Unlocking Kickstarter

We can’t say we’re Kickstarter gurus but many people have asked “What are some tips for creating a successful Kickstarter project?” We’d like to share with you with what we’ve learned so far from our two kickstarter campaigns. This is it – we hope you will find it helpful!

  1. Research: To prepare for our first Kickstarter campaign, we interviewed several local successful Kickstarter creators that raised from $10,000 and $280,000. We also went to several meet-up events that Kickstarter hosted, which gave us a chance to ask team members questions directly.

  2. Prepare ahead. Prepare your emails, facebook posts, press releases and blog contact templates (TBA on our next post) so they’re ready to go when you launch. Doing as much work as possible beforehand will allow you to take full advantage of the short time you have on Kickstarter.

  3. Drive your own traffic. Many people think that by simply getting their project on Kickstarter they will gain exposure. Based on our research, it seems that less than 10% of backers come directly from Kickstarter.

The majority come from:

  1. Facebook

  2. Direct emails sent to your networks

  3. Twitter

  4. Blogs

  5. Media coverage

You can view the info and stats on any project by doing the following:

  1. Simply go to their Kickstarter page

  2. Click the “embed” button below their video

  3. At the bottom, copy and paste “project short link” into your browser

  4. Add a “+” to the link.

Once you get the ball rolling, your project might land on the “popular” list on Kickstarter’s home page, which is how you get traffic from Kickstarter. A small percentage of projects are selected for the “staff pick” list, but usually, Kickstarter promotes you after you promote yourself!

How to drive traffic?

  1. Your personal network: Write a personalized email to all your contacts the day you launch your project. Something like “I’ve been working on this project for the last 9 months. I’m excited to announce that today we launched Japanese Tart Tonic! It would make a huge impact on our project if you clicked on facebook and twitter on the kickstarter project page. Thank you so much for your support!”  

  1. Social Media: Throughout the project, update facebook, twitter, Google+, Instagram, etc to keep the momentum up. If you’re close to your goal, share the exciting news and announce a stretch goal or an additional reward.

Blog & Website Tips:

  1. Make a list of categories that fit your project. For us, our top categories were food, drinks, health, fitness, yoga and lifestyle.

  2. Check out http://technorati.com/blogs/directory/ and insert your category. This will provide you with a list of blogs in that category. Look through each blog to see if it would be a good fit. We selected blogs that we genuinely liked and thought would be interested in Genki-Su. For example, one blogger posted a strawberry kombucha recipe, so we thought she might be interested in trying our Japanese Drinking Vinegar.

  3. Check to see their online presence on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.) You can also check websites traffic and statistics on sites like www.alexa.com/

  4. Approach bloggers and reporters in a genuine and personal way. Try to put yourself in their shoes and provide something that will be interesting and useful.

  5. Don’t forget local is best! Make a list of local newspapers, magazines, blogs, websites and morning TV shows. We found a website called Oregon Blue Book that lists media in Oregon. Once you have your list, be sure to check with your own network first to find out if someone can arrange an introduction. If not, it’s easy to find their contact information. Try to find a reporter/writer that has covered a similar topic. When you contact them, mention that story. For example, “I loved your article on Japanese Buckwheat Noodles and thought you might be interested in trying our Japanese Drinking Vinegar.”

We wish you the best of luck on your Kickstarter project!

Our Kickstarter campaign is Genki-Su: Japanese Tart Tonic and will be up until Sep 14, 2013. After that, you can find us on our website, facebook, or twitter.


Little background about us…

Before starting Kickstarter, Judy designed for Nike and Columbia, and founded a Not-For-Profit company, tanQ. Takako worked in advertising and sales in Tokyo before moving to the US, and is currently a certified yoga instructor. We both are hard working, ambitious and passionate! Our dream was to start a business that would bring happiness and well-being to others.