Hack Kickstarter - 6 Experts Reveal How They Crowdfunded $1m

Learn the' step-by-step guide to campaign planning and marketing. Hands on tips & tools to crowdfund 2-20x your target.
25 reviews
  • Tom Eilon Crowdfunding Expert, Geek, Entrepreneur, VC,

    Tom Eilon is the founder of Thinkubator Partners, where he focuses on helping other startups grow.

    Tom launched one of the first Kickstarter projects, following Kickstarters launch in the UK and successfully raised funding for The Manuka Belt (The belt reinvented with magnets) in 2013.

    Tom has been able to connect with a many other Kickstarter veterans and entrepreneurs and regularly brings them together at a monthly dinner, called Thinkubator. Thinkubator gives entrepreneurs and crowdfunding specialists a chance to reveal their biggest problems and concerns in private, to get advice, support (and therapy!) from each other. The Thinkubator network has grown to 100 trusted and knowledgeable entrepreneurs, consistently helping each other to succeed.


    Prior to Thinkubator Partners, Tom was Head of Product and Strategy at venture-backed startup, Metail, and has also worked at Atomico Ventures, the venture capital fund set up by the founder of Skype.

    Tom holds an MA in Natural Sciences (Physics) from Cambridge University and an MBA from INSEAD. He shares cool products and random thoughts @tomeilon.

  • Lifetime access to 46 lectures
  • 2+ hours of high quality content
  • A community of 3300+ students learning together!

Hack Kickstarter - 6 Experts Reveal How They Crowdfunded $1m

Learn the' step-by-step guide to campaign planning and marketing. Hands on tips & tools to crowdfund 2-20x your target.
25 reviews


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Course updated January 2015.

Only 1,000 people have raised more than $100,000 on Kickstarter.

How did they do that?

I interviewed 6 Kickstarter Expert to ask just that. Each expert has raised between $50,000 and $500,000 and knows exactly what it takes to create a campaign that delivers well beyond expectations. We get deep into the detail of how the experts planned, executed and delivered their campaigns. By taking this course you will be able to understand the steps they took and replicate their success.

This course covers:

    Creating your campaign: How the experts created with their campaign, video and project page and made them stand out.

    Planning: How you should plan out your campaign beginning to end. What the experts did and what worked for them.

    Launch day: A minute-by-minute plan for launch day.

    Marketing and promotion: Once you’ve created your campaign, it’s time to let the world know it exists. The experts will explain how they marketed their projects to get great results.

    Project fulfilment: How to deliver on your promises to backers

    Tips & Tricks: Little known tips and tricks that can make a massive difference in execution as well as key crowdfunding mistakes and pitfalls to avoid

Cram through this course in a day or take your time over 3.

You should take this course if you don't want to waste time second guessing what works and doesn't work. The Experts have crowdfunded their own ideas using these techniques, and they'll tell you the mistakes they made for you to avoid.

Whats included:

6 expert interviews

Detailed questions on how each Expert planned, managed and executed their campaign

Checklists complied from interviews

No need to hunt through each interview to figure out how to take immediate action. The key steps are outlined for you.

Money back guarantee

This course comes with a no-questions-asked 30 day money back guarantee. If you don't get what you need out of this course, I personally promise you will get your money back.


Signup to take the course today.

    • You are have an interest in crowdfunding
    • You've checked out Kickstarter and think its pretty darn cool!
    • Over 46 lectures and 3 hours of content!
    • 40 lectures based on interviews with the experts
    • On completing the course you will have the tools needed to develop a killer crowdfunding campaign, plan it’s launch and marketing and raise well beyond your target
    • If you are interested in the topic of crowdfunding, this course is for you
    • This course is relevant to all crowdfunding platforms (Indiegogo, CrowdCube, Seedrs, etc., not just Kickstarter)
    • Anyone considering how to fund their business
    • Anyone interested in creating an extra source of income


30 day money back guarantee
Lifetime access
Available on Desktop, iOs and Android
Certificate of completion


  • SECTION 1:
  • 1
    Who Are You? What's Your Kickstarter Story?
  • 2
    What Made You Want To Run A Kickstarter Campaign?

    What made you want to run a Kickstarter campaign?

