Need Start-up Money? Leverage KickStarter

Many entrepreneurs have great ideas that are worthy of funding, but they fall short getting their idea to the masses because they lack funding (capital) to do so.  Kickstarter is a resource that if used correctly can help you get your idea funded.
What is KickStarter?

KickStarter is not for everyone.  KickStarter is a funding platform for creatives.

  • Artists
  • Comics producers
  • Dancers
  • Designers
  • Fashion creatives
  • Film producers
  • Food creatives
  • Game developers
  • Musicians
  • Photographers
  • & more

Kickstarter does not provide funding for businesses it can only be used for projects.  A project being producing an album, creating a film, a work of art, etc. A project is something that will be produced and created in a finite period of time.

How to Correctly Leverage KickStarter

As I share my tips on how to leverage KickStarter, I’ll be referencing Color Between the Lines as a case study to show you how you can leverage KickStarter to successfully fund your next entrepreneurial venture.  Color Between the Lines was a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to produce a documentary film about black tatoo artists.  If you’re not familiar with the Color Between the Lines campaign watch this trailer and click this link to see their KickStarter landing page.

7 Tips the will help you get your KickStarter Campaign Funded

#1  Include a photo when you post your campaign.

Studies have shown that internet users do not like to read large blocks of text.  The reason is because many internet users skim web content, pulling out pieces of information applicable to their personal problem rather than reading web articles in their entirety.  Since, we know that users prefer to skim text rather than read text, what is a tool that helps you say thousands of words without having to type thousands of words? Yes, you guessed it photography. As the cliche goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Say more by doing less, include a photo in your campaign and capture the attention of your viewers quickly.

#2  Be sure to use high resolution photos.

More people are getting smart and incorporating photos into their KickStarter campaign postings these days, but they are still making one mistake.  People are posting low resolution photos.

What’s the difference between a low-res photo and a high-res photo? (See picture below.)Low Res High Res

Not all low-res photos look as obviously pixilated as the image above, but low-res pictures can still look very grainy.

You’ve got to remember that when people buy into your campaign they will want to take the photo on your KickStarter campaign website and share it across their social networks.  Viewers of your campaign might screenshot your photo, download your photo, or take a picture of your photo with their cellphone and Instagram it.  The higher quality your resolution is to begin with the better your chances are of that picture still looking good as your viewers reproduce it and share it across social networks.

If you don’t have a high-res photo for your project hire a photographer and invest in some high quality shots that will get you noticed.  Amateur photography is a dime a dozen on the internet nowadays. You need to do the work to stand out.

#3 Stamp your photo.

I highly recommend, adding a watermark to your photo or the URL of your website so that if a viewer comes across the photo when they are not on your campaign landing page they will be redirected back to your project via the watermark on your photo. (Example below.)

watermarked photo

#4  Remember to focus on the problem you are trying to solve.

KickStarter gives you the opportunity to post a program description and a video with your project.  Make sure you do both.  The percentage of projects on Kickstarter with video that are funded is higher than for those that run project campaigns without video.

What should you talk about in the video and the posting?  Your job is to think about who is going to be watching your video.  How can you share the problem you are trying to solve and demonstrate to your audience why you are best qualified to solve the problem?  Using Color Between the Lines as an example, the problem outlined is that black tattoo artists aren’t getting their proper shine.  The solution proposed is a documentary that tells the story of black tattoo artists.  Color Between the Lines focused their trailer and project description on detailing the problem and their proposed solution.

Focusing your posting on what the problem is and how you are going to solve it is critical because the people who go to KickStarter and donate money are people who want to be part of a solution.  KickStarters are people who believe in art, creativity, and changing the world. If you don’t clearly outline a problem and solution chances are your campaign will not be funded.

#5 Tell A Story.

Resist the inclination to post video or prose that talk about the reasons why you need help.  No one cares.  People will always care more about what’s in it for them than what’s in it for you. People are easily bored by facts, figures, and narration so the best method to share your problem and solution is through story telling.  If the Color Between the Lines trailer had posted a video with a narrator that spoke about how many black tattoo artist there are vs. the number of white tattoo shops no one would have cared and the campaign would have flopped. Why? Because it is easy for people to disconnect themselves from statistics.  What Color in the Lines did well is in the trailer viewers heard true stories from different tattoo artists.  It put a face on the problem which humanized the problem.  In order to make a real connection with others you have to share a piece of yourself. You need to let people in a bit. Telling your story humanizes your situation and makes it relatable.  As you develop your KickStarter campaign think about how you can tell your story.  This campaign by Ayinde Howell is another good example of story telling.

#6 Be brief.

Keep your video under 4 minutes.  There are so many distractions online today that they attention span of the average user is steadily declining.  The most popular videos on YouTube on average are under five minutes.  Take a queue from YouTube and keep it short.

#7 Ask for what you actually need.

When you pick your fundraising goal do not lowball yourself.  When people put their money into something they expect results.  Don’t pick fundraising goal of $5,000 over $6,500 if your only reason is because you think that $5,000 will be easier to fundraise.  Set your fundraising goal based on how much money you will actually need to complete the project.  Lastly, make sure to also factor in the cost of producing rewards for your donors.

If you have additional questions about KickStarter campaigns or need advice on your specific campaign email theYBM at or hit us up on Twitter @ybmotivated

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