources useful, please let me know about it! You can reach me through email, or give me a shout-out on Twitter or Facebook. Enjoy!
1) Kickstarter’s Website
Everything you need to know on how to setup your account, create your project page, and run your campaign – is on Kickstarter.com. Read their FAQ and Creator Handbook… then do what they say.
2) Research Other Projects
Again, go to Kickstarter.com. Look at other projects, current and past, that are similar in some way to the project you are planning to create. Study them to find good ideas for structuring your own campaign. Back them (at the cheapest levels if you cannot afford much) to receive their Updates and see how other backers react to them through the comments.
3) Research YOUR Project
Your dream project is ready to show to the world? EXCELLENT! Now, how much will it cost you to actually finish it and fulfill your promises to backers? What’s the cost to replace all of that temp art with finished art? How much will it cost to manufacture, ship, warehouse, and deliver physical rewards? What do you need to charge for your game, and how many copies do you need to sell, to at least make back the money you spend? How much will it cost you to produce any extra rewards besides the game? Taking all this into consideration, how much money do you really need for your funding goal? You need to research the answers to all of these questions before you launch your project.
4) Build a Following
Talk about your game and what you are doing on Twitter, Facebook, game dev and design forums, to your friends and family, and to anyone else who will listen (without spamming.) Do this months before you actually launch your project, to build a community of followers who genuinely care about what you are doing and are ready to back you on day one.
5) Create Your Project and Launch
Steps 1 and 2 will give you the how, Step 3 will give you the what. This will probably take a few weeks of writing, creating and posting images, recording and editing the video, and then revising, revising, revising. Once you are ready to launch, you’ll be in for one hell of a ride if you’ve done your research and put in the work. Good luck!
Kickstarter Resources and Great Advice
Kickstarter Basics and FAQ
Learn the ropes from Kickstarter itself.
Kickstarter Creator Handbook
Your essential guide during project creation.
Stonemaier Games: Kickstarter Lessons
A very extensive and expanding series of great advice, drawn from the practical experience of a game company which has run several successful Kickstarter campaigns.
“Funding the Dream” Podcast with Richard Bliss
An informative and entertaining audio series featuring interviews with Kickstarter and IndieGoGo project creators.
Succeeding with Kickstarter – A List of Resources on BoardGameGeek
A list of helpful resources for Kickstarter creators. Tailored specifically for the board game industry, but applicable to other types of projects as well.
Game Design & Self-Publishing – A Resource For Game Designers
Tons of information for anyone looking to start a business designing and publishing games. Again, tailored specifically for the board game industry, but also useful advice for video game self-publishers, and just about anyone thinking of starting a small business.