My hope is that my data can help you with your crowdfunding campaign be it on Kickstarter or Indiegogo.
In my Kickstarter, I set out to raise $1,000 in 18 days to fund the cover art, editing and formatting for the 3rd book in my Assured Destruction Series. It was the finale.
Here’s the archived campaign.
25% hit in first 3 days.
Goal hit 9 days in.
The video had 323 plays. I think that’s a pretty great conversion ratio.
My plan was to start slow and to steadily hit different aspects of my networks rather than do so all at once. So I started with my social media contacts and author friends who are also social media savvy. I also created a Facebook event for the very end of the campaign. This all quickly got me to 25% and it also revealed some wonderful champions to my cause that stayed with me throughout the campaign. I can’t understate the importance of campaign champions.
After the campaign slowed, I then targeted a friends, colleagues and family email. This jump-started the campaign once more and took me just over my target.
At the three quarters mark I received some help from bloggers on a cover reveal, an author interview and a media interview with the Ottawa Sun. I also targeted my LinkedIn network.
Although I steadily tweeted and Facebooked throughout, I did so on a daily, not hourly basis. Having the Facebook event scheduled for the end of the campaign turned out to be helpful because I could remind only those people who were truly interested in my campaign that this was their last chance to make a pledge.
I didn’t know when or if Kickstarter community would start backing my campaign. I’m really glad they did, but I also didn’t want to depend on it.
Your pledgers are what make a campaign successful so it’s important to know where they’re going to come from. I suspect that this is very different depending on each campaign, and the more backers the likely the higher the ‘unknown’ factor becomes. Here are my stats:
40% Close friends and family
40% Internet links (people I know in via social media, listservs, forums, etc.)
20% Previously unknown to me
What I could have done better:
I likely could have gone after big name authors and asked them to highlight my campaign. I know several and I think they would have been amenable.
I left some powder dry. I run a number of local writers workshops and I likely could have leaned on them for support but I kept them out of it for the most part. I also only hit up a select group of neighborhood friends.
I also should have had better stretch goals. I didn’t have any at all after $1,500, and my goal at $1,500 wasn’t all that interesting.
What surprised me:
The high average pledge level. This was the single biggest determinate of hitting $2,000 vs $1,000. Be sure to have options that run from $5 to $500 because you never know where your support is going to come from.
I didn’t lose any friends/followers in the marketing. This really is a balance and one of the reasons why I picked an 18 day campaign rather than a 30 day or longer.
I met a lot of really cool supportive people.
Where I got lucky:
I was featured by Kickstarter. Kickstarter-sourced pledgers totaled 25% of my campaign (but that would have jumped to 50% had I only hit $1,000). So an important component.
Where I need to be careful:
I know that I could not run a similar campaign tomorrow and expect the same result. For one thing, many of my pledges came from people I know, and this will have tapped them out, and I don’t want to ask them for money again.
This was an entire series I was offering. It has great reviews and a lot of cool art to go along with it. This means a great selection of credible reward options. This would not be the case with some of my adult books for instance.
I cannot stress the importance of good reward options enough. Give people back something for their support and be sure to have a broad range.
I followed advice I found on blogs. Search online for what words to use in a successful campaign and what words not to use. Focus on your credibility and provide social proof for that credibility.
A video is an absolute must. Go heavy on the graphics.
Be sure to mentions cats and Karma. 😛 YMMV