Tag Archives: the artist’s partner

How to succeed at crowdfunding: Pitch Video

The first thing that people see when they visit your crowdfunding campaign is your pitch video. It’s important to make a good first impression!

Both Kickstarter and Indiegogo have helpful pages on how to a create a video, so no need to duplicate the wheel here. We highly recommend checking out what they have to say. In summary, they recommend that crowdfunders make a 1-2 minute video that:

  1. Introduces the artist
  2. Introduces the project
  3. Explains what the money will go toward
  4. Shows off a few perks
  5. Spells out the deadline (create urgency to back now!)
  6. Thanks the audience for watching

Clients of The Artist’s Partner have taken these suggestions and gone about creating their pitch videos in different ways.

1. Smartphone video

For many of our clients, it’s cost effective and pretty easy to shoot the pitch video with a smart phone and edit it with the free software that came with their computer or laptop (something like iMovie). This is an example of a video made in just that way, for a successful audiobook campaign from October 2014.

A simple tripod with a smartphone holder, and a small microphone that plugs into the phone’s earphones outlet were used to stabilize the shots and improve the sound quality. This video has a DIY feel, but it is easy to see and hear what is going on. The book takes place on horseback in the mountains of Virginia, so it was shot with a horse in the beautiful Blue Ridge. For less than $100, this video helped propel the campaign to success! This video followed the recommended components (1-6 above) to a T.

2. Lyric music video

For one of our musician clients, a great way to promote the album many months before their Kickstarter campaign even launched was to create a lyric music video. Slides were created on Powerpoint and edited in iMovie to sync the words with the images.

Since this was using software already owned, the cost of producing this effective promotional video was free! This video showcased the music and functioned as a preview months before the campaign. You may see the final pitch video, which more closely followed components 1-6 above, here.

3. Professional pitch video

Many of our clients enjoy having a professional video. This is a bigger commitment, taking several rounds to develop a script, choose a location, hire a crew, and do post-production. However, the results can be amazing, like this video for a children’s picture book.

This video took a month of planning. This included working out the concept, writing the script, securing a location, selecting props, planning wardrobe, and picking music. Additionally, we needed a director, two crew members for the shoot, two cameras, microphone, lights, a rig for the moving shots, an animator, and an editor. To make a roughly 2-minute video, we needed 6 hours to shoot. With some creativity, we were able to make this video for $500. This means spending money before it was made on the video, but for this client, it was worth the expense to really make the campaign pop. This video focused on the product – the book – and incorporated the other components into the text of the campaign, which may be viewed here.

Your campaign pitch is limited only by your imagination (and your budget, and video best practices!). Within these constraints, be sure to put your best foot forward with your crowdfunding pitch video.

For a free crowdfunding analysis of your project, please fill out our Artist Questionnaire. We typically respond within two weeks. We look forward to hearing about your project!

How to succeed at crowdfunding: Creating a Team

You’ll want to line up the following 8 people on your crowdfunding team to propel your campaign to success. One of the reasons clients of The Artist’s Partner succeed 97% of the time – compared to the industry average of 38% – is that they don’t do it alone.

blog images - team

  1. Videographer. Your 1-2 minute pitch video is your first impression – so make a good one! The video is so important, it has its own post (link to follow!).
  2. Photographer. You’ll need great pictures of your smiling face while you’re in action, doing what you do. This is particularly important for social media, and campaign updates. Selfies work, but not exclusively.
  3. Designer. Your campaign is going to need a balance of text and images – and it all needs to work together to create a cohesive brand. Colors, font, illustrations, pictures, and video all need to look like they belong together and communicate a cohesive message.
  4. Writer. Brevity is the soul of success – and it’s hard to write well and informatively without boring people. Your video script, project title, short blurb, reward descriptions, and “story” – the meat of your campaign – need to pop, entice people, and call them to action.
  5. Event host. Successful campaigns extend out of the ephemeral realm of the internet into the real world. You’re going to be way too busy to plan a concert or book reading – so an event host is essential.
  6. Rewards brainstormer. Beyond the $10-$20 copy of your book or album, or ticket to your show or film, what unique items can you offer at higher price points to entice your backers? The benefit of a group brainstorm session will lead to better answers to this important question.
  7. IT. Even though Kickstarter and Indiegogo have raised over $2Bn for creative projects, a LOT of people don’t know what they are or how to use them. It’s a good idea to have a techie person lined up to help walk your less tech-savvy backers through how to pledge.
  8. Cheerleader. The month of the campaign feels looooong. For many, it’s exhausting. Who’s going to provide unconditional moral support to you when the going gets tough?