    Motivation: There are many reasons to want to start a Kickstarter. Whatever your motivation you can make a big success of your campaign. Here are a few reasons you may want to get started:

    ·A business wanting to grow and reach a new audience

    ·A design studio looking for a channel for a specific project

    ·An idea or project to make income

    ·Just wanting to get involved

  • 3
    What One Piece Of Advice Would You Give Someone Running Their First Kickstarter?
  • 4
    Checklist: Meet The Experts
  • SECTION 2:
  • 5
    How To Come Up With Your MInimum Funding Goal
    How to come up with your minimum funding goal:

    Set the minimum raise as small as possible, while still being sensible:

    ·Backers can be scared off by a large minimum raise goal

    ·Exceeding your minimum early will drive extra momentum

    ·Funding the project many times over will look great and drive more people to see you page

    … but, make sure you can deliver your project, even if you just creep over your goal

  • 6
    Setting Pledge Levels That Customers Want

    Set pledge levels that customers want

    Put the prototype into peoples hands

    ·Ask them how much they would pay for it

    ·And what variations they would like for different pledge levels

    Build people up from a low base

    ·Set the vanilla product at a low cost

    ·Put value-adding features to the product as affordable increments to the base price (Make it shiny, add colour, deliver some early - do what makes sense for you, your manufacturing capabilities and your product)

  • 7
    Choosing The Campaign Duration

    Choosing the campaign duration

    Keep it short and sweet

    · Keeping up the hype and communicating ‘scarcity’ is easier for a short campaign

    Longer campaigns will extend the period where you get fewest orders

    · Extending the campaign will drive additional orders

    · but consider whether it’s worth it for the extra energy you will need to put in

  • 8
    $ or £ - Understand The Impact
    $ or £ - Understand the impact

    If you are outside the US, consider trying to put your campaign in $

    · People understand $ better

    · Amazon payments allows people to pay without getting out their credit card

    · But you need to have a US team member

    · And it will add more complexity around tax and money transfer

    · Choose carefully…

  • 9
    How To Get Feedback For Your Campaign That Adds Value

    How to get feedback for your campaign, that adds value

    Share your project with potential backers

    · Helps to get your messaging right – people will tell you what they don't understand

    · Consider your product from the perspective of different groups of people that may be interested in the campaign

    · Get feedback from potential backers on pricing

    · Get people engaged with the campaign – means they will back the project when you launch

  • 10
    Pricing Reward Levels
    Pricing reward levels

    Consider your retail price for the main product

    · Then give a healthy discount for your backers

  • 11
    Don't Forget About Regulators And Taxes
    Don’t forget about regulators and taxes!

    ·Understand the regulation requirements work before launching

    ·Understand who will be taxing you

    ·Think through VAT and transferring money between currencies

    ·This all needs to be worked out before launch

  • 12
    How Much Time & Money Should You Invest Upfront?
    How much time & money should you invest upfront?

    You can launch a Kickstarter project with very little upfront investment

    ·Invest your time to prepare the project

    ·Be creative in getting others involved

    ·Manufacturing partners and videographers can be brought on to share the profits to avoid upfront costs

    ·Spend the money you need on finishing your product and shooting the video

    ·You can go from concept to project very quickly if you focus (Ben did it in 2 months)

  • 13
    Checklist: It's All In The Planning
  • SECTION 3:
  • 14
    Early Momentum - Why It Matters
    Early momentum - Why it matters

    Build early momentum is crucial

    ·Dramatic acceleration on day 1 is important to drive buzz and gets you onto popular pages which drives traffic throughout the campaign

    Some easy tactics to drive Day 1 momentum

    ·Emailing friends is the first and easiest marketing activity you can do

    ·Reduce the price of Early Bird pledges and give extra presents to friends that pledge on the first day

    ·Consider pricing Early Bird pledges at cost or even free!

