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3 Negative Realities My Kickstarter Campaign Revealed to Me

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by johawkes1 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 3:08 pm

Thanks for this post, having launched my first KS two weeks ago I have experienced exactly the same as you (minus the parley aha)

I've been surprised and saddened by who has and hasn't backed or shared the link. I'm struggling to cut through the noise of the internet with my project P A C E. I'm raising the money to print books to help the world slow down and read a real, printed book. I'm not trying to make a profit, just enough to print quality books and help the world slow a little.

It's so much harder than I thought running a Kickstarter on my own so if you have any good advice or are able to help support it please get in touch!

You can see it here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/p- ... r-a-moment or email me at johawkes1@gmail.com

Thanks and good luck with your campaigns too!
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by curseofcassandra » Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:28 am

It is definitely surprising (in both good and bad ways) who you find supports you on Kickstarter. Some people you expect may not support your project but others you think wouldn't even consider it end up making large donations because they are inspired! I found many unlikely supporters through simply posting about it on Facebook.
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by Fader_Pugs » Sun Nov 12, 2017 2:55 pm

When it comes to success and following your dreams - People want to see you do good but not better than them. I have wondered the same. Is it that hard to donate a $1, especially when you consistently "like" my photos on social media. It is a very interesting dynamic!

Keep up the good work!
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by flikframe » Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:24 am

I agree, I didn't expect everyone to back me, most people shy away because they are not familiar with the platform (need to create account, understand the rules, wait for it to be made etc), but sharing the link was a bare minimum I can ask for. Less 5 of my friends shared on facebook. My partner is so pissed that his friends are only doing the talks and not take action also.

However, I was blessed to have extremely supportive parents, who go out of their ways to pester their friends into pledging :P Consider they are mostly 60+, don't read english very well, and probably don't get the point of what I'm doing.

At the end of the day, don't take it personal with the friends who didn't support, like Fader_Pugs said it could be people not wanting to see you do better, its the ugly side of human nature, doesn't necessarily means bad friendship. But it DOES really show you who are your biggest pillars in life, and its important to be grateful for that.
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by sockinvaders » Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:38 am

Only 3 days in so far, but this fits my expectations and the reality entirely! Of 60 backers so far, 6 are from people i know and reached out to. The rest have been random strangers who stumbled upon the project. I realise arcade themed socks for men aren't to everyone's taste, but i intentionally made them stylish and went with big names like pacman, dr mario, tetris etc and really they have gotten some great feedback, so it is surprising how few people have bothered to back it. even people in the video! who played an active role already. Even people who know both the founders personally and i expected would throw money at any project we collaborated on.

This is sadly not the case. I am wondering however if those people might come back and put in a pledge at the end, or if i should just forgot telling friends about it and move on.

One more thing. I came up with the idea yesterday that maybe i should instead invite all facebook friends to the associated Page and then deal with the promotion only through there. That way people get a chance to kind of opt in or out of your project.

What do you guys think?

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/17 ... reator_nav
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by lowkey » Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:49 am

sockinvaders wrote:Only 3 days in so far, but this fits my expectations and the reality entirely! Of 60 backers so far, 6 are from people i know and reached out to. The rest have been random strangers who stumbled upon the project. I realise arcade themed socks for men aren't to everyone's taste, but i intentionally made them stylish and went with big names like pacman, dr mario, tetris etc and really they have gotten some great feedback, so it is surprising how few people have bothered to back it. even people in the video! who played an active role already. Even people who know both the founders personally and i expected would throw money at any project we collaborated on.

This is sadly not the case. I am wondering however if those people might come back and put in a pledge at the end, or if i should just forgot telling friends about it and move on.

One more thing. I came up with the idea yesterday that maybe i should instead invite all facebook friends to the associated Page and then deal with the promotion only through there. That way people get a chance to kind of opt in or out of your project.

What do you guys think?

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/17 ... reator_nav


I must say I am not surprised at all. Cool design and presentations.
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by sockinvaders » Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:12 am

lowkey wrote:
sockinvaders wrote:Only 3 days in so far, but this fits my expectations and the reality entirely! Of 60 backers so far, 6 are from people i know and reached out to. The rest have been random strangers who stumbled upon the project. I realise arcade themed socks for men aren't to everyone's taste, but i intentionally made them stylish and went with big names like pacman, dr mario, tetris etc and really they have gotten some great feedback, so it is surprising how few people have bothered to back it. even people in the video! who played an active role already. Even people who know both the founders personally and i expected would throw money at any project we collaborated on.

This is sadly not the case. I am wondering however if those people might come back and put in a pledge at the end, or if i should just forgot telling friends about it and move on.

One more thing. I came up with the idea yesterday that maybe i should instead invite all facebook friends to the associated Page and then deal with the promotion only through there. That way people get a chance to kind of opt in or out of your project.

What do you guys think?

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/17 ... reator_nav


I must say I am not surprised at all. Cool design and presentations.


Wow thanks very much. :D Really appreciate the feedback.

