We were supposed to have launched our Kickstarter campaign for Buck & Miles over a month ago, on October 21. Suffice to say we underestimated the amount of work it took to prepare, as we are finally going to go live tomorrow.
I have no idea whether we’ll succeed or not, but I figured I could at least share whatever insights we’ve come across, in case anyone else is interested.
These are the realizations and rules we’ve acquired and adopted prior to launching our crowdfunding campaign:
- The closer the deadline draws near, the more you’re going to start second-guessing yourself and start questioning why you haven’t already done a bunch of things that you originally thought you could do without. “Is it really acceptable for us to not have more pictures of reward items?” “Is it really acceptable to use a standard stock forum software for the site, rather than building something nicer?” and so on.
- It’s probably a good idea to give our visitors a lot of different ways to interact with us (something that we realized too late). What’s the point of letting people know what we’re doing, if we can’t also give them a bunch of cool ways to interact with both us and each other? After realizing this we put up a forum, chat, newsletter and e-mail form.
- You need to build a fan base before running a Kickstarter, rather than expecting Kickstarter to take care of everything for you.
- One’s project needs to be validated by a Kickstarter staffer before it can be launched (with the push of a button). For us it went fast (took less than a day), but they do state on the website that it can take up to three business days (as of writing this).
- Some sources state that you shouldn’t contact journalists until halfway into the funding, while others state that it takes so long to actually get featured that you may as well start asking around even before launching the campaign. I still haven’t decided which route to take yet, but one thing’s for certain: SET UP A PRESS KIT. We used presskit(), which is basically a self-installing, simplified PHP-based website that automates a lot of the presentation aspects. We didn’t really understand how badly we needed it until we’d seen it ourselves. Feel free to check out Astrojone’s press section for an example.
That’s it for now. I’ll be sure to update with more learnings in case I remember anything else, and I’ll be sure to write a post mortem once our campaign is over.
If anyone’s interested, our campaign will launch tomorrow as I said before. Check out Astrojone for more information.
It’s going to be interesting to see how well our expectations and research ends up comparing to the end-result.