    ·Use Boomerang to email your contact list on the first day: http://www.boomeranggmail.com/

  • 15
    Research Similar Projects That Succeeded

    Research similar projects that succeeded

    Research similar campaigns that achieved their goal

    · Use the Bit.ly link trick to find where similar projects got shared

    · Build out your blog list based on which blogs covered similar projects which lead to shares

  • 16
    Step-By-Step - Researching Similar Projects That Succeeded
  • 17
    How To Do Blogger Reachout

    How to do blogger reachout

    Reaching out to blogs

    · Condense your pitch into a short email and distribute it to your team

    · Create additional photos and copy for journalists that get in touch

    · Create a long list of all the publications where you would like to see your project covered

    · Hustle to find contact details for people that you don't know – put them all in a spreadsheet

    · Reach out to bloggers you know and other big publications as a priority

    · Reach out to the smaller blogs once the campaign is moving

    · Plan exclusives – offer one publication the chance to cover the article one day in advance of the rest

    Finding email addresses can be tricky - Here is a great set of techniques to find blogger email addresses:

    · http://life-longlearner.com/find-email-addresses/

  • 18
    Use Social Media Effectively
    Use social media effectively

    Create social media surround sound

    · Decide who you want to be your first set of backers

    · Line up 20-30 friends in that group to ‘retweet’, ‘like’, ‘upvote’ all of your posts on day 1

    · Reach target backers through social media with the same message 2-4 times in quick succession to really grab their attention and get them sharing

  • 19
    TIP: Harvest SEO Juice

    Tip: Harvest SEO juice

    Benefit from the SEO that bloggers will bring you by linking to your site

    · Set up a url on your site that links directly to your Kickstarter page e.g. www.your_site.com/kickstarter

    · Ask journalists to link to this page rather than your Kickstarter page

    · After the campaign you can redirect this page as you like (e.g. to a site selling your product) and benefit from the traffic that the articles will continue to drive

  • 20
    Checklist: Marketing Setup
  • SECTION 4:
  • 21
    Find Inspiration: Which Campaigns Inspired You?

    Find inspiration: Which campaigns inspired you?

    Spend time on Kickstarter checking out campaigns and videos that you love. Analyse why you like them and how you can recreate their magic.

    ·Matt: Inspired by the hardware project Makey-Makey

    ·Andrew: Inspired by the higher vision of the 10 Year Hoodie

    ·Paul: Inspired by the simplicity and effectiveness of the TGT Wallet

    ·Adam: Inspired by capturing the reaction of the public that Remy achieved

    Find inspiration outside of Kickstarter too

    ·Ben: took his inspiration from the Kickstarter-like Polaroid adverts

  • 22
    Creating A Killer Video: Matt - Touch Board
  • 23
    Creating A Killer Video: Adam - Manuka Gyroscope
  • 24
    Creating A Killer Video: Ben - Projecteo
  • 25
    Creating A Killer Video: Paul - The Vamp
  • 26
    Creating A Killer Video: Mark - The Nutter
  • 27
    How do you know whether you've nailed the video?
  • 28
    How to set up your Kickstarter Page - Manuka Gyroscope
    How to setup your Kickstarter page

    Craft your product page like it’s a product of its own

    ·Communicate your message in pictures

    ·Communicate to the different types of people that might be looking at your page

    ·GIFs can demonstrate what your product does in a really simple way: How to make a gif

    ·Add addition content based on the questions and feedback you get from backers

    ·Explain what the funding will be used for

    ·Show off the pledges levels in picture format on the page

  • 29
    Checklist: Recording a killer video & setting up your page
  • SECTION 5:
  • 30
    Manage Your Campaign Using Milestones
    Manage your campaign using milestones

    Break your campaign into milestones

    ·Achieve 20% of your funding target with close friends and your wider network (80% of campaigns that reach this milestone succeed)

    ·Achieve your full funding goal by reaching out to a the niche community and news outlets focused on your segment

    ·Go way beyond your goal by targeting other groups that may be interested and wider mainstream press

  • 31
    TIP: Pick The Right Day Of The Week To Launch
    Tip: Pick the right day of the week to launch

    Launch on a Tuesday and plan to complete your campaign on a Friday

    ·Kickstarter gets less pledges of the weekend

    ·As you first and last days should be your strongest, make sure they fall during the working week

    ·Monday, everyone will probably be a bit too busy to help you by backing your campaign immediately. Tuesday seems to work fine.

  • 32
    What To Do On Launch Day
    What to do on launch day

    Launch day… “Be on it”

    ·Get your friends and key supporters primed for the minute you launch to upvote your posts, and spread the word

    ·Create a stock email for interested press

    ·Answer questions immediately

    ·Monitor comments, questions and feedback – a fast response will show a good signal to other people coming to the page

  • 33
    Should You Take Orders Outside Of Kickstarter?
    Should you take orders outside of Kickstarter?

