Who Doesn’t Want To Be a Kickstarter Staff Pick?


When Kickstarter selects a crowdfunding campaign as a staff pick, there are a number of advantages that come with this designation. The project can receive a premium placement on the site, including on the front page. Kickstarter may directly promote the campaign to over 2 million different followers. More than 4 million people receive email updates that may include the campaign. Staff picks can even receive direct funding from Kickstarter.

In short, the 98 employees of Kickstarter have the power to make a campaign successful just by mentioning it. Is it any wonder that everyone wants to be a Kickstarter staff pick?

As with any other free marketing advantage, many professionals have been trying to sort out a formula that a campaign can follow to receive this designation. Are there certain things you can do to enhance your campaign’s chances of becoming a staff pick?

Kickstarter Says That There Are 3 Criteria

When speaking with Kickstarter, spokesperson Justin Kazmark states that there are three basic components of every campaign that the employees look at. The first thing that is typically looked at is the video that a campaign includes. Employees will also look at campaigns that engage backers with unique and/or valuable updates. Having an imaginative idea is going to help out your cause as well.

In the end, however, Kazmark says that there isn’t any special formula that someone can follow to be selected as a staff pick. Employees simply pick and choose the ideas they like. When that happens, the campaign organizer receives an email from the crowdfunding site with a simple message: “Someone on the Kickstarter team loves your project.”

There isn’t even a specific product or service category that can give your campaign an advantages. Everything from toothbrushes to miniature satellites to wool jewelry have all been staff picks recently.

What Has Kickstarter Itself Said About Staff Picks?

There have been a few hints that have been dropped from staff members about what types of projects get selected. Sometimes just being from a specific location is enough to gain a staff member’s attention. Other projects get selected because the Kickstarter employee sees a personal value in the project if they were to use the item.

The benefits of being a staff pick aren’t always big. Some campaigns say that they only received a 4% increase in contributions after being listed as a staff pick. In a world where every contribution counts, however, a 4% increase can mean a campaign receives its funds instead of losing out on everything.

Not every crowdfunding platform does this either. Indiegogo, for example, puts crowdfunding campaigns on its home page based on what users of the site are finding to be popular. Kickstarter takes the personal touch because they want to be able to have a larger role in how startups are able to find success in today’s world.

Look at the success of Oculus, which was sold to Facebook for $2 billion. It was a Kickstarter staff pick. This allows Kickstarter to say that they were an early supporter of this company. In return, the online reputation of the crowdfunding site increases in an industry where competition is rapidly growing.

Do Kickstarter Staff Picks Get Funded More Often?

In looking at the statistics of campaigns that receive full funding on Kickstarter, there is about a 50% chance of full funding without the designation of a staff pick. For campaigns that do receive the staff pick designation, the success rate jumps up to 92%. Does this mean that a Kickstarter staff pick will guarantee funding? No… but an 8% failure rate means that your chances are very, very good.

Kickstarter discourages the practice of promoting the fact that a campaign has become a staff pick, but people are doing it anyway. They’ll copy and paste the graphics from their main campaign screen to make it a marketing tool that can be used as part of their brand. There really isn’t anything to lose by doing so and everything to gain, so why not?

There isn’t a formula that can help you become an automatic Kickstarter staff pick, but there are some things you can do. Put on an attractive video about your idea or product. Be as creative as possible. Engage the people who invest into your campaign regularly and in a unique way. In doing so, you’ll be able to stand out more from the rest of the pack.

That’s the best chance that you’ll have to find the email one day that says you’re campaign is loved.