How Do You Spread the Word About Your Project?
Nine creators and backers share strategies for reaching new audiences and keeping momentum going post-launch.
You’ve done the hard work of crafting a story about your project, thinking up exciting rewards, and shooting a compelling video. Now, it’s time to think about what will happen after you launch.
Here, nine Kickstarter creators and backers share their strategies for spreading the word about your project. Read their suggestions, then write down your own plan. You’ve got this.
Prioritize one-to-one outreach
“Start small. Text, call, email, and talk to your inner circle about your idea first.”
— Carol Benovic-Bradley, Kickstarter’s Senior Education Specialist and two-time creator
“Join forums and become part of the community. Make friends, share stories, and when the time comes, maybe you can mention your own.”
— John Wrot!, the 11-time project creator behind halfsies dice and more
Know when and how to ask for help
“If you aren’t much of a social marketing fiend, try to have friends or family offer you assistance. While these people would likely share similar interests, there is a shot that they can open your idea to new markets. Having a close friend or family member help spread the word can sometimes be more valuable than any financial donation they could contribute as an individual.”
—Dustin, the video game creator behind Particle Shield, a fast action tower defense game
“Having a close friend or family member help spread the word can sometimes be more valuable than any financial donation…”
“Getting help from a PR service is a good idea, but, to be frank, don’t spend too much money on this. For my Kickstarter campaign, which raised over $100K, I knew how to do a lot of the marketing myself, so I enlisted a PR service to distribute emails for me, simply because that was something I wasn’t too familiar with. That was a hundred bucks, and it helped the campaign a little bit.
That said, a good campaign will pretty much sell itself. The value of a PR agency will only be added value, it won’t make your campaign, and shouldn’t cost too much if you know what you are doing.”
—Thomas Brush, the video game creator behind Pinstripe and Once Upon a Coma
“We raised $1.6M on Kickstarter for the Field Skillet. We worked with one of ‘those marketing services’ for the last four days of our campaign and we had a pretty good experience. The rest of our campaign was the result of great luck in the cultural timing of our product and campaign, six months of preparation, and the strength of our personal networks.
Beware of anyone that asks for a percentage of your entire campaign, or anyone that isn’t willing to be fully transparent with all data: ads, conversion rates, demographic information, etc.”
—The Field Company, a company founded by two brothers behind the Field Skillet
“If you can manage the marketing and PR yourself, do it. If you can’t, find someone you trust that has that skill and have them do it. Don’t get roped in by these sites fishing for work, especially when your campaign momentum slows (which is normal).”
— Michael Graham, backer on Kickstarter
Get creative with your messaging
“Look for innovative ways to promote your campaign. Short videos that showcase your excitement are cool ways to get people interested, as are sneak peeks at the progress. Anything with visuals will be more interesting to social media viewers than just lines of text or links.”
— Hope Nicholson, comic book publisher, owner of Bedside Press, and participant in Kickstarter’s Thought Leaders program
“Look for excuses to talk about your project online everywhere it might be appropriate. Invent milestones (“Wow everyone, we hit 50 backers today!”), invent short-term goals (“Let’s get to $500 today!”). No one will promote your work as enthusiastically and competently as you can.”
— C. Spike Trotman, comic book publisher, owner of Iron Circus Comics, and participant in Kickstarter’s Thought Leaders Program
No one will promote your work as enthusiastically and competently as you can.
— C. Spike Trotman, Iron Circus Comics
Persistence pays off
“My default personal standard is ‘three things per day,’ whether that’s connecting with someone with a good mailing list, fixing or improving the Kickstarter landing page, or posting an ad.”
—Erica Wisner, the creator of the Rocket Mass Heater Builder’s Guide
“I think the great secret about getting the word out is to always be building your following. A blog is a great way to build a following, Twitter and Facebook can be used to gradually grow your reach as well. But all of this is long-haul stuff. It won’t take you very far in the short-term, sadly. Most ‘overnight successes’ took years of hard work and failures to get where they are. I guess what I’m saying is that you need to start building your presence and brand a long time before you create a project.”
—Alex Eames, creator of RasPi.TV