There’s an enormous amount of prep work to be done. We spent about three months working on our campaign before we launched, the last of which being full-time work. We spent about 7 days (spread out over 5 weeks) shooting the video, a week on the rewards, and another week on the body text. Don’t take prep work lightly, because it adds up.
Kickstarter is a full-time job. The worst thing you can do for a Kickstarter is assume that you can put it on autopilot. Make a calendar for the length of your campaign and plan out updates, releases, and events. Always be moving, always be releasing new material.
Inform your target audience, entertain everyone else. One of the trends we’ve noticed in a lot of craft beer Kickstarters is that they only try to appeal to craft beer drinkers. Releasing material that’s informative to your target market helps you build credibility, but it doesn’t broaden your reach. Focus on defining your niche, but create media that’s still entertaining and accessible to folks who aren’t in it.
Not all feedback is positive. Kickstarter can easily be seen as cyber-begging, so don’t expect everyone to have wonderful things to say. While the goal is to raise money, you’re also forming the beginnings of your tribe – the people that will be wearing your t-shirts and telling their friends about the cool project they helped enable. Focus on growing this community of people and providing them with a great experience, and let the unwanted noise be drowned out.
Take things offline. One of the things we enjoyed a lot was being able to throw events and meet some of our backers. Events provide an excellent advertising platform, a way to get feedback, and (in our case) a way to provide backers with a much, much better idea of what they’re putting money into.