discovering passions http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/13004/all en-US How to Create a Successful Kickstarter Campaign http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-create-a-successful-kickstarter-campaign <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-create-a-successful-kickstarter-campaign" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4848597995_66806970fb_z.jpg" alt="crowd" title="crowd" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="168" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Crowdfunding has rapidly become a popular way to raise money for a project. The concept is simple: you write up what you want to do, maybe make a short video about it, and post it to a site like <a href="http://www.kickstarter.com/">Kickstarter</a>. Then, hopefully, people will contribute money, and you&rsquo;ll wind up with enough to actually complete your project.</p> <p>But the reality isn&rsquo;t quite that simple. For every Kickstarter project that brings in over a million dollars, there are thousands that fail entirely. Creating a successful campaign that raises at least enough to cover your costs requires some serious work &mdash; almost as much as launching your own business. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/start-a-business-for-next-to-nothing">Start a Business for Next to Nothing</a>)</p> <h2>There Is No Formula</h2> <p>There are Kickstarter campaigns that have raised over $10 million (specifically, <a href="&rdquo;http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/597507018/pebble-e-paper-watch-for-iphone-and-android">the Pebble Watch</a>) and campaigns that haven&rsquo;t managed to pull in more than $50. There is no formula you can follow to tell if a particular project is going to be successful. There are a few generalizations, though, that you should know about.</p> <p><strong>Preselling</strong></p> <p>Most successful Kickstarter programs offer incentives that backers would buy outright, given the opportunity. While a lot of backers enjoy giving money to support cool ideas, most still want to get something for their money. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-recycle-and-reuse-old-t-shirts">Just another t-shirt</a> &mdash; unless that shirt is epically cool &mdash; isn&rsquo;t going to cut it. You have to think in terms of products that would be a direct result of your project. That&rsquo;s why hardware and movies tend to do so well.</p> <p><strong>Low Raise Points</strong></p> <p>It&rsquo;s tempting to ask for every cent you need to pull off your project, but you can actually often raise more money by asking for less. Most campaigns don&rsquo;t raise even half of what they need &mdash; but if you can get your campaign to the halfway point, your odds of getting fully funded go way up. And if you&rsquo;re already fully funded and you have some impressive incentives, don&rsquo;t be surprised if you wind up getting a lot more than what you asked for.</p> <p><strong>Marketing Offsite</strong></p> <p>If you&rsquo;re able to tap into your own networks outside of Kickstarter and get them excited, it&rsquo;s a lot easier to get the money you need. If you&rsquo;re starting from scratch, though, you need a strong marketing plan that will get people you don&rsquo;t know interested in what you&rsquo;re working on.</p> <p>Take the time to read everything about running a campaign on the Kickstarter website. There are lots of little nuts-and-bolts details, like setting up your account to properly receive payment. There are also a lot of ways you can accidentally violate Kickstarter&rsquo;s terms of service, especially if you&rsquo;re working with a non-profit.</p> <h2>Plan Your Kickstarter Campaign</h2> <p>If you&rsquo;re thinking about launching a project on Kickstarter, you&rsquo;ve probably already got an idea in mind. Tempting as it may be, you shouldn&rsquo;t just throw together a campaign and make it live. Start by writing out what your idea is:</p> <ul> <li>Why are people going to be excited about it?</li> <li>What &mdash; as specifically as you can describe &mdash; is it going to take to pull off this idea?</li> <li>Who is going to be interested enough to pay money towards this campaign?</li> <li>What incentives can you offer with this project? What products are the end result?</li> <li>What personal networks do you have that you can get involved?</li> </ul> <p>It&rsquo;s only when you know your idea inside and out that you&rsquo;ll be able to figure out how much it will cost and, therefore, how much you need to earn on Kickstarter. When setting that figure, don&rsquo;t forget that Kickstarter takes its share and that you&rsquo;ll owe taxes on what you&rsquo;ll bring in to boot.</p> <p>You&rsquo;ll also want to write out a specific marketing plan. Unless you have a website that gets a million visitors a month, plan on reaching out to as many places as you can. Go beyond just your own social networks &mdash; frankly, some groups of Facebook friends are starting to get annoyed by another one of their circle requesting money for a creative project each week. Think bigger, like sending out press releases to relevant news sites, guest posting on blogs, and even talking to people in person. Create a step-by-step plan, and then follow it.