Crowdfunding Handbook (Part 4)

Promotion

While an exceptional project can find outpourings of support from all over the web, much of your support may still come from people who already know your work: your fans, friends, and community. Read on for tips on spreading the word about your idea, and getting people as excited about the project as you are.

Getting Started

Prepare an outreach plan.

Before you launch, think through how you’ll approach promoting your project. Outside of your nearest and dearest, who’ll be interested in what you’re doing? Gather lists of relevant blogs, media outlets, and online communities — like forums, message boards, or Facebook groups you know will care about your work. If you’re making a board game, think of the games communities you can send word to; if it’s something for kids, think about parenting forums and blogs. Compile your contact lists, and organize your strategy.

Announce your project.

Once your project is live, let people know! Share it on Facebook, and send out a few tweets. Email friends and family. Keep your mailing groups small and your messages personal, showcasing your project’s unique features and rewards — a personal note tends to get a better response than a form letter. Try not to overwhelm people with e-blasts and group messages, but do remind your networks throughout your project’s funding.

Pitch the press.

But first, do a little research. Google topics and projects related to yours and see who writes about them, and find venues and publications that cover similar work. Explore where your project fits in the broader context of your field. Check out this video for advice from other creators on how to get press coverage.

How to Pitch Your Project

If you’re getting in touch with the press, make sure to include the essentials: who, what, where, when, and why. People appreciate concise messages that respect their time and give them exactly the information they need. Put yourself in their shoes, and tell them why your idea is worth covering. Some tips to remember:

  • Twitter is your friend.

    Many reporters list direct contact info there.

  • Keep your contact lists targeted.

    Reach out to people and sources you know are interested in topics like yours.

  • Mention who’s available for interviews.

    That goes double if prominent folks are involved in your project.

  • Offer any content you can.

    Show off a sample, a trailer, or a preview.

  • Be thoughtful about timing.

    When will it be most relevant to cover your project? And how long do you think each media outlet will need to prepare a piece?

  • We have resources for you.

    You can provide press contacts with a link to the Kickstarter Pressroom for information on itselfs.

  • Don’t be pushy.

    Be considerate — bothering people can have bad consequences for your project.

Some Inside Tips

Here are some things that are definitely worth trying:

  • Host an event.

    Rally close friends and fans with a party, performance, or get-together. Bring along a tablet so people can make pledges on the spot — or send out a link to all your RSVPs letting them know they can pledge via the Kickstarter app, right on their smartphones.

  • Line up help.

    If your goal is ambitious, you might need more than just yourself to get the word out. Get others involved — like your collaborators, peers, or cast and crew.

  • Keep your wits about you.

    You might get some strange offers. You might feel overwhelmed. You might get an extraordinary media opportunity you never expected. Just keep things in perspective and you’ll do great!

And a few things you definitely shouldn’t try:

  • Don’t spam.

    People will like your project a lot better if it’s coming from an amazing, creative person — not from someone acting like a spambot. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information.

  • Don’t trust every offer that comes your way.

    If a marketing offer seems too good to be true, trust your instincts! And make sure you know what you’re actually being offered — you don’t want someone sending spam on your behalf.

  • Don’t expect magic.

    Chances are, you can’t just toss your project out into the world and sit back while everyone raves about it. Put in the work to let people know what you’re doing, and watch your efforts pay off.