I’m happy to say my Kickstarter campaign has not only met it’s goal, but exceeded it!
It’s wonderful! The feedback has been great, and the stream of traffic has been steady. We are sitting pretty with 11 days to go but like many campaigns, a lull has taken place. It happens.
Keeping momentum during a campaign is pretty important, but it can also be challenging, especially when you’re a 1-woman team in the PR and Social Media Department. I have been doing it all myself, with the help of my lovely Backers and wonderful family and friends sharing the project.
I won’t complain, it has done pretty good without any extra $PR help!
But I don’t want to be complacent. The goat in me wants to see the campaign soar beyond it’s wildest dreams. I know this is a fantastic product. It’s well made and the price is outstanding. It’s stylish, too. It’s a great product that truly deserves press and recognition. More and more people are deciding to ride their bikes, especially in the larger cities. I saw this in NYC last week. Even in the freezing temperatures, people were pedaling their hearts out. Why NOT have a great looking bag that’s handsome as much as it is durable? I think The Sartorialist would agree. :)
So, for the last two weeks, I have been learning the ins and outs, ups and downs and taking crash courses in PR and social media marketing. To say the least, it’s not easy and I commend all of you who are out there making it happen. When my campaign first launched, my inbox was flooded with everyone from Kickstarter campaign gurus to PR agencies and Fiverrs. Everyone wanted to help make it successful. At a price, of course. One agency, even has a package that offers to do the PR on a project pro-bono and if it succeeds, they take 7%. But slots for this option are limited and unfortunately for me, they were all full. So what does a girl on a zero budget do? Well, we do it ourselves! And get a few scraped knees along the way.
There are so many factors involved in creating a successful campaign but for anyone considering a future crowdfunding campaign, I want to highly recommend these THREE crucial elements:
1. Get Social! Build up your social crowd and establish yourself and your brand/product first before launching. Talk to people, get to know them. In other words, make sure you are well connected and plugged in to your social connections. I would aim for at least 1,000 in your network, whether that is through Facebook, Twitter, even Google+. It’s like any business: if no one knows you exist, how can they support and/or purchase your product?
2. PR is as equally important as the product you create and vital to maintaining a steady flow of traffic to your project campaign. Set aside some funds for PR. Even if it’s only $500-$700, make sure you have some funds for this. There are agencies out there who offer packages at reasonable rates, such as Fundzinger. If you plan to go at it on your own, make sure you are targeting the right blogs, magazines, etc. Have a list of the contacts ready to go before you launch. Emails are the best way to reach editors. Send the e-mails before you launch as well as during. Make the emails personal. Canned, lengthy templates are not a wise choice. And make sure you follow up! (If the email addresses are not available online, you can call and ask for the specific editors’ email address if it is a magazine like Conde Nast or Hearst Publications).
3. Social “Auto-Pilot” and Organization Get familiar with social media platforms such as Bit.ly, Hootsuite and Sprout Social. These are excellent tools to help you get organized and track your interactions to see what works, who is listening- Especially if you are a newbie like me and not a social media guru. Also, it will do you some good to have these platforms working for you on autopilot while you (hopefully!) sleep. There is a whole other side of the world that is up while we sleep and we can’t forget to include them.
Some say there is no real secret sauce for Kickstarter success, other than having a strong network and tons of views. Perhaps it is a numbers game. But I have seen marshmallows projects go crazy, underwear sell like it’s a hot commodity and wallets hit (and miss). I think the product has to be a good one, sure, but I also think people are looking to connect with a project and the creator. It’s more than just product that people want. They want to feel like they are an integral part of something that moves them, whether it be a fun, humorous way (Period Panties) or in a sort of philanthropic one.
Anyway, those are my thoughts du jour. Thank you for reading. And if you are in the neighborhood, stop by my project. Every click counts!
Go to: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/284849607/vintage-style-handlebar-bag