How do you handle supporters who cancel their pledge?
Todd & Marion,It's a good question. See, when a person cancels a pledge Kickstarter asks them why as they do so, and they may or may not answer there. But Kickstarter doesn't tell the creator the reason. There's no way to know. But they also don't tell the cancelling backer that they don't tell us.So when you ask, and, if you have time, I believe it's quite ok to, they may not respond thinking they already answered that question! Creators have been trying to get Kickstarter to change this for over 3 years.If you do ask, I'd suggest it should be for feedback or offering to help them (perhaps financial duress was the reason), but not to try to talk them back into pledging with some hard sell.Couple notes: When you get hours out from funding, you'll have this muddy slippery upward slope to overcome as people (trolling?) tend to drop just before you cross your funding goal. Be aware. Immediately after you fund you'll have more of it. Some people "want to help create early momentum for you" but then cancel after you've reached your goal. They are well meaning, and probably did help. It doesn't make the cancel any easier to see. : ) When you're hours out from the end of the campaign you'll see it again. Last minute "oh no, wait, I can't"s. But you'll have many more new backers from the 48 hour reminder, and it's when the early cancels just might jump back on. All in all, remember: You can't control their pledge, their reason, or their timing. Take the time to ask them if they're ok (you just might make a new friend), and then however they answer be ok with it. Learn from it, buck up, and move forward to your next goal: Finding new backers, and fulfilling on your promises! : )Best to you,John Wrot!
Where are the best places to publicize your kickstarter Film project?
Hey Chris,My Kickstarter campaign for my film just ended this morning actually. Because I didn't have a large network to rely on, I reached out to several people who I knew would want to promote the project through their larger networks. They really liked the story and wanted to support the making of the feature film. My personal project became personal for them. They really wanted it to be successful and therefore they promoted independently of me. I didn't have to push them. Also, since Kickstarter is the largest crowdfunding platform, most of your non-local traffic of people looking to contribute will come through here. But also, because of the fact that there are so many projects you have to find a way to make your's stand out. I would really recommend shooting a proof of concept or putting some of your previous work on the project page. People would rather give money to someone who is presenting examples of what their project will be like rather than just talking about what their project will be like. For example, for my film, we made a proof of concept trailer on no budget. Our argument was, "This is what we made with no money. Imagine what we could make with your contribution". So in more direct response to your question, I would say that Kickstarter really does provide a lot of non-local contributors. You just have to find a way to make your film stand out from the others!
Paying for social media shares, are they legit?
Most payed social media stuff are big old scams. If your going to pay for social media your probably best to pay for ads there. A better solution is to find groups/pages that relate to your product and try to network with the creators.
Shipping costs: bundle into the reward pledge, or list separately?
Ever since the facility to separate out shipping costs was added to KS (between my first and second projects), I've kept shipping entirely separate, as you suggest. I think it's good for people to see shipping costs and pay according to the real cost. It costs a lot more for international, so no reasonable person would have a problem with paying more.It also eliminates the risk of guessing your numbers wrong. I try to keep my shipping costs slightly above the actual cost, but as low as possible. People don't like to see a $20 item with $20 shipping. I also don't use tracked/signed shipping unless the pledge value is quite high (but I state this clearly on the KS page, so nobody can complain).So, I agree. Separate it out and make it more transparent for all to see. It works for me.Hope this helpsAlex
Alex Eames - RasPi.TV
Music: should instant rewards come before goal is met?
I think the best course of action here is dependent upon your main goals for sharing the song. Do you want the song to be motivation to get new backers, to help spread awareness of the campaign while it's live, or to simply reward your current Kickstarter backers with an instant gift in exchange for their support? If your main focus is to motivate folks to pledge, there is utility to share exclusive content to backers first, to help encourage folks on the fence to get on board and pledge to the campaign. But you may also see the same effect by sending the song after the campaign has ended, simply by teasing this idea: every backer will get a song and special download. Another strategy to consider may be to use the instant song download as a stretch goal, meaning that you'll send it out to every backer if you reach a specific target either by a specific time or once a milestone is achieved (meeting the goal, doubling the goal, getting 200 backers to the project etc.).One thing to consider in making this decision is that backers can cancel or modify their pledge at any time before the campaign concludes, so if you plan to send the song out immediately to new backers, it may be easier for you to manage sending it to everyone who backs the project, rather than those who back the project at specific reward tier levels. With this in mind, there is also a possibility that you'll be sending a song to someone who may end up canceling their pledge (for whatever reason) before your campaign ends. Also keep in mind that it's a great idea to share content (whether it's a download, stream, a song, a video or pictures) with your backers throughout the campaign through project updates. Sharing this content can help demonstrate examples of your work, get folks excited about the project and provide you a chance to share your music with your fans in real time either while funding is happening or after your project ends and you begin work to release your music.In regards to sending out downloads while the campaign is still live, consider the logistics of how you want to deliver the download. While the campaign is live and even after it has ended, you can private message your backers individually or in batches, and you can post a backer-only project update (meaning that only folks who have pledged to your project can see the content you share here). So if you wish to send the downloads right away, you can certainly use these tools to do so!Once your campaign ends and you've met or exceeded your project's goal, you'll be able to send out a survey and get access to your backer report where you can get information necessary to fulfill your rewards (such as mailing address, preferred email address, t-shirt sizes and anything you may need to know. So if you decide to send folks downloads after the campaign ends you'll have these tools to use to help send out rewards and downloads.While this of course is not a concrete answer of what you should or should not do, I hope it has provided you some insight and things to think about that will help you make the decision that's best for you, your band and your fans!
What's your experience of crowdfunding promotion services? Good and Bad!
The only experience I've had with them is the amount of twitter spam and PMs to my KickStarter mailbox. Personally I think they're a 'bloody nuisance' and I've started reporting them as spam.I would never even consider using the services of someone who approached me in that way. But it obviously works because they keep doing it.
Alex Eames - RasPi.TV
Using custom images (of text) instead of basic text descriptions?
We've decided to go for mostly image based content. We don't feel, with a 30 day campaign, that search-ability would be a factor. Campaigns using custom image layouts just look so much more professional, hopefully Kickstarter will add more ways to customize the look of the campaign page in the future.
Red Scotch Software
Have you received any organic media coverage from journalists who discovered you via Kickstarter.com?
Yes, I think it's possible. We had a few press inquiries come in from our Kickstarter page (including after the campaign ended). However, I think it's safer to assume that your choice in crowdfunding platform isn't going to garner anything in terms or press or promotion. Ultimately, press outreach and marketing in general will fall on the shoulders of the creator. Build relationships with writers who cover your industry, reach out to them when you launch. Relying on 'stumbled upon' coverage is likely going to leave you wishing you'd done more.
Jason Cooper and Jay Armitage
Is it OK to add new tiers with later shipping dates so production can be staggered?
A bit late for your campaign here, but I figure I'll answer to help others who come looking later.Yes. It's totally ok. Go into your "edit your project" section, click on rewards, choose the Tier, and check the "Marked as sold out" box.Clone that Tier to a new one with a new shipping date, call it the same thing, but follow it with "phase 2" and put "Products are hand-made, ships after Phase 1 rewards are shipped" and immediately limit it to the number you can handle in that time period. Then get ready to make a Phase 3 tier!