Running an online business is not easy, but sometimes it’s even more difficult to launch it in the first place. Most business people don’t have enough resources to test their ideas or don’t want to risk losing their life savings.
In such circumstances, crowdfunding is the only option for the vast majority of young entrepreneurs. Instead of searching for a few well-off investors, they present their projects to the wider audiences hoping to attract many small-scale contributors.
Kickstarter is one of the most popular crowdfunding platforms where creators share and gather interest in a particular creative project they would like to launch. To date, the platform attracted almost $4 billion for over 150 thousand projects.
Kickstarter obviously has a huge crowdfunding potential, but don’t let it fool you. A lot of people still fail to capitalize on their business ideas because they don’t know how to promote projects on this platform. Our post will show you 7 common mistakes to avoid when you initiate a Kickstarter project.
Frequent Kickstarter Mistakes Explained
Crowdfunding is a creative method of investment generation, but it can function in a few different ways. Analysts usually recognize 4 models:
- Donation: The charity-focused model is fairly simple because backers (individuals who support a project) don’t get anything in return except for the notion of contributing to the greater cause.
- Equity: This type of crowdfunding backer invests money in order to take a small portion of shares.
- Debt: If you the bank loan is too expensive, debt crowdfunding allows you to find investors to support the project at a lower interest rate.
- Reward: Some investors require non-financial benefits in exchange for financial support. These could be studio visits, exclusive product samples, limited editions, or anything else backers could consider worth investing.
Kickstarter belongs to the last crowdfunding format, which means backers use it to support ideas they truly appreciate. However, you must pay attention to the frequently made mistakes. Let’s see 7 things that can ruin your business idea.
1 – Poor project description
A lot of people still believe that the idea alone is enough to inspire investors to engage. But if you want to convince enough backers to support your project, you need a quality project description.
The point is to explain your mission precisely and accurately, avoiding confusion and misinterpretations. Potential backers appreciate the honesty and transparency, so you must clearly define the purpose of the project. Make a step-by-step introduction to present your plans in the most convincing manner.
If you are struggling to craft a well-designed project description, you can hire a professional service such as Brillassignment.co.uk to help you out. That way, you don’t have to worry about the description quality, and you can focus on other important parts of the campaign.
2 – No marketing strategy
You can come up with the most creative proposal in Kickstarter history, but it can hardly earn you enough investments if you don’t promote the project. Therefore, it’s a big mistake not to prepare a comprehensive marketing strategy.
Our advice is to concentrate on the pre-launch period to boost the campaign immediately. Start from your own website by publishing introductory notes, blog posts, and video tutorials. You should also send email reminders to the existing subscribers to build anticipation and excitement, while social media can serve as the additional channel of promotion.
Once the project begins, you can invest most of the marketing budget in the first few days of the campaign (we will explain why in the next paragraph), but don’t push it too hard afterward. If the project is good, it will gradually deserve the substantial number of investors. But if it’s not that great after all, you don’t want to waste even more money on marketing activities.
3 – Raising the bar too high
According to the report, campaigns that can gain 30% of their goal within the first week are much more likely to succeed. That is exactly why we told you to reduce marketing investments after the first few days of the campaign.
Besides that, it is important to keep your goals realistic. Perhaps it sounds obvious, but we must say that projects aiming at $1 million have a much higher chance of failing than projects worth $100 thousand. Why is that so? Well, the truth is that big numbers usually chase investors away.
Instead of proposing one large-scale campaign, you can divide the big project into several smaller units to maximize their Kickstarter potential. Be clever and don’t let the idea slip through the fingers just because you don’t have the patience to scale the project strategically.
4 – Overpromising
We know you want to attract backers with the variety of product functions, but overpromising is one of the biggest crowdfunding mistakes. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
First of all, it doesn’t sound credible because investors don’t believe in developers who talk about all-encompassing solutions. They want to see reasonable entrepreneurs who solve issues one by one, offering realistic but highly practical products.
Secondly, overpromising can cause the scaling issue since shouldn’t go too far developing multiple features simultaneously. Building the product feature by feature is always a better option, so we strongly encourage you to work in several stages, avoiding the overpromising problem along the way.
5 – Choose the wrong launch date
Everything you do requires thorough planning and research, including the launch date strategy. While it sounds like a trivial question at first, it actually has the potential to make or break your crowdfunding hopes.
For instance, you must avoid national holidays and similar dates when people go outside, travel, or hang out with their family or friends. Additionally, don’t let it be the day when all eyes are focused on another big event such as the NFL Super Bowl. And most importantly, don’t choose the date of another grand opening that can completely ruin the visibility of your campaign.
6 – Targeting a small group of potential backers
The odds of fulfilling the crowdfunding goal are usually proportional to the size of your target audience. For this reason, it is not wise to target only a small group of potential investors, regardless of their financial well-being.
On the contrary, your job is to make the campaign as attractive as possible, trying to win over more backers. While the content of your marketing campaign depends on the nature of the product, you don’t have to highlight features that you know will chase away a big portion of prospects.
7 – Rely on crowdfunding exclusively
Crowdfunding can give you a big boost while trying to implement a business plan, but don’t allow yourself to depend only on the success of the Kickstarter campaign. It can jeopardize the entire project, particularly if you make one of the common mistakes.
You can invest something on your own. After all, there is no reason to avoid it if you really believe in project quality. Besides that, you can try to find other investors or business partners willing to support you in the initial stages.
Both methods allow you to work more freely and also to set a lower crowdfunding goal, which means you should be able to reach the desired objective much easier.
Kickstarter is one of the largest crowdfunding networks that gives you the opportunity to put business ideas into practice even if you don’t have your own savings to begin with. However, most entrepreneurs fail to capitalize on their ideas because they don’t know the peculiarities of the platform.
In this post, we explained to you the 7 most common mistakes to avoid when starting a project on Kickstarter. Make sure to follow our suggestions and you will drastically improve the odds of launching a profitable project.
Scott Mathews is a professional content writer in such topics as economics, work productivity and business relationship. Scott`s the biggest passion is blogging and crowdfunding. He regularly takes part in different eCommerce conferences and contributes his posts to different websites. Contact him on Facebook and Twitter.