Celebrating Our Kickstarter Anniversary

Hello friends, current subscribers, and original Kickstarter backers! Time flies when you’re having fun, right? We’ve clearly been having the time of our lives because this year has flown by. How can it be our one year Kickstarter anniversary already? Our campaign launched on October 28, 2014 and ended on November 21, 2014 with 273 backers and $20,395 raised to get this DIY box of awesome off the ground…and just like that we were off and running! In our first year we’ve shipped thousands of DIY projects to our happy subscribers, had a super fun launch party, upgraded to the cute pink boxes we have today, launched a new website, won a “best subscription box” award, made 11 DIY videos, we were on TV (twice!), and we’ve received some amazing press to boot (check out our press page). Oh, and remember that one time when Anne-Marie’s house blew up (don’t worry, no one was hurt)? It has been a crazy and amazing year and we can’t thank everyone enough for all of the love and support!

The Handmade Beauty Box team is always having fun!

Anne-Marie cracked a joke that sent Courtney into a giggle fit. The Handmade Beauty Box team is always having fun together.

What? You didn’t know we started out on Kickstarter? Check out the campaign here. If you’re interested in starting your own Kickstarter campaign you must read Anne-Marie’s Kickstarter to-do list before diving in.

1. Be intentional about what funding options to offer.
We offered a wide variety of options so people could find a funding option to fit their budget. It’s a good idea to have one option that is a little on the high side because it makes the other ones look so much more do-able.

In our case, no one bought $1000 option, but it sure made the $346 option seem more affordable. We followed the research of Steve Martin and Robert Cialdini with this pricing model. Originally, we had $346 as the highest option but with their research, added the “anchor” price of $1,000. There’s a great podcast of Robert Cialdini describing this principle here or skim this blog post and pay attention to the second tip.

2. Plan your promotions in advance.
We worked hard ahead of time to let people know what we were doing before we did it. By the time we launched, we had reached out to several bloggers to share the details. We also let our friends and family members know. We got a good amount of traction in advance, so when we launched, people were already excited to participate.

3. Create templates to respond to questions and concerns.
Yes, we have quite a bit of email now, but we are grateful. To minimize the overwhelm, we drafted tons of thank you emails and replies ahead of time. Once we launched, we knew lots of different people would probably have the same questions so we cued up replies in advance so we could be more efficient. Managing incoming questions and comments on the fly can be unnecessarily time consuming, and you want to avoid it as much as possible.

The other thing that is important is to keep your funding friends updated regularly. If you update people regularly, they will continue to feel a part of your project, and they will continue to share as well.

4. Give before taking.
I believe in giving before taking. You can see from my Kickstarter profile that I believe in Kickstarter. I have backed several projects over the years, so it’s a natural fit for me to launch a product on Kickstarter. I didn’t just join Kickstarter to take, take, take.

5. This is the time to call in all of your social media favors.
We are leveraging social media like crazy. This is the time to call in any and all favors. It’s times like this that I’m happy that I don’t ask people to share things all the time. I saved up for a big one, and this is it. Share your project on every social media outlet you have. To save time, schedule posts in advance if you can, using services like HootSuite or Buffer, and the scheduling tool built into Facebook.

6. Use video to show people what they are investing in.
Video. Video. Video. And, did I say, “VIDEO?” The best practice is to always have a video to SHOW people what they are getting and who they are working with and buying from.