Crowdfunding season is just around the corner! What are we talking about? Well, it just so happens that campaigns launching in April and ending in May have significantly higher success rates than campaigns taking place in other months.

So, with crowdfunding season pressing upon us, there’re a lot of people offering advice on how to run a successful Kickstarter campaign, but how many of them have actually run a successful campaign? With two over-funded projects under our belt and another crowdfunding campaign in our sights, we’ve got advice from our own lessons learned on how to make a successful Kickstarter campaign:

1. Timelines

Timelines are incredibly important. Meeting deadlines is even more important. And (surprise!) knowing when to let your timeline go is a must. What do we mean? Don’t be overly committed to an arbitrary date. Timelines are wonderful tools for setting goals and marking progress. But timelines become problematic when the quality of your work is sacrificed to the god of deadlines.

In our experience, it is always better to take the necessary time to create the best product and the best campaign you can rather than rushing the process to keep up with a timeline. All that being said—for the procrastinators and perfectionists out there—be wary of letting loose timelines come to fruition in the form of unaccomplished goals.

2. Network

Backers are taking a chance on you and your idea. If you want to get the most out of your backers, you need to minimize their risk. How? Network! Get as many experts in your particular field talking about your product about a week before your launch. Ask for reviews, guest posts, shares, likes, word-of-mouth recommendations—whatever you can get. Any exposure will generate intrigue, and—with the hype from experts in your market—backers will feel like your project carries more legitimate potential for success.

3. Research

When it comes to campaign appearance and creative, you’ll want to do research. This means conducting competitor research and consumer research. Did someone in your market just run an incredibly successful campaign? Great! Do a deep dive and take notes. Do not, we repeat, do not think that a certain campaign layout will give you certain success. But, a well planned, visually appealing, on-brand campaign page sells much more successfully than something you threw together in the eleventh hour.

Consumer research is just as important as competitor research. Knowing who you’re targeting will help you know how to target them best. If you have the opportunity to survey a small selection of your consumers, you can even get a better idea of things like price point sensitivity, opinions on shipping costs, or critiques of your campaign video. At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that your community of backers is the most valuable asset you have. They are literally the people who will make or break your crowdfunding endeavors. So, taking the time to get to know them, to appreciate them, and to answer their specific consumer needs will do your project wonders.

Bonus: SEO

Don’t underestimate the power of search-ability. Kickstarter offers a unique option to upload text as images. This essentially will allow you to brand your campaign page. While this is tempting, it’s not always fruitful.

Learn from our mistakes! Our creative team worked countless hours creating our campaign in InDesign and tweaking everything to be brand-perfect. When we loaded the campaign into Kickstarter, it looked amazing. When we tested the SEO, it was horrible.

Images aren’t searchable the way text is, so when Google scanned our campaign page it only saw a few words here and there, which meant we ranked far from first when people searched for our campaign. We ended up doing a last minute overhaul of our campaign because—at the end of the day—if no one can find your project, no one will see your campaign (whether it’s branded or not).