Any ideas on how to reward loyalty?
I definitely think you should give them bonus items/rewards for their pledge - these are people who not only show you a great deal of brand loyalty, but the inherent trust of someone who has seen you deliver on your promises once, twice, or a dozen times before. You should communicate with and get to know such 'repeat backers', and solicit their advice, ideas, and even 'wishlists' for you current and upcoming projects. Most importantly, find out what it is that keeps them coming back for more, and use this information to help tailor your future products/messages!
Blackstone Entertainment, Inc.
Effective Facebook ad buys - need advice
I recently launched a Kickstarter campaign and I use Facebook Ads (only) to promote Post to my facebook fans. Facebook algorithm shows publications only to a small percentage of your audience, so it is important to reach everyone. For relatively little money you can make that posts reach all your audience. It will be displayed whit the tag "advertising".I recommend using this kind of advertising. Regarding reach an audience that does not know you directly is risky and expensive, but I have not tested much.
I am looking for suggestions on the mid-campaign "slump" of support. How to gain exposure?
If you've done the advertising bit already, or that is simply not an option for you at the moment, try going to the owner of a popular blog or website focused on your project's theme or genre, and politely ask for the opportunity to grant an interview. Although your reception might be lukewarm at best with some, don't be discouraged. Be polite and exude confidence in your project, and keep hunting down more bloggers. If there's one thing I've learned about running and writing gaming blogs, its that content doesn't always write itself. Some bloggers eagerly look for new material, and now that your project has a few concrete successes by mid-campaign, they might be more willing to fill up an article or two with a good Q&A session! One other great way to help bump things up a little in the middle of your project is to take the comments and suggestions of your past and current backers, and deliver on the things that most of them seem to want! Suggestions from backers are usually genuine in nature, and give you the kind of marketing insight that most small businesses have to pay money to receive! Listen to your backers and fans, and deliver to them what they want! The feeling of project ownership they will get when you fulfill their requests will almost certainly open up their pockets just a little wider!Good luck on your project(s)!!
Blackstone Entertainment, Inc.
What's the best way to find a local (or at least regional) manufacturer?
Vincent,Aside from the basic search methods, I have found creators with similar products to mine in the past and contacted them to ask them who they use. Some do not want to share and that is fine, but many have been very helpful. I have always tried to point other creators that contact me in a good direction.
How much of an uptick in pledges can I expect at the end of the campaign?
Hey Jennifer! Carol from Kickstarter HQ here. Congrats on all of the support your project has received so far!I don't have any precise data about last minute pledges, but if anyone hit the Remind Me button on your project page, they'll get a reminder about it at the 48 hours remaining mark. This could result in an uptick in pledges during your last few days. And here are the stories of a few campaigns that saw major pick-up towards the end.
Which projects stood out in 2015? Why?
I loved the Will Davies Kickstarter, fantastically produced books that celebrate a Canadian artist who is not well known outside of his circle. I loved seeing the care and art put into the book to help bring attention to an artist with a strong legacy (who was involved in the production as well)
What do people generally do about certifying their products (eg. FCC, CE, etc.)?
I think a lot of people either don't know they are required to, or don't bother to. Personally, as an electronics engineer, I think every product should be fully and properly certified. Many products coming from hobbyist origins probably would not pass due to lack of filter/poor circuit design :(Products that are not RF based (or using pre-certified modules) only need to be certified as an unintentional radiator - this can be pretty cheap if your design is good - under $1k with many labs, under $2k with almost all.If you are creating an RF based product and not using a pre-certified module (consider using one if your volume is under 20k over 2 years, it almost always works out cheaper) then you need to be certified as an intentional radiator, that WILL cost you over $10k, if your design is bad and you haven't done in house pre-electromagnetic compliance testing and need to make changes, it can easily cost into the $20-30k range. Labs give you a certain amount of time to make changes and resubmit without extra cost... but if you can't just hack the board and need to actually make changes to the PCB, get new boards made, and arrive... you might run out of time and have start from scratch (paying the fee again).I recommend EMC Fast Pass to all my clients coming from hobbyist backgrounds: www.emcfastpass.com it covers much of what you need to do to certify, and what you can do on your pcb to help it pass.If you're looking for a lab to certify an RF product with, my recommendation for those new to the game is to find a product similar to yours then look up the FCC ID. The FCC ID will tell you the lab who certified it - reach out to them and say "hey you certified [this product] thats very similar to ours, how much will it cost me to have my similar product globally certified?"... contact 3 or 4 labs like this and you should have some reasonably accurate quotes - assuming the lab isn't just a flat fee.As a note on this however, FCC are changing their rules this year (in a few weeks?) and require all labs to be inspected, not just "self certified". Meaning things are about to get a whole lot more expensive - no more using the cheap labs that havent spent the money on inspections. A lot of labs are going to close soon i think, or only do pre-compliance testing to help you pass.If you're not sure if your design will pass, and you don't have the equipment to test it, and you don't have the budget to go to a lab for pre-compliance testing... then head to a freelancing website like upwork.com and post a job for an EMC review. Get someone to check over your board design and give you suggestions, and send them a sample board so they can test it on their equipment (make sure they have the right equipment! 2.4GHz based systems need a 12.4GHz analyser to get all the required harmonics).And finally... if you are using a pre-certified module (such as an XBee or wifi module), make sure you're using the right antenna with it. The pre-certified module is ONLY certified with specific antennas. If your device has a PCB or chip antenna already on board - you don't need to worry. If you however need to use a u.fl or sma connected antenna... you MUST use one of the antennas specified under their certification or you will have to certify as an intentional radiator - their certificate is void if you dont use that specific antenna. This means you can't grab a cheap (likely very crappy) antenna from China that claims to operate in the band you are using (based on my testing of dozens of antennas... chances are its not going to be very well matched LOL.)
What questions do you have for Music creator and social media queen Jenn de la Vega?
Stephanie from Kickstarter here. We recapped our incredible hang with Jenn along with some other creators on our blog here.Here is just one of the many gems Jenn shared: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.
Does anyone have good references for manufacturing partners/contractors?
There are many turn key manufacturers in China... many many many many of them. More than you can poke a whole tree at.The good news is, that websites like Alibaba and GlobalSources exist to help you connect with them. There are also many reputable inspection agencies around. If you can't visit a factory in person, or inspect your goods before they go out, or keep an eye on the whole assembly process you'll be able to use an inspection agency to keep an eye on things for you - you pay them separately to the factory, so they work for you, not the factory. Alibaba will also help you find these.Looking at your current kickstarter, it could be difficult to find this all in one place easily, it look as though there are laser cut/die cut parts, injection moulding, pcb manufacture/assembly, packaging and such. If it was me, I'd get all the various parts made separately and shipped to a PCB assembler to do the final box build.I'll send you a message privately about another possibility.
What are some good manufacturers that tabletop game creators have worked with?
LudoFact in Germany. Was more expensive than using a manufacturer in China but they triple checked my files for me to make sure everything would turn out ok. I am a print designer myself but I had no idea to check for ink coverage on the cards since they may stick when packaged. They found that error and I fixed the files. Actually found out you could exceed the ink-coverage if working in CMYK in photoshop and tweaking colors, actually better to stay RGB and switch at the last moment to CMYK as usually it'll turn out fine. Not a perfect method for color-balancing as you may still have to tweak, but you then keep your eye on the ink-coverage. Eek.. what a pain it was to find that out but well worth fixing and made the extra money I spent for them to work with me. It would have been a nightmare to have poorly printed games.... and believe me, I have a few games in my personal collection with sticky-cards and bad printing from China.