Editor’s Note: We thought it would be interesting to show, in detail, how a Kickstarter is run. Natasha has agreed to document her entire process in a 6 part series so you can see what is involved with setting up your own crowdfunding campaign.


I’m Natasha, the designer behind TechnoChic DIY tech-craft kits at TechnoChic.net. In just one week I’ll be launching my new DIY light-up paper bow tie kits on Kickstarter (That’s March 7th!), and my daily tasks list is larger than ever. Last week, I focused on designing my Kickstarter rewards and the content for the campaign page. My goal is to figure out what backers really want in exchange for their support (maybe you can help – Look for the sneak peek preview at the end of this post!).  This is the fifth week on my journey to launch – if you missed last weeks post, check it out here.

Predicting what backers want:

A Kickstarter reward is simply a “thank you” gift for a backer who supports the project. Backers want to feel like they are contributing to your success, and feel special by receiving something in return. The big challenge is figuring out what kinds of rewards will attract your new backers, then designing reward packages that make it easy to back at any price level without offering too many options (you don’t want backers to get overwhelmed and give up).

I started this week by clicking around the Kickstarter website. It was fun to see the current projects and also search for reward inspiration. I thought about what projects had rewards that I would actually back. I also took note of when there was a project I liked, but no reward that fit. Every project is so different, and there are tons of correct answers to what makes a great reward. Kickstarter even has this great list of 96 reward ideas to serve as inspiration.

In my 5 campaigns, I have tried many different reward types. My most important goal is to get backers excited about the product(s) that I’m trying to produce. But, to reach the goal, it helps to have a way for backers to help out beyond the retail price of the product. So the big question is, “How can I add value to the reward while spending as little money as possible?”

Here are some reward types I’ve tried:

  • The product
  • Telling jokes – Offering “backers only” updates with jokes
  • Digital files of the designs
  • Workshops
  • Gift a workshop to another student
  • Give & Get – Get one kit, give one kit to a student
  • Voting rights on design decisions
  • Stickers
  • Product prototypes
  • Custom paper sculptures

What worked:

Rewards that offer the main product are always the most popular. I’ve also had a lot of luck when I did a give & get – where backers could double their pledge and give one kit to a student. I try to keep in mind that different people have different amounts of money to spare – some people have plenty and they’re willing to spend it for a good cause.

What didn’t:

What makes a good reward for a backer may not be the same as a good reward for a creator. The rewards I regret offering are those that took a lot of effort to fulfill but didn’t bring in that much money. For example, in my first campaign I offered a downloadable version of my greeting card designs. Updating the file for download and updating the instructions took me about a day to complete, but only brought me $15. Small monetary rewards need to be low effort and low cost.

A Rule of thumb:

Ask yourself: If only one backer backed this reward, would I be excited about fulfilling it?

 Campaign Page and rewards – I need your help!

This is a very exciting time. Right now, I’m working on uploading all the images to the Kickstarter campaign page (like the rewards graphic below). I have a long laundry list of things to update, but I can finally see the campaign taking shape!

You’re an insider – I would like to share with you my campaign preview. It’s not public yet, so you can only access it by clicking on the link below. At the top you can leave feedback – would you please let me know what you think?

Specifically:

  • What rewards do you want to see that aren’t listed yet? 
  • What questions do you have about the product?
  • What could I add that would make you want to back the project?

Here’s the link – Thank you for your feedback!

A Personal Note

Since these posts are like a Kickstarter reality show, I thought I would end by sharing my feelings about the campaign and how the process is going:

This week, my to-do list became a bible, and no task could be left unfinished. That meant working late and the whole weekend. (Thank goodness for Starbucks.) It’s still a labor of love – another photoshoot for the campaign page images was successful, and I’m getting really excited!  I’ve pulled 2 very late nights this week. I ordered takeout 4 times. Let’s see how I do next week! :)