After raising over $54,000 on our first Kickstarter campaign, we learned quite a lot that we didn’t know before. Here are our top 5 tips!
5. Build a Team
There’s a lot of work that goes into running a Kickstarter campaign. There’s emailing all of your friends, posting social media updates, writing Kickstarter updates or blog posts, reaching out to bloggers and journalists, possibly making update videos, creating sexy graphics and more. Trust me, you don’t want to do this alone. With people on your team, you can get more work done, reach more people faster, have someone to bounce ideas off and definitely have someone to share your pain with. If you’re making a film project, your team might include your producers, crew members & cast members. Get them on board from the start, so you can start doing way more than you would otherwise.
4. Offer Rewards That You Would Want
No matter how cool your project is, it’s really hard to get people to spend money. So you really have to put yourself in the shoes of the people checking out your page. Some folks back projects on Kickstarter because they know the creator personally. They want to support their friends. Others really like the concept. It speaks to them. And other people want something really cool that they might not be able to get anywhere else. When we made our initial limited run of Awesome Asian Bad Guys t-shirts before launching our Kickstarter, strangers on the street responded right away. They would tell us that the shirt was cool and would ask where they could get one. I think that’s what you want to offer in your rewards, something that really gets people excited and stands alone as independently awesome.
3. Reach out to Find Supporters
When you launch a Kickstarter campaign, it’s not like all of a sudden pledges are just going to start flooding in by themselves. You have to get the word out. Initially, this might mean emailing your friends and family, who you know have your back. You might even find yourself contacting old college and high school friends. That’s what I did. But you should also have an idea of blogs and websites with existing readers and followers that might like your project. We knew Awesome Asian Bad Guys would appeal to the Asian American community, so we researched lots of Asian and Asian American bloggers. We sent them brief emails explaining the project, why we were passionate about making it and why it was relevant to their audience. While most emails we sent were never replied, some were. And the plan is to stay in touch with these bloggers and journalists, so they’ll help us get the word out as we prep the shoot and eventually put the project out into the world.
2. Regularly Update Your Supporters
At first, the number of supporters you have is going to be really small. These first backers will likely be people you know, family and friends. My brother, best friend and college buddy were some of the first backers we had on the first day. Honestly, it felt strange to write regular updates about our progress at first because there were so few people supporting us. But writing Kickstarter updates can be very powerful. They help you celebrate all of the success you’ve had thus far in positive and personal manner. They allow you to share snazzy graphics and new videos that you might have posted to FB or Twitter that your backers haven’t seen yet. They also make it easy for your backers to follow your story and stay updated on your progress. Your backers are really a huge help in getting the word out about your project. If you don’t keep them informed and excited, they’ll stop talking about your cool project. Don’t let that happen. Give them the ammo they need to fight for you!
1. Prepare to be Stressed Out
Launching a Kickstarter campaign that gets funded can be incredibly exciting and rewarding. You can get increased exposure, new fans and money to make your project. However, there’s going to be ups and downs throughout the entire process. The middle part of your campaign will likely be very slow with not much activity. This part sucks big time. It’s easy to get discouraged when you’re still far away from your goal. But hang in there because it gets better. Don’t stop believin’!