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Kickstarter Marketing – Top Tips for a Successful Kickstarter Campaign

Leave it to creative people to devise a creative way to raise money for their projects.

Kickstarter has become a fundraising force for artists of all kinds: bands, singer/songwriters, indy film producers, community theater groups, food trucks or new product designers. And the potential is boundless.

We like the community-minded approach that underlies the crowd-funding platform; the idea simply extends integration of web content and social media into one of the toughest domains for emerging artists – access to money.

Projects large and small get to their next level through Kickstarter, which creatives types used to raise nearly $100 million in 2011. Nashville, not surprisingly, is well represented, with more than 60 active projects at the start of May. Most involve musicians, but potential contributors also have options in film, photography, dance and book publishing.

Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing deal. Projects set their own goals and get funded only if they meet their goals. Not all projects hit the target, but consensus is emerging on best practices for a successful campaign.

Our top five tips:

1. Make an Epic Video

By “epic” we don’t mean endless. Hire a pro or a very talented friend, kick around ideas and keep it under 2 minutes. Most businesspeople understand they must spend money to make money, and artists eyeing Kickstarter with any money at all should spend some here. Kickstarter provides its own pointers for making an awesome video.

2. Create Common-Sense Rewards

Don’t make complicated rewards systems but use a personal touch. Take Houston, Texas, artist Savannah Berry. When The Sheep designed Savannah’s new website, we gave her Kickstarter campaign prominent home-page real estate. She met her goal, raising $10,000 to release her first album, with rewards packages that included a $15 pre-sale of the CD itself and personal in-home concerts for $1,000 donors.

3. Reach Out to Backers and Bloggers

Write personal emails to keep contributors up-to-date and consider a special page with content just for them. Find bloggers – both industry and geographic – who can highlight your story. People love a good story….

4. Nail Down the Story

People love a good story, especially when it is about other people. Craft a narrative that shows passion, personality and potential. Use versions of the narrative in your video, Kickstarter written content and email pitches.

5. Devote Time to Fundraising

Post a project and backers will find it, right? Rarely. Set aside a set number of hours a day or week and make fundraising your job. Research similar projects and what made them succeed. Perfect your email and elevator pitches and use them.

Ultimately, Kickstarter is about building relationships as much as it is about raising money. Contributors want to be involved with helping make something unique, and in creating more intimate relationships, Kickstarter crushes traditional barriers between artists and patrons. The Sheep applaud this, for we love working with self-starters but aren’t too big on barriers of any kind.