8 Reasons I Didn’t Back Your Kickstarter

Did you recently run a Kickstarter Project that failed? Well, fifty-six percent of them do. Are you thinking of running one soon? Then don’t make these mistakes that have sunk many a project (or at least made me scroll quickly to the next one)

1. You didn’t tell anyone what you were doing.

21% of failing projects never get a single pledge. If you can’t get your mom to back your project, it is just not going to happen. Letting people know what you are doing is on you. You have to tell them. Too shy to put it out there or promote yourself? Well, if you don’t have confidence in yourself or your project, why should I?

2. You have no idea what you’re doing.

So, you woke up this morning and decided to become a documentary film maker (dancer, painter, novelist- fill in the blank) and you want me to back your first project. Most backers want to see some kind of proof of success or track record before they will back something. Almost everyone in the world I’ve ever met wants to write a novel or make a film, but I’m only going to give money to someone I think can and will actually do it.

3. You didn’t have a video, or if you did, it sucked.

Kickstarter is heavily driven by video. It is the best way for you to connect personally with your backers and audience. Not having a video is a serious mistake. Having a video WITHOUT your face and voice telling your story about your project is only slightly better. People looking to back projects want a personal connection with the creator. Don’t be afraid to make a video with personality, and mistakes, and a raw, real element to it.  The Kickstarter video  is not a commercial for a product, it is an anti-commercial about the person and story behind a creative process.

4. Your project description was sloppy or showed little effort.

You wanted me to fund your book, but your Kickstarter page had misspellings, grammar mistakes and typos all over it. Even if your project isn’t writing-related, you should have someone (probably several someone’s) with language skills check and edit all your Kickstarter content. I’m guessing if your Kickstarter description is sloppy, your project product will be too, and I don’t want to pay for sloppy work.

5. Your “creative” project looks like an excuse for something else.

I’m not completely convinced you need to travel to the depths of the Amazon jungle to write your YA novel.

I’m glad you have a tea company or a lamp company or a shoe company, but how is that an artistic project? Aren’t you just trying to sell me something you’ve already made. A lot of.

I’m glad God told you to do this project and that it would succeed, and the fact that you are using it  to proselytize your religious beliefs is just a handy added bonus and all, but no, not really. I’m not glad about any of that.

6. Your project was a zombie film.

This might have been done before.

7. You had lame rewards.

Good Karma- not a good reward.

Being put on a giant list of names in the back of your e-book- who cares?

You’re traveling around the world and all I get is a homemade postcard?

Come on, people. You can’t get something for nothing, even on Kickstarter.

8. You are already exceedingly rich and famous.

Not going to name any names here, but you know who you are. Don’t worry. I may not back you for this reason, but a hell of a lot of other people will, so you should be fine.

*Stay tuned for a series of Kickstarter posts because, damn, that thing is fascinating.*

Update: READ Keeping the Charity Out of Kickstarter.

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Ripley Patton lives in a 22-foot camper in the woods of Southern Illinois with a cat named Lemmy. Her two young adult children, a daughter and a son, are her favorite people. When Ripley's not out exploring nature and getting her hands dirty, she's usually reading or writing a book.

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