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Kickstarter Tips and Advice

How to Succeed at Kickstarter with no "Inner Support Circle"

Tips to help you plan and run a successful campaign.

by Trisbee » Sat Nov 04, 2017 8:52 pm

Hi guys!

New here! I've been a long time lurker of Kickstarter sites and I figured it's time to finally share what I've learned, because even after researching Kickstarters for years, I still find myself learning new things!

First off, to give you an idea of my background, I am someone who doesn't come from money, meaning I'm not fortunate enough to have a wide network of people close to me ready to back me on day one or spread the word to people who do. Secondly I've failed 2 Kickstarters in the past but 2 years later my 3rd Kickstarter is at over 30% of its goal in 3 days. ... es-of-tris

How am I pulling it off? I'll tell you!


Attitude is BY FAR I think the biggest thing that I have going for me this time around. When I ran my first Kickstarter, I felt like I was offering the world something good and that they were "stupid" not to think it wasn't. After watching my progress completely fall to 0 after a few days I felt upset that people were willing to back similar projects but had no faith in mine. That my dream was completely shattered because people refused to pry open their wallets. I felt like Kickstarter wasn't for people like "me".

There is a common theme here and that is ME ME ME ME.

People want to back your projects for two reasons generally: They believe in your vision or You are connecting with someone on a personal level with your product whether it be from a practical stance or an emotional one. Much of your funding is likely to come from strangers that hear about your project from others once it gains traction, otherwise you probably wouldn't need Kickstarter, so you are mainly relying on the latter with some splash over to the former.If you connect with someone in a way that will make their life easier or result in positive emotion, they will want to believe in it too.

For this third project, I made a game based on actual experiences in my life, it was relateable and one of the most common things I've heard about it is how they can relate to my character. I was the right amount of vulnerable, I let them know that the game was born in the wake of my depression but I channeled that into something more positive and used it as a motivation. People didn't get the sense that I was looking for pity pledges but determined to see my vision through until the end.

So to recap, remember, you aren't doing anyone a favor by taking their money for a project that doesn't exist yet, let people know that it's important to you and have a story behind, if possible make sure your product can connect with others on a practical or emotional level. (For well connected people this might not be a deal breaker, but for those people with smaller connections we really have to bring something to the table)

Get Involved With Your Community, QUALITY not Quantity

I'm anti-social and really don't enjoy social media that much, but when you start using it for the purposes of sharing what you're passionate about and start attracting those people that are generally interested in it, it feels GREAT. It will be slow at first, and it might not seem to be paying off, but I would take 10 engaged people who will seriously pitch my vision to their circle over 100 follows for people who will constantly scrub past my major updates.

People are seriously grateful when you try to help them, it doesn't always result in a monetary result, but making an impression on people is a great way to meet new key players who might be a lot more into your project than anyone you've met so far. I literally struck up a conversation on Tumblr with a guy I never had any interaction with because he had a neat blog and he started digging up information on my game. He played it that night, backed me for a large amount and started featuring me, not only that, he's just actually really cool and I think I've made a great friend.

In my opinion, you honestly have to approach Kickstarter NOT expecting to succeed, even if you're confident you'll end up getting funded on day 1. I say this because if you're focused on succeeding you'll become obsessed with your goal amount and you might start looking at everything as a potential number. Enjoy the journey, reach out to people, help people (like I am now), if you are trying to get crowdfunded but take no joy in giving a little something back you are doing it wrong.

To recap: Realize that your backers aren't numbers, they are real people that might know other people and will be impressed that you too are a real person not just looking to squeeze them for funding. Run the campaign like you can succeed, but are expecting not to, you are always the underdog in crowdfunding.

Believe in Yourself Aggressively

Lastly, you have to believe in yourself aggressively. What I mean by this is, in order to succeed, you will need to pitch your product to tons of people. There are some folks out there that don't think my game is all that great, that it's not as flashy as some of the other projects or that the writing doesn't impress them. I am unwaveringly proud of my work and even in the face of criticism I stand tall. It's impressive to be able to take criticism and continue to pursue your dream, if you don't believe in your project with 100% resolve why should anyone else?

Write professional emails to people who cover your kind of content across the web, I looked up as many YouTubers who played my style of games as I could, small or large, telling them about my game, the story behind it, and why their assistance would be valuable to me, but I did it in a way that clearly showed that I was confident that I wasn't wasting their time.

The Obvious Stuff

I won't elaborate on these points because I think you can find them all over the internet but:

DON'T make a video that only shows hypotheticals, you need something tangible something real, flashy CG does not work on potential backers

If your Story Section couldn't pass for the length of a short high school essay, you're doing something very wrong. If you don't have more than that to say about something you're passionate about it just doesn't look good.

Your rewards should be innovative, people really don't want to pay 25 extra dollars for a shirt, these still seem to be very common but to me I would generally just prefer to product instead of spending more for token goods. In my case, my rewards allow people to appear in my game in different forms (but I realize not everyone can do this)

So that's it for now! I KNOW you want to reach your goal and that is the most important thing to you- but you REALLY DO have to care about everyone along the way. Your backers aren't numbers, they are REAL people who like your product and really want to enjoy it some day, that in itself should be flattering! I hope this was helpful, I don't write guides often but I'm happy for any feedback, or to elaborate on any of my points!

If you'd like to check out my project feel free to! :) Thanks for reading! ... es-of-tris
Current Project: Cynical 7 - The Misadventures of Tris, a game about Comical Misadventures and Finding your Place in the World. ... es-of-tris

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by MilkT » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:02 am

Great Read!
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by phil_dallaire » Wed Nov 08, 2017 6:18 am

Hi Trisbee,

I love your article! My brother and I just launched our first campaign yesterday and things are going good, but we want to make sure we keep the momentum. We've set up a marketing campaign and will be posting daily on our social media pages. What is your best advice to keep people pledging everyday? Here is the link to our campaign - Igloo: The Ultimate Travel Pillow Set! ... =user_menu
Thanks again for the tips!
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by daisy95 » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:10 am

I really hope you raise more than $1,746 which you currently are at. You do seem to deserve it. Hang in there!
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