Want to get into home business crowdfunding? How to decide between Kickstarter and Indiegogo.
You may or may not be aware that I am running a crowdfunding campaign in my effort to self-publish a book about professional blogging (read three?short extracts from my book). Crowdfunding can be a great way to raise money for your home business projects. If you decide to go the home business crowdfunding route, you will need to decide on a home for your campaign. There are two main players in the world of crowdfuning right now: Kickstarter and Indiegogo.
Both of these platforms are great, since they offer you the chance to raise the capital you might need to start your business, or to accomplish a particular project for your home business. However, there are some key differences to these platforms, as I discovered in the run-up to my own project campaign launch.
The better-known of the two crowdfunding platforms is Kickstarter. If you want to generate buzz, and if you are looking for a certain sense of legitimacy, Kickstarter is the way to go. Many people have Kickstarter accounts, and the site makes it easy to add friends and get involved in various campaigns.
However, Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing proposition. If you don't reach your funding goal, within the stated time, you receive no money, even if you raise a significant portion of the funds. On top of that, it will take a couple of weeks for the money to be transferred from Kickstarter to your account.
Also, Kickstarter offers quite a few hoops to jump through if you want to use the site for your home business crowdfunding efforts. You need to set up an Amazon Payments account through your business. Kickstarter needs to review and approve your project.
In fact, I discovered that Kickstarter won't accept all projects. My book project was rejected by Kickstarter because it is considered “business advice,” and Kickstarter won't approve advice projects. It took me an extra week (what with Amazon Payments verification and waiting on Kickstater (non)approval) to get going. If you plan to use Kickstarter, plan ahead. This is not something you can do at the spur of the moment.
This brings me to why I'm in love with Indiegogo right now. I've donated to a couple of campaigns on that site in the past, and I knew that there was a flexible funding option. In the end, I kicked myself for not just going for it on Indiegogo to begin with. If it's good enough for The Oatmeal, it should be good enough for me.
I decided to go with the flexible funding option from Indiegogo. With this option, you get to keep any of the money you raise — even if you don't reach your goal. The coolest thing about this option is that you can make use of PayPal. You get your money instantly when funders pay via PayPal. So, you get the funds as you go along (with flexible funding), rather than having to wait for them. This was great because I was able to raise enough in the first few days to start the professional editing process for my book. The editor has it right now. This is fantastic because I don't have to wait until more funds come in to get started. By the time the editor is done with the manuscript, I hope that there will be enough money raised to go ahead and send it along to the designer, and to allow me to start actively marketing the book.
It is important to note that Indiegogo charges extra for a flexible funding campaign. You are charged 4% fees for an all-or-nothing deal similar to Kickstarter's. With flexible funding, you are charge 9% if you don't reach your goal. I've noticed that Indiegogo is taking that 9% out right now, as money comes in; I expect a refund if the project ends up reaching it's goal.
The other thing that makes home business crowdfunding easy with Indiegogo is that you don't have to wait for approval. You can start your campaign immediately. While there are some things that Indiegogo doesn't encourage (and you can be flagged for them after you launch), for the most part anything is allowed.
Kickstarter or Indiegogo?
For the most part, I find Indiegogo a great resource for home business crowdfunding. It's easier to get started, and you can choose to keep any of the funds you raise, whether or not you reach your goal. This can help you move forward, even if you are disappointed in the outcome of your campaign.
Kickstarter is a great platform. I know people who have had successful projects launched via Kickstarter. It's a fantastic platform for many home and small businesses, or artists who want to fund ambitious projects. However, it turns out that Indiegogo was a better choice for this project. And, I think if you want a little more flexibility in the way you approach your home business project, Indiegogo is probably the better choice for you, too.
What do you think? Kickstarter or Indiegogo?
(Also, please feel free to contribute to my book campaign. It's basically a pre-order for my book, only with perks.)