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7 Reasons Why Kickstarter Campaigns Fail to Raise Funds

Published by Salvador Briggman. Find him on Twitter.

It’s incredibly frustrating when you fail to hit your Kickstarter fundraising goal.

You’ve poured time, energy, and money into launching this product on Kickstarter and you have nothing to show for it.

What’s worse than the actual failure is the public embarrassment of letting down tens, hundreds, or even thousands of backers.

I want to spare you this mental anguish. It really sucks.

Thankfully, you’re a part of the small minority of entrepreneurs and creative types that are researching what it takes to be successful with crowdfunding.

At the same time, while preparation might improve the chances that you surpass your fundraising goal, it doesn’t guarantee it!

Let’s go through a few of the reasons that Kickstarter campaigns flop. This will help you avoid dreaded public failure.

1. A Weak Halfhearted Team

I hate to say it, but it’s true. You, as an individual, can only accomplish so much by yourself. You’re limited by your time, skills, and natural abilities.

If you want to work on a project larger than yourself, then you’re going to need to assemble a robust team that is enthusiastic about your vision.

The reason I say this is that I’ve met many hopeful entrepreneurs through this blog, the Crowdfunding Demystified Podcast, Kickstarter Forum, and the Kickstarter Launch Formula.

They’re doing everything RIGHT. They’re learning. They’re educating themselves. But then, when they finally do launch, they don’t see the results they were hoping for.

A piece of the puzzle is missing.

You drastically improve the chances of soaring past your Kickstarter goal when you’ve attracted a committed team that is going to help you every step of the way.

This team should have diverse skill sets, so that they can help you with various aspects of the project.

2. No Coach, Mentor, or Consultant

You’ve never built a house before, right?

Let’s say you’re trying to build a house. You’re gonna do everything from financing to construction.

Sure, you could figure that all out by yourself. You could pick up books at the library. You could google around the internet and read articles on home building.

No matter how prepared you thought you were, you’re probably gonna mess up at some point.


Because you’ve NEVER built a house before. Your blueprint might be off and you have to re-do the foundation. Your plumbing and electric system might fail. It’d turn into a huge head ache.

You’d stand a far greater chance of success if you hired a coach, mentor, or master planner that can help you every step of the way.

The same principle can be applied to crowdfunding. Experts like myself are there to help you.

Sure, you gotta invest in yourself and your project. But, a small fee is nothing compared to knowing that you’re armed with a proven plan that works when it comes to getting backers for your campaign.

Retain the services of a consultant or coach to point you in the right direction. They can help you with choosing other service providers, creating a marketing plan, and getting the word out about your campaign.

3. Zero Advertising Budget

When self-publishing first became a thing, it was easy to dream that you were going to become the next bestselling author.

After all, there were no more barriers. You just have to write a book and publish it yourself!

The reality is that writing a book is a lot easier than selling a book. To sell a book, you need a marketing budget. You need to do the same things that a publishing company would do to promote your work.

Similarly, it’s true that Kickstarter removes the “gatekeepers” that were stopping your project from coming to life. Now, though, you must be the one to market and promote your work.

No one’s going to do it for you.

As Kickstarter has matured as a platform, there has been a remarkable increase in the quantity and quality of campaigns. In order to stand out on the site, you gotta invest in marketing and advertising.

This budget could go towards:

Many campaigns fail to hit their fundraising goal because they don’t have an advertising budget.

They must rely on “hoping” and “pleading” influencers to share their project for free, which we both know, isn’t gonna happen.

4. Sad Truth: It Shouldn’t Exist

There is a reason that television shows are canceled.

There is a reason that after a certain point, movie sequels cease to be created.

It’s because there isn’t a big enough audience and it’s not profitable.

I’d think of Kickstarter as a testing ground. You’re seeing if there’s enough interest to turn this project from an idea into a reality.

Just because you fail to get funding for THIS project doesn’t mean that you can’t come up with another idea and raise money with crowdfunding.

The only way that you’ll be able to know for sure whether or not you’re going to successfully raise funds on Kickstarter is if you validate the product before launching.

This means that you objectively determine people WANT this product and are willing to pay for it.

Not every project should exist, because quite simply, not enough people want it to. They’re not willing to pay for the end-product. They don’t believe in the mission.

5. Poor Branding and Campaign Design

Just because you have a vision for a product doesn’t mean that it’s clearly communicated to your backers.

I see many great products fail to raise funds simply because they didn’t do an effective job explaining their campaign to the public.

They don’t show people USING the product. They don’t show the lifestyle behind the product.

This makes it harder for backers to imagine how they’d use the item in their daily life. As a result, they’re less likely to support the campaign.

Make sure that you have high resolution images of the product. Include various angles with different backgrounds.

Here are a few others ways that you can enhance your campaign page:

  • Use media logos to build credibility
  • Have photos of people using the product
  • Make attractive headline images to break up text
  • Include photos of your team
  • Don’t forget a production timeline
  • Highlight features and benefits, not just product specs
  • Include high quality music in your video

Your branding and campaign design will have a direct result on how many people that visit your page convert into backers.

6. Lack of a Media Outreach Strategy

Often times, funders will hit a wall.

They were able to hit a certain milestone, but they have trouble growing past it.

When talking to these campaigns, the #1 most popular regret I hear is, “I wish we had a better media strategy.”

That way, they’d be able to push past the “Kickstarter slump” and maintain their fundraising momentum.

I’ve put together a free video course to walk you through the basics of media outreach.

—> You can check out the course here <—

When you’re mentioned by a blogger, influencer, or media publication, you gain access to a whole new audience that hasn’t yet heard about your Kickstarter project.

Not only will you get more traffic to the campaign, but you’ll also boost the backer numbers for your project.

7. Bad Timing

Finally, many crowdfunding campaigns will fail to raise funds simply because the timing was off.

The Coolest Cooler Kickstarter campaign is a great example of this. Initially, it failed to hit its goal when it was launched in January. However, it was re-launched closer to the summer months turned into a massive success!

You can do the right things at the wrong time and fail miserably. You have to do the right things at the right time.

Make sure to take into account the time of the year you’re launching, along with the day of the week.

Don’t forget to factor in how long it will take you to fulfill rewards and when your backers will have the product in their hands.

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