So, I recently started a campaign on my own where I am selling shirts. How do I broadcast that aside from so much I have already have done? How long did it take you for your kickstarter to exponentially increase?
Congrats on starting your campaign! I’d love to share some business advice I can give in my long term experience (I’ve run 3 businesses to date) and the recent crowdfunding experience. It’s Arien here, btw!
Find and communicate your “Unique Value Proposition” (UPV)
This is essentially “What makes your brand/product different from your competition?”
When you know what helps you stand out, you can use that in your marketing efforts and get people behind you. You can say “hey, this is why you want my offering, as opposed to this other similar one!”
For instance, The Major Barkana focuses on hand painted cards (which only one other dog deck has) and that we fundraise/raise awareness for service dogs (which no other deck does). We also feature all real dogs, and we haven’t found any other decks that do that either except one that started 6 months after ours.
So, these are all UPVs for us! We focus mainly on the service dog one, since that’s what we’re most passionate about and is 100% unique, but in certain posts we’ll mention the others when relevant.
Talk about your story
Stories sell. This is the best business advice I was ever given, although it took me a while to figure out how to share my story. It’s more than just saying “I’m this person and this is what inspired me to make this product/offer this service!”
Your story is showing your behind the scenes. Maybe that’s letting clients into your emotional landscape from time to time (I do this with my personal development business that helps survivors of abuse). Maybe it’s passionately advocating for something sort of, but not totally, related to your brand and advocating for that (us and dissociative identity disorder here).
We also, for an example, have been posting work in progress art pictures since we started. You could begin this at any time, but basically think of how you can make it more like “I’m a human who’s making something cool.” People want to support other humans who feel real, not just getting a cool product.
Share your stuff (A LOT!)
I got this advice from some fellow entrepreneurs and just sorta took a leap with it…literally talk about your stuff everywhere!
This doesn’t mean cold call or spam people, but don’t be afraid to pitch what you have when it’s relevant. I joined lots of tarot Facebook groups, talked about what Bael & I were doing, and (even when I couldn’t share links) people would want us to message them!
We also advertised on social media very frequently during our campaign, and to our email list too. We usually send 2-3 emails a month, but during Kickstarter we sent something like 5-6.
Ad based posts on Facebook and Tumblr were almost every day (like we still shared value and updates and artwork, but we’d include a link to our Kickstarter!).
This is a specific time that’s meant for advertising, since you have a deadline to raise your funds by. People understand that and those who care about what you’re doing, and can tell you’re a real person behind it, they’ll totally back you.
“How long did it take you for your kickstarter to exponentially increase?”
You can actually see the exact progress and graph right here! The initial two days were super important, especially since we had geared our community up for this launch. We told people to add the date to their calendars, did countdowns, and other pre-launch excitement for about a month and a half before our Kickstarter.
So, the first three days we were about 35% funded.
Then it stagnated a bit, which is super normal. We even had some days where more people canceled their pledges than backed the project (woo, those were anxiety provoking)! But this mid-campaign lull is normal.
Then Buzzfeed published an article on our deck and that caused another jump from October 10th-12th. That was luck, but also because we’d mentioned our project to a Buzzfeed reporter and they loved what we were doing! Don’t be afraid to reach out to press. :)
And, of course, the last few days is usually where everything falls together. Have some faith that people will back you right at the end too!
Remember, if this current Kickstarter doesn’t work for you, you can always relaunch a second with a bit more preparation and community building!