You know the scenario. Your friend Juan sends you an email asking you to back his new project on Kickstarter. It’s this really cool, incredible new board game. At least that’s what Juan says. You click on over to his campaign and, mmmm…nah. It really does not look like something you’d ever open, much less play. Besides, you’re feeling pretty tight these days, what with all the money you just spent running your own Kickstarter campaign.
Oh, wait. Juan backed that one. Shoots.
It was great at the time. You got more backers than you could have expected. Friends and family really came through! But they got rewards, didn’t they? And your rewards were amazing! Juan’s, not so much.
So, the question is: Is it really bad form to not back your friend’s Kickstarter campaign, especially when he backed yours?
Here are three tips we learned from serial creators and backers that should help you know what and what not to back – and keep your friends at the same time.
- Big or small: When a campaign is really popular, and the project has tons of backers, your pledge isn’t needed as much. You can usually tell when the project is off to races, and doesn’t need your help. If your friend’s campaign is smaller, though, and he’s struggling to increase his backer count, your contribution can make all the difference in the world to him.
- How much: One of the really cool features of Kickstarter is the ability to pledge as little as $1. You can’t go into a retail store and “donate” a minor amount to a product because you want to help out the business, but you can do just that in Kickstarter. If you aren’t flush with cash, give a little. Creators report that a $5 pledge, and even less, does a lot of good. Firstly, it makes them feel supported. They know you care and are rooting for them. It also allows you to comment on their campaigns and add good vibes to their efforts. Secondly, it increases their backer count which raises their status, could get them featured by Kickstarter, and encourages others to back as well. Finally, when Kickstarter creators back campaigns, an email goes out to all their backers about the campaign they just backed. Your one dollar can be much more significant to the success of their campaign than someone else’s $50!
- Timing: When Juan sent you that email, you did what we all do when you are uncertain. You procrastinated. Not a good move. The beginning of any Kickstarter campaign is critical. Especially the first twenty four hours. You can always increase your amount, (you will get plenty of opportunity to add more later on) and sign up for rewards and add-ons as they become available. You might not know if you can can afford the full amount right now, but whatever you could manage should be pledged right away.
Remember, Being there for each other is not always about how much you can do. It’s about giving support enthusiastically and speedily. Your friends will be grateful, and who knows, maybe you will play that board game after all!