Most of our clients can fill one or two of these roles themselves, and have skilled friends, family, and partners who can fill a few more. The videographer is the most frequent paid position, with a professional 1-2 minute video costing $200-$500.

If you would like a free analysis of your crowdfunding plans, please fill out our Artist Questionnaire. We typically respond within two weeks. We look forward to hearing about your project!

How to succeed at crowdfunding: Pre-launch Communication

If you wait until launch day to start telling people about your crowdfunding campaign, it’s too late. On average, a person needs to hear a message 7 times to act on it (what’s known in marketing as “effective frequency” or “the rule of 7”). That’s why advance communication makes or breaks a campaign – there’s not enough time to get your message in 7 times once it’s launched.

blog images- effective frequency

We typically work with our artists for a minimum of three months prior to campaign launch on their communication strategy, which contains the following elements:

  1. Key project visual. Your album or book cover, play or film poster, or another key image coupled with your campaign dates and Kickstarter or Indiegogo logo is something you will use time and again. A picture truly is worth a thousand words. If there is one area that I encourage my clients to spend money prior to their campaign, it’s on a designer. A small amount spent on a professional draft is an investment that pays off. (More on this on our post on Campaign Design.)
  2. Elevator pitch. You only have 135 characters – about a dozen words – to hook someone’s attention. You will use this pitch again and again – including as the headline of your crowdfunding campaign – so this is a bedrock of your project’s success. Writing a blurb is hard. Get help. Brainstorm. Write. Rewrite. Distill your project down to its irresistible essence.
  3. Day 1 Backers. We craft a 1-2-3 script for your Day 1 Backers: 1. Inform. 2. Engage. 3. Ask. Your Day 1 Backers are VIPs. They don’t get a mass email that starts “Dear Friend…”. They get invited to coffee, a Skype, or a phone call. In the first meeting, you share your key project visual and your elevator pitch. This is a good practice audience because they are already cheerleaders of you and your work. The next meeting, you request their feedback, advice, ideas, and input, and you consider it seriously. The third meeting, you ask them to be a Day 1 Backer. With an exchange of texts, messages, and emails in between, you’ve racked up your “7,” so your D1B’s are ready to roll come launch day.
  4. Influencers. We craft a 1-2-3 script for your Influencers, as well. Just like your D1B’s, these are VIPs who require individual communication. These folks have a large platform for communication – and almost certainly a schedule. You’ll want plenty of time to get them images, interviews, samples, descriptions, and whatever else they will need to support your project launch.
  5. Benefactors. And, we craft a 1-2-3 script for your Benefactors. These are the quintessential VIPs. They’re helping produce your project at the $500+ level, so they, too, will require individual attention.
  6. Email list. People open almost 100% of their emails. Facebook and Twitter may be sexier, and they’re helpful for awareness, but social media generally does not prompt action. People only see approximately 5% of what is in their feed – and they are typically just scrolling through, commenting, and “liking.” Email prompts action. Most of our clients start out with their email address book scattered across multiple accounts, written on scraps of paper, in a stack of business cards stuffed in a desk drawer. For fast, effective group communication, this needs to be organized. It can take a while. Getting all email addresses correct, correctly labeled, and all in one account – or on a service like Mail Chimp – is a big undertaking. Start early.
  7. Social media. This comes into play closer to launch. Social media is blurb and image driven – and it’s called Facebook for a reason. People respond to faces! So in the months leading up to your campaign, get plenty of pictures of your smiling face doing your project, and craft catchy captions. T/W/Th before breakfast/during lunch/before bed are peak times. It’s easy to burn out your audience on social media, so plan out 2-3 posts per week. We’ll be doing a separate post dedicated to social media.