Since posting here, the trend i described has only continued. To the point where i quickly decided not to message friends any more about it. It's possible some of them are planning to come back later after a pay day. But for the most part it just feels a bit awkward messaging an old friend out of the blue and mentioning it.

My new policy is if i do message someone, just ask about them. And only if they ask about me would i mention it. and only share a link if requested.

But the KS market has been amazing so far, never would have imagined this happening. I guess there's just plenty of people now who are kind of addicted to the shopping here and love knowing the story behind their products. It really is wonderful to see.

The lesson i learned so far is: if you have a decent enough video and product, then you could have zero friends and still have a successful project. Friends are most important at the start. But from a successful project stand point, i'd rather have a good product and video than good friends. :P
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by leonstafford » Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:52 pm

Thanks for sharing the frustrations/disappointments in regards to soliciting support. Having just been through this with regards to trying to fundraise for an environmental charity, I can completely empathize. Where comics may not be everyone's cup of tea, one would hope that clean air and water would be.

Experiencing this I think is a great opportunity to learn more about yourself and focus on what is important. Rather than seeking validation/approval from those around you, it forces you to put yourself around others who care about the same things as you.

I'd suggest considering those from your friends/family circle who did donate to be the exceptions, not the norm.

For the test of friendship, rather than $, use the age old method of asking them to help you move house ;)

The results of fundraising may also force you to consider whether you are doing something that you are truly passionate about or if you are mainly doing it just to please others. The former is the recommended option. Do what you love first, people who share your passion should start to come to the surface. Sometimes, you need to help these people become aware of your common interest - hence Kickstarter :D
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by sockinvaders » Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:08 am

leonstafford wrote:Thanks for sharing the frustrations/disappointments in regards to soliciting support. Having just been through this with regards to trying to fundraise for an environmental charity, I can completely empathize. Where comics may not be everyone's cup of tea, one would hope that clean air and water would be.

Experiencing this I think is a great opportunity to learn more about yourself and focus on what is important. Rather than seeking validation/approval from those around you, it forces you to put yourself around others who care about the same things as you.

I'd suggest considering those from your friends/family circle who did donate to be the exceptions, not the norm.

For the test of friendship, rather than $, use the age old method of asking them to help you move house ;)

The results of fundraising may also force you to consider whether you are doing something that you are truly passionate about or if you are mainly doing it just to please others. The former is the recommended option. Do what you love first, people who share your passion should start to come to the surface. Sometimes, you need to help these people become aware of your common interest - hence Kickstarter :D


Sounds like solid advice there. Our friends and family may not share our interests or want/like the things we are working on. so for the sake of a KS campaign, its prob a better idea to befriend people who share our interests. in the case of comics, there's loads of people out there who like them.

It is a great shame that even our close friends might not back us. But try not to let it ruin friendships. I'm taking note of those people who were supportive, those who backed, those who did both and those who did neither. and it may influence how i treat them when they need similar help. but we'll see. The key is, get to know people whose interests align more with yours.

And you know what. A week ago when i was 0% funded, i felt kinda desperate to tell friends and really needed their help. Now we're 220% funded after a week and now some of them are actually coming to me to ask for advice. Makes me think how much better it is to come to them with your project from a position of power rather than desperation. You can be a lot more casual about things and maybe thatll make people more inclined to check it out. Good luck! :)
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by AaronGR » Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:59 pm

zelphacomics wrote:Hello Everyone,

I launched my first Kickstarter campaign recently to begin my childhood dream of publishing comic books. My friends, family and co-workers have always been aware of how passionate I am about all things comic books. Before my campaign started, I informed my ‘social circle’ about my intention to begin a crowdfunding campaign and for the most part, the responses from the people I knew were positive and supportive. “This is my passion and dream,” I thought. “With a large family, friends I’ve known for decades and close co-workers, I will have this campaign funded in a couple days!”

So I launched my first Kickstarter campaign for my comic book graphic novel Paper Rock Scissors N’ Stuff Wars. I wanted to create an original comic about the famous hand game Rock-Paper-Scissors brought to life as an actual intergalactic war! The campaign can be seen at: https://goo.gl/o43tSb

With 15 days to go, the campaign is 91% funded and I’m confident it will succeed and surpass the goal. I have been to three comic book conventions while the campaign is running and that seems to be paying off. However, since starting the campaign, the reality of what role my social circle would play became clear. Crowdfunding really teaches you a lot about the people you think would help you. Here is what I came to realize:

1) Family and Friends are not as supportive as they say

As explained by every person who has succeeded or failed at crowdfunding, your first target is always your social circle of family, friends, acquaintances and co-workers. People you know personally and will donate simply because they want to see you succeed. To my surprise, I discovered many of the people I know in each circle – people I have known for years and decades – have not only ignored my campaign, but have started to act weird around me. As one business acquaintance recently told me, “The need or request for money always changes a relationship’s dynamic.”

