I have had a lot of questions lately about crowd funding, in particular how to get on Kickstarter if you are an Australian citizen, after running my own successful kickstarter campaign (as an Australian). However some of the advice below is valuable for all crowd funding projects wherever you reside in the world.

Unfortunately Kickstarter only functions for those who reside within the US or the UK. My advantage was that I had just moved back to Australia after living in the UK and thus I had a UK mobile phone and UK bank account, which is needed to verify your account.

There are ways that you can get onto Kickstarter as an Australian, and Roby Ward’s website has some good advice for how to go about it.

However my suggestion would be to use Pozible, which is an Australian crowd funding site or Indiegogo which is Internationally based. I did a lot of research into crowd funding prior to setting up my kickstarter project and if I were to have my time again I would probably not use Kickstarter (as an Australian).

I would actually suggest using Pozible or Indiegogo instead of worrying about using kickstarter. Yes, Kickstarter does look and sound more glamorous and it is possibly more popular, but you will end up finding most of your own backers anyway and directing them to your project page. Not many are generated organically form people surfing the kickstarter site. For me only about 5 to 10% of backers came organically through kickstarter, the majority of my backers came through my own friend networks and marketing etc. If your project is fantastic, it will not bother people which crowd-funding website you use.

I think that most people also want to back local projects (this is not always the case, as I did have some very generous backers whom I did not know from the US, Ireland and Taiwan). However on Kickstarter, I believe that users are mainly directed towards local projects unless they do a search for others (and this makes sense, as most people are interested in local projects). So why not use the Aussie crowd funding site?

Another issue for me was that using kickstarter as an Aussie and registering in the UK, the rewards were listed in British pounds. This only further confused my backers, who were mainly from Australia. Crowd Funding is a new concept for many people, and having the goods in a different currency just added further confusion to the process. So depending on where you are based and where you think the majority of your backers will come from, I’d suggest setting up a crowd funding project in that currency.

Trying to reach a funding target is very stressful. The first 20% is the hardest and once you get to 80% funding things do seem to go a bit easier. However it is stressful. Please set your funding goal at the lowest limit to get your project started.

An advantage of Indiegogo is that you don’t need to reach your funding target, but then they take a higher percentage of what you raise. I think you may also need to get an EIN for that, whereas Pozible is Australian based and is quite simple to setup. Nevertheless, it is quite easy to actually get an EIN. Just takes a quick phone call to the US and they will give it to you over the phone (took me about 5 minutes as I had to get one so that I could sell my eBook on Amazon).

This blog has some info on how to get your EIN if needed.

Best of luck with your crowd funding projects!
Matt Harrigan

Author of The Zoo’s Annual Piggyback Race