Realistically, how much time does this take? If you have twelve weeks between now and launch, you have 30 VIPs, and they each get three hours of your time, one for each 1-2-3 meeting, that’s 30 x 3 / 12= 7.5 hours per week. Add to that, time to work with your designer, time to work on your elevator pitch, and time to draft mass email and social media materials, and you’re realistically looking at a 10-hour per week commitment for the three months leading up to your campaign. Sound like a part-time job? It is! That’s how you make money.

A note on how effective communication feels while it is happening: Most of our clients feel message fatigue several times leading up to, and during, their campaigns. Many of them express that this is the hardest part of the crowdfunding process. They feel self-conscious promoting their own work. They feel like they’re shouting into the wind, saying the same thing over and over again, and meanwhile, nothing is happening. It is very hard to trust the cumulative effect of sharing your message 7 times. It is very hard not to take it personally when it feels like no one is listening. It is very easy to give up. When our clients are burnt out, we encourage them to take a day off, go do something fun, and forget about their project for a day or a week–to regain the perspective that life is, of course, about far more than a crowdfunding campaign. The artist can then come back to their tasks with renewed energy,  with more focused attention to the process and not the outcome, and the ability to keep up the good work.

For a free crowdfunding analysis of your project, please fill out our Artist Questionnaire. We typically respond within two weeks. We look forward to hearing about your project!

How to succeed at crowdfunding: Campaign Design

Your crowdfunding campaign is a great way to kick off your project’s “brand.” One of the reasons our clients’ campaigns succeed 97% of the time, compared to the industry average of 38%, is that they have a cohesive look that can be sustained throughout the life of their creative work.

1. Iconic image. Your project will need one key image that sums it up. Sometimes our clients hope to wait until after their campaign is finished to have the funds to pay a designer, but it is difficult for a project to be memorable without a representative image. Many of our clients know some basic image software – or someone who does. A good first draft by a talented friend is infinitely better than no image at all. The example below is the “before” and “after” covers from the illustrated novel GroomsDay by Jenny Edmondson.

Sometimes, the iconic image for the project goes through multiple iterations. All three of the versions below were used at some point before, during, or after the campaign for Sonya Heller’s Americana album 17 West. We discussed the elements of the album cover at length, months ahead of the campaign launch, and then, using free photo editing software, we came up with a draft. When the campaign successfully funded, Sonya paid a professional designer to create an eye-catching album cover.

icon before after 17 west

2. Color palette. This is closely related to your iconic image – once you have one, coordinate your campaign visuals with it. This is a great example of a featured reward for eco-thriller Kingsley, using the vibrant color scheme from the book cover.

color palette kingsley

3. Profile picture. You don’t necessarily need professional head shots. You do need at least one great photo of yourself that fits your project. People respond to faces. Below is an excellent example of Shaun Farris from RED’s Custom Jewelry. This is a candid photo taken while Shaun was doing what he does – make jewelry.

custom thumbnail indiegogo

4. Short blurb. You’ve got 135 characters to describe your project. An elevator pitch is something you’ll need time and again, long after your crowdfunding campaign is over. This is an invaluable opportunity to get your message down – and practice repeating it – months before your project launches. A good example is Camila’s Lemonade Stand:

A picture book about entrepreneurship, tailored to Pre-K imaginations!

