Yesterday, I successfully completed my 4th Kickstarter campaign. I have numerous other blog posts about Kickstarter, so I’m not going to go into everything I did to prepare, but I did want to share what I did differently and what I kept the same.
What I did differently:
- I ran this campaign for 10 days, instead of 30. I LOVED IT! In fact, 10 days was a little long. If I ever do it again, I will do it for a week. Why? The middle 2 weeks have always been very slow. Nothing much happens and I just end up stressing out that nothing is happening. So, I decided to eliminate those 2 weeks. Because I did that, my campaign steadily gained momentum the entire time. There was no lull. Plus, I only had to be stressed and overworked for 10 days!
- I did not spend any money on marketing. Normally, I run FB and IG ads during my campaign, but I was never sure if they actually worked or not. I would get clicks on the links, but it was hard to know if they led to pledges, so I decided to do it on my own this time.
- I recruited several Instagram influencers to post about my campaign on launch day. I have spent 3 years actively building relationships with other moms and teachers on Instagram, so I felt comfortable asking them share my project with their followers. I ended up with 14 pledges from Instagram, compared to 6 from my previous campaign. This was free and got my book in front of more people, so I feel it was a good strategy.
- I hosted a Wrap Up Party on the last day of my campaign. I used Streamyard for the first time and sent it to my author FB page. I had special guests, giveaways and more. It was super fun and I would do it again.
- I focused more on Facebook and less on Instagram. Most of my pledges usually come from Facebook and even though I have more followers on Instagram, I decided to focus 75% of my time and effort there this time.
- I posted in teacher, mom and community groups that I’m a part of on Facebook. I did not post directly about the campaign, I just posted my book cover and when they asked me how to order, I told them in a private message. I received many pledges from people I had never met before and hopefully gained some new fans.
- I added my book to my big cartel site. Some people were turned off that Kickstarter now makes them set up an account, so I directed them there instead. I also had at least five people ask if they could use PayPal, which Kickstarter doesn’t take. They ordered the book from big cartel instead.
- I updated the button on my Kickstarter campaign page to direct people to big cartel instead of Indiegogo Indemand like I normally do after my campaign ends. I like this a lot better since I don’t have to pay fees.
- I did free virtual school visits during September/October and asked the teachers to email their students when my campaign launched.
- I took a free Instagram stories class and really incorporated engaging IG story features such as polls, trivia games, and more! So fun! I also used IGTV and IG reels to create more engagement.
- I tried getting more engagement from my email subscribers (I have almost 5000 of them), but even though I did a Christmas Countdown Celebration with freebies, giveaways, sneak peeks and more, I just couldn’t get many people to open their emails! This is an area I need to work on.
What I kept the same:
- I supported other author’s campaigns.
- I cross-promoted with other authors who were running campaigns at the same time as me- we backed each other and posted on each other’s social media.
- I did several FB lives with my kids.
- I did giveaways and contests to keep my backers involved and engaged. People are busy and if you just constantly spam your audience with your link, they will scroll right by. Check out my Instagram and Facebook to see what I did.
- I did an early bird reward for people who backed the first day. My goal is always to get to 25%. This time, I made 45%! I do discounted prices and a raffle for everyone who backs on the first day.
- I sent several emails to my email subscribers. According to my custom referral link, I got 15 pledges from them.
- I used custom referral links on Kickstarter to see where my pledges came from. Super easy to use and good info!
- I sent private messages on FB to people who I knew would be interested, but maybe didn’t know about the campaign. It’s always hard to do this because I don’t like bothering people, so if they don’t pledge after my message, I leave them alone and figure they’re not interested, even though they tell me they are.
- I took preorders at local events.
- I put together a launch group in FB messenger of “cheerleaders”- people who agreed to like, comment and share my FB posts. This helped get more eyes on my posts and kept me going. I am so grateful for them!
SUMMARY OF MY MOST IMPORTANT TIPS:
- DO YOUR RESEARCH: research other successful, and unsuccessful, campaigns and take notes. Read the Kickstarter campaign handbook, watch videos, join author FB groups, and ask questions.
- BE SUPPORTIVE: if you want other authors to back your campaign, start backing and sharing theirs.
- START PREPPING EARLY: Kickstarter requires at least a month of prep work. It involves building an audience (don’t count on your family and friends to fund your book!), setting up the campaign (making a video and graphics, setting your rewards, goal, and timeline), and the campaign plan.
- BE PREPARED TO WORK YOUR BUTT OFF! It is a nonstop, full-time job! It’s stressful, busy, and exciting. If you work a full-time job, be prepared to work on this at night. It might look easy, but it’s SUPER HARD.