If you have an idea for a product that you would like to sell online, but do not know if it is viable, or if you lack the funds to develop it (or both), you may be interested to know that help could be just a click away… Help in the form of a crowd-sourcing website for project developers called Kickstarter.com .
What is Kickstarter?
Kickstarter is a private company whose website provides a meeting place for product developers to reach out to potential backers and thereby raise funds to cover development costs. Project developers must be 18 or over and residents of either the USA, the UK, Canada, Australia or New Zealand.
What do the project-funders get in return?
Product developers offer specific rewards to those who fund their projects. It could be that they will receive the product when it is ready, or perhaps some kind of “experience” or privilege.
In the case of film projects, for example, it could be free seats in the front row of the premiere if the film is released. If it is a podcast, it could be free advertising for your business and so on.
If you have a product that you want to develop and you decide to use Kickstarters to try and raise funds for it, you will need to turn your product idea into a “project” with clearly stated objectives, and place it in one of thirteen different categories, which are:
- Film & Video
Before you get too excited, there are some important restrictions on the kinds of projects that Internet marketers can develop. Here is what you cannot do:
- You cannot offer financial incentives
- You cannot resell items not produced by yourself
- You cannot offer bulk quantities
- You cannot create e-commerce, business or social networking sites or apps
- You cannot create self-help or business-advice projects
For full details of what is and is not allowed see: https://www.kickstarter.com/help/guidelines
Does that mean you cannot create business-related projects?
Not at all!
You can demonstrate this to yourself by entering the word “business” or related search terms in the website search field to see what I mean.
Essentially, Kickstarter.com will allow you to create a prototype of your product and then will allow you to gauge whether anybody is likely to buy it or not.
In short, Kickstarter is a great way to validate your own product ideas BEFORE you reach the full production stage. Kickstarter is the kind of website that attracts early-adopters and innovators and they are just the kind of people you want to appeal to if you have something new to bring to the market.
If your project is well funded by Kickstarter supporters, then not only will you have covered your production costs, you will also have received valuable feedback as to the viability of launching the product online.