Friday, June 03, 2011

How to run a successful Kickstarter Campaign

So I had a few inquires about how to run a successful kickstarter campaign and though I answered them already (without as much as a thank you; nice way to start off people, always thank anyone who is willing to take time and give you advice). I thought it would best to give a quick once over for anyone who's interested in starting one themselves. I highly recommend it, this is THE best way to support the arts. Consider starting a Kickstarter campaign as another job. It needs just as much attention as the project you pitching.

First things first: you need project/product. For me, I didn't start my Kickstarter page until I started penciling the third issue. I didn't see the point in starting from day one of drawing the book, it would've hurt the development of the comic.

Step two: What do you need the $ for? For us, Steve and I really needed the $ for our colorist and letterer. The only rule that sticks out in my mind, is that you can't use the $ to pay yourself. Some people require funding for the actual production of their project/product. This reason must be absolutely clear to your prospective audience/backers.

Third: Incentives. Nothing is free in this world, people want something for their hard earned $. However, I recommend the K.I.S.S. method (Keep It Simple Stupid), I researched and read other blogs about successful Kickstarter models and found that keeping the choices limited and simple were the best methods. Our incentive plan was:



$50(limited to 25)

$100(limited to 20)

$250(limited to 10)

Everyone who pledged got the minimum of the entire 100 page series as a gift. Each pledge category added a hardcopy, printed version, then a limited sketchbook, then a head sketch of a character and finally an original piece of artwork from the series it self.

Length of Time

This graph represents the total 90 days of the AKA Kickstarter campaign. Surprisingly, this we had a steady stream of pledges throughout the process. However, during my reseach, I noticed that most people had a lot of pledges the first few days/weeks and then again at the end. That model seems more typical. If you have time, 90 days will work for you, but I would suggest that you try out the 30 day period to get the best results. Most of the time, people will out off today what they can do tomorrow until they can't anymore.

The FACE of your campaign

Here are suggestions that I feel will help you reach your monetary goal:

1. Make a video. 9 out of 10 people will not read your written explanation of your project. Get in front of the camera, talk to the people and be sure to include photos of your project throughout.

2. Updates. Only update through your Kickstarter page. Never send people to a separate website. If it's self contained, you're more likely to get their pledge $. Include not only written announcements or progress, visuals are a MUST HAVE. The more you update, the more appealing your project will look to new backers.

3.Word of mouth: If you're new to this industry, social media sites are your bread a butter. I posted 3 times a day for 90 days straight on twitter and facebook. I also contacted various websites, podcasts and even the local paper. If you don't beat them over the head with it, they'll never remember to support it. Expect and assume that you're project isn't on the top of their to do list. You have to make you're own hype so that people will care about your project.

Well I hope this has been educational and informative. Good luck to you if you decide to go down this path.



Kyle said...

Good article. I def see kickstarter as another job and when you're trying to raise money for a film people don't really see where the money is going. Thanks for the article.

Cassidy said...

Thank you for this!