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Successful Kickstarter Campaigns

kickstarter logoKickstarter is an exciting, powerful crowd-sourcing tool that is quickly becoming a must-use for independent artists. I recently completed a successful (though modest) Kickstarter fundraising campaign for a documentary film I’m producing. This blog post is a summary of principles learned about Kickstarter, gained both through my own experience and through studying other campaigns (both successful and unsuccessful).

They tell me that a magician shouldn’t reveal his secrets. Thankfully, I’m not a magician.

Required Reading

Before you go any further, consider reading some of the following in-depth analyses of successful Kickstarter campaigns:

Read all of that. I mean it. I don’t endeavor to supplant any of that information, but I do expect that my readers will be familiar with that material before going into some specific types of funding that I have experience with.

How Much Funding Do You Want?

There are four types of Kickstarter campaigns, in terms of their level of success:

  1. Successful campaigns that greatly surpass their goal
  2. Successful campaigns that reach their goal
  3. Unsuccessful campaigns that almost reach their goal
  4. Unsuccessful campaigns that are epic failures.

Most people want category 1 (greatly surpassing their goal), but the evidence suggests that only a certain type of project (pre-orders) is likely to fall into that category (more on that below).

An extremely important question is: How much do I think I can raise? How many fans do I have who might be willing to chip in $15-20? Do I have any absurdly wealthy friends or family members? Do I have access to an uncommonly-large channel of communication? Answer those questions with brutal honesty and set your goals accordingly.

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