Kickstarter is a great website that allows for small projects to get off the ground and not have to takeout small business loans. My team recently went through a Kickstarter funding phase but did not get funded. Through our mistakes and successes, hopefully you can learn what not to do and have a funded project.
What is Kickstarter? In short, a community funding website. This is not a micro loans website. Basically, people will fund your project and in return they get a non-monetary gift in return. Each reward is a based on the amount given. The neat thing about Kickstarter is that almost any project idea could be approved for funding.
You want to try and stay near the 3k-6k mark as much as possible. This isn't to say that you could be successful with a 10k mark, but it is less likely.
When we submitted our idea for approval, our first budget was 80k. We were approved to launch the project but were warned to lower to goal to as low as possible. After doing some reorganizing of our project, we got our goal to 35k. Again this was too much, but we didn't see that about mid-way through our project.
2) Double check your project
Is your project as simple as it can be? Are you reaching farther than your budget would allow?
One of our goals with Sixth was to release it on the mobile platform. We wanted to jump on the mobile platform. However, our goal should have been for the PC/Mac. By doing this, we don't have to raise as much and we are opened to a broader market.
3) Have Awesome Rewards
Rewards are Kickstarter's backbone for supporting projects. With awesome rewards and reasonable entry points for these rewards, users are more likely to support it.
Our rewards were good, but they could have been better. The link below will take you to our page where you can see them. Some of our best rewards, from my perspective, were the "Developer Insight Blog" (which technically you're on) and the "Free Game". The free game was our most popular option.
4) Make a Great Video
There is no question that you need to have a video that grabs users' attention. Videos allow the users to see who you are and what you are about. It puts a face to the project and personalizes it. Few warnings with the video. Don't go over 2-3 minutes. If you have to, 4 is the max. Internet viewers have a short attention span. Incredibly short. (You're still reading?)
First, grab their attention. You have about 15-30 seconds to grab the viewers attention before they move on. After grabbing their attention, describe what your project is about and what rewards the viewer will get in supporting your project. Keep it fun and have fun. Lastly, include any information that is very important and that the viewer should know.
Below are some videos that I have listed that did a good job.
5) Provide consistent updates
The Kickstarter community likes updates, but don't over do it. Introduce your team, if there is a team, individually by having them give brief bio's. Talk about the project's progression and show that you aren't waiting for their money to start. Having a website that provides more information about the project can't hurt either.
As a side note, personally thank each pledger. This adds a nice touch and shows that you care about the project and the pledger.