5. Project description. In theory, you can make your description of your project as long as you like. In reality, people will stop reading after a short paragraph. As with the short blurb, this is wonderful marketing training. The following is a tantalizing example from mafia sports memoir Bowling For The Mob:

Bowling For The Mob is the story of Bob “Perry” Purzycki, a skinny, scrappy Polish kid who at 12 was said to have the potential to become the greatest bowler who ever lived. But in 1970’s Paterson, New Jersey, everybody knew somebody ‘connected’. Training for championships? Fuhgeddabout it. Bob was up to his neck in wiseguys: driving for Uncle Raymond, doing jobs for Bobby Cabert with Nicky The Plumber, and hustling hundreds of g’s in after-hours action bowling for the last Don, John Gotti.

6. Layout. It’s so easy for a campaign to look boring or messy. The best way to explain an enticing layout is to have a look at one. Take a look at the great campaign for the children’s picture book Princesses Only Wear Putta Puttas by Priya Mahadevan. The sections are clear, the colors complement one another, the headers pop – and Priya immediately begins with her wonderful message.

For a free analysis of your crowdfunding project, please fill out our Artist Questionnaire. We typically respond within two weeks. We look forward to hearing about your project!

 

How to succeed at crowdfunding: Picking Dates

One of the reasons our clients succeed 97% of the time – compared to the 38% industry average – is that we’re strategic about campaign dates. Timing is everything!

So, why not just hit “launch” as soon as the campaign is built, and then run it as long as possible? There are so many reasons.

  1. Lead time for VIP buy-in. We pick a launch date at least three months away so there is time to get your Day 1 Backers, Influencers, and Benefactors (follow the links for more about these VIPs) on board. Most people need to hear something 7 times to remember and understand it, so we need time to get your VIPs ready and excited for launch.
  2. Avoiding holidays. Summer, Christmas, Passover, New Year’s, and Easter are terrible times to try to hold the average person’s attention. Don’t fight it. As a general rule, May and October are the best months to run a campaign because they aren’t interrupted by major holidays.
  3. Optimum length. Kickstarter ran the numbers, and 30 days is just about right. Many people think a longer campaign will be more successful, but it won’t be. It will run out of steam. Click the image below for the full data rundown. duration_success_rate_full
  4. The magic of T/W/Th. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are the days of the week that are easiest to get and hold someone’s attention. We often launch on a Tuesday and close on a Thursday to maximize the momentum on the all important first and last days.
  5. Month-end urgency. The calendar doesn’t always cooperate, but when possible, we like to contain campaigns within a calendar month. This avoids backer procrastination, putting off the task of participating until “next month.”
  6. Project launch date. A crowdfunding campaign is excellent marketing for the eventual launch of your project. The nature of the perfect timing varies, but we like to time the campaign so it’s also setting up the marketing momentum for your project.
  7. Key date tie-in. Doing an environmental-themed project? Run the campaign in April to hit Earth Day. Or is your project about Halloween? Run it in October. Anytime we can catch an awareness tailwind, it helps the campaign.

For a free analysis of your crowdfunding plans, please fill out our Artist Questionnaire. We typically respond within 2 weeks. We look forward to hearing about your project!

How to succeed at crowdfunding: Benefactors

There are three key types of supporters – VIPs – who make the difference between crowdfunding success and failure. Your VIPs are:

  1. Day 1 Backers,
  2. Influencers, and
  3. Benefactors.

Each of your groups of VIPs is so important, they all get their own post. This post is about your Benefactors.

Benefactors are people who will pledge more than $500 to your campaign. And that $500+ is often for something intangible with low cost to produce. Sometimes, this money is truly a gift, a financial offer of encouragement for your project.

At first, when we look at the number of people likely to pledge more than $500 to your campaign, they seem like a small piece of the pie because they represent such a small percentage of the total people backing your campaign.

pledge breakdown by backer count

This breakdown is the average for our clients. Typically, there are only 1-6 Benefactors, representing less than 5% of the people who have pledged.

But they are key to your campaign’s success. Why? Because although they are your smallest group of backers, they represent the largest portion of funds raised.

pledge breakdown by money raised

This handful of people get you almost 40% of the way to your goal. VIPs indeed!

