The first thing I’d say about planning for your initial crowdfunding campaign week is to prepare for the unexpected then plan to adapt.
At the end of week one, my COOLEST Kickstarter campaign is sitting at $82k, which is approximately 60% of our target goal of $125k. I’m very pleased with this number, but I’ve got to say I had hoped for more. When you put your dream project out to the world you naturally think that yours will be the next Pebble, and by this time you’ll be planning your stretch goals to get you over the seven figure mark. That’s a perfectly fine dream to have, just make sure you’re got five or ten back-up plans in place. Here’s a few of my week one take-aways:
- KS is a great platform to test market your product. It forces you to sink or swim and put all your assumed marketing plans to the test. It also allows you to be flexible and adjust strategies if something’s not working (which would be hugely expensive to do in a “live” market).
- Social media is king, at least for getting eyeballs. We’re really getting the word out about our product via Facebook and Twitter campaigns. We’ve had over 7000 people click on the Kickstarter video. The difficult part, however, is converting that to actual monetary contributions (see below).
- Our biggest success in securing actual backers has been through direct email campaigns. My sense is that people like to hear directly from the inventor in his own voice rather than a paid NewsFeed advertisement.
- Getting out there and personally promoting the product has been one of the most enjoyable parts of the campaign so far, and I’ve done that by bringing the Coolest to numerous tailgating events. People are generally receptive to new ideas, especially when there are cocktails involved! Interacting with people at different events keeps up your motivation through the campaign’s ups and downs.
-Timing is key. I initially thought the week of Thanksgiving would be a good time to launch a fun and family themed product, but I wouldn’t do that again. People seemed to be too busy with their holiday plans and commitments to pay as much attention as I hoped, plus there was a lot of marketing noise that week geared towards Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping rather than crowdfunding.
-Don’t plan on getting featured on Kickstarter and don’t expect them to deliver traffic. Less than 10% of our supporters have come from Kickstarter, which means that 90% is from traffic we’re generating. I like to think of any backers who discover us on Kickstarter as a wonderful bonus and you should too.
- We’re getting a lot of interactions with our Kickstarter page, but there’s a huge gap between the number of people who check us out and the number of people who actually go forward to back the project. Time will tell the real reason behind that… is it the product? the pricing? the reward levels? the season?
- It’s said that every Kickstarter campaign has it’s natural slow points. We shot out of the gate and made 50% of our goal in the first 12 hours, but weren’t able to maintain that momentum. It’s forcing us to re-examine our approach, our investments and our assumptions and give up on whatever’s not working.
In my next post I’ll tell you about some of the methods we’re using, testing, and discarding for bringing traffic to our page. SNEAK PEEK: don’t be shy about asking people to promote your project to their social networks! Would you please help us spread the Coolest word? Here’s a special page that make is easy: http://coolestkickstarter.com/share/
Let me know what you want to know about our Kickstarter launch in the comments here>