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For the past few months, we’ve been hosting weekly Q&A sessions with creators representing projects from across the worlds of design, film, music, and more. Some highlights? Chef Carla Hall dished tips on baking biscuits and running a stellar campaign, and Pavan Bapu, the co-founder of Gramovox, explained how creators can craft a compelling story around what they’re creating.

Creator Hangouts are hosted every Wednesday at 1PM EST via Google Hangouts. Anyone can join in, ask questions, or sit back and learn from people who are just plain great at making stuff.

Below you’ll find some advice that creators shared during these chats, along with the schedule for upcoming hangouts. If you miss a Creator Hangout, we post the recordings here so you can watch and learn at your leisure.

Do you have any tips for telling compelling stories?

Pavan Bapu, Gramovox: Understand the context around the product. What is that ecosystem? Who are the people that interact with this product? What does it mean to them? It’s about connecting all of those dots.

Too many people focus on the product itself. Step back a little bit. Look at the big picture. Challenge yourself beyond just the product. What do you stand for as a brand? Me buying into this product is also me buying into you as a person and as a company. I want to make sure that your philosophies and your values gel with what I believe in and more than likely they do...but you have to tell me about it!

How did you condense so much of your story into a short video?

Carla Hall, Carla’s Southern Kitchen: You have to be absolutely fearless when you’re doing this video. If you feel like you are over the top –– that’s good. You’re reaching out to someone and saying "Stop, look at me, and let me tell you what I’m doing." You have to get their attention really, really quickly.

Visually, the food is really important. You want them to salivate, see the food, imagine what the food is going to taste like. #HotChickenFace was born because of the Kickstarter video!

How do you talk to your audience?

Jesse Thorn, Put This On: We were touching our fans' lives on a daily basis through the blog. We were also deeply engaged with our audience in every venue that we could find—from sending a backer message on Kickstarter, to Twitter...Every place we can be connected with our audience, we try to do that.

What if you don't have existing social networks?

Jenn de la Vega, Hit PLAY on The Shortsleeves Cassette: If you present yourself online fully and engage with people in a genuine way (never spam them!), they’ll start to see what you’re doing and follow along. It takes a lot of work. Making community starts small. Starting small and really getting to know the people who become your friends and supporters is really important.

What strategies did you put in while you were preparing?

Andrew Ahn, Spa Night: We set the goal for the Spa Night Kickstarter at $60,000, and I knew that it was going to be $60,000 worth of work. I was going to have to put in this amount of effort and time. This wasn’t going to be money falling into my lap.

We set up everything really, really precisely for our Kickstarter campaign. With my producers, we created a Google calendar that had to the hour what we were going to do: we were going to launch at this time on this day, and we were going to do our first update within twenty-four hours.

Want to join the conversation?

Mark your calendar and get your questions ready for these upcoming chats (or follow @KickstarterTips, where we post reminders and share tips to help you run a top-notch project):

  • September 23: John Joseph Adams, Hugo Award-winning editor and the creator behind Help Fund My Robot Army!!!
  • September 30: Justin P. Moore, the artist and designer of The Lotus and the Artichoke 
  • October 7: Filmmaker Gabo Arora and Barry Pousman, part of the team behind the United Nations' virtual-reality film series
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