Four Tips for Artists Using Kickstarter August 06 2013, 2 Comments
Back in the day artists had patrons who supported their work and provided a living for them. These days, crowfunding sites offer everyone the opportunity to be a patron of the arts. Earlier this month we wrapped up a successful Kickstarter campaign for one of the Front Porch Art artists, Rebecca Phillips. In just two weeks her project was 100% funding. Because of this project's backers, she was able to create two posters featuring her entire Memphis Type Illustrated series. Below we've compiled four tips (plus a bonus mini-tip) for successfully using Kickstarter to fund your next artistic endeavor.
GIVE PEOPLE SOMETHING VALUABLE TO SUPPORT
Rebecca's project was about preserving Memphis history by making her artwork more accessible to everyone. People enjoy supporting something that matters, whether it be making your awesome artwork more readily available at any budget or working to preserve the history of a city you love.
OFFER REWARDS THAT GET PEOPLE TALKING
A major element of designing a successful Kickstarter campaign is to offer great rewards for your backers. Remember, they're the ones making this happen for you! For Rebecca's project, each pledge level received art from the series, which increases future exposure of Rebecca's work. For just $10 backers receive a "printable" 8x8 image from her series by email. Reward levels after that received different variations of the Memphis Type Illustrated poster prints. You want your backers to talk about you to their friends long after your project is complete.
REACH OUT FOR SUPPORT
If you build it and don't tell anyone about it, no one will come. No matter how much work you put into a great video or project page, you'll have to talk it up. Start building a circle of support before you launch that includes friends, family, and other social connections. Create a list of websites or bloggers that might be into writing about your project. Rebecca's work was featured in both StyleBlueprint Memphis and on Good.is, both in “Push for Good” and in a feature article.
BE GENEROUS: OFFER BACKERS THE BEST REWARDS YOU CAN
You may feel like a starving artist, but don't let that make you lose sight of what you're hoping to accomplish: completing a specific project and gaining more exposure for your work. Our project's rewards were set at retail value so that our backers would get great value for their support. While it might be tempting to keep the best rewards back for the higher pledges, it's a nice touch for backers to get a piece of the project, and artist, they're supporting if at all possible.
BONUS MINI-TIP: Fulfilling your orders will take you longer than expected, so give yourself more buffer than you think you need. We thought we gave ourselves enough, but when the post office never delivered the special packing supplies we ordered, and then we decided to change the size of the shipping tube to further protect the print(s) inside, time just started leaking away.
For specific tips on setting up a Kickstarter campaign, Kickstarter offers a great guide. Plus there are tons of resources online to learn more about making a great video, etc. Good luck!
YOUR TURN: What do you think of artists using crowdfunding resources like Kickstarter to support their work?