25 March 2014 | 19 Comments
I started creating and editing the Tuscany Kickstarter project page on January 4, 2014. I pressed the launch button over 2 months later on March 12. Here’s what I learned from having so much time between inception and launch.
- Patience: It is very, very easy to start making a project page. You could go to Kickstarter right now and do it in about 10 seconds. The hard part is actually finishing the project page. It takes a lot of time and effort (as I’ll discuss below), and there’s no advantage to rushing it. Give yourself plenty of time to construct the project page.
- Rewards: You can plan out your rewards as much as you want on spreadsheets, but there’s something about seeing them on the Kickstarter preview page (which looks exactly like the final project page with a little area for feedback at the top) that will help you realize how people are going to respond to them. It helps you see the project through the eyes of a backer.
- Wording tweaks: Similar to the reward levels, seeing the way the words display on the project page can help you determine if you’re being as clear and succinct as possible. As I discuss in KS Lesson #39, it’s best to minimize paragraphs to 2-4 lines of text–it’s much easier to read that way. So you need plenty of time to get that wording right.
- Kickstarter approval: I talk about this extensively on KS Lesson #1–as soon as your project looks halfway decent, submit it to Kickstarter for approval. Get that out of the way so you can launch whenever you’re ready to launch. You can continue to make changes to the project at any time.
- Feedback: Giving yourself plenty of time to create the project page also enables you to get feedback in waves instead of all at once. I got feedback from a few people after a few weeks, and then I sent the project page to my advisory board about 2-3 weeks before launch. Stonemaier Ambassadors, the press, and retailers got to see the project preview page a little early too, and I got feedback from many of them. This feedback is so important–pay attention to the questions people ask. Even if you think the answers are really obvious on the project page, the fact that they asked the question means that it’s not as obvious as you think.
Now, I’m not going to lie: As the subject of this entry suggests, I agonized over the Tuscany preview page. I thought about it constantly over those 2 months. Calculating, recalculating, adjusting, tweaking…I would go to bed thinking about it and wake up the next day thinking about it.
That probably wasn’t very healthy.
But I think there’s still value in starting the project page really early. You don’t have to obsess over it like I did–in fact, I hope you don’t–but spend 15-20 minutes on it every day for 2 months and I promise you it’ll be WAY better than if you create it in a weekend-long marathon a week or two before you launch.
I’d love to hear what other project creators think. How far in advance of your launch date did you start working on the project page?