The Heavenly Sight project was successfully funded on Kickstarter! This, of course, is great news. However, it’s an extra big deal for us because it’s the first Kickstarter campaign that we managed. In the process we gained a lot of valuable insight that we hope to be able to duplicate for other projects like this one. Of note:

Approval process improves success

Kickstarter’s approval process may seem onerous, but it’s actually a good thing: making sure that the project is clearly defined and has a solid backbone for marketing before you start asking people for money gives you a more professional look, thereby improving the chances of people taking you seriously and feeling comfortable funding the project.

Social media important, but not as important as you might think

Social media was very important, but did not form the majority of the contributions. Approximately 30% of the funding was brought in via social media campaigning. That’s a sizable chunk, to be sure. But a much bigger portion came from people close to the project.

Building community ownership

The Kickstarter setup gives the audience a sense of ownership, and begins to build a community around a project before it’s launched. People who choose to back the project are invested in its success, and will form a core of evangelists as the project develops. Build it and they will come is a huge mistake that most start-ups still don’t understand. The Kickstarter approach allows a company or cause to actually grow it’s audience or client-base during a pre-launch period.

Always more to learn

Obviously every project has its own unique features and challenges. This project was somewhere between a “cause” oriented campaign and a “product” campaign. The tradition of blind gospel is fairly niche, but has branches into a variety of communities: music aficionados, religious folks, and people interested in black history all intersect on this topic. A documentary is a “product,” but it’s not a product like a lamp or iPad cover.

Do you have experience with Kickstarter? What observations were you able to draw from your own campaigns, successful or otherwise? Join the conversation below!