</p> <h2>Choose Your Incentives</h2> <p>Without the right perks, it&rsquo;s hard to get even the best-intentioned campaign off the ground. You have to make sure that you&rsquo;re offering incentives that people want and will actually spend money for. If you aren&rsquo;t sure if what you want to give to backers is a viable option, go ask a few people if they would want to buy your products. That&rsquo;s the most basic level of market research, and it will stand you in good stead with a Kickstarter project.</p> <p>On most campaigns, you&rsquo;ll see at least one very low level &mdash; an option to back a project for just a dollar or two. It&rsquo;s rare that such a level will represent a large percentage of your backing, but for the occasional small backer (or friend who wants to contribute but doesn&rsquo;t want to spend too much), it&rsquo;s a good idea to include such a low-level option. Don&rsquo;t be afraid to offer much more expensive: on popular campaigns, it&rsquo;s not unusual to see contributions of more than $1,000. The limit Kickstarter allows for incentive pricing is $10,000.</p> <p>Take a look at these successful Kickstarter campaigns to see what sort of options have been popular:</p> <ul> <li>Seth Godin&rsquo;s <a href="&rdquo;http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/297519465/the-icarus-deception-why-make-art-new-from-seth-go">The Icarus Deception</a></li> <li><a href="&rdquo;http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/27932455/meet-miss-subways-new-yorks-beauty-queens-1941-197">Meet Miss Subways</a></li> <li><a href="&rdquo;http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/amandapalmer/an-evening-with-neil-gaiman-and-amanda-palmer">An Evening With Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer</a></li> </ul> <h2>Writing Your Campaign Page</h2> <p>It may seem like the campaign page itself is the easy part; you just have to describe your idea and knock together a video. But while there have been some successful projects with very basic campaign pages on Kickstarter, investing time into creating a persuasive page is crucial &mdash; and can help you page get through the Kickstarter moderation system that much faster.</p> <p>A good campaign page needs to lay out why it&rsquo;s worthwhile for your project to succeed. It needs to persuade visitors that they want what you&rsquo;re offering &mdash; preferably at a higher funding level than just a dollar or two. You can&rsquo;t always be there when someone new pulls up your campaign for the first time, so your page needs to stand on its own.</p> <p>There are several small video production companies these days that have made a specialty out of producing videos for Kickstarter projects. If you feel like you need some help, it may be worth deciding if a video is within your budget before you launch your campaign.</p> <p>Once you&rsquo;ve got all your ducks in a row, you&rsquo;ll be able to submit your campaign to Kickstarter. It may be a fair amount of work to create a successful project, but it&rsquo;s worth it if you&rsquo;re <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-find-your-passion">passionate about what you&rsquo;re doing</a>.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thursday-bram">Thursday Bram</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-create-a-successful-kickstarter-campaign">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-16"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-side-jobs-for-extroverts">10 Great Side Jobs for Extroverts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards">5 Best Cash Back Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cool-convenient-cash-11-easy-ways-to-make-money-online">Effortless Ways to Make Money Online That Don&#039;t Require Skills</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/22-websites-that-will-pay-you-to-write-for-them">22 Websites That Will Pay You to Write for Them</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-great-side-jobs">30 Great Side Jobs</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income discovering passions fundraising kickstarter Thu, 02 Aug 2012 09:48:42 +0000 Thursday Bram 947046 at http://www.wisebread.com Trade in New Year's Resolutions for Achieving Life Goals http://www.wisebread.com/trade-in-new-years-resolutions-for-achieving-life-goals <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/trade-in-new-years-resolutions-for-achieving-life-goals" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/how-to-reach-big-goalscr.jpg" alt="Happy woman" title="Happy woman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It&rsquo;s that time of year when everyone is throwing themselves enthusiastically into their New Year&rsquo;s resolutions. Running a marathon, paying off credit cards, finding a new job &mdash; these are all wonderful resolutions, but they are all fairly fleeting. New year, new goal. Next year, another goal. How are these goals helping you to achieve your overall life plan? Chances are, unless you&rsquo;ve already articulated that plan, you&rsquo;re not sure how each year&rsquo;s resolution is helping bring you toward your big-picture goals (if at all). This year, why not try writing a strategic plan for your life? The strategic plan forces you to articulate your biggest life goals and then empowers you to take action.</p> <p>Businesses do strategic planning all the time. Once a year or so, all high-level executives get together to discuss where they see the company going, where the company is presently, and how to get to achieve their objectives. Here&rsquo;s how to get started on your own strategic plan:</p> <h3>Define Your Goals</h3> <p>Before you get started on pursuing your life&rsquo;s dreams, you first need to clearly define what they are. Now, I can tell what you&rsquo;re thinking (I&rsquo;m awesome like that). &ldquo;Umm, Janey, that&rsquo;s stupid,&rdquo; you&rsquo;re saying. &ldquo;I want to be a lawyer. Easy. Done. <em>Finis.</em>&rdquo; WRONG. What kind of lawyer would you like to be? A corporate lawyer or trial lawyer? If you want to be a trial attorney, do you see yourself working in healthcare fraud litigation or insurance subrogation? (Twelve points if you know what insurance subrogation is.) See what I mean? Clearly defining your goals means visualizing the details and having the ability to verbalize them to others. Doing so gives you a clear goal to work <em>toward.</em></p> <h3>Research Your Goals</h3> <p>I recommend taking several weeks to define your goals in three main areas: career, relationships, and personal life (this is where I toss everything on my bucket list). This will take some serious self-reflection, as well as thoughtful research. If one of my goals was to be a biomedical engineer, for example, I would talk to professionals in private practice and in academia, research career paths one might take after obtaining a degree, and identify companies or institutions where I might like to work. Armed with that information, I would write a description of my ideal job. And relationship (with spouse, family, friends, etc.). And other life goals.</p> <h3>Assess Where You Are</h3> <p>After taking the time to define your life&rsquo;s biggest goals through research and introspection, I would assess where you currently are on your way toward those goals. You may already know that you&rsquo;re a software engineer at company X who wants to be CEO someday. Simple enough, right? Wrong again. Until you state your position in words, it might not become crystal clear that your company only hires outside talent to high-level management positions. Who are rabidly involved in community involvement through the company. Which you&rsquo;re not.</p> <h3>Determine Action Items</h3> <p>Of course, these intellectual exercises are fruitless if you don&rsquo;t attach some sort of actions to them. Once you know where you&rsquo;d like to be and where you currently are, connect the two. The bigger the goal, the more intermediate steps need to be taken to achieve it. In the example of the software engineer wanting to be CEO someday, it would be necessary to break action items into one-, five- and ten-year plans. Year one might be identifying a technology company that actually hires from within and networking with employees of that company, while the five- and ten-year plans would detail steps the employee might take to get a job there, become well-known in the company, and put herself on the path to upper-level management.</p> <p>As with all goals, each of these action items should be specific, measurable, and have a time-related component. Like a business, too, I would suggest putting together an &ldquo;advisory board&rdquo; &mdash; people who you respect and admire who have an interest in your success with the goal at hand. Tell them about your goal, as well as why you would like them to hold you accountable. Then, follow through. Set a reminder on your calendar to review your goals every three to six months and reassess whether you&rsquo;re on the right path and what progress you&rsquo;ve made. Update your advisory board. And congratulate yourself on taking action toward accomplishing your wildest dreams.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">For more information on setting goals, check out these articles on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/find-your-passion">finding your passion</a> and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-essential-financial-tips-for-kicking-off-your-career">financial tips for kicking off your career</a>.</p> <p><em>What are your thoughts on a strategic plan for your life? Have you created something like it, or do you plan to? Share your views in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/janey-osterlind">Janey Osterlind</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/trade-in-new-years-resolutions-for-achieving-life-goals">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-it-done-how-to-measure-your-goals">Get It Done: How to Measure Your Goals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-your-big-new-years-resolutions-are-pointless">Why Your Big New Year&#039;s Resolutions Are Pointless</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-proactive-things-you-can-do-right-now">12 Proactive Things You Can Do Right Now</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-one-favorite-frugal-living-tip">My One Favorite Frugal Living Tip</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-stellar-reasons-to-hire-a-life-coach">3 Stellar Reasons to Hire a Life Coach</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development achieving goals career advancement discovering passions Wed, 19 Jan 2011 13:00:07 +0000 Janey Osterlind 458870 at http://www.wisebread.com