5 Key Steps to Running a Successful $25,000 Kickstarter Campaign

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There are many factors that go into running a successful Kickstarter campaign. Many people don’t realize the legwork that goes into being successful in the crowd-funding game. There is a perception that once you go live the money will effortlessly start flowing in.  Watching Justin and Katie Meddis go through the process to fund their dream, Rose’s Meat Market and Sweet Shop highlighted how much work goes into raising money on Kickstarter. The amount you ask for should be highly dependent on how big your network is because most of your money will come from people that already know you in some form. With that said, before you start your campaign you should do number 1 and get to know some more people:

1. Engage Social Media – The time to start a Twitter account and Facebook page is not shortly before launching your campaign. By the time Justin and Katie launched their campaign they had nearly had 1,000 likes on their Facebook page and over 500 twitter followers, all for a shop that did not exist yet. They engaged their followers with pictures of things you could someday find in their shop, things that they were cooking, events they would go to or simply pictures of their cats. Its all about keeping yourself in peoples mind and when you drop the Kickstarter you have a bunch of people who have been following your every step and feel like they know you. The social media buzz they created led them to having their story picked up by a local magazine, business journals and bloggers, creating even more buzz. Check out the article in Triangle Business Journal, written 10 days and almost $10,000 into the campaign

2. Engage Your Potential Backers Face to Face – For the year proceeding the start of their campaign Justin and Katie began meeting people that would be potential backers in various ways. They held hog, chicken and beef butchery classes (click here to see pictures from the hog butchery class) which allowed them to do a couple of things, raise money for their cause, engage potential backers while letting them know about their plans for a butcher shop and raise the awareness of the general population they would be serving about butchery. There were  five course dinners held in the area using meats and vegetables from local farms that they would potentially source in their shop. These dinners gave the couple a chance to, again raise money, engage potential backers and highlight their skills as chefs. Click here to see a video and pictures from their Japanese Chicken Dinner at King’s Daughter Inn.

Katie putting the finishing touches on her Fresh Ginger Cake with White Miso Ice Cream at their Japanese Chicken Dinner

Katie putting the finishing touches on her Fresh Ginger Cake with White Miso Ice Cream at their Japanese Chicken Dinner

The above is all in addition to free demos at the Durham Farmers Markets and local wine shops, teaching classes at A Southern Seasons and visiting various trade shows. All of this interaction gave them a chance to build a following, build  an email list and put their faces on their project. When they launched they had hundreds of people following their cause that felt invested and wanted to be a part of their success.

3. The Pitch Video – The pitch video is your one chance to grab someone’s attention and entice them enough to look further into your project, then donate. You want the video to be long enough to get your point across and short enough that the whole video will be watched. Your video is competing for everyone’s most valuable asset, time and there are more and more things fighting for you time online, celebrity porn tape scandals,  people going  viral on YouTube for simply being lunatics, video remixes that follow dancing dogs; you get the idea.

It may be called a “pitch video” but you don’t want the person watching to feel like they are watching an infomercial. Tell a story because most people want to finish a story once they have started and invested the time. Invite the person watching to learn about you and your dream. When the person is finished watching your video you want them to feel invested emotionally in you and your dream. Above is the video I made for Justin and Katie’s kickstarter campaign. I tried to make something that would invoke all of the emotions I mentioned above.

4. Throw a Party – During the days following your launch you may see your contributions slow to a trickle. It may seem disheartening but a great way to get some wind in your sails is to throw a kickstarter party halfway through the campaign. Justin and Katie held theirs at the Pinhook, a local Bar/Music Venue. They invited a food truck who in turn donated a portion of their proceeds to the cause.  Sam’s Quick Shop, a local craft beer shop provided a keg, with a portion of the proceeds also going to Rose’s Kickstarter. This also gave potential backers a chance to taste the goods that would be found at the shop.

5. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask – When you start a Kickstarter campaign you might as well set TLC’s “Aint to Proud to Beg” as the song for your alarm every morning. You will be doing a good deal of begging  people to support your cause. You will be asking people via twitter, facebook, email, face to face and you may even send a raven a la
“Game of Thrones” if you have ravens trained for such duty. The moment you go live its time to check your ego at the door. Any way you put it, you are going to annoy some people with your constant mentions that will pop up in their news feed but you can’t  worry about them because you have a dream to feed. It takes most people 5 points of contact before they are moved to act and physically press the “fund” button on your page so you must be visible. What does count is how you ask people to fund your dream. You must remember that it is “YOUR” dream not theirs. Trying to make people feel like they owe it to you to fund your project is not the way to go. No one wants to be told what to do with their money so keep it light. Justin and Katie would post a picture of a tasty treat they were working on for an upcoming event or progress on construction of the shop with a quick reminder that they still needed help and donations on kickstarter, simple and non-combative.

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Rose’s reached it’s goal of 25k with six days to go and ended up raising $27,635 (110%).  A number of things have to go right to run a successful campaign and these are only 5 of a endless number of things that can be done to ensure success. The key to the Meddis plan is they had done so much in the year leading up to the fundraising that when they launched they had an army of people not only donating but using social media to drive the project along.

You can visit their Facebook page to track their progress and learn more about the type of things you will be able to find in their shop.

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Categories: Durham


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