Five Lessons Learned from a Failed Kickstarter

Nigel Twumasi, One of the team behind Samurai Chef  comic  and co founder of Mayamada shares some the lessons  learnt when the Kickstarter launched to raise funds for Samurai Chef Volume 2 failed to hit its target.

When it comes to crowdfunding it’s fair to say we’ve had our ups and downs. Platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo are great for independent creators to see their ideas become reality, with the support of fans from all around the world. But it is by no means a sure thing.

Our Samurai Chef Volume 1 book was made possible by a successful Indiegogo campaign. But our Kickstarter for Samurai Chef Volume 2 fell short of the goal.

If you’re a creator working on your own crowdfunding project, here are a few things to consider before letting it loose on the world.

Don’t leave it to Kickstarter

If you’ve done your research this is one you would have heard this before, but it’s worth repeating.

Great projects are regularly selected to feature on Kickstarter and no doubt getting your project chosen would greatly boost your chances of success. But spending significant time to get your project into that select group is not a sound strategy.

The truth is only Kickstarter knows how their ranking works so don’t spend time trying to figure it out, you’ve got a campaign to run!

Concentrate on getting enough people outside of the Kickstarter ecosystem to discover your project as that will be the difference in the end.


Educate friends & family

If you’re a new creator and don’t yet have a large following, it’s likely you’ll rely on friends and family to help get your campaign off to a good start.

Even if they aren’t the target audience for your project, they will be more likely to want to support you as a person. But don’t assume they will understand your project, so some extra work may be needed.

For example, during our campaign we found that some people didn’t always understand that money is only taken at the end of a successful campaign, not immediately.

Many were waiting to pledge at the end of the month and when you’re looking for momentum this is not what you want to hear!

So make the effort to educate them on exactly what people need to do to contribute to your campaign. It can be time consuming, but getting those early backers will be worth it.


A good project is just the start

Having a good project is just the beginning of your campaign. There are so many good projects on Kickstarter that just being another one isn’t enough to help you stand out.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t make sure your project looks its best, when people do land on your page you want to make a good enough impression that they’ll consider eventually backing you.

If you are doing a comic project then visuals are important. Character artwork and sneak peeks of the story can help pull people in and possible get visitors invested enough to become backers.

But it’s ultimately a numbers game and the goal is to get enough interested people to see your project for a percentage of those to contribute to it.


Plan ahead

This is something that we did not take advantage of before launching our Kickstarter and hurt us in the end.

When creating your project you are able to see and link to a preview page. Not only will this let you iron out issues in your project, it will also give you the opportunity to contact blogs and websites that may give your your project visibility before the launch.

This give them time to prepare articles, Facebook posts, tweets etc that can go live at the beginning of your project, not the middle. The preparation time will be appreciated by them too.


Failure isn’t permanent

The great thing about failure is that it gives you a chance to learn from mistakes. You can analyse your project and ask questions to find out why it wasn’t successful and how you can keep moving forward with another option or even another Kickstarter.

Our Samurai Chef Kickstarter didn’t work out but that hasn’t stopped us from pressing ahead.

We’ve continued with the production of the book and have launched a second Kickstarter for the combined Samurai Chef Volume 1 & 2 book for November.


GS Guest Blogger: Nigel Twumasi

Source: Samurai Chef

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