    CONTROVERSIAL – Make your own decision on this one

    ·If people want to buy your product in bulk you could take up to 30% more pre-orders by allowing backers to pay for pre-orders over Paypal (separate from Kickstarter)

    ·But this will add additional complexity to your project:

    oYou will need to link people to orders across 2 separate databases

    oYou will dilute the momentum on your Kickstarter page

    You can make your life easier by clever pricing of your pledges

    ·Make sure that no multiple of pledges can add up to the price of another pledge – this way you can work out what people want if they increase their pledge to cover the value of two or more rewards

  • 34
    Keeping Your Campaign Fresh
    Keeping your campaign fresh

    Keep momentum throughout your campaign

    ·Schedule multiple casual updates targeted at people who are asking questions about your campaign

    ·Keep your backers informed through Kickstarter updates

    ·Listen to what other pledges backers want and try to add additional pledges to upsell existing backers

  • 35
    Checklist: Launching the campaign
  • SECTION 6:
  • 36
    Getting Rewards To Backers
    Getting rewards to backers

    Plan how you will deliver your rewards

    ·Double your estimations of time to delivery – its always better exceed backer expectations than to be late

    ·Consider tracked post – the extra cost will save a lot of hassle – up to 5% of untracked parcels go missing

    ·Budget a significant amount of time to reply to email and manage issue resolution

  • 37
    Communicating With Backers
    Communicating with backers

    Communicate actively with backers

    ·Assign someone to manage all the communication with backers

    ·Be honest – don't be afraid to give bad news

    ·Communicate frequently, but don't let it take over your life – every couple of weeks seems to be the norm

  • 38
    Surveying Backers The Right Way
    Surveying backers the right way

    Survey backers the right way

    ·Survey your backers for addresses as late as possible

    ·You can consider products like BackerKit which provide more detailed surveys and the opportunity for backers to upgrade their pledge

    ·Other tools that will help you survey your backers and take orders after the campaign:




  • 39
    Checklist: Delivering Your Project
  • SECTION 7:
  • 40
    What Drove Momentum Into Your Campaign? Day-By-Day Breakdown: Adam
    What drove momentum into your campaign? Day-by-day breakdown

    Your project evolution

    ·Expect to see a big spike on day 1

    ·Getting featured on the various popular pages on Kickstarter will drive significant pledges for your campaign

    ·Mega blogs, mainstream press or syndication of stories across the web will produce spikes during your campaign

    ·You can try changing categories to entice people who only browse one Kickstarter category

    ·You will experience a ‘Valley of Death’ – don't lose heart

    ·Expect to see a natural spike at the end of the campaign

  • 41
    Summary: Post Campaign Analysis
  • SECTION 8:
  • 42
    How Has Kickstarter Helped You?
  • 43
    Summary - Where Are They Now?
  • SECTION 9:
  • 44
    Working With Chinese Manufacturers
  • 45
    How to setup your Kickstarter page - The Vamp
  • 46
    How To Set Up Your Kickstarter Page - Bare Conductive


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  • Michael J Day
    Pragmatic and useful!

    I liked the course. It was the most relevant, pragmatic and hands-on course I could find for launching a kickstarter campaign. It was just in time learning for me as I helped a client setup, and launch their first kickstarter campaign.

  • Carter
    The knowledge of his experience and expertise prepairs you!

    The course was pretty informative, it gave me a few things to consider before I would start another project.

  • Stephen Meyer
    Very Useful!

    This is one of the most useful Udemy courses I've taken. Many courses try and fill time with fluff or common sense and are rather light on the meat and potatoes of what you would like to know, this course is not like that. I found more than enough info and I am going to watch it all again to reinforce it. The audio quality is a little bad but I cannot pull the rating down because it was still all useful info. But it could be better quality!

  • Cynthia
    Real Life Inspiration and Very Practical Strategies/Tactics!

    Definitely one of the must-watch courses for potential crowdfunders. Incredibly useful and engaging with a ton of practical strategies on things I would never have considered. From pledge levels to manufacturing to taxes, it is very powerful to hear from folks who have gone through the process - and then further supported by Tom with excellent detailed checklists, and discussion responses.

  • Pierre Caserta
    Great course

    Great course, it is good to have feedbacks from successful people on kickstarter. I enjoyed this course/

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