Five tips for Kickstarter success: a gamer's view March 16, 2016 11:56 by David Scott

We here at Rule & Make wouldn't be where we are today without Kickstarter. We were quite fortunate our tabletop gaming journey as a business coincided with the (official) arrival of the crowd-funding platform to Australia. It's certainly not the only way to get funding for your ideas, but it's been a boon in more ways than one...even if it does come with its own unique set of challenges and problems!

Last week, Allen Chang and Matt Parkes were invited to speak to a group of undergraduate business and entrepreneurship students at Griffith University about the highs and lows of running Kickstarter campaigns. It was a wide-ranging discussion that took a bit over two hours, but we've noted the top five learnings below. Maybe these tips will help you one day as you embark on your own crowd-funded project?!

The students will be launching their own Kickstarter campaigns as part of their end-of-subject assignment, and we'll post a link to these in due course.

Here are Allen's top 5 tips:

1. Commit to regular project updates

Writing updates take time and effort. However they are extremely useful for any project, especially for Kickstarter where the turnaround from receiving your backer's money and delivering your rewards can be up to a year, or possibly longer.

Regular updates are beneficial in three main ways. Firstly, they keep your backers informed about where the project is at and help maintain your backer's expectations. Second, it provides excellent transparency, a public chronicle of everything you have done to date. And finally, perhaps most importantly, it helps to keep you, the project creator, in check. Committing to regular updates ensures you are always making progress with your project.

2. Engage with your backers

There's really nothing else like crowdfunding projects, as the connectivity you have with your fans and customers is enhanced and magnified tenfold compared to traditional means of interaction. Make sure you leverage the passion, excitement and expertise of your community. Don't take it for granted that they just want to be passive audience members as you toil away long hours bringing the dream to a reality; in most cases they are more than eager to help. 

3. Don't just build it and hope they will come

People new to Kickstarter assume that as long as they have a good idea, Kickstarter itself will do all the work finding people to back your project. Not true! You need to build awareness of your product ahead of your campaign - make sure you explore all the different ways you can drive people to your campaign site. Be a responsible self-promoter.  This will go a long way to getting the project funded. 

4. Be as complete as perceptively possible

Backers will always find reasons not to back your project. Maybe they can't physically see how it will work, or perhaps they think your campaign video is all style and no substance, or maybe they just think it's a nice idea with a huge risk factor. There's one easy way you can mitigate this: when you launch your campaign, make sure your project looks as complete as possible. The more your prospective backers can see of what your idea is, and how close it is to reality, the less risky it will seem to them.

5. Really ask your self: why are you Kickstarting this project?

Running a Kickstarter campaign is a lot of work. Running a good campaign can be an ungodly amount of work. Before you go down that path make sure you take a moment and honestly ask yourself: why am I doing this?

If your primary motivation is to make a profit, let me be the first to stop you. Kickstarter is like a second job that pays poorly. Projects rarely make creators money, even very successful ones. The devil is in the detail, and the name of the platform itself: these campaigns offer you the ability to kickstart your ideas and hopefully turn it into something bigger down the road. Having passion and a dream can go a lot further than pure profit, especially with the amount of work you will be committing yourself to when your campaign is successfully funded.

Good luck!