Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Collection Day 8: Marketing Kickstarter

After being delayed due to my lack of understanding about Kickstarter basics, my submission was approved today and went live. I posted it on the Facebook Group and people started backing the film immediately, something I was very grateful to see. I'm not naive enough to think I'm going to get Freddie Wong sized numbers, but it is very cool to feel supported by viewers who like what I am doing and want me to do more. It is what Freddie and others are doing, just on a smaller scale.

If you are wondering what my plan is to alert people about my Kickstarter page, I will happily tell you. There might be a time when you are thinking about crowdsourcing your budget and sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo are a couple of the most popular that have given people a shot at doing what they love. But how do you get people to go there?

Admitedly, I have tried to stack the deck in my favor. I do have a modest following on the web, and I have always intended to ask them (you) for help when the time came. I have tried to give away information in the form of links, tutorials, reviews and commentary with the hope that people would save money and gladly send some in my direction when the time came. The larger the following, the less everyone has to contribute to meet your goal. The trick is to set a realistic number that you think your network of fans can support.

Even if you don't have a web show, a blog, a large Facebook Group or lots of followers on Twitter, we all have networks that should be able to support us. Most people have Facebook pages and you can tag everyone involved in your project with the hope they will promote it to their networks (encourage them). This also includes "going analog" by calling friends or family directly and asking them to contribute. The reward system on Kickstarter (if used right) can avoid the charity label, as people will actually get something for their money. Price these rewards accordingly.

I've also gone with an "all digital" system of rewards that serves two purposes. They remove any kind of shipping burden and give everyone all over the world the same thing at the same time. This may come across as cold or impersonal (there are no real "tangible" rewards on my list), but it is very streamlined and prevents me from having to add money to the budget for deliverables. There are no added costs for creating t-shirts, DVDs or posters and no shipping costs. There is no wait for those not in the U.S. Everyone is equal.

I'm also planning a large push on YouTube throughout the Kickstarter run which ends on the last day of August. I plan on annotations and links on every video in my library (with the exception of Q&A vids) as well as updates on the Q&A show and tie-in videos every Thursday. Since builds are some of my most popular videos, August will be "Project Month", where I feature a new build every Thursday and mention Kickstarter every time. This should really help get the word out.

Along with the rest of the network (blog, Facebook, Twitter), another good marketing tool is an email list. People have emailed me with questions for quite awhile now (many of which have made it on the Recap Q&A show) and emailing them back with notice of my Kickstarter campaign is another way to alert people interested in your work. Emailing all my subscribers on YouTube is another avenue of direct marketing.

It should also be mentioned that however you do this, a huge side benefit of marketing your Kickstarter page, is that you are actually marketing your film! People will become more aware of what you are doing because you are putting so much effort into raising your budget. People who support you will spread the word, and anxiously await the day when the film they helped fund debuts. It's a win-win, if you can meet that Kickstarter goal.

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