Running a Kickstarter campaign and achieving my goal was exhilarating! It was one of the most difficult and rewarding tasks I’ve completed as a writer. The campaign required far more work than a book launch, and it was a much bigger emotional and physical rollercoaster.
I’m sharing what I learned to help you plan, design, and run your own campaign with success.
Using Google, research everything you can about crowdfunding and what makes a campaign successful. Use the links Kickstarter provides as primary. Learn what works, and avoid the common mistakes that destroy your potential for success.
Do not segregate your campaign from your life of faith. Your project is part of God’s calling, perhaps a way for you to bless the world. The campaign will stretch you! Pray for the Lord’s guidance and wisdom for this decision, its presentation, and its provision through donors. Rely on the Lord for strength and guidance all the way through.
Decide for the right reasons: Will using crowdfunding and Kickstarter benefit YOUR readers? Will it teach, serve, or make the world a better place? Are you seeking to inform, help, benefit, or bless others? Is the Kickstarter platform the one that is best for YOUR donors? At the same time, is this the best choice for your career? Keep others first.
Hire design professionals for your campaign page, your social media branding, and your short film. If you’re not a designer, securing people who can give your project a clean, appealing, and professional appearance makes an enormous difference. If you can deliver the goods, make it obvious through a sparkling campaign page.
Prepare social media in advance for many posts each day of the campaign. Create colorful graphics and pictures using the graphics designed by your pros. Use Canva.com to utilize your book cover and other design pieces creatively. Create for every social media platform where you’re active. Prepare enough content to hit it hard every day.
Submit your campaign to Kickstarter a week early for evaluation in case there are any glitches with acceptance. Read ALL the Kickstarter instructions and follow them carefully, and you will have no problems in this area. In fact, if you haven’t read everything and understand it all completely, stop what you’re doing and catch up.
Utilize your mailing list to notify your followers, readers, family, and friends a week early, so they know what you’re doing. Don’t be shy. Explain crowdfunding and Kickstarter. Let them know that their early donations will encourage others to donate. Don’t get discouraged if it takes them a while to comprehend. This is a new idea. Keep in touch with them throughout the campaign by email and Kickstarter Updates.
Be prepared to explain “crowdfunding” and “Kickstarter” repeatedly. Most people know nothing about this. The ideas most people have about indie publishing and donor support are usually not current. Try creative examples suitable for YOUR audience. Share this blog and this article, if you think they will help.
Thank your donors personally and through creative Kickstarter donation incentives: shoutouts on a supporters’ page, tweets, their name in your book, some type of public acknowledgement, etc. As the donations roll in, thank each donor personally and quickly. Do this every day, so you don’t get behind. Also thank them in your Kickstarter Updates.
Pay careful attention to the trends. On a daily and weekly basis how are your readers or followers reacting? What causes them to respond? What do they ignore? What questions do they ask you privately? Adjust your pitch, so the need for their involvement is clear. Emphasize the importance of their support for your project. Be poised to adjust so you can make your case clear, intriguing, and inviting. Create new content if needed.
Enlist and encourage supporters to tell others. You need other people to help you push the campaign. A supporter telling others has a huge impact. They may say exactly what you’ve been saying on social media or by email, but when they say it, the message comes from someone other than you. All of a sudden people understand and take action.
Pay for Facebook and/or Twitter ads. This is as important as hiring professionals. Target specific audiences who have a special interest in your subject. You’re not only raising funds for your project, but you’re securing an audience for your book when it releases. This campaign accomplishes both.
Prepare a social media blast for the last few days. I used Hootsuite and Buffer (best for Twitter posts with pictures) to preschedule social media posts for every hour. I overlapped these, so every fifteen minutes somewhere a new graphic appeared with an appeal and a link to my campaign page. This will require your engagement to reply to comments. Plan on being online for twelve to fifteen hours each day at the end. Hit it hard right up to the deadline.
Have your celebratory victory post already written for midnight on the final day, so your friends, family, and donors know you’ve made the goal. However, you may find that some of your donors are “stalking” the campaign. That makes it even more exciting! They may publicly announce that you’ve made the goal and congratulate you! That happened to me, and it was a great way to start the party early!
Take a short vacation afterward. Whew! I didn’t realize how exhausted I’d be at the end. The campaign required three months of intensive work to design, prepare, and then to manage it. How badly do you want this? If you’re going to invest all you’ve got in the campaign, you will need a break afterward. Take care of yourself. The funds will arrive in two weeks’ time, and you’ll be back to work on your project!
God bless you as you go forward! I hope these ideas help you to achieve your goal!
If you desire to consult with me about your specific situation, please fill out the contact form. Together we’ll assess your needs, I’ll inform you of my hourly consultation rate, and we can move forward!