7 Things I Learned from a Failed Kickstarter Campaign

7 Things I learned from a Failed Kickstarter Campaign

For those of you wondering where I have been, I have been coming off a month after a failed Kickstarter Campaign for 99Blast – The Card Counting Game.  The bad news is the campaign failed.  The good news is that we still found a reseller who is able to sell them on demand.  So if interested go to 99Blast.com.  In the “Purchase 99Blast” section is a 20% discount code.

The main purpose of this post is to share with you the seven things I learned from running a Kickstarter Campaign.  For those of you planning your own campaign, this may come in handy so you don’t feel like you are off on an island waving a flag to garner support like we did.

1 – Gain interest BEFORE you start your campaign.

I pushed out teasers that the Kickstarter was coming and had people sign up to be notified when the Kickstarter Campaign would begin.  HOWEVER, I didn’t push it hard enough and should have waited to begin the campaign when I had a big enough list that if everyone committed to the campaign, it would have accounted for 30-40% of my goal.

2 – Get Reviews of your product prior to launch.

I mistakenly thought that getting reviews during the campaign would be better since people could commit as soon as the review was posted.  You end up chasing after reviewers that work on their own schedule and not on yours.  Rather, let them do the review and if willing link to your mailing list form to be notified when the campaign will start.

3 – Don’t underestimate the power of the first day of launch.

We launched on a Friday.  Knowing that most of our social media engagement happens on Monday, we waited figuring we could get consistent interest over the first week.  Instead we got a lot of interest on Friday and then some more on Monday.  The better option would have been to do both on the same day to increase the chance of being listed higher in popularity on the site.  The higher your popularity, the more likely casual Kickstarter browsers will see the campaign.

4 – You will know your chances of success after the first week.

Our campaign ran 35 days.  After the first four days we were already 25% to the goal.  However after seven days we were only 26% to the goal.  Interests had dropped in the last three days of the week despite advertising and social media pushes.  I knew then that we weren’t going to make the goal.

5 -Don’t assume Friends/Followers are likely purchasers

I have a good selection of readers of this site.  I have over 1000 twitter and facebook followers and almost 100,000 on Google Plus.  By the math if less than .1% of them committed to the campaign we should have blown out the goal.  But…

6 -Don’t assume Friends/Followers will help you promote your campaign.

Just because you can convince 50 people to reshare your meme or cartoon to their followers, doesn’t mean they will reshare your Kickstarter Campaign.  Resharing a Kickstarter campaign is almost like an endorsement from the resharer.  They are less apt to do it.

7 – Success or not, the process will drain you.

From setting up your site, to setting up your campaign, to running it and promoting via ads/social media, the process can take its toll.  If not physically, then definitely mentally.  I haven’t posted here in a month just because I was just worn out from the process after our Kickstarter campaign and didn’t feel like drawing outside my caricature commission work.  Prepare for it.

Best of luck.

About Bearman Cartoons

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11 Responses to “7 Things I Learned from a Failed Kickstarter Campaign”

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  1. Binky says:

    If you couldn’t have a successful Kickstarter campaign, I don’t think many of us could. You may also have been a victim of your own popularity. So many people know you and follow you, everyone may have figured the other guy would support you.

  2. G. B. Miller says:

    Perhaps “failure” is too strong of a word. How ’bout, “you finished 1st in reverse!”?

    In all seriousness though, those 7 bullet points you mentioned are definitely worth remembering for next time.

  3. Dave says:

    One aspect of my job is raising support. I shook my head in agreement on point 5. When I began I thought because somebody knew me that they would give support. Or the richer they are they were more likely to give. I have found it is those I least suspect and it is those who aren’t well off financially that give.

  4. jynksie says:

    Figuring out what ones virtual posse will and won’t do continues to baffle and confuse me. …but to be fair, I’m confused about most things, most of the time. At least you gave it a shot. You know how that old try/fail analogy goes!!

  5. Jason Salas says:

    I didn’t even know your campaign had started and ended. I guess I got wrapped up in my own stuff. Next time you run a campaign, bug me about it. I’d love to help.

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