I thought I knew a lot about crowdfunding. I’d researched, backed, and followed many filmmakers’ campaigns over the three years prior to our campaign. But nothing could prepare me for the frenzied 24×7 onslaught of running my own campaign.
Here are a few tips compiled while in the midst of the blur of our campaign:
Write as much of your social media copy before launching as possible… press articles, Facebook / twitter posts, email templates, etc…
Consolidate all of your email lists before launch… you probably know a lot more people than you think you do, and there is no time during the campaign.
Get the media list & phone numbers ready… contact online and local media outlets before launch and set up a media schedule for radio / TV interviews and articles.
Prepare photos and videos… create a folder with images & videos that you can easily grab to use in Facebook, Twitter, & email posts.
Create a few Kickstarter blog posts before launch… there is so little time during the campaign, and this will give you much needed content.
Keep a running list of things that can be posted later… tweets, Facebook posts, new ideas that you can draw from as you post…
Keep links handy… so you don’t have to look for them.
Send personal emails… this works the best and gets the best conversion.
Set mini-goals and reset immediately… when hit, set another one (# of backers, % funded, $ amount, etc.)
If you’re not connecting, no one is backing… it’s ok to give yourself and people a break, but if you’re not reaching out, the campaign stalls.
Schedule tweets and posts using an automated online scheduler… In the last 10 days, I started using a Tweet scheduler. I wish I would have done that sooner.
Use photos on Facebook instead of links… They seemed to get more views, and when shared, the text associated with the photo (and links to the Kickstarter campaign) was also shared.
You will tear out your hair from day 10-20… These middle days are stressful. There is no urgency, and it’s like pushing mud up a hill. We found that setting small interim goals helped to motivate new backers.
Get help… there are people on your team that have skills and want to help. Ask them!
It’s who you know… I don’t mean the high-ups, but the people you can call – on the phone – and ask for $50. How many do you really have? As of the time I recorded these tips, 99% of our backers were immediate friends & family of either ours or our crew.
I have amazing friends, and they aren’t haters… surprisingly, no one hates me even though I’ve harassed them with tweets, Facebook messages and email for the last 30 days. Friends actually want to help, encourage, and see us succeed. I’ve had to learn to accept help through this process.
Enlist a team, specifically crew… We have a unique project in that the film is cast & crew owned. We’ve all worked together for years and are taking discounted rates. We all have a vested interest in seeing the film happen, and the crew reached out to their family & friends. We couldn’t have done it if they hadn’t involved their networks.
Thank people… Our backers loved seeing their names on our interactive backer thank you page: http://thanks.blackroadmovie.com.
Campaigns die in the middle… This must be why it’s pointless to do longer than 30 days campaigns. In our 30 day campaign, the first 5 and the last 10 days were the most successful. In the middle days, the campaign fell flat. We tried matching days, bombarding people on Facebook and Twitter, etc, but things barely moved.
Kickstarter is not for Introverts… Or rather, you are not allowed to be an introvert for 30 days once you start your campaign. You will be required to be more social than ever before in your life.
So if, like me, you realize that Kickstarter is not for you – the sworn introverted artist – do what I did:
Hit LAUNCH, and…
Tweet tweet tweet –> curl up in the fetal position…
Harass friends on Facebook –> hide under the covers for 30 minutes…
Tweet tweet tweet –> panic and shake it out…
Facebook post post post –> hide…
Rinse and repeat…
You can do it too!
For more detailed tips on running a campaign, see Kickstarter Tips for Filmmakers – How we raised $45K for our feature.