The minute you launch a Kickstarter campaign, you’re suddenly caught up in a flurry of activity. From contacting friends and family members, to reaching out to bloggers and journalists, your new endeavor is exciting and it seems like the possibilities are endless.
After the initial 10 days are over and you’ve attracted some early backers, the newness of crowdfunding begins to wear off. It’s no longer “news” that you are raising money for this cool new project.
At this point, you may have exhausted your list of family and friends. You are now working nights to spread the word about your campaign through social media and spending weekends pitching your campaign to industry bloggers.
This is when the going gets tough.
On the one hand, countdowns create a sense of urgency. As the clock winds down on your 30 day Kickstarter campaign, your family, fans, and friends only have a limited amount of time to show their support for your project, or to get a pre-order of your product.
This push to support a project works wonders towards the end of a campaign, but in the middle, it can sometimes feel like you are in free fall. Pledges are not coming in as quickly as they were in the beginning, and you may have realized that it’s much harder to keep driving traffic to your campaign page than you initially thought.
Believe me, preparation can go a long way to mitigating this feeling of anxiety typical in the middle of Kickstarter campaigns. Check out some of the action items below that can help lessen the effect of the Kickstarter slump and help you maintain momentum throughout your crowdfunding campaign.
Analyze What’s Working
This is a great time to reflect on what’s been going well with your crowdfunding campaign and what areas need work. Have any of your early bird reward tiers or limited edition tiers sold out? What tiers are most popular? Least popular? Based on the feedback you’ve received via comments from your backers, how should you retool your pitch for the final stretch?
If you find a journalist that is interested in publishing your story, you can ask them to embargo the story until the middle of the crowdfunding campaign. If they agree, then your story will hit the web at the moment when you need exposure. This can be a good way to keep the crowdfunding engine churning.
It’s true that there are risks with a news embargo. If your campaign is not going well, the journalist may be reluctant to publish a story that they were eager to at the beginning of the campaign. However, if the journalist is more connected to the story behind your effort, rather than the revolutionary game-changing technology, then this may not be as big of an issue.
Re-connect with Bloggers
Many bloggers want to see that a story has traction before taking the time to write up a new article. If you’ve worked hard and have done well up until this point, it’s the perfect opportunity to re-connect with bloggers that you reached out to when you first started the campaign. Be sure to underscore the progress you’ve made and any publications you’ve gotten into. I would even include quotes that your backers may have left in the comment section. You could also specifically ask your backers to provide a testimonial about the originality of your project or how it is solving an important issue.
Ask Teammates To Take Shifts
If you are fortunate enough to have gone into the fundraising process with a team of people, you could “pass the torch” from one teammate to the next, so that any one individual doesn’t burn out from the work. Just be sure to carefully catalogue the steps you have made during the campaign, so that other teammates don’t message influencers you’ve already messaged.
Maintain Contact With Backers – Put the Spotlight on Contributors
Update your backers once or twice a week to stay at the forefront of their mind. It’s especially important during the Kickstarter Slump, where backers may be willing to upgrade their pledge tier or tell their friends about your campaign. Put the spotlight on your backers. Highlight your highest contributors and what the money already raised makes possible. If you can, even though the campaign isn’t yet over, try to involve them in the creative process. Asking your backers to tweet to a particular hashtag or leave a comment with their thoughts on a particular idea you might have for the project can create a sense of community or ownership in the campaign.
Facebook Event & Live Event
At this point, if you haven’t already, you could create a facebook event and invite all of your friends to spread awareness about your Kickstarter campaign. Using the chrome plugin, “Auto Select All Facebook Friends,” you can easily select all of your facebook friends and invite them to the event.
This “facebook event” does not actually have to be a live event, but everyone in your social network will receive a notification and you will have the opportunity to let the know about your Kickstarter campaign. You could also parlay this facebook event into a real event or small social gathering for the friends that haven’t yet had a chance to support your Kickstarter campaign. $20 in cheap wine, beer, or some inexpensive treats could be seen as a small expense towards generating more pledges.
As a final recourse, you could buy traffic through google adwords, facebook ads, or crowdfunding service providers.