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Share Your Kickstarter Story (Updates, Campaign Stats, Marketing Strategies Used)

THREE THINGS I LEARNED FROM RUNNING TWO SUCCESSFUL LOW GOAL

Treat this section like a blog for your Kickstarter journey. Feel free to share project stats and lessons learned. Hold yourself accountable to new weekly goals by sharing them with us!

by ExplodingDesk » Fri Jul 15, 2016 12:27 am

Hey guys! I haven't been active on this forum since I did my first Kickstarter campaign. However, recently I've been thinking about what I learned during my campaigns, and figured it was worth sharing here. If you have any questions, please let me know.

Note: The formatting on my blog is a little better, and there are pictures! :lol: But the text is the same either way! https://skywardspark.squarespace.com/sparks/lowgoalkickstarter

THREE THINGS I LEARNED FROM RUNNING TWO SUCCESSFUL LOW GOAL KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGNS

Pebble Watch. The Coolest Cooler. Exploding Kittens. When the average person thinks of Kickstarter success, they think of multi million dollar campaigns that blew their funding goals out of the water. And for good reason! These campaigns did exceptionally well, brining their creators fame and more money than most of us will see in our lifetime. (Although in the case of the Coolest Cooler, it may be more like infamy and squalor... I digress.)

While of course these highly successful campaigns are fun to dream about, they're not the only type of successful campaign on Kickstarter. There is a quieter group of folks funding their dream projects for far less money, and with far less fanfare.

I started my company, Quest Scouts: Scouting for Adults, in late 2014. (http://www.QuestScouts.com) Quest Scouts seeks to help you escape the "lather, rinse, repeat" lifestyle while collecting real life, physical badges. I've used Kickstarter twice to help fund new Quest Scouts products.

With two successful Kickstarters under my belt, each hitting their goals at less than $2,500, I am one of the people in the "small Kickstarter success" category. I'd like to share three things I've learned as a small goal Kickstarter.

1) IF YOU'RE BRAND NEW, IT'S A GOOD IDEA TO GO INTO YOUR CAMPAIGN WITH THE MINDSET THAT IT'S OK FOR YOUR CAMPAIGN TO BE FUNDED BY FRIENDS AND FAMILY.


I had HIGH HOPES going into my first campaign. I had read all the blogs, listened to the podcasts, and thought I had a pretty good grasp on the do's and don't of Kickstarter. I was so confident in myself, that I planned out stretch goals reaching more than double my initial goal. (Ha!) In the end, I just barely met my goal, and that was after several anxious weeks of uncertainty.

It turns out, I needed a far bigger audience than the one I had cultivated. I had spent two months leading a free quest, had several people following along daily, but when asked to throw down actual cash, most of them bailed. However, those who really saw the value in Quest Scouts stuck around! (And, I should add, are still with us two years later! If you're interested, check out our longest time Quest Scout, Gerry, in the testimonials section of my website. (Scroll down.) Love that guy!)

So, while I did have some outside funders, over 50% of the initial funding for Quest Scouts was from family and friends. While I'm ok with that now, at the time I let it get me down. I felt like I had somehow failed, even though my campaign was successful. Now, I see the truth- My family and friends WANTED to help me take a stab at my dream. I didn't ask them to pledge, but they did so because they wanted to. Obviously, your results may vary. I HOPE your campaign does much better than expected. That being said, accepting the fact that people you know will be backing you campaign, it may help your mental health as your campaign progresses.

2) NOT EXCEEDING YOUR FUNDING GOAL MAY BE A BLESSING IS DISGUISE.


Quest Scouts is my first business, and I've learned so much in the past 2+ years about creating quality content, manufacturing products (stickers, coins, notebooks) and shipping, among other things. Rewind two years ago to the end of my initial Kickstarter, and I was pretty clueless.

I had never shipped our badge books before, and some of them bent during the shipping process. I was mortified! Luckily, I only had 44 backers, and knew I could make it right. I emailed each backer personally, explained the situation, and asked them about the condition of their book. If anybody reported even a slight bend, I repackaged a new book and sent it to them. Had I had 440, or 4,440, doing damage control would have been much more labor intensive. Instead, I was able to learn from my mistake with relatively little damage to my company name.

3) PREPPING YOUR FOLLOWING MAKES A HUGE DIFFERENCE!

If you're only looking at funding goals, you won't notice a huge difference between my two campaigns. However, my second campaign was FAR MORE enjoyable to run. Why? Because I funded within 24 hours! This spared me from the constant stress of worrying about hitting my goal, and allowed me to enjoy the entirety of the campaign.

Of course, being more than a year apart, Quest Scouts has a larger following than before- and I'm sure that helped. (It feels strange to call the Quest Scouts a "following," but I keep it there for lack of a better word.) What I believe made us fund within the first 24 hours, was my efforts to encourage those who were going to pledge, to do so ASAP. This included an Instagram/Twitter countdown to launch day, an e-mail prior to launch explaining why it was important to pledge on day one, and an e-mail the day of launch. Could I have done more prep? Of course! But this worked for me.
Dylan Waller, Founder of Quest Scouts
Fulfill Objectives to Complete Quests and Earn Real Life Badges!
www.QuestScouts.com
ExplodingDesk

Kickstarter Succcess
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by sbriggman » Fri Jul 22, 2016 7:48 pm

Thanks for sharing!! I'll tweet this out.
Learn how to succeed on Kickstarter: here.
Submit a free press release for your Kickstarter campaign here.
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by TheCarbonComb » Sat Aug 20, 2016 8:44 pm

Definity true! I'm working on my 3 Kickstarter but going bigger on mine at the moment!
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