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Monday, July 23, 2012

Diary of a Kickstarter Campaign: The First Week

The first week of my Kickstarter project, Erin Murphy Knits Alpaca Project, has been invigorating, embarassing, exhausting and FUN! Not all projects sent in to Kickstarter are approved. My initial project was sent back because it was for 'general business expenses' and Kickstarter only allows projects with a finite goal. I also have a charitable aspect to Erin Murphy Knits and Kickstarter doesn't support charitable campaigns. I rewrote my pitch in five minutes and sent it back for approval. They contacted me 24 hours later to tell me it had been accepted. I think what most people expect when they launch a project on a public funding platform is that the 'public' will be able to see their project. With over 4,000 projects on Kickstarter right now, only a precious few are featured on their front page. You need to reach out to your friends to spread the word. In the first 24 hours of my launch, I wrote about my campaign on Facebook and Twitter. On the second day, I wrote about it in my blog and on my favorite Bewitched website message board: www.harpiesbizarre.com. For most Kickstarter campaigns, including mine, there's an initial burst of traffic and backers at the launch, then there's a 'trough' in the middle with occasional backers and a sudden burst at the end as the project is featured on Kickstarter's Ending Soon page, where it's visible to all the Kickstarter viewers. In my first three days I had fifteen backers and was 12% funded. The part that's been most difficult for me is asking friends for support and asking everyone to share the link via Twitter and Facebook. Asking for help is a crucial component of crowdfunding. You have to be able to reach outside your group. As a "pitchperson' by trade, I love to sell things. I love to point out the benefits of a product and tell people honestly how that product is a solution to a problem. Also I'm involved with many charities and have no problem reaching out and asking for help for someone else. With my Kickstarter project I'm definitely out of my comfort zone reaching out and asking for help for myself! I'm trying to keep my campaign interesting and adding rewards as I go. I'm hopeful that will keep the project fresh and allow me to share updates that aren't completely repetitive. Some Kickstarter employees Tweeted about my project and commented that they "Wish I had a video for my project". I'll be adding one this week. I shot one on Friday, but when I went to put it up the video and audio wouldn't sync. I'm not using my TV production connections to film my video. I'll be shooting it in one take on my 12 year old son's camera. I'm sharing lessons I learn with my launch in hopes to help others make their projects successful. The goal of my campaign and most Kickstarter campaigns is to raise funds to complete a creative project and I don't think you need to spend money or be high tech to do that. Yesterday my project was featured on a website called Kicktraq.com. They had me listed as #2 on their Hot List; but also had me trending as only getting 63% of my funding goal. Fingers crossed that they're wrong! I think timing the project you launch is crucial. I may be fighting an uphill battle promoting handknit alpaca accessories in the midst of a summer heatwave. But there really is a method to my madness. The goal of my project is to launch a Winter 2012-2013 Erin Murphy Knits Alpaca Collection. With a summer Kickstarter launch, everyone will get their rewards well in advance of Winter and holiday gift-giving. Please click on the link below to check out my Kickstarter campaign. While you're there click on the "Like" tab right under the photo. If you're feeling particularly generous you can also click on the "Tweet" tab to share with your friends and be sure to check out the rewards!

1 comment:

Joselle said...

Interesting post, Erin. Looking forward to the video!