This week I’m posting the five steps I take when a creator asks me for help with their Kickstarter campaign. In this post, I’m covering Step 5: Finding Your Audience. This post talks about how to find an audience for your project.
Find Your Audience
“I made this campaign, where are all the people?”
The truth is, you have to go out and get them. That means posting on forums, contacting reviewers, newsites, posting on social media, sending previews to critics, sending out press releases, and reaching out to people who are interested in the type of project you are doing and letting them know you are doing it. Where those places are and who will respond depends on the type of project you are doing. You cannot wait for your audience to come to you. You have to go to them.
Some people won’t care. Some people will tell you to piss off. Some of them will help you. Sometimes you’ll get a bunch of help but no pledges will come out of it. Reach out anyway. Finding even one new backer is a success – that is one new supporter who may know other supporters. Each one of your backers is valuable.
There it is, your Five Steps in Kickstarter First Aid. If you’ve tried all of those, and your campaign STILL isn’t moving, then it might be that your project just isn’t interesting to people. This is what Kickstarter is for – to find out if there is support for a project. If you’ve made a fantastic campaign, reached out, but no one is interested, it’s possible that your project just doesn’t appeal to people at the moment. It sucks, but you might need to retool your campaign, or reconsider the project. It may be that you need a more finished project before you launch a campaign, or you need to build up a reputation in the community with smaller projects.
LASTLY: YOUR CAMPAIGN IS A TEST
Think about a campaign this way: It’s a test. Can you get organized? Can you deal with unexpected problems?
This isn’t easy. Raising money is challenging, and crowd funding requires that you are a creator who can market your work as well as create it. Not everyone has that skill set. Hopefully these five steps will help you with your ailing campaign. Most movies and stories have characters that face terrible adversity before they achieve their goals, and yet, when we go out in the world, we often seem to expect that what we do will never encounter adversity.
When you do your project, you may encounter a problem outside your skill set. Maybe making a video isn’t your thing. However, this is a test. Can you create something difficult? Do something outside of your skills? When challenges arise, will you be able to handle them?
Building a professional campaign says: I have the skills to deal with problems. I have the resources to manage difficult situations or to enlist help. It is, in some circumstances, your audiences first (and sometimes only) way of evaluating your competence. The more polish you place in your campaign, the better your results will be.