My band mate Sam Golden and I recently ran a 30 day Kickstarter campaign to raise funding to make an album. In case you don’t know, on Kickstarter, if you don’t reach your funding goal by the end of the campaign, you receive none of the funds you raised(!). It was a nail-biter, would we actually be funded, or would we be defeated? I thought I would share with you a little bit of what I learned.
For many advertising ventures and especially for a Kickstarter, a good video can be the difference between failure and success. Some folks like to make a selfie-style video of themselves explaining their product, while this might work if the idea or product is especially astounding, for the most part it doesn’t, and a boring video might stop the whole venture short. To avoid this my band mate and I spent a good amount of time over a period of weeks writing, editing and planning our video. We also enlisted the help of a small video production company, who were able to add their expertise, creativity, and had some invaluable equipment.
Funnily enough, because of weather, our painstakingly planned video had to be changed and all of our outdoor shots had to be indoors. With a little ingenuity however, we made the best of it and we think it turned out well. You can see the video below.
With the video we also wanted some decent incentives, that is, rewards people can receive for backing a project at different funding levels. Along with an album, we figured out some great merchandise ideas. My favorite was the bourbon glass etched with the band logo. You can see more on the Kickstarter page.
(You really should check it out; it’s gorgeous.)
Following the advice of some other successful Kickstarters, we also planned a campaign we’d execute over the 30 days of the Kickstarter. This included 4 videos we would send out at intervals to drum up support. We made a list of folks who we thought would be interested in the Kickstarter and who would be willing to share it. We also experimented with a Facebook ad campaign that ended up costing about $20, and brought in a good number of views.
(used to be A$$, but you know, censorship 😉 )
In the first 24 hours after our Kickstarter began we made about 20% of our $7000 goal. We were excited! However the next week was slow, with just a small trickle of supporters coming in. We started blasting out live performance videos on our social networks, and began making Facebook ads. We also contacted everyone we thought would be willing to share the project. Even with this media push over a 3 week period we barely made it to 40% funding. Things were looking dire at the start of our last 3 days.
It seemed that all our work over the weeks had not been doing much of anything! However, I think it was reminding folks that we as a band were serious about our project and making an album. Considering what happened next, we must have also pulled in supporters. The last 2 days came upon us and there was a sudden flood of support, everyone who had been holding-out jumped in! Our Kickstarter was a success!
I think folks had trust in us, not just because we had been playing music for 3 years, but because the work in our campaign was evident of what we could accomplish. That, or maybe we just know a lot of really nice people who know how to kick arse. 😀