Sep 19, 2016

Kickstarter Reflection Part One: Strategies

The Kickstarter for our comic book Never Tales ended successfully on July 2016 raising $2,846 to complete the panel art, cover art and find physical publication. In this post I will talk about some of the strategies I thought worked well and contributed to our success.

Art Fan Base 
First, and I believe by far the biggest contribution came from our artist Marek Jarocki having worked for years to accumulate a following for his art and style. Marek posts art almost daily to Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram. Many of the posts are quick sketches that have a lot of personality and are very engaging, but Marek also posts time-lapse videos of his art, live streams and makes tutorials regularly, which has earned him a community who really appreciate his content.

Community Build Up
Secondly, months before the Kickstarter I attempted to build my own community with whatever I had to offer. I committed to writing a blog post every Monday and Friday regarding some aspect of creativity, writing, or project management and shared them around the internet. My post on Writing Relatable Characters still gets some positive attention and I am particularly proud of it. I believe this effort contributed to our success because in a small way it built a little trust in me as an unknown creator that I was disciplined and could follow through with a project, even if it was simply committing to writing twice a week.

Save Up Content
Thirdly, I saved up a backlog of content that I could release during the run time of the Kickstarter campaign. I had many concept sketches, time-lapse sketch videos, promotional art, panel art and other goodies that I successfully trickled out over the life of campaign, so that it appeared alive, engaging and hopefully interesting throughout. I definitely showed our best content at launch on the main campaign page, but showed something new at least 3 times a week to keep things fresh and to make sure I wasn't promoting using the same continent again and again.

Project Ingredient
Finally, based on this excellent article by Jeremy Melloul regarding building an audience, I split my project into its ingredients and targeted promotion of those ingredients at communities who would be most interested them. By splitting my project into theme, genre, topic, and other component parts I had the best chance of engaging different groups on the internet based on their point of interest.

I engaged vampire fans with the vampire ingredient.
I engaged horror fans with the horror ingredient.
I engaged fantasy fans with the fantasy ingredient.
I engaged writing fans with the script.
I engaged art fans with the time-lapse drawing videos.
I engaged story fans by relating my story to existing stories (“The Shawshank Redemption meets Interview with a Vampire”).
And so on.

I am not claiming I was great at this community engagement, but by splitting my content in this way I am certain I enjoyed much more success than if I simply blanketed the internet with one general post about my entire project.

I hope this was helpful, next week I will write about the surprises I experienced over the course of the Kickstarter campaign.

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