Kickstarter: Dealing with a mid-campaign slump

After talking to s few Kickstarter folk it’s clear that a slump in interest can appear midway through a campaign. How to avoid this? Successful creators on Kickstarter have a few idea, starting with Iron Spike:

I’m seven-for-seven with regards to successfully funded Kickstarters, now, and I’ve developed a routine.

– Announce the project at least a month beforehand. I sometimes start promo six months to a year beforehand! Let Twitter, tumblr, Facebook, Instagram- wherever you have an established audience- know you’re planning this.

– I maintain a mailing list of ~5,000 folks who already know and like my stuff. Iย incentivize subscribing to the list by making sure everyone knows I’ll be announcing the exact launch date of the KS there, so folks who want limited edition backer levels can get first dibs. (This also helps create the important first-day push for the project.)

– I launch the KS, tell the mailing list, and then inform social media. The first-day push commences.

– The initial excitement for the project has cooled by day three or four, in my experience. That’s when I send out the press releases. I target blogs and reviewers who are already interested in my project’s theme, or my general output. For the next week or so, I rely on promo from those outlets for bumps in interest, along with occasional social media reminders. I try to tweet about any Kickstarter I’m running at least once a day, preferably with images. I find reasons to talk about it. “We’re just one pledge away from $1,000!” “Eek, who wants to be backer 666!?!” “Look, we’re at $45,000! what a nice, round number.” etc.

– Day three or four is also when I announce/decide on stretch goals. How fast the project is funding is a big deciding factor in those; I’ve been caught out before making stretch goal graphics for goals the KS hit while I was playing around in Photoshop! Announcing the stretch goals give people reasons to keep promoting/pledging to the project, and i favor goals that would benefit everyone involved for that reason.

– This will hold me until the halfway point of the project. If I think the project needs it, I do another round of promotion. If things are humming along smoothly, I hold back. It’s important not to cross the line into annoying people.

– After all this, when the KS enters its final week? I play it by ear. Does it need more attention? Does it need more aggressive promotion? Should I bother the mailing list again? Should I post an update about my new project in past Kickstarters? It varies from project to project, but when the countdown clock tics over into hours instead of days, that’s always the beginning of the final big push from me. if I’m lucky, I’ve calculated a final stretch goal that can be feasibly reached on the last or second-to-last day; that keeps excitement high.

If I do everything correctly, the project gets a respectable number of pledges every day. And while they’ll always drop off after the first few initial days, I still experience promo-related bumps all throughout the campaign’s slow, plodding middle.

Blackstone Entertainment Inc:

Sometimes when you’re in a slump you… should take a good long look at your project, and try to figure out if there might be some part of it which possesses appeal beyond your intended market.

John Rap:

I was thinking the same thing just this morning. I consider the middle interview season. Kickstarter will give you a bounce at the beginning and the end of the project. In the middle it’s time to hit the blogs. At least that’s the best idea I’ve come up with. I’m going to watch this thread for more ideas.

My current strategy is this:
Beginning: Get feedback and support from Kickstarter regulars
Middle: Hunt and peck for niche groups outside of Kickstarter that might be interested in the project
72 Hours Left: Offer reward upgrades to the folks already on board

 

 

 

 

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