[Archive] How to Ensure Your Kickstarter Doesn’t Fail Miserably Pt 2

From the archives. Post original written for a previous project of ours, Feel Good Giving Birth (2014)…

Hope you enjoyed our previous post about what to do to not fail miserably at your Kickstarter. Here is the next batch of suggestions!

Step 5: Be prepared to be on an emotional roller coaster throughout the campaign

If you’re like me, you will be thrilled to launch that Kickstarter project of yours, and you will be ecstatic when the first few dollars come in. You will be glowing reading those emails from Kickstarter, which notify you of new backers. Then the stalling begins. The emails stop coming in. Days pass, and no news. You frantically try to promote as much as possible, but to little or no luck. You reached and passed the 15-day mark. And nothing. You send some updates to friends and followers, reminding them that you exist. But again, little or no progress. You are sad, and give up hope. You wave your hand, exclaiming who gives a s^% about Kickstater anyways? You don’t need them. And then the final few days come closer, and closer. And the pledges start coming in. You’re skeptical, thinking this exhaustion may be making you imagine things. But slowly, more emails of backers continue coming in. You see a rise in your funding. 39%, 52%, and you can’t believe you have reached 75%. You’re smiling again and are reminded why the heck you started this in the first place. So be prepared friends, for this roller coaster of an emotional mess that you will probably find yourself in.

Step 6: Make sure you don’t get kicked out of Kickstarter

So you read over (read: scrolled down the page) of the terms and conditions of Kickstarter, and launched your project. But then you get a really friendly email from someone else who is also running a Kickstarter project, who asks you to cross-pledge. Hey dude, since Kickstarter uses an Algorithm, did you want to cross-pledge $1 and help each other out? This would grow our exposure on Kickstarter and make us feel better. Duh! Of course I want to do this! So not only do you cross-pledge with this guy, but you copy that message of his, put in your details, and start spamming as much as you can, and inviting other project owners to cross-pledge with you. You see a growth of a few dollars, nice comments backing your project, and you’re loving this. You count in your head (read: on your fingers) how much money you could raised if you did this with every single project owner. So cool! And then you get the email from Kickstarter, telling you you will be banned if you don’t stop spamming to cross-pledge. And your hope dwindles. You won’t be seeing that magical number on your dashboard after all. So step 6: make sure you don’t get kicked out of Kickstarter, or at least make sure you don’t get caught…

Though I am not endorsing this unlawful practice, I will mention the strategy of one campaign that did want to cross-pledge to increase their rank and exposure. They hired a VA (virtual assistant) and had them email every single project owner over a day or two, before Kickstarter realized what they were doing. Spamming on your own will take many days, and will increase your chances of getting caught. Instead of cross-pledging $1, they cross-pledged $5 – making it so much more effective. And remember, if someone’s project doesn’t succeed, you won’t be paying them, but if you succeed, they will be paying you. So you will balance out in costs, or even make some extra dough. But again, I am not promoting this sort of (unlawful / illegal / not sure how the law in this case works) practice! No no.

Step 5: Be prepared to see true colors

As busy as we may all be in life, Kickstarter allows you 30 days to support your friend in their endeavor. If you don’t have time one day, you have 29 other days to click that ‘pledge’ button. Even if you’re not even thinking of kids, when your friend writes a book about chlidbirth, genuinely cares about this project and the families it will help, and asks for $1 to help her reach her goal, you better freakin give that one dollar.

Kickstarter will show you who actually cares. No single argument could convince me that someone does not have $1 to pledge to a friend’s campaign. No excuses. Close friends of mine not only did not pledge, but they ignored my messages about my book. I found a magnitude of support from strangers, and was ashamed of the lack of support from my friends. About 4 friends helped support the book, by pledging anywhere between $5-$55. Some of these friends were well-off, and some were having trouble making ends meet, but they still saw the value in my work, and wanted to encourage this idea. What saddens me most is the lack of support from many of my closest friends, who most certainly have the $$$, but simply did not care enough to back this project. So be prepared to see who your real friends are. This is the most upsetting step, but one that will help prepare you when people reveal their true colors.

Step 8: Realize this isn’t the end

You may have prepared this Kickstarter for days, weeks, or months. You launched, but you’re nowhere near your goal. You think of crying, or maybe do, hidden away in your room. But fret not, my friend, this is not the end. Perhaps it’s just my inability to stay focused on one thing for too long, but the second I launched Kickstarter, I was already thinking of the next project, or the next venture, or the next possibility. Yes, Kickstarter may facilitate the creation of your project, but it’s not the only route. If our Kickstarter had failed, it wouldn’t be the end. I’d still publish True Birth. So see Kickstarter as something important, but not the only path you can take. Think of it as a great way to promote, and a great event that will motivate you for 30 days to get it done. No excuses. Since it’s an all-or-nothing platform, try as much as you can. Give as much as you can. Put yourself out there. But don’t be devastated if it fails, or if it is in the process of failing. It’s not the only solution. If you’re publishing, think of reducing your expenses to get the E-book out there. E-books are much more manageable and less time consuming than paperbacks, so think of only publishing E-books. (How to market E-books in a future post). You launched a Kickstarter project, put yourself out there, so pat yourself on the back, and be proud that you TRIED something. You took action, and put yourself closer to your dream. So please remember that this campaign is not the end. It’s only the beginning.

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