Illustrator IronSpike

This week’s Campus Convo focuses on the “plateau,” the slow in progress that creator’s sometimes experience at the midpoint of their campaigns. Illustrator and many-time project creator IronSpike shared her expertise on this subject, and we think it’ll help you get through the slump and reach your funding goal.

1.) Announce the project at least one month beforehand. I sometimes start promo six months to a year beforehand! Let Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram, wherever you have an established audience, know you’re planning this.

2.) I maintain a mailing list of ~5,000 folks who already know and like my stuff. I incentivize subscribing to the list by making sure everyone knows I’ll be announcing the exact launch date of the Kickstarter campaign there, so folks who want limited edition backer levels can get first dibs. (This also helps create the important first-day push for the project.)

3.) I launch the Kickstarter campaign, tell the mailing list, and then inform social media. The first-day push commences.

4.) The initial excitement for the project has cooled by day three or four, in my experience. That’s when I send out the press releases. I target blogs and reviewers who are already interested in my project’s theme, or my general output. For the next week or so, I rely on promo from those outlets for bumps in interest, along with occasional social media reminders. I try to tweet about any Kickstarter I’m running at least once a day, preferably with images. I find reasons to talk about it. “We’re just one pledge away from $1,000!” “Eek, who wants to be backer 666!?!” “Look, we’re at $45,000! what a nice, round number.” etc.

5.) Day three or four is also when I announce or decide on stretch goals. How fast the project is funding is a big deciding factor in those. Announcing the stretch goals give people a reason to keep promoting and pledging to the project, and I favor goals that would benefit everyone involved for that reason.

6.) This will hold me until the halfway point of the project. If I think the project needs it, I do another round of promotion. If things are humming along smoothly, I hold back. It’s important not to cross the line into annoying people.

7.) When the Kickstarter campaign enters its final week, I play it by ear. Does it need more attention? Does it need more aggressive promotion? Should I bother the mailing list again? Should I post an update about my new project in past campaigns? It varies from project to project, but when the countdown clock ticks over into hours instead of days, that’s always the beginning of the final big push from me. If I’m lucky, I’ve calculated a final stretch goal that can be feasibly reached on the last or second-to-last day; that keeps excitement high.

If I do everything correctly, the project gets a respectable number of pledges each day. And while they’ll always drop off after the first few initial days, I still experience promo-related bumps all throughout the campaign’s slow, plodding middle.

Do you have a question for IronSpike? Join the conversation on Campus!

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Kickstarter Tips

Advice and tips on bringing your creative idea to life with @Kickstarter.