Written by Margot Atwell
Once you’ve launched your project, it’s time to put your promotion strategy to work. Feel free to experiment and try different approaches on spreading the word. The important thing is to communicate regularly, respectfully, and in a way that feels true to yourself.
Start strong: Encourage your friends and biggest fans to pledge early. Projects that get at least 20% of their funding goal have an 80% chance of being successfully funded.
“People are more likely to support a campaign if they see others supporting it. Out of the gate, panelist Laura Naylor, creator of the film Duck Beach, asked everyone in her personal network to immediately pledge to her campaign so newcomers wouldn’t land on a seemingly unsupported page.”
Begin with your network: Let your friends and family know what you’re doing, and invite them to be part of your project.
“First look it over one last time to see if there are any typos or broken links. Now get tweeting, Facebooking, and emailing. As much as you can send individual emails rather than group emails — they make a huge difference. And don’t forget to tell people that you need their help not just with pledges, but also with spreading the word.”
Use social media strategically and considerately: Tell people about the project, but make sure you aren’t just sending out the link constantly. Consider sharing your project updates and other content to keep it interesting.
“Match your brand and process. For example, I use Twitter often. For the campaign, I created a hashtag trend and posted an update every single time someone made a pledge. I looked up Twitter names of people who pledged and tagged them, began conversations about it. Fans started tweeting celebrities, actors, bands, media contacts, etc. asking them to RT our link.”
Stay organized: It will make everything easier. Consider keeping a spreadsheet or a to-do list, and schedule time each week to work on the campaign.
“Running a Kickstarter is a sales job. Some folks find you organically, but you’re going to be out there every day of your campaign. There’s nothing like a campaign to help you get really comfortable really fast with fun stuff like promoting your work, repeating your asks on social media, and specifically asking people for help, heart-in-mouth. You’ll get turned down, you’ll get ignored, and you’ll also make awesome connections and build lasting relationships. There’s also the constant scheming to come up with a new ideas, new updates, new audiences, and new blog posts like this one.
Tip: Give yourself plenty of time — a few hours a day if possible — to focus on the project. You might get lucky and win big, but it’s more likely that your luck will result directly from lots of hard work.”
Keep building momentum: Almost every creator sees a surge of pledges and support at the beginning and end of their campaign, but the pledges can slow down a lot in the middle. Keep working to spread the word!
Try new things and see what works (start here if you need more inspiration). And most importantly, stay positive!
“The thing [that] surprised me most about Kickstarter is how dang emotional it is to run a campaign. The above-mentioned endorphin highs are high… and then there are the days, hours, minutes that go by when nobody is backing your project. Projects usually start strong and finish strong, but there’s an infamous slump in the middle when they’re neither new nor about to expire. The self-doubt that results can be demotivating, but it’s important to leverage it into new ideas and energy…”
Send backer updates: This is a great way to keep your backers in the loop, introduce new rewards, and share press coverage and behind-the-scene glimpses of your project in progress. You can also encourage your backers to share your project with their friends.
Say thanks! Each person who backs your project is someone who believes in what you’re doing enough to pledge money to support you. That’s pretty special.
And last but not least…You can do it! We believe in you.
Margot Atwell is the Director of Publishing and Comics at Kickstarter. She used Kickstarter to fund her book, Derby Life: A Crash Course in the Incredible Sport of Roller Derby, which she published through Gutpunch Press. You can follow her on Twitter @MargotAtwell.