Each campaign is different, but some of the VIP benefits we often offer Benefactors include:

  • One-of-a-kind rewards. These backers are very unlikely to be strangers. These are fans, friends, and family who already know about your project, and they are excited about it. It’s worth thinking about what will be of value to each of them individually. Clients have offered special recordings of their favorite songs, a personalized DVD of a book reading, the opportunity to visit a closed film set, or admission to a private celebratory dinner. What will be of value to each of your Benefactors?
  • Producer credit. Name your Benefactors prominently in the credits of your book, film, album, or other project. Offer to promote their project, business, or organization, too!
  • Campaign draft sneak peeks. Your VIPs get to see your crowdfunding campaign while you are building it. Ask their advice, and incorporate their feedback.
  • VIP soft launch invitations. This topic gets its own post, but to summarize, let’s say we’ve been promoting October 15 as the day your campaign goes live. That’s the day we’ll broadcast it publically. But what the public doesn’t know is that we’re actually going to quietly launch it on October 14. Your VIPs get an exclusive invitation to the soft launch, and first rights to your one-of-a-kind rewards.
  • Private bonus rewards. Almost always, there will be draft copies of your project: proofs of books, rough cuts of films, play dress rehearsals. Your VIPs get free first rights to these, as well.
  • VIP launch “Red Carpet” treatment. Whether it’s your film premiere, your book launch party, or opening night of your play or concert tour, give your Benefactors the “Red Carpet” treatment. Thank them personally and publicly.

Make sure you treat your Benefactors right – they are key to the success of your crowdfunding campaign!

If you’d like a free analysis of your crowdfunding plans for your project, please fill out our Artist Questionnaire. We typically respond within two weeks. We look forward to hearing about your project!

 

How to succeed at crowdfunding: Influencers

Your campaign success hinges on three key groups of people – your VIPs:

These VIPs are so important, they each get their own post. This post is dedicated to your Influencers. Influencers are people with a platform to communicate with others about your project. They have a popular newsletter, radio show, or blog; they may have a large and engaged social media following. Your Influencers help you get the word out about your campaign. This becomes increasingly important the more money you want to raise.

If you’ve been to our homepage, you know that on average most campaigns (62%) fail. In this post, we take a closer look at how much money the 38% of campaigns that succeed raise.

funding ranges

Most successful Kickstarter campaigns raise less than $10,000. This is a reasonable goal for most artists to whom we talk (See our post on Setting Your $ Target).

To approach and get over the $10,000 hump, though, the outreach numbers start piling up quickly: an email list thousands strong, a social media following tens of thousands strong, and multiple big ticket Benefactors. This is a major hurdle. It takes time to grow an email list from 250 to 2,500 people who will be excited about your project and reasonably likely to participate in your crowdfunding campaign. This is where the Influencers come in.

An example: Let’s say you’re recording a Thrash Metal album. You have a Facebook page with 200 likes. And let’s say your uncle runs the #1 classical music radio show in the country, listened to by a million people. Let’s also say your aunt has a popular local metal blog with 2,000 subscribers, where she rates and reviews the metal shows she attends each weekend.

Your uncle may be more “influential,” measuring numbers of listeners, but your aunt is more likely to be your Influencer because she is talking to the audience that will enjoy your project. Get in touch with your aunt six months ahead of your campaign launch. Do an interview. Send her sample tracks. Ask her to do a special post the week your campaign launches. Assuming she agrees, you now have 10 times the number of people who are open to hearing your music and listening to your message.

There is no single, simple answer to the question of who the Influencers are for your campaign. But it’s worth considering now whom you know – or should get to know – who can speak directly to your target audience.

If you’d like a free analysis of your crowdfunding project, please fill out our Artist Questionnaire. We typically respond within two weeks. We look forward to hearing about your project!