Now, I can understand co-workers feeling at odds with donating money to a peer and even Facebook ‘friends’ you barely have conversations with not wanting to get involved, but when I discovered two of my older sisters lacked interest, plus my father, my step-mother, aunts and uncles (all paternal side) – wow, I was disheartened. Those who have helped include my other two younger sisters, my youngest brother, my mother, grandmother (all maternal side) and my wife’s family. Yes, my in-laws have been more supportive than my actual paternal family! I have tried to talk to them about their lack of interest, but to summarize, I get the standard, “I’ll look into it”, “I’m busy” or the next piece of gold, “wish you good luck” (accompanied by a quasi-forced smile)

Two of my oldest friends provided the ultimate shock. Now, they live in different cities than I do and we can’t hang out as we used to years ago. We all have our own lives and families, but we go way back two decades. We have been there for each other too many times to count. But with my request for money to fuel a dream, both friends have suddenly become distant and hard to reach by phone or email. Other friends have donated and shared my campaign, to which I am grateful, but these two specific friends have really disappointed me. When the campaign is over, we are going to have some serious talks about, “seriously, WTF?”

2) “Good luck with that” is the nicest rejection

At first this fooled me. You talk to a person you know and they tell you something along the lines of, “awesome idea! OK, good luck with that!” or “I wish you the best of success!” Sounds great, right? People wishing you success and good vibes! Even if they don’t donate, I thought they would at least spread the word of my campaign. But that isn’t the case and after speaking with other crowdfunders, this “good luck” rejection mantra is very common. As one successful crowdfunder (who donated to my campaign) told me, “if someone ONLY says ‘good luck’ after you explain your campaign and DOES NOT ask any questions, that person is really telling you, ‘hey, I’m not going to help out, but saying good luck makes us both feel better’”.

Seriously, regardless if you reached your goal or not, think back to those people whose only response to your campaign was “good luck” – how many of them actually donated? I’m not talking about those who donate and then say “good luck” – that is actually genuine. I’m talking about “good luck” is the verbal donation received and nothing more. I bet you will discover that 'well-wish' is the only gift they gave.

3) I’ll help you if you help me!

Outside of personal social circles, once the campaign is up and running, we all get barraged by businesses and individuals looking to promote your campaign for a fee. Even though I am new to Kickstarter, I knew these solicitations were coming. What I didn’t expect were fellow crowdfunders asking for what I call a ‘donation parley’. I’m sure you all have received them – a request to donate a similar amount to each other's campaign to help boost committed funds and Kickstarter rankings.

To be honest, the first time I heard of this was when a guy reached out to me on day one of my campaign to do a $5 donation parley. I had yet to get a donation (was waiting for friends and family members to get home from work to donate) and it made sense to at least have $5 there for potential non-family donors to see there was interest in my comic. I agreed and he donated $5 and I donated $5 back to him. It was a good experience and we developed a positive report between us.

After that one good experience, enter the two bad ones that give pause to this practise. After such a positive first parley, when a second guy asked the same thing, I agreed. I was already at 52% funded, but another $5 wouldn’t hurt. I told him to do the donation and when I come back from work (important part), I would donate back. Once home from work, not only did he donate, but he then un-donated and left vile messages for me. I won’t go into specifics, but ‘troll’ is the best term I have for this guy. He ignored my comment of “donating after work” and assumed I would donate back within minutes of his donation. I didn’t care that he un-donated, but the visceral messages were just too much and immature. I have since labelled his messages as ‘spam’.

The third experience was also the same day as the previous one. The difference this time was the guy’s campaign was about to end and I guess he needed a few extra bucks to reach the goal. The parley was done and when I got home, I realized he un-donated too. His campaign didn’t reach its goal and I guess he decided it wasn’t worth it to keep up his side of the bargain. No nasty emails – just a simple cop-out.

In a donation parley, depending on whose campaign ends first, someone can un-donate to screw the other person over. It’s like the old You Tube ‘sub-4-sub’ scam to build a subscriber base. A donation parley could be useful at the very beginning of a campaign just to get some numbers up, but I warn others against doing it because you never know if the other person will ultimately keep up their side of the bargain. And of course, you can't fund a campaign like this. It wouldn't make sense.

So this is my little rant about some of the things I have experienced with my current Kickstarter campaign. By no means do I want you to think I see this experience as all negative. As I mentioned before, I’m almost at the finish line with 2-weeks to go. Complete strangers have helped my campaign so much and even one donor increased their pledge from $100 to $500. I have family and friends who stepped up and have been amazing with their financial and social media support. I’m happy to have support regardless of where it comes from and I plan to deliver on everything I promise! But life is a blend of positives and negatives and unexpected experiences that get you thinking about the people you thought you knew. Crowdfunding teaches you quite a bit about the human condition and relationships.

Please share your thoughts and experiences. Thanks for reading and if you like unique crazy comic books, perhaps give my campaign a try :D

Lue :geek:
Paper Rock Scissors N’ Stuff Wars: the Graphic Novel campaign
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Exactly, there are some people who like to see you succeed, but the majority of them may think otherwise. Crushing your dream is much easier than encouraging you. Its simply because they failed in life, so the last thing is to carry you along. Only those that really care about you give you a solid support. Don't care too much about the negativity (cos they don't like you), rumors can ruin a person, as well as the dream.

Anyway, stand firm on what you're believing, and all the best!
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