What kinds of plans and preparations do you need to make before your project launches?
We asked some creators in our publishing category to tell us how they prepared for their Kickstarter projects, and collected their insights in a quick video. (You can watch right here on our YouTube channel.) Sound advice? What would you add?
I always tell people who are contemplating doing a Kickstarter project to seriously research the projects already done in their area of interest. You can learn so much from what other people have done.
I did about six months of research before launching my campaign. The answers that the others have given are great. Here are some things that really helped me.
1. Research the heck out of videos. My campaign is for a comic, so I looked at about 30 videos of both successful and unsuccessful campaigns. Using this spreadsheet, I compared things like whether or not they had an interesting thumbnail, the length of the video, whether it was animated or live action, etc. That research was huge.
2. Put feelers out there early. I used an existing social media calendar (here's the one I used) and organized a social media campaign for twitter, facebook, tumblr, and about 8 comic book forums. This was huge for building up a following and getting some buzz early on.
3. Use a spreadsheet to figure out your costs. Here's the one I used to calculate shipping costs, tier level costs, how much I needed to raise, etc.
4. Use reddit or other ad hoc "focus groups". You're already doing this just by posting this question. The internet is full of helpful people who'd love to give you their advice.
5. Do internet research. Here are some things that were really helpful to me:
Just a few points from my own experience:
1. Make a video under 1:00 unless you are a big studio/company that will be making a CGI presentation. Focus on the project and avoid talking about the money or yourself.
2. Gather images (including headers/banners) and format them all to a standardized size. I use one that is the same dimensions of an embedded youtube video.
3. Notify backers before launch to ensure a strong first day
4. Create 7-11 Reward levels (include a $1 pledge level and a pledge level for $100+)
5. Get a rough estimate of shipping costs but recognize that they will increase in the time between when you launch and when you fulfill
1. My project is a book, so I spent a lot of time in the publishing category, getting a feel for other people's campaigns. I studied funding goals, deadlines, rewards, and the campaign pitch itself.
2. Prepare your promotion posts ahead of time. Where will you post? Facebook? Twitter? Google Groups? Reddit? LinkedIn? Tumblr? Pinterest? Tailor your post for each audience. I'm a member of some Gothic Lolita groups, so I let them know there was a Gothic Lolita character in my book. I follow Diversity in YA blogs, so I let them know my protagonist is asexual. I was able to post as soon as my campaign went live.
3. Do a lot of research into your expenses.
4. More than that.
5. Prepare your Kickstarter and save it for a while before publishing. Spend a lot of time on the preview page. Send the preview link to friends, family, and people you met on the Subway. Have them critique it. Actually listen to their critique.
6. Develop faith in a higher power.
These tips are for Kickstarters on a budget. We’re funding our own project until we get funded on Kickstarter or another site. Many helpful hints seem to pertain to projects with larger budgets, but after all, if we had large budgets we would not be looking for funding on Kickstarter, right? :)