Producing a film is very expensive. To help cover some of the costs for the ARK Report, we’re planning to run a Kickstarter campaign.
While looking into Kickstarter I came across some great guidelines for running a successful campaign. These will come in handy.
1. Create an Informative and Engaging Presentation:
In your project video it’s essential that you explain your idea and your goals clearly and specifically.
The Rehearsal for Modern Times project page features my all-time favorite Kickstarter video, which was created by two guys I went to college with. It serves as a great example of how a video can both educate and entertain. And throughout, it hints at the bottom line (money).
2. Prepare Rewards:
Part of a Kickstarter campaign involves showing your appreciation to your backers by offering them a gift in exchange for their donation. The value of the gift usually depends on the amount of money pledged. You might offer free shipping of your product to anyone who pledges $18, and free shipping plus a cool T-shirt to those who spend $36.
The Cardboard Robot campaign rewards donations of $2 with a mention on their website and pledges of $225 with a free Cardboard Robot kit. This campaign exceeded its goal by $2,183
Don’t forget: take into account all of the expenses involved in the rewards that you offer, including shipping costs, so that you don’t end up spending more than you can afford when rewarding your backers with their gifts.
Now this is the most important step of all, so pay attention.
If you want your project to succeed you MUST publicize the heck out of it. As Benjy Kaplan of Epicure Games admits, regarding the failure of his Kickstarter campaign, “the biggest factor for us was that no one knew we were there.”
Kevin Cook, from Breaking Frame, adds, “you can have a great product on KS, but if you haven’t built up a fan base ahead of time, there’s very little chance you’re going to make it” (from How to Succeed or Fail on Kickstarter, published on Purple Pawn).
a. Advertising: Anyone who knows me knows I think banner ads are a waste of money. Facebook advertising – specifically targeted – is not.
b. Social Media: If you don’t have money for paid advertising you can still promote yourself through social media networks. Check out a plethora of social media advice here on our blog: Facebook, LinkedIn,Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and Youtube.
c. Network: As much as I’d like to tell you to go out and make new friends on social media, relationships take longer to build than the duration of a Kickstarter campaign (which usually runs about a month). Instead, cultivate your existing relationships by getting in touch regularly with everyone who’s already in your social network, and sending out regular emails updating people about your progress on the project. Take a look at these articles for some tips on getting started with email marketing.
d. Get Reviewed: If you have prototypes of your project (in our case, this would be a trailer), send it to a few bloggers for review. If they like it, will help send some additional support your way, hopefully in the form of back links, recommendations to friends to support your cause, and actual cash.
4. Remain Interactive:
All of the information is now uploaded to your project page, but your work is not done. You need to keep interest in your project alive.
a. People are likely to leave you questions about your project. Make sure to answer them promptly and nicely!
b. Your visitors and your backers will be interested in knowing how your campaign is coming along, so update them on a regular basis (there’s a special tab for that on your page).
c. Encourage suggestions from your visitors and backers. This will make them feel like they’re a part of the project, and you may pick up some valuable advice.
5. Be Creative:
If the campaign seems to be slowing down, shake things up again by introducing new incentives to potential backers. For example, one guy began offering a home cooked meal by him for anyone at a certain giving level. He commented afterward that he’d be planning a lot of dinner parties in the days ahead!
Now, off I go to figure out the kickstarter campaign for The ARK Report.
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