Well, my Kickstarter project is over. As I predicted in Part 2, I didn’t reach my funding goal, and the 30 days the campaign ran ended without a savior sugar momma coming forward. Even though my project failed to reach its funding goal, I’ve learned a lot from the experience and I am grateful for the opportunity to have an inside look into the crowd funding world.
With hindsight I can identify three factors that worked against me while I was trying raise money with Kiskstarter: I could have marketed more than I did; I’m not an established name in the foodie/cocktail world and my video pitch could have been better. There are many other reasons that Kickstarter campaigns win or lose but the most important factors seem relatively obvious…if only in hindsight.
My biggest mistake was probably my pre kick-off marketing. More specifically – there was none. This is the single biggest thing I would change if I was going to run another Kickstarter campaign. In my case, I’d contact many distilleries and spirit companies to let them know about my intentions and give them a preview to the project. Even with no marketing, I had a few companies interested in supporting my project either through products or money. Getting them on board before the project kicked off would have given it a better chance.
Another big thing that I would do differently is to produce cocktail videos before running my project so people could see what they are getting into. I believed that the purpose of my project was to raise funds to buy video equipment to make cocktail videos, so any video I would have made before the project wouldn’t have been visually representative of what I wanted to do. Anyway… I decided to not do them, and perhaps that was the wrong choice. Short, targeted and compelling videos are great for building audience support for projects. They also give you the opportunity to update your campaign over time.
I spent a good deal of time prior to the project thinking about the funding levels. After running this project, I would now set my levels up very differently if I could turn back time. When the project is based around something in which no physical product is produced, I think you need to have fewer tiers of giving and lower corresponding value levels. I tried to have physical products as part of the funding levels, but I think most people want to give a few bucks to see the project take off. If they needed a specific physical product, they’d go buy it. If I decide to run my project again, I’ll top out at $25 with one higher level for distilleries or spirit companies.
What’s next for my Better Cocktails at Home project? Well it is going full steam ahead (minus good video equipment of course), and I’ve started gathering set decorations and building out the project’s online presence. The next major step is building a bar for the set, and once I have that, I’ll be ready to go. For now, I’m planning to use my phone to shoot the video and I’ll go from there.
I’m glad I attempted my Kickstarter project. It is interesting that I still feel committed to doing the project as I feel committed to the few people who supported it with pledges. Most importantly, I’m interested to see where my project goes. The last statistic I saw said that about 50% of projects are successfully funded, but I’m curious to know what percentage of the unsuccessful projects still happen. Perhaps Kickstarter is doing more than facilitating money transfer…maybe it is the catalyst for motivating the creator to do the project.
One interesting thing about Kickstarter is that it lets you run your project again. For right now though, I think I’ll continue to embrace the MCDM motto that got me into this: just do it and see what happens. Why would I let some trivial problem like no video equipment get in the way of making videos?