Saturday, April 29, 2017

Please help!

I am just heartbroken right now.
I have 3 days left to go on my Kickstarter campaign, and my biggest backer canceled their pledge, which puts me under the goal. Kickstarter is all or nothing, so if we don't hit goal, then the project will fail and I get nothing.
When I got that large pledge within the first several hours of my campaign launching, I was so excited, yet worried that something like this would happen. This is literally the last minute that someone can back out, as it would put me under goal.

I ask that you please check out my project and pledge if you would like something! We are in the final days, and I would like to see this become a success.

More fun chainmail items -- Kicktraq Mini

Friday, April 28, 2017

My rant about kickstarter campaigns

Have you ever browsed through Kickstarter projects, and find something that looks promising, only to open the project and discover that there isn’t anything in the description to go off of? Me too! Are you interested in your own Kickstarter, but are needing some information on how to make it work?
I am currently nearing the end of my second successful Kickstarter project. In researching projects before, during, and after my own campaigns, I keep seeing the same underlying issues with so many projects. I have put together my personal thoughts on what I like to see on a project page, and what I’m sure will help with funding a project.

First: Information!
Too many times, I’ll open up a project page, and all I see is just a paragraph (once or twice I even saw projects with just one sentence!). You can’t convey a good project idea and reward information with just one paragraph. Heck, your first paragraph should be an introduction about you, before even getting into the project information.
Once the introduction is complete, give us an idea of the background of your project. Once we have a background, give us the description on what you are wanting to accomplish with this project. Yes, we all would like to be able to quit our day job and work on this full time, however I like to see a little more personality from the creator and get to know them a little more. Then you can move on to the reward information. 

Second: Rewards!
Have a solid idea of what your rewards will be. Don’t just state something along the lines of, “I will send you one handmade widget made with my new equipment”. That tells me nothing, and doesn’t compel me to want to back your project at all. With rewards structured like this, this isn’t so much a project as it is you asking for handouts, and shoehorning in the Kickstarter requirements of having an item to offer your backers. If this is the case, you may want to consider other crowdfunding platforms that don’t require a reward item because chances are, your project here will not get funded, and your campaign will not be successful. 

Third: Pictures!
Going hand in hand with the rewards, I love to see actual pictures of the item that I will be pledging my money towards. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, and in this case, it is true! Have a good picture of each of your rewards so backers can see what their investment will get them. Going off of the description of “This tier reward will get you one widget with your name inscribed on it“ doesn’t tell us much. I want to see what this widget looks like! If possible, I would like to see a sample inscription, too! As long as the pictures are relevant, you almost can't have too many!

Fourth: Not too many pictures!
This seems to be a contradiction to what I stated previously, I know. Yes, pictures are great, however, when skimming over a project, I like to quickly glance at all the pictures, then I will go back over the information and rewards. What annoys me is to find an item in the pictures that I really like and may want to pledge for, only to find that it isn’t even one of the reward items. It’s just there to show that the creator can make this item. That’s a big letdown for me. I have even come across projects that have quite a few pictures, but only 1 or 2 of them are actual reward items. The others are there just as examples, I guess? Make sure the pictures you include are relevant.

Fifth: A Reasonable Goal!
I love the campaign! The items are great, the pictures and description are excellent, and I want to pledge to your campaign for that handmade widget reward! Here is my $20 pledge so I can get 2 of them! Oh, wait. You have a $500,000 goal for your campaign. Well, I hope that you get funded, but I’m not going to hold my breath, since there is a week left, and you are only at 8% to goal.
Setting your goal too high can be just as bad as not including any of the above items. It may not prevent me from pledging to back your project, but if your goal is totally unreasonable and the project doesn’t meet that goal, then I won’t get anything, either, and neither will you. At that point, it is a lose-lose.
I calculated the cost of what my kickstarter funds would be used to finance, and that was my goal. I didn’t put out some crazy expectations that I couldn’t possible meet. Granted, after fees and costs, I won’t be making that full amount, but I will be close enough to be able to pull it off.

So, those are the main things to focus on for a good Kickstarter, in my opinion. Notice that I didn’t even mention a video?
I don’t believe that a video is as important to a project as the above items. I don’t mind backing a project that is well thought out and presented nicely, but has no video. (To be honest, most of the time, I don’t watch the videos, anyway, unless I am already considering backing the campaign).
That being said, having a video does help! I was on the fence for one project about whether or not I wanted to back said campaign, but the video pushed me over into the pledge category. Unfortunately, that project didn’t get funded, but I’m positive that having that video did help!
You don’t have to have the best professionally produced video out there, either. Heck, mine were little more than just a slide show with a voice-over. But I did put time and effort into it, letting potential backers that I am willing and able to put such time and effort into the project and rewards, as well. I’m not just asking for a handout.
All this boils down to is simply this: information and effort. You can’t have too much information in your project. If creating the entire project in Kickstarter took less than a day or two, then I suggest you review your project again, and take at least one day for each of the previously listed items to include. If you are truly passionate about your craft/design/item, and are willing to put in the time and effort to ensure you succeed, then you certainly will!  
No, I’m not an expert, and I know that I have only had 2 projects vs people out there having many more. This is just a rant my personal views and experiences.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

I have hit a wall

I have just under 2 weeks for my Kickstarter project, and since I got funded, I seem to have hit a wall on momentum. I actually lost a pledge right after getting funded, which put me back under, but thanks to my awesome backers so far, I am right at goal now.
I did account for the mid-project slump, and to battle it, I added the barrettes and put in a stretch goal, but it doesn't seem to be helping so far. I'll try spreading the word to more people to see if that can kick things back on track. I'm just worried about losing another pledge and being below goal again.
Anyone have any suggestions?

If you decide to pledge and back my project, let me know! I would love to see if I get backers from my blog!

More fun chainmail items -- Kicktraq Mini

Edit: I may have just freaked out a little too soon. I'm just really nervous about the whole thing!

Monday, April 17, 2017

2 weeks done on the Kickstarter project!

So, we are now 2 weeks into the Kickstarter, and I am extremely proud to say that it is funded! I made it to my goal earlier today, and I am so excited!
I have added an new item as a reward for the project, the scale flower barrettes that I posted about previously. If you have been interested in getting one of the chainmail items I have posted about, check it out! You can get one of your very own!

More fun chainmail items -- Kicktraq Mini

This past week, I haven't made a whole lot. There are only a couple things that I actually finished. I had a custom order for one of the bow ties that I can make. One of my co-workers wanted a purple rubber with pink rings tie. I finished it up and it looks awesome. (Now I just need to figure out the elastic for around the neck. Shouldn't be too hard.)

In addition to finishing the tie, I also made a couple more barrettes that I have as a reward in the kickstarter project. I got a few more scale colors, so I decided to whip up a couple more as an example. All are pictured below.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

1 week down on the Kickstarter!

We are already 1 week into the Kickstarter, and I am at 74% to goal! I didn't expect to get so close so fast, but there it is! I am very excited, and I have no doubt that I will hit my funding goal. I have several co-workers who have yet to pledge that have told me they are wanting some of these items.
I'm finding it difficult to not spam everyone on Facebook and at work about the project. I am super stoked at the success so far, and I want to try and get the word out to as many people as possible. I'm limiting myself to one or two posts about it per week, just to keep my friends and family updated on the project and to remind everyone of just how must time is left.

More fun chainmail items -- Kicktraq Mini

Now that I have that out of the way and out of my system, now to post about what I have been working on the past week! 
My super awesome manager at work ordered several more bracelets from me! She has been placing order for some of her friends, and she has been spreading the word about my bracelets because she loves them so much. I actually ran out of black rings (you'll see why in the picture below). I had to place an order for more, and they came in yesterday! I only have a  couple more bracelets left to make from that order and it will be filled.

Next, when spreading word of my Kickstarter, several friends have expressed interest in the dice bags/coin purses. I have been thinking of different possible designs and color combinations. With my love of colors, I'm surprised I hadn't thought of it before, but I have made a bag with rainbow colors. I just love how it came out! I may just keep this one for myself!

Last, my mom has a bracelet and earrings set in white and red for her favorite team colors. She was wanting to get a necklace to go with them, and was looking at the Celtic Star pendants on the Kickstarter. I was experimenting with some color choices, and this is what I ended up with. I think she'll like it.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

My second Kickstarter has launched!

I was able to get everything finished up for my Kickstarter over the weekend, and it officially launched yesterday. I'm feeling really good about this one. Within 6.5 hours, I got up to 58% funded!

Here are the items that I have in the Kickstarter:

More fun chainmail items -- Kicktraq Mini