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What have you learned from running a Kickstarter campaign?

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by sbriggman » Thu Aug 01, 2013 3:28 pm

I'm curious to see what everyone has learned from preparing for/running a Kickstarter campaign. What advice would you pass on to others that are just starting out?
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by inflexionUSA » Thu Aug 01, 2013 7:53 pm

Connect, Connect, Connect

It's important to have a strong following of passionate supporters long before you start a campaign.
James Wissel / inflexionUSA.com


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by LeatherDiceBags » Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:35 pm

I agree. Connect. Have your social media built and in place in advance. I didn't do that, and I'm having to play catch up.

Listen to your Backers. Respond in a timely manner, with real information. If it would bother you as a Backer, don't do it. Still not sure? Ask your Backers. Don't say something unless you really mean it. Nothing bothers me more than when a project creator goes back on something they've said. If you aren't sure, tell your Backers that. Better to be honest and upfront than disappointing later on.

You can see exactly what order your Backers appear in; you could offer reward fulfillment in a first come, first serve basis. I didn't realize that before I started.
Last edited by LeatherDiceBags on Fri Aug 02, 2013 7:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by sbriggman » Fri Aug 02, 2013 1:48 am

Thank you Mary and inflexion. Would recommend you guys add your kickstarter link to your signature in your profile so that whenever you make a comment, people have an opportunity to check out the campaign of this awesome helpful person :).

Good point Mary on the delivering on your promises and being transparent. That's a cool idea also about first come first serve reward fulfillment!
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by inflexionUSA » Sun Aug 04, 2013 4:10 am

I think it's really important to honestly ask yourself do you have a loyal and supportive following. It's actually pretty easy to find test.

Are you posting, tweeting, blogging ... interesting information for your crowd and are they responding with interesting and thoughtful replies. If not, you likely have a lot of dispassionate fans. Engage them more, ask them questions, take more interest in them.

Think of likes and the friends you don't even know as low hanging fruit ... backers - you have to work for.

James
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by Biohazard Apparel » Tue Aug 06, 2013 2:20 pm

LeatherDiceBags wrote:I agree. Connect. Have your social media built and in place in advance. I didn't do that, and I'm having to play catch up.

Listen to your Backers. Respond in a timely manner, with real information.
.

This is great input. I can't imagine not responding to backers if the need info when everything is so time sensitive. But the world turns that way. We will do anything. The campaign we are about to launch is a serious undertaking and we consider it the beginning of a new way of living! Man do we want to be successful. We got nearly 1000 like on FB in 9 days. We lack in our social but the response has been awesome. Any likes or follows sure would help!
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by drlouisechughes » Wed Aug 07, 2013 11:44 am

That it is very hard work without a strong community behind you! I am not doing too badly now, but it is getting harder as time goes on. I had quite a few backers from the recently launched section on Kickstarter but that has dried up and I am now utilizing all my social media networks (Google+, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, DeviantArt and some forums I am involved with). I have a few more areas I can explore but it is a lot of work to get each and every backer. I timed it so that this project fell over a holiday I had, so I can focus on it, but it would be difficult if I didn't have so much time during the day to promote it.

I would say about half of my backers are people I know so far, half I don't. While I am trying to remain positive, I am not sure this is going to be successful, but I will try my hardest to make it so. You will spend a lot of time on the project, both in building the actual page and video and much more in the work that follows the launch. Work out the best time of year as well. I considered a few angles but on reflection there are a few that I should have taken into account and worked around them. I will know for next time, this will not be the only project I do via this method.
Funded!!! Electron microscopy artwork http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/162 ... endar-2014

Funded!!! Human chromosome jewellery. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/162 ... collection
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by sbriggman » Wed Aug 07, 2013 10:24 pm

drlouisechughes wrote:I would say about half of my backers are people I know so far, half I don't. While I am trying to remain positive, I am not sure this is going to be successful, but I will try my hardest to make it so. You will spend a lot of time on the project, both in building the actual page and video and much more in the work that follows the launch. Work out the best time of year as well. I considered a few angles but on reflection there are a few that I should have taken into account and worked around them. I will know for next time, this will not be the only project I do via this method.


