How to Make Sure Your Kickstarter Gets Off On The Right Foot (with lots of money and backers)

***RESYNDICATED FROM BLEEDING COOL*** Last year, my publishing company Wannabe Press (www.wannabepress.com) ran a Kickstarter for our first book Ichabod Jones: Monster Hunter. It was a long row to hoe, but we funded and even hit a stretch goal! Yay! 162 backers and 150% of our goal. Yaay! We delivered, shipped and funded everything. Then, we readied ourselves for the second project, KATRINA HATES THE DEAD, which is live now. Check it out! The most important thing we’ve learned in launching two Kickstarters is that first 48 hours are critical, just like when a child goes missing.

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Seriously, once the project launches everything is over. If you’ve done a good job of pre-launch then everything will be gravy, you’ll have a great first day, and things will fall into place. If not…well let’s just talk about how to make sure you eat gravy.

1. Start talking to people early and often.

Your marketing needs to start six months before a campaign begins. You need to start telling people about it, asking what they think, sending them previews for your campaign, and pumping them up. Also, you need to see if your project is a good idea. If people respond positively, then you’ll know you have something. Make sure to write down people who are interested, and start a mailing list. This never stops. You have to keep on them throughout the campaign and beyond too.

2. Grow your fans now to pay off later.

You need more Facebook fans. You need a bigger mailing list. You need the biggest, best social media presence ever. You need more twitter followers. You need to hand out fliers at conventions, to meet people all the time. The more people you have, the bigger your potential audience in the first two days. And the first two days are everything

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3. Keep people updated.

As you near the beginning of the campaign, send out mailing list and social media updates more often and more vigorously. Make sure to tell your followers what you need. So often people do promo without a “call to action”. Use things like “THE FIRST 24 HOURS ARE CRUCIAL”, “BE SURE TO BACK EARLY”, and other things so people know what you want. I kept getting this comment when I talked to people about the campaign; I knew exactly what you wanted from me. People want to help, but they aren’t mind readers. They are also lazy.

4. Make early bird perks.

I’m not a fan of lowering your perks for the first 50 people or things like that, but I’ll gladly give perks for fans that back early. For both of my projects I gave an early PDF to everybody that backed on DAY 1 so they didn’t have to wait until the end of the campaign. For Katrina, I also gave away sneak peaks of other projects and a pdf of my first novel. People love free things.

5. Let them in on the fun.

When you finish your campaign video, or the preview page, send it off to the people that want to support you. Let them make notes. Ask for their feedback. Let them in on the experience. Make them want to support you by tailoring the campaign to address their feedback.

6. Create Facebook events and invite everybody to it.

Only 5% of your friends will see Facebook posts, but with an event that number goes up a lot. Additionally, you can share events on groups and boost events with ads in order to invite people that aren’t your friends. When you create an event, make sure they know what it means to say they are GOING (By going it means you will back on Day 1) and MAYBE GOING (By saying maybe you agree to help promote). I like events because people can leave whenever they want so I feel like I can spam the crap out of them.

7. Make sure people know when your campaign launches.

It seems so simple, but people always forget this. It’s not enough to make a social media announcement, you need to personally tell all of the people that are interested exactly what you do. That means emails, Facebook messages, Twitter direct messages, Instagram posts, and very detailed instructions about how to set up an account, how to find an account, and how to pledge. You need to stay on them. If they agreed to pledge, they should pledge dang it! You didn’t force them say yes.

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8. Remember that people are active on different forms of social media. It’s not enough to be active on one platform. Audiences are segmented and you need to be where your audience is, bugging the crap out of them to pledge.

9. Include a link to your Kickstarter in EVERY post. Again, make it easy. Somebody may want to back you, but they won’t go to Kickstarter and type in your campaign. You HAVE TO make it easy. So, so, so, so easy. Here’s an example: Don’t forget to back our new Kickstarter. The first 24 hours are crucial.https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/russellnohelt... #horror #comics

10. Make it easy. I know I’ve been talking about it, but it warrants its own point. You have to make it easy for people to help you. They (mostly) aren’t going to go out of their way to help you.

11. Post every time somebody backs you. This makes people think they are backing a winning, and it reminds them to back your project every time it comes up on their feed. It’s a no lose situation for you. Remember to include a link. Like this: Thanks Becky! You rock! Join us now!https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/russellnohelt... #horror #comics

12. 33%. The golden rule is if you hit 33% of your funds on Day 1, you’re nearly guaranteed to fund. Don’t get on me if you don’t fund, though. 25% is good, but 33% is the magic number I’ve always used. The biggest things to make sure people know you’re about to launch, that you’ve launched, and what to do when you’ve launched. You have to plant the seeds in their head so they are ready to back on Day 1, and you have to make it easy for them. People want to help you. They just want to not do things more. Don’t forget to check out our campaign:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/russellnohelty/katrina-hates-the-dead-print-run

See how easy I made that? You don’t even have to scroll up.

Make sure to check out freekickstartercourse.com too in order to start your journey on the right foot.