How to succeed on kickstarter #3: Making the perfect video

This is the third post in my series about kickstarter. If you havn't yet, check out the first one here

The promotional video is the most important part of your campaign. In my opinion, this needs to be truly great, so go ahead and spend some cash on it. It's possible to make it look polished and professional without spending a ton of money. You might be able to recruit some film or media students to help you out. Maybe you have a friend with some editing skills.

Some quick tips:

·      Make it no longer than three minutes. This is an elevator pitch.

·      When you're structuring the pitch, place the most important information at the beginning. Keep in mind the inverted triangle that is used in journalism. The first sentence should contain everything that the viewer needs to know, and from there on out, the sentences appear in decreasing order of importance.

·      Appear in the video, even if it's just for a few seconds. People like to see the founder talking. They will feel more enthused about supporting the project if they can connect to the personality behind the project.

·      Be honest and forthright. Sure, it's a sales pitch, but people do not enjoy feeling as if they are being sold to, so don’t be afraid to speak frankly and openly about your personal interest in doing the project.

·      Be passionate. Many people who pledge on Kickstarter do so because they feel inspired by people who are brave enough to pursue their dreams. Show them that your ambition and enthusiasm are real.

·      Make the visuals striking and dynamic. I used an animator to add movement and excitement to my video. You can play around with other ideas—anything that's pleasing to the eye and helps to keep things moving. Be creative!


Court the media

Our project received hardly any publicity. I had thought that people would be excited to write about it, but getting publicity was like pulling teeth. Most responses I received ran in the following vein: Definitely let me know when the kitchen opens. Would be happy to write a piece then. It drove me insane, but, at the same time, I could understand it. There are so many campaigns on Kickstarter; no one will want to write a story about your project unless there is something truly groundbreaking or quirky about it, for example, if it is making an insane amount of cash or it's the first campaign to raise money to buy an electric chair to help people with a fetish for electricity to live out their ultimate fantasy. Unless your project has that wow factor, you should brace yourself for very little media coverage, perhaps a few small stories here and there.


Manage your contacts

As I said in the previous post, it's best to approach Kickstarter as a platform on which people whose support you already have will be able to further express their support in financial terms. Compile a list of all the people you’ve ever met; all of their connections; the organizations to which you belong; the organizations bearing some kind of link (no matter how tenuous) with your idea. Reach out to any journalists you know, as well as all of the publications you want to be in.

Make a calendar of whom you’ll contact, and when you will do that. This will help to provide some structure during the campaign (when you’ll really need it). Once the campaign launches, you’ll be frantically checking and re-checking the pledges, and wondering and worrying about how to get people to go to the site. Having a calendar and a plan will provide you with a sense of calm and help you to remain focused. 

My approach was to select four or five people or organizations to contact each day. This helped me to maintain momentum throughout my campaign. I drew up a schedule of when I would hold events to promote the campaign, when I would send posts to my e-mail list,  and what would be covered in those posts.


Partner: Forage Kitchen


in the next post: how to organize and run your campaign

To keep up with my posts, subscribe to my Tiny Letter: Here