My Kickstarter Crowd funding campaign has just crashed and burned. And as I lick my wounds, I have tried to gain a little insight into what could have gone wrong.

I managed to accumulate a total of 60 backers from 8 different countries who pledged a total of $4 486, far short of my $50 000 goal. A breakdown of the stats shows that 63% of these were known to me, and whilst many are friends, 31% of those known to me were as a direct result of my networking activities to market my product.

country of origin

The split between male and female is interesting, bearing in mind that this is essentially a female-oriented product. 65% of the total were female and 35% were male. Removing my friends from the equation, this changes slightly to a 60%:40% split in favour of females. This was surprising to me as my expectation was a predominantly female market. My conclusion here is that supporting crowdfunding initiatives is a more male-dominated activity. The same conclusion has been reached by others.

A whopping 68% of backers were first time backers on Kickstarter. So my consolation is that I introduced 41 of my friends (yes, they are all known to me) to crowdfunding, and I hope they continue to have a go at this worthwhile activity. Of the strangers who backed me, most of them are serial Kick-starters’, with one of them having backed a total of 583 projects.

campaign stats

The most popular reward was the single light at a discounted price with 57% of backers choosing this reward, followed by two lights at a discounted price making up 20% of backers. 3% of backers opted for the biggest reward which was a ten light package.

The most traffic to my campaign came from a direct search on Kickstarter, followed by the project link (from various sources), my Bagsablaze website, and then small amounts from Facebook and Google.


So what does all of this tell me:

  1. I have some wonderful friends and am very thankful to have them in my life.
  2. Networking is a worthwhile activity. I spent a lot of time out and about meeting people and doing talks to promote my product. I even did a radio interview and a podcast. Whilst they can be terrifying and sometimes tedious, mostly they were great experiences and gave me the privilege of meeting some interesting people. Some of them did go on to buy the product, but not many shared Bagsablaze on Facebook etc. which was disappointing at the time.
  3. Facebook ads and Google AdWords were essentially a waste of money. I tried all sorts of things with Facebook and Google AdWords to try to boost my posts, and get attention. Whilst I was able to link the Kickstarter campaign directly on Facebook, I had to link my Google campaign back to my website and I think people got lost in following the breadcrumbs to the Kickstarter campaign. I did get lots of Facebook likes, but not much else.
  4. All of my advertising was targeted both in Australia and the USA, but there was zero traction from the USA. In fact, the only pledges from the US came from people searching on Kickstarter i.e. Serial Kick-starters’.
  5. I’m originally from South Africa and most of my network is South African based, but I did not get a single pledge from South Africa. Whilst this is disappointing, it is understandable when you consider the appalling South African exchange rate. Currently one Aussie dollar costs R11.38. This would essentially make the product unaffordable.
  6. Most people are buying the product for themselves, as well as the odd gift. But there are some who are wanting bulk deals. My ‘bulk buyers’ wanted the products as give-aways to staff and clients. They felt that my product aligned well with their respective industries.
  7. The Australian market does not seem to know or understand crowdfunding. I needed to get my product in front of the US market and was unable to do this successfully.

So is there life after crowdfunding? Most definitely! Just watch this space!