Four Kickstarter Essentials

We're gearing up for our second Kickstarter campaign, and that means a lot of prep work. Kickstarter pages don't just happen, they require planning, writing, design and review. If people get to your page and don't like (or don't understand) what they're seeing, they're not going to pledge. Fortunately, there are four key elements to include to give you an edge with prospective backers.

1. An Intro Video

While Kickstarter doesn't technically require an introductory video, almost every project you'll find on Kickstarter includes a video. Not only does it improve your odds of funding (Kickstarter claims that projects with a video fund 50% of the time vs. 30% without), it also gives you an opportunity to speak directly to your audience and give them an elevator pitch the moment they reach your page. In addition, when you link to your Kickstarter page, most social media sites will put your video into the post, so your video also becomes a mini-commercial for your project.

2. Third-Party Reviews

Board games are a mix of art and commodity. They are both subjective works and objective products. Unless you're a renowned publisher with several acclaimed games to your name, you can't expect people to back your game just because you say its good. You need a track record of quality components and good production standards before people will take your word for such things. And the design of the game is even more subjective.

As a result, it's critical to get third-party reviews from trusted bloggers or video reviewers. As a Kickstarter, you probably don't have finished copies of your game for review, and many reviewers don't accept unpublished games. Others will preview your game for a charge, so you need to determine what will work for your budget/target market.

BoardGameGeek has a good list of reviewers here.

3. Rulebook/How-To-Play

As useful as reviewers are to add credibility to your game, it can also really help to let prospective backers read the rules or even try out your game with a print-and-play. If you're nervous about your idea being stolen (you shouldn't be, but if you are), you should at least offer a description or video giving an overview of how to play your game, and what makes it different from other games.

4. About the Company

As much as people like getting a game, Kickstarter is also about supporting people. It's a good idea to reserve at least a part of your page or intro video to introduce the people behind your game. Designers, artists, businesspeople, etc., anyone contributing to your efforts and helps make it happen. Every purchase is an emotional decision, especially those made for entertainment, like buying a board game. If you can make a personal connection with your audience, you have a much better chance of converting them into a backer.