1. GOTTA GET A GIMMICK. Other than organic and begged shares, having an article in a popular blog written about your campaign is the best way to get the attention of people you don’t know. Unfortunately the very fact that you have a campