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3 Lessons from a 209% Successful Kickstarter Project

3 Lessons from a 209% Successful Kickstarter Project

Kickstarter is Awesome, But Not Miraculous

If you have a product you want to sell, Kickstarter is a great place to start. Maybe you need funds for the initial production run, or maybe you just want to test your concept – either way it’s a great platform. There are lots of posts and books about how to run a successful Kickstarter project, but after doubling our targeted goal for SnapLaces we did a few things a bit different than what others have recommended. Obviously every project is unique, but some of the principals we used should still be valuable.


3 Simple Lessons for A Successful Kickstarter Project

  1. First and foremost, we worked our asses off. Running a campaign is more than a full time job, and even with people splitting the work there was still a lot to get done.
  2. We didn’t discount our product. Kickstarter is the one time in a products lifecycle where people might be willing to pay more just to help you out. Don’t make the mistake of discounting just to get backers. Most people underestimate what it will take to get a product to market, and even if you don’t, unexpected things can crop up.
  3. We contacted everyone that backed us. Literally everyone. Their responses to our questions ultimately led to valuable insights and shaped both the tone of our campaign and the direction of our company.

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A Successful Kickstarter Project is A LOT of Work

The amount of work a successful Kickstarter project requires is probably the biggest reason for failure. Having successfully managed a campaign and backed several others that were not successful, I can confidently state that there is a high correlation between the effort and result. The ones that didn’t interact with backers or actively engage, didn’t meet their funding goals.

We Didn’t Discount Our Product

Many Kickstarter projects offer discounts on the product being funded. We felt like that was a bad idea, especially at the under $50 price point we were in. We knew that we’d need over 1000 backers to be successful and lowering an already small price point would add to that number. More importantly the purpose of the campaign was to raise funds to pay for a new plastic injection mold, so we reasoned that backers would be preordering our product and helping us bootstrap the effort.

One thing we did do was offer a significant discount to a limit number of early backers to gain momentum. Your first week on Kickstarter is crucial because new projects are featured and people are much more likely to discover them. The “early adopter” reward allowed us to get the required momentum to become one on the top  projects on Kickstarter which led to additional backers, but the limit made sure that we weren’t sacrificing our overall funding objectives.

Communication is Key

Prior to launching we studied other successful projects and one data point stuck out. Successful projects updated an average of 1.8 times PER DAY! This is where the bulk of the work came in. In addition to sending messages to every backer and responding to their questions, we tried to post 2-3 times every day on Kickstarter, as well as maintaining an active social media presence (active as in cultivating relationships, not just carpet bombing posts) on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Communication is the key to success on Kickstarter.

Engage and communicate relevant information to people who have helped you (or would likely help you if only they knew you existed) is the most reliable way to have a successful Kickstarter project.

What Now?

The next project will definitely be better run and more organized, but if we can save you some time and misery by sharing than it will have been worth the time invested in reading.

As always, if you have a question or comment – just ask!

Ask Me Something


50% off a Social Media Makeover

50% off a Social Media Makeover

Social Media Makeover

UPDATE: For the rest of March, we’re offering our social media makeover for 50% off!

Social media is one of the first places prospective clients are going to “meet” you and your company. What will their first impression be? Make sure your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube accounts (yes you should have an account on each) are sending the right message, by letting the Workshed team create a custom profile and background image for each.

Social Media Makeover

What’s it cost?

Typically we charge $500-$600 for this service, but through the end of March we’re “slashing our prices” (imagine the guy with the crazy radio voice) and offering it for $300. For those within the range of our photographer, that’s an epic deal, for the rest of you…you’ll have to settle for a great deal!

What about the free giveaway?

To enter the “Great Social Media Makeover Giveaway” is easy. Just tell us in the comments below how you currently use social media (if at all) to market your business and share this post to the social network of your choice.

Share the social media makeover

Facebook Share link for the social media makeoverShare the social media makeover on Google+Custom Share link for the social media makeoverLinkedIn Share link for the social media makeover

[clear]If you are selected we’ll contact you with the rest of the details.

For the forward thinking types who want to proceed with the social media makeover anyway (because it’s such a great deal, and you know how important it is) we’ll refund your payment if you are selected.

What’s Included?


If you are within 30 miles of our office, we’ll send Brady over with his fancy camera to take pictures! If you’ve ever had professional pictures taken, you know this is a screaming deal. If you are not within range of our visual arts master, we take what you have and work with it. If it’s rubbish, we’ll do something with graphics instead.

Facebook Page

Custom Profile Image Custom Cover Photo

Google Plus Page

Custom Profile Image Custom Cover Photo

YouTube Profile

Custom Profile Image Custom Channel Art

Twitter Profile

Custom Profile Image Custom Background Image Custom Header

LinkedIn Page

Custom Header Image Custom Standard Logo Custom Square Logo

Universal (for your other pages)

Custom Background Image Custom Profile Image

Share the social media makeover

Facebook Share link for the social media makeoverShare the social media makeover on Google+Custom Share link for the social media makeoverLinkedIn Share link for the social media makeover


Social Media Makeover Form

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Workshed completes web “experience”

Workshed completes web “experience”

Camas, Wash. (May 6, 2008)—Rare is the work assignment that very nearly is pure creativity. But that is just what Camas-based Workshed Creative Agency stumbled onto when it won the opportunity to partner with Andy Harrison at to execute the vision of New York-based retired financier and philanthropist to the photographic arts, Howard Stein.

JGS Forward Thinking Museum - The Elevator

Stein, regarded as a pioneer in mutual funds and a father of social investing, long has worked to democratize access to photography. His vision: a web-based portal that provides an experience akin to looking at photography in a museum.“This is the kind of project that agencies dream of doing because it has all the elements of great creative work,” says Bret Van Horn, president and creative director of Workshed Creative Agency.“We are thrilled Andy Harrison at thought to approach us when he sought a creative agency partner for this project,” Van Horn says.Workshed presented the right combination of talent and skill necessary to bring highly creative vision into reality.“As we grow the museum, this project will continue to require innovative, creative solutions that we not only execute, but accomplish within very strict deadlines,” says Harrison. “The creative experience that we all bring to the table makes for a unique, very thoughtful and ‘forward thinking’ look at photographic, socioeconomic, scientific and political issues.”The result: A completely flash-based digital museum where visual perspective is different from most non-gaming websites. At the Forward Thinking Museum,, a docent greets visitors and provides a Digital Navigation Device. The docent then directs traffic to an elevator that seems to rise ad infinitum, stopping at galleries along the way.Forward Thinking Museum is laced with humor, irreverence and a leaning toward the surreal. It currently features nine photo exhibits, each with artist biographies and background information on the display. As the elevator that seemingly climbs to the sky implies, innumerable exhibits can be added.

JGS Forward Thinking Museum - The BuildingTodd Hido RoomJoe Mills Room

Workshed and MacTechHelp have built a content management system that will enable additional galleries to be added easily by the JGS staff. An offshoot of Stein’s foundation, The Joy of Giving Something, the Forward Thinking Museum is a vehicle to call attention to hot topics in the world of photographic arts. The possibilities are endless.“We don’t know what it all means,” says Stein, “but we do know that this is just the beginning.”Of all the projects Workshed completes month-in and month-out, the agency is highlighting Forward Thinking Museum because it raised the bar.“Forward Thinking Museum establishes a point of reference for companies and organizations that are seeking innovative web development. FTM provides an example for where we can take our imaginations and apply creativity in all our endeavors, not just museums and online games,” says Van Horn.In addition to web design, development and consulting, Workshed offers an extensive list of capabilities. Services include: innovative brand-focused advertising, marketing and creative services, complete motion media production for television and radio, corporate videos, music videos and other projects, as well as directing and editing.Workshed‘s roster of clients also includes: Subaru, C3MS, Camas Farmer’s Market, The Pixie Project, Oregon Public Broadcasting, Downtown Camas, Washougal Town Square, Camas Educational Foundation and Amy Sacks Eyewear., based in Portland, Oregon, but consulting to Mac-specific businesses and individuals throughout the U.S., works to “make Mac geeks out of everyone.”MacTechHelp provides technical consulting services to people who need a little handholding as the world of technology gains complexity. Technical consulting, paired with a rich design background allows MacTechHelp to provide a very focused, and informative range of web, print, hardware and software specific services. MacTechHelp’s roster of clients includes: Joy of Giving Something, Michael Kenna Photography, Nazraeli Press, Ron van Dongen Photography, ASID Oregon, IDC Oregon, The Firm Public Relations and Alpha & Omega Financial Services.For more information, go to: or