Some great tips here! Just from listening to campaign creators speak about their projects, doing interviews, and studying campaigns, I'd like to add that one takeaway is usually a lack of one of the two (or both):

1. Bad conversions
2. Low Traffic

Bad conversions means that if 1000 people visit your campaign page, 100 of those people watch the video, and only 1 pledges at a $5 tier, that's a pretty low conversion rate. It makes it harder for the project to take off. The ratio is 1000 unique views : $5 pledged.

You can improve this conversion rate by examining where your traffic is coming from (relevancy) and getting feedback to optimize your writing/video communications, along with your reward tier offerings.

At the end of the day, conversions to me say - how many people want this? If you have a game campaign and get featured on an independent gaming publication and only get 1 pledge out of 1000 people, that could be a bad sign. I would start with 1. driving relevant traffic 2. Examining how many people are willing to support the campaign and at which tiers to give an indication of why they are supporting it 3. Retooling to focus your campaign better to this audience and re-do the process of driving more traffic.

Low traffic is the biggest complaint I receive. Most people think they have a great campaign, that it resonates well, but they just can't get enough traffic to the campaign. For example, if you have 1000 people visit your campaign, 500 of those people watch the video and 250 of those people pledge an average of $25, those are some awesome conversion rates. You would have brought in $6,250 in pledges.

To me, it would make sense to pay for advertising or marketing/pr to get another 1000 people to check out your campaign, as long as the cost doesn't exceed the $6,250-cost of production, but recognize it will eat away at your margins. As an example, if you used a $1 per click model and drove another 1,000 people for $1,000, you could get a decent return on your investment, assuming your costs aren't too high.

As a final thought: I will try to come up with more concrete examples as to how to DRIVE traffic and how to measure conversion rates in a future article on CrowdCrux. In my experience, it's best measured over time. It's hard to drive 4,000 people to a website or product page in a single day unless you have an established following, but over time (a month), you can drive larger amounts to a page more easily than you might think with hard work and consistent effort.
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by MichaelTumey » Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:00 am

sbriggman wrote:
drlouisechughes wrote:Bad conversions means that if 1000 people visit your campaign page, 100 of those people watch the video, and only 1 pledges at a $5 tier, that's a pretty low conversion rate. It makes it harder for the project to take off. The ratio is 1000 unique views : $5 pledged.


Unfortunately, other than total video views, I am not sure where to get the stat of total number of views from various link sources vs. total number of backers. There's no way (that I can see) total views, as who is to say that everyone that looks at the page is viewing the video.

Total video views: 233
Total backers 85
Average backer amount: $41.07

As far as sources go: Kickstarter related traffic Tabletop Games - Discover(19), Recently Launched - Discover (7), Search (12) combined has been the best source of backers.

G+ related has been the second best source: (13)

RPGkickstarters.tumblr.com is third (5) - all other sources are 2 or less backers.

Based on total video views vs. total backers, the conversion rate is extremely good - however, again, I don't know the true number of viewers to the page, so I con't really know the accurate way to measure conversion here.

As an aside, Day 6, 85 backers, 93% to goal ($259 away from goal).
25 Quick & Dirty Map Tutorials Guide Kickstarter - create stunning RPG maps using any standard graphics software.
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by inflexionUSA » Thu Aug 08, 2013 8:46 am

Hi Louise,

Your work as exemplified in your project was accomplished through studying, learning, artistry ... and looking at the world in a different way. My guess is that very few people on this planet can do what you do. In addition it must qualify as "hard work"

Here is what I think - the future of business requires mastery of social connectivity. This is true as much for small business as for large. This is how you develop an audience, following, client, customer and/or a backer. The future of individuals requires the mastery of social connectivity - this is how you find jobs, dates, groups, friends ...

Kickstarter is hard work. And it's an ever moving target. In my mind it’s importance today is three fold.

1. Master it and you master a way to make money.
2. It enables you to create a following of passionate and interested backers whom you can build upon and turn - into clients.
3. It’s new, it’s the future and your early to the party.

Kickstarter is marketing, sales, promotion and branding all wrapped in one. And that's just one of the reasons why it's hard. It's also an investment, worth making.
James Wissel / inflexionUSA.com


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