How to succeed at crowdfunding: Day 1 Backers

There are three key groups of people – VIPs – who make the difference between success and failure for your crowdfunding campaign. Your VIPs are:

  1. Day 1 Backers,
  2. Influencers, and
  3. Benefactors.

Because they’re so important, Influencers and Benefactors each get their own post. This post is about the first group of your VIPs: Day 1 Backers.

Your Day 1 Backers are important, because there is a powerful psychological negative embedded in a campaign that has “$0 / 0% Funded” plastered across the top of the page. Every campaign starts at zero. And an almost unbelievable 13% of Kickstarter campaigns – over 27,000 – end at zero, too, without a single person ever backing it.

zero pct funded

How does this happen? It’s an explanation similar to the house that has had the for sale sign in its yard too long. At a certain point, the public starts thinking there’s something wrong with your campaign, just by virtue of the fact that no one has yet backed it. This inertia becomes harder and harder to overcome as each day passes.

So, have a handful of people lined up who consider it an honor to back your project on Day 1. These are the friends, family, fans, and colleagues who have known about your project since its early days. They can’t wait to have a copy of your book or album or a ticket to your show in their hands. Make sure they know months in advance that your Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign is coming.

They might pledge a little; they might pledge a lot. The role of your Day 1 Backers isn’t about the money. Their role is all about early momentum – they don’t require any extra convincing to support you. They’ve already bought into your idea, and they want you to succeed. They will convince other people who don’t know you or your project jump onto the bandwagon when they give your project that all-important boost from 0% to not-0% on Day 1.

Day 1 Backers are VIPs, and we treat them like VIPs. Every campaign is different, but some of the special benefits Day 1 Backers may receive include:

  • A sneak peek at crowdfunding campaign drafts. These people are excited about your campaign – so they get a back stage pass  to tour it before it goes live to the public. Their advice is requested on video, copy, design, and rewards. Their voice is heard and reflected in the campaign.
  • An invitation to be on your team. Creating a team is a big enough topic to get its own post, but in brief, these people are excited about your project! Why not ask them to join your team?
  • A VIP soft-launch invitation. This topic gets its own post, too, but to summarize: Let’s assume we’ve been promoting October 15 as the day your campaign goes live. That’s the day we’ll broadcast publically. But what the public doesn’t know is that we’re actually going to quietly launch it on October 14. Your VIPs get an exclusive invitation to the soft launch, and first rights to special  rewards.
  • Private bonus rewards. Almost always, there will be draft copies of your project: proofs of books, rough cuts of films, play dress rehearsals. Your VIPs get first rights to these benefits. These will be the people who start that word-of-mouth spark when your project – not your crowdfunding campaign, but the actual project you’re funding – goes live.

If you’d like a free analysis of your crowdfunding plans for your project, please fill out our Artist Questionnaire. We typically respond within two weeks. We look forward to hearing about your project!

How to succeed at crowdfunding: Preparation Timeline

The second biggest surprise our clients face when we start working is how long it takes to prepare for a crowdfunding campaign. The biggest surprise is the gap between their project budget and the amount of money they are conceivably going to raise from their current network.

Proper preparation is one of the key reasons our clients have a 97% success rate as compared to the 38% industry average. So, how do we prepare for a crowdfunding campaign?

1. We pick a good launch date.

When selecting a launch date, we consider:

  • At least three months prep time prior to launch
  • The best times to run a campaign are mid-March to mid-May, and mid-September to mid-November
  • The best days to get and hold someone’s attention are T/W/Th
  • Federal and school holidays
  • Psychologically, it’s best to contain a 30-day campaign within a single calendar month

Ideally, we’ll begin working with a client in April (or earlier) for an October launch, or in November (or earlier) for a May launch.

2. We budget enough weekly time.

A typical time commitment starts with a few hours per week several months before the campaign, sloping upward to 10+ hours per week in the month before the campaign.

