64

subscribers
I have no community. And it feels fake to actively build one. Thoughts?
Last activity on  |  27 answers
Hey Blaine. Here's my two-cents. Continue to own who you are and keep making what you want to make. You're already a creator and if your ideas and art come from a place of passion, follow that passion. Maybe that path leads you to Kickstarter, maybe not.When I scour all the campaigns on Kickstarter, I'm not solely looking for an item or a thing that will make my life better. I'm looking for individuals who have a passion and are doing something about it. It's their story that I'm interested in, not just the thing they are creating. I enjoy following creative minds as they navigate through all the highs and lows involved in running a campaign. Living a bit vicariously through them along the way. And I appreciate a balance between introverts and extroverts examining how they navigate this space. Knowing that my support, and sometimes my feedback, helps them on their creative journey is a priceless feeling and motivation. So what do you do? Well, if you have an idea (which you do) and want to see it become a reality, do something about it. Again, this may or may not involve launching a Kickstarter campaign, but it sure is a great option. And if I'm allowed one really corny moment in this response it's this: Sometimes the journey informs the destination. Position yourself to be surprised and don't hesitate to challenge your assumptions. If that advice seems bad, or makes anyone uncomfortable, re-read it pretending Master Splinter is lending his wisdom to the Ninja Turtles.So let's assume, for the fun of it, that you decide the ideas you have would benefit from being on Kickstarter. Cool! Now we're cookin'! Start small. You mentioned you have a few friends that you value, you may have a few family members who would like to help, and you have 2-3 teachers that you respect. Start there and compile them into a list. Sounds gross I know, but trust me, it's a very necessary step that a lot of people overlook. And I think it would be a big mistake to think of these individuals as mearly 'friends and family charity'. Instead, consider them a solid foundation that you can now build upon. It's more than okay to have these important people as the base of your project. And chances are, they will want to be there. Let people define how and why they support you. I know nothing about being a pianist, but I'm still intrigued and inspired to join your community to gain perspective on something I'm not familiar with.At the end of the day, it sounds like you may have more support than you think. And it's obvious by your articulate and heartfelt post (and reply!) that you have the skills necessary to deliver a great message. Besides your aforementioned friends & family, you have about 53 people within this thread alone that would love to see you run a campaign. I know I'm curious. You're an active member of the Kickstarter community already and that's a great start. Further along than most!I could go deep in the weeds here, but I think the first decision you need to make is if your art and ideas can translate on a platform such as Kickstarter. It's a great way to build community in a genuine way as long as you define what your North Star is and stick to the path you create for yourself. And I think I speak for most reading, if you ever do decide to run a Kickstarter campaign (apologies if you already have and I missed it!), let me know.
Jason Furie

55

subscribers
How long did you spend building your project page before you launched?
Last activity 4 days ago  |  28 answers
More time doesn't always mean "better". And I think all the previous comments display that perfectly. Two important things to consider are:1.) It's never too soon to hit that "Start a Project" button on Kickstarter and start rummaging around! 2.) While it's great to have a rich and detailed page covering all your bases, sometimes the 'less is more' approach is more than enough. As long as your passion is properly represented and your goals are clear, I think a lot of people will respond and lend their support.Personally, I spent about 3 months crafting my Kickstarter campaign page tweaking the message, the images, the video, and the reward tiers. Honestly, I wish I messed around even longer than that, but we were on a time crunch and set a launch date before we knew what we were doing. Again, I recommend just getting started and going from there. For me, I think the longest part of the process was shooting the featured video. Writing and actually shooting the video without any external company helping out took quite a bit of time. It was a fun process for sure, just time consuming. Knowing when to be ready to launch is a whole other story. And there's two sides of the coin. On one side you do need to be moderately prepared. Becoming a Member of the Kickstarter Community AND Building Your Email Lists are a good start! On the other hand, waiting for "perfection" can be the worst thing you can do to yourself and stop you from launching. I feel like launching your page is a lot like searching for a new apartment or house. It just feels right at one point and you need to follow your gut. Not sure if that makes sense, but I remember just hitting launch because I personally felt prepared and proud event though there was a lot more I could have done. Spend some time setting your goals and expectations, create a realistic project timeline, budget some stuff out, and be realistic with your time and energy needs.Hope this helps!
Jason Furie

21

subscribers
What do you wish you had known before you ran your first project?
Last activity on  |  8 answers
Kickstarter cannot deliver that *initial* audience.Once you have enough backers, and a REASON to promote your project (making your goal, then stretch goals and freebies), you hit a certain point where your backers will promote the project and you can, in principle, sit back and watch the money roll in.  But you somehow have to hit that first critical mass.  We thought we'd be visible on the front page for a day or so - but we were only there for a matter of a half hour or so...and then you had to already know that we existed or you'd never find our project.   We didn't expect that...we thought we'd get hundreds of page-views per hour...what we actually got was crickets!Our first Kickstarter failed horribly because we didn't understand that.  But after we retreated, re-tooled and did some up-front promotional work - the second one took off nicely.  The backers from that first successful one then formed the core of people who started the third and now fourth (and soon FIFTH...you heard it here first!!) projects - so we don't need to be so concerned.But the first time out, it's tough.  Nobody knows who you are, whether you'll deliver (lots of projects don't!) - whether you can deliver on time - whether the quality of the rewards will be up to your claims.  Nobody is searching for your keywords - and initial failure gets you pushed down the search further and further.   Unless you get a "Staff Pick" (we never did) or somehow find out how "Sort by Magic" works and exploit it - you're not going to get an audience.So the first Kickstarter is without doubt the toughest...and the only defense is to pre-promote it somehow.
Renee Launer

19

subscribers
Do advertisement or crowdfunding agencies help to spread the word about crowdfunding projects?
Last activity on  |  6 answers
I posted this elsewhere on a forum but think this will help:So we just used 'Joopio' which is the hardware and design agency by Samit Patel. Samit has been in the industry for a number of years and I came across him and his business in Hong Kong where he did a talk. I got talking to him and he seemed like a knowledgeable guy that has worked with a number of accelerators and projects.He charges a small fixed and a small bonus which works out well, everything was done through our own accounts and all very transparent. He helped build sales funnels, mailing lists, email marketing campaigns and more. For a first timer in the world of Crowdfunding he was very patient and answered all my questions and helped me understand the process.The reason we chose to work with him is that he believes in working with a client long-term and from his portfolio he works with clients all the way through from launching on Crowdfunding through to generating sales via my own E-commerce.The project when launched got off to a great start and the email list he created converted very well. It bought roughly $50,000 in trackable sales in the first few days. His agency continued to help us and used their lists to drive traffic and awareness to super backers.He also helped navigate the world of cold emailers who spam inboxes with their services, he recommended a few services which he knew would work. He recommended Backercity and Crowdfindly who each delivered a good amount of sales for the money we put in.I highly recommend his work and his teams patience as well as execution, he started from the very beginning when the project had zero fans and built this all the way up. We are now working with his team on In-demand and also to start building up E-commerce sales.
New York Standard Watch Company, LLC