How to succeed on kickstarter #4: Running a successful campaign

This is the fourth and final post in my series on kickstarter. If you havn't read the first one, check it out here

Planning how your campaign is actually going to run is as important as creating a great video. Too many people create a great campaign page, press go, and just hope it will all work out. Don't do that! When pledges don't come in as quickly as you'd hoped, you want a real plan of action to make it happen. If you wait to think of this until your kickstarter is running, you'll be stressed and make bad decisions.

Plan exclusive events

During my campaign, I organized many events to which I only invited those who had pledged their support. Whenever I did this, I saw a spike in our pledges. Try to keep down the production costs of these events, as you’ll be paying for them out of your own pocket during the campaign.

Beat the doldrums

You will notice that you receive the most pledges in the first and the last weeks of your campaign. Things tend to sag in the middle, but you should do everything you can to combat the slump. I firmly believe that, when it comes to a funding drive, people need to be reminded about something many times before they will act upon it. There is so much noise being thrown at everyone; if you wish to break through it, you will have to be quite persistent. I think we can agree that there is a fine line between reminding people and annoying them to pieces. To be honest, I'm pretty sure I crossed that line during my campaign. Try to keep in mind that the relationships you have with the people in your network will extend beyond the campaign. You want people to respect you even when this is all over.

Create a team

Do not attempt to do all of this by yourself. If you don’t have partners working with you on the project, you should recruit some volunteers to help you with the campaign. There is plenty of work that you can delegate: contacting reporters, sending out personalized e-mails to your Facebook friends, posting flyers around town, and so on. Involving other people will help to make the whole process seem a lot more fun and social. Even if you're pulling your hair out, you won't be doing it alone.

Run a shorter campaign

In the supporting materials, Kickstarter recommends running a campaign that lasts for between 15 and 30 days, as these tend to be the most successful. I would have to agree with this. I chose to launch a 45-day campaign. Apart from the fact that this did nothing to preserve my sanity, I could see that it would have been easier to maintain the momentum if it had been slightly shorter. People lose interest if the doldrums last too long. If you are setting a high goal, I'd recommend running a 30-day campaign. This gives people enough time to hear about it a few times, and when they receive the “Our campaign is almost over!” e-mail, they will still remember who you are.

That’s about it. Again, this was my experience, and it will be slightly different for everyone. Kickstarter is great platform on which to raise funds, and to get your idea out into the world, but running a campaign is also one of the most stressful experiences you’ll ever have. It’s a big deal to send your idea out into the world for people to judge with their hands on their wallets. If it works—great! You will have raised some cash, gathered some momentum, and gotten a lot of folks to stand behind your dream. If it doesn’t work, it can really have a chilling effect on your confidence. You may have failed to meet your goal because you didn't run a tight campaign, but it may be seen as a sign that your idea lacks viability or potential.

So, now it's time for you to go out and make your dreams come true. I wish you all the luck in the world!

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