3. We follow a detailed calendar of task deadlines.

A typical workflow timeline for an October campaign looks something like this:

  • April – Network evaluation and $ target analysis.
    • Whom will you invite to your campaign, and how?
    • How is your network contact information organized so that you can engage efficiently?
    • Who will back your project on Day 1?
    • Who will be your Influencers, and help to spread the word?
    • Who will be your significant Benefactors, and pledge more than $500 to the project?
    • Based on your network, what is a reasonable target $ for the campaign?
  • May – Communication program begins.
    • How will you engage your Day 1 Backers?
    • What do your Influencers need to communicate about your campaign?
    • What will be of value to your Benefactors, and how will you engage them?
    • What is your email communication strategy?
    • What is your social media communication strategy?
  • June – Campaign content and continued communication
    • Rewards for backers – descriptions, pricing, shipping considerations.
    • Campaign copy.
    • Plan month-of-campaign event(s).
    • Keep your Day 1 Backers, Influencers, and Producers informed and engaged.
  • July – Video & Design and continued communication
    • Campaign color palette and design
    • Script, shoot, edit video.
  • August – Campaign Refinement and continued communication
    • Finalize and tie up loose ends on all elements of the campaign from rewards to copy to video and more
  • September – Communication ramps up.
    • Ensure your Day 1 Backers, Influencers, and Benefactors are engaged and ready to roll on launch day.
    • Begin social media communication plan.
    • Meet with key people in person to get their feedback on the campaign and commitment to participate.
  • October – Campaign is live!

If it seems like a lot… it is. But proper planning is a big key to crowdfunding success once you hit the launch button and your campaign is live!

If you would like our recommendation on when to launch the crowdfunding campaign for your project, please fill out our Artist Questionnaire. We typically respond within two weeks. We look forward to hearing about your project!

How to succeed at crowdfunding: Kickstarter vs. Indiegogo

The most common question we receive at The Artist’s Partner is:

“What’s the difference between Kickstarter and Indiegogo?”

The similarities outweigh the differences. They are both crowdfunding platforms, meaning they:

  • Facilitate raising money for creative projects through a webpage customized to your project where you can pre-sell your project for a set amount of time and a target dollar amount through a pitch video;
  • Tell the project story through words and images
  • Make the project and other rewards available
  • Update backers through a blog.

However, there are some key differences that lead us to recommending one over the other, depending on the particular client’s circumstances.

1. All things equal, we typically use Kickstarter.

Kickstarter is the largest platform with the best brand recognition. This is important, because for your campaign to succeed, people will need to enter their credit card information on the internet.

kickstarter vs indiegogo

2. For nonprofits, we typically use Indiegogo.

Through FirstGiving, Indiegogo makes tax-deductible pledges easy. For more information on all of the ins and outs of this program, visit the Indiegogo page dedicated to doing business with them as a non-profit.

3. For flexible funding, we go with Indiegogo.

Kickstarter is all-or-nothing: surpass your $ target – or you get zero. This may seem draconian, but it forces a higher level of organization, preparation, design, and drive that gives Kickstarter the brand edge.

However, sometimes circumstances are not ideal; we can’t launch the campaign at a good time of year, or we don’t have the full amount of time to prepare, or no-one has committed to the project as a significant financial benefactor. In these cases, we typically turn to Indiegogo because it has a flexible funding option. This means, for a higher percentage fee to Indiegogo, you can keep whatever money you raise even if it is below your monetary target.

4. For nontraditional projects, we typically use Indiegogo.

Kickstarter is a stickler for what kinds of projects they allow – and what kinds of projects they don’t allow.

 

Indiegogo is much more open-ended. They include sports, small business, animals, health, environment, and other project categories that Kickstarter simply does not allow. Generally speaking, the spirit of Indiegogo is much more open-ended. For a project that does not fit Kickstarter’s strict categories, Indiegogo is a much more comfortable choice.

If you would like our recommendation on which platform to choose for your project, please fill out our Artist Questionnaire. We typically respond within two weeks. We look forward to hearing about your project!