What is Kickstarter?
With all the ups and downs that may have come our since early 2020, finding multiple alternatives to traditional income sources is more important than ever. Whilst we talk elsewhere on this site about ongoing support sites, such as Patreon and OnlyFans, for some big ideas, you need a solid foundation of support but just for that one project. That’s where Kickstarter comes into it’s own.
The idea of this is that popular projects get off the ground, without depleting the pockets of backers by having to fund only partly successful campaigns. If a creator says they need £10,000 to make a project happen, there would be little point sending them only half the money.
Who is it suitable for?
Projects on Kickstarter range from small scale projects by individuals, such as wanting to get an album of photographs published, through to slick high end projects that have enlisted the help of a marketing team. Many successful projects can achieve several times their desired target, and in fact Kickstarter can act like a shop at times, promising ‘pay us now, and when we’re ready we’ll send you a copy of the project’. You’ll find successfully funded comic books, board games, crazy gadgets, musical compositions and much more.
An example of a successfully funded project
For example, the picture below is from an ongoing board game project Stellaris Infinite Legacy. They have a target of £35,000, which you can see they have now exceeded. This means that the creator believes this is the amount of money needed to finish development, test and then get an agreed quantity printed. Obviously economy of scale means the more that are printed, the cheaper it works out per game for the projects team.
A look at their first pledge with rewards shows that for £79 you will get a copy of the board game, when it is ready. A quick bit of back of the envelope mathematics shows that to successfully fund the project they need 443 backers. At the time of writing this article, they have already blasted past that and have approximately 20,700 backers. This is important to note, because some projects might not have the capacity to do many more than planned in the timescale promised.
When successful projects are completed, the creator will have a specific project, often a physical thing, that most of the backers will have paid for. This then gets shipped to the backers and the project is finished. Many successful Kickstarter creators return with another project.
Just a word of warning, sometimes projects get funded but fail to deliver their promises. This can often be a simple genuine inability to complete the project, perhaps the idea was too grand or turned out not to work. Scammers operate on the site from time to time, getting funding for projects that don’t even begin. Always vet the projects as much as you can to ensure you are not going to be ripped off. The qualities you look for in a project will be the same qualities you’ll want to project if you plan to launch a Kickstarter campaign. Be open and honest with your potential backers – use YouTube videos to show off existing prototypes, or discuss your ideas. This will help you gain the trust you need to begin successfully marketing your idea. Good luck!
If you’re ready to jump in and set up your first project, take a look at our step by step guide to setting up your Kickstarter.