How will you tell the world about your project? Promotion should be part of your Kickstarter campaign planning from the very beginning. Read on for tips on spreading the word about your idea and getting people as excited about your project as you are.
Before you launch, prep an outreach plan
Early on in your planning process, think through how you’ll promote your project once it’s live. Lining up pre-launch support gives you a great head start; securing first-day backings can help boost your project’s long-term chance of success.
Make a list
While an exceptional project can find outpourings of support from all over the web, much of your support may still come from people who already know your work.
Begin by making a list of everyone you plan to reach out to about your project. For example, think of the last 50 people you've emailed or texted—these are likely the people who'll support your project on day one. Collect email addresses, social media handles, and phone numbers in a single place.
Next, segment your contacts into a few groups—think friends, family, fans, coworkers, and industry contacts—and draft specific messaging for each group. For example, frame your message to friends around specific reward tiers that you think might appeal to them and why.
Create a calendar
Think through your campaign holistically: How will you promote your project pre-launch, on day one, on week two, and beyond? Put together a week-by-week calendar to schedule emails, social media announcements, project updates, and more.
At least one week before: Draft social media posts, newsletters, and other content to announce your project. Share your Pre-Launch and/or Preview Page with 10 friends.
Week 1: Announce to your mailing list, social media followers, and friends and family.
Week 2-3: Plan two strategies that you'll use to push through the very common mid-campaign “plateau.”
Anytime: Draft a project update, including never-before-seen photos or video of your project.
Build some buzz
A week or two before launch, share your project with your community to give them an early heads up. Here are two tools that can help:
Your shareable Preview Page shows your full project as it will appear once it’s live, including your title, video, description, and rewards. Share this page with close collaborators for feedback on everything from copy to images to reward tiers. Viewers of your Preview Page can also choose to be notified once your project has launched.
Once your project has been approved by our Trust & Safety team, you’ll have access to your Pre-Launch Page. This page allows you to tease your project by sharing your project image, title, and description. From here, potential backers can choose to be notified once your project has launched. This is a useful way to build momentum around your project before launch without giving away all of the juicy details.
Announce with a bang
Once your project is live, let people know!
Send personal emails to your friends and family, and follow up with folks who received your Preview or Pre-Launch Page.
Alert your wider mailing list that your project is live, making sure to share a few key details about why you’re excited about it.
Share your project on social media with eye-catching visuals and custom referral tags to help you track where your pledges are coming from.
Here are some additional tips for spreading the word:
Recruit some help. If your goal is ambitious, you might need more than just yourself to get the word out. Tap your collaborators, peers, or pals to help. Draft some simple messaging that your community can easily repurpose when sharing your project with their networks.
Don’t spam. When you’re in promotional mode, it’s easy to unintentionally come across as a spambot. Try not to overwhelm people with e-blasts and group texts. (Sticking to your outreach calendar can help space out your messaging.) Visit our Community Guidelines for more information on spamming.
How to pitch your project to press
A well-placed piece of press can place your project in the cultural conversation, and help you reach a wider network of people interested in your idea.
If you plan to reach out to the press, make sure to include the essentials: who, what, where, when, and why. Journalists appreciate concise messages that respect their time and give them exactly the information they need. Put yourself in their shoes, and tell them why your idea is worth covering. Some tips to remember:
Twitter is your friend.
Many reporters list direct contact info there.
Keep your contact lists targeted.
Reach out to people and sources you know are interested in topics like yours.
Mention who’s available for interviews.
That goes double if prominent folks are involved in your project.
Offer any content you can.
Put together a folder of hi-res images to promote your project, including portraits of yourself and your team. Bonus: Show off a sample, a trailer, or a preview.
Be thoughtful about timing.
When will it be most relevant to cover your project? Consider how long do you think each media outlet will need to prepare a piece.
Use Kickstarter resources.
You can provide press contacts with a link to our Pressroom for information on Kickstarter itself.
Avoid being pushy—bothering people can have negative consequences for your project.
Getting press for your project isn’t a guarantee. While you wait to hear back, continue to put in the work to let people know what you’re doing—your own efforts will pay off regardless.
For more tips on PR strategy, read “How to Get Press for Your Creative Work” by Communications Strategist Kate Bernyk on The Creative Independent.
Additional resources for promotion:
- A project promotion pep-talk
- Before you launch, build a list
- Ready, set, share your project
- How to get featured on Kickstarter
- How to get press for your creative work
- How to get through your project’s “plateau”
- A creative person’s guide to thoughtful promotion
- How to use custom referral tags to track your progress
- Before you work with a marketing service, consider this
- How to get press and spread the word about your Kickstarter project