8 Lessons Learned From Launching A Kickstarter (While They’re Still Fresh In My Head)

Today I launched a Kickstarter campaign for NYC.TV; a new media company for independent video creators in New York City.

I couldn’t sleep last night (who sleeps the night before a big project goes live?) so I decided to do some writing. What better way to get into the spirit of Kickstarter than to give back by sharing my experiences in launching a campaign.

You know that thing where you accomplish something huge, but when you look back on it, it seems like it was a lot easier than it really was? This is one of those things. Let me say, first and foremost that launching a Kickstarter is very hard work.

1) Give yourself at least 30 days to prepare

I know this sounds like a lot of time but trust me, you’re going to need it. We started thinking about our campaign all the way back in the middle of April and still had to push our target launch date out by a week. Make sure you allow yourself some time to be flexible if you need it.

2) Mentally prepare yourself

Launching a Kickstarter is a lot harder than it looks. Get yourself in the right frame of mind and stay focused. Launching your campaign will be time consuming and stressful. Be sure to set realistic goals for yourself.

3) Start talking about it as early as possible

You’ll be surprised at how many people are willing and eager to help. We started telling people our plans right away and so many of our friends came to the rescue; donating time, resources and energy into helping us produce our campaign.

4) Form a stellar team

This is really important. Unless you’re Tavi Gevinson, you’ll need all the help you can get. Consider briefing at least the following people:

  • Writer and/or editor
  • Graphic designer
  • Project manager/coordinator
  • Video producer
  • PR person

5) Do your research

Look at 15-20 similar projects and study them. Write down what you like and what hate. Take notes on everything from page design and video style to the tone of the project and complexity of the rewards. Put them in a big list and make sure to circle back as you begin building your campaign. 

6) Commit and don’t look back

You have to be 100% absolutely certain that you want this. Because once you start, there is no turning back. In order to get funded on Kickstarter you must hit your goal or you get a whopping 0% of the funding you raise.

7) Create a budget

Pull as many favors as you can but you’re bound to run into some roadblocks. Put aside an emergency fund in case you have to pay for stuff that you didn’t account for.

8) Clear your schedule

Say goodbye to some of your extracurricular activities because this will take up a ton of your time.

Good luck!Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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