Quick Kickstarter Lesson Recaps: #21-25

9 April 2020 | No Comments

I continue to revisit the Kickstarter Lesson posts I’ve written over the last 8 years in chronological order, highlighting the core elements of each.
Kicktraq (#21):  Kicktraq.com tracks Kickstarters and predicts the final funding. For the most part, I just think it’s important for project creators to be aware of it. But I also found it very helpful to make sure my projects were on the trajectory I wanted them to be on. The success of Kickstarter projects is directly correlated to the amount of work you put into them. If you go a few days with no backers, look at Kicktraq then to inspire yourself to get back to work!
The Money-Back Guarantee and Trust (#22): Offering a money-back guarantee is fairly unorthodox in the Kickstarter world, but the reasoning behind this hits at a few key tenets of successful Kickstarters: Create trust, reduce the barrier to entry, and showcase exclusive opportunities. Feel free to read this article and then have the benefit of hindsight we didn’t have: Results of Scythe’s Money-Back Guarantee. It did good things for us, but I’m not saying it’s a good fit for you in the same way that it was a good fit for Stonemaier. At the very least, hopefully our experience can help inform your plans.
Setting and Achieving Goals (#23): There are tons of different things you can do to promote your project and improve connections with backers…so many things, in fact, that you might encounter what us gamers call “analysis paralysis.” My solution was to create some structured goals. For Viticulture, my goal was to have the game mentioned by a blogger, podcast, reviewer, or local press once a day. Most of those mentions were in the form of interviews, but some were guest entries, reviews, or simple mentions of the game. Setting goals like this has two benefits: 1. You don’t feel overwhelmed and, 2. You spread out the press for your project. This idea was an important cornerstone to my Kickstarter workdays: setting reasonable, achievable goals for outreach over the course of your campaign, and then fulfill those goals one step at a time.
Backer Engagement (#24): In my experience engaging your backers is crucial. After all, your backers are the people who already buy in to what you’re doing, and thus they make the best evangelizers of your product. Plus, backers (especially early backers) have the opportunity to offer you feedback to improve your product. In this article Morten Monrad Pederson (of Automa Factory fame) shares his story of how our interactions turned him from a tentative backer of Viticulture to an “all-in” fan, and eventually, a contributor and key member of the Stonemaier team. This never would have happened had I not engaged with him in the first place, and while not every backer will eventually become an employee, they might have some feedback that could make your Kickstarter more successful. While chasing those new backers for your project, don’t forget the people who already believe in you!
Reddit (#25): Back in 2013, Reddit was new to me. After discovering a fan created “subreddit” about Viticulture, I joined the conversation, only trying to add to the conversation and fill in some missing details about the Kickstarter and the game. If you’re new to Reddit here are some ground rules for this online culture. Basically, don’t ask anyone to create a post on Reddit or to “upvote” certain posts, but feel free to be active in any threads that do come up. And midway through your project I found it helpful to do an AMA (Ask Me Anything). This allows you to create a post about your Kickstarter project and then answer any and all questions that Reddit users might have.
If you have any questions or thoughts about these topics, feel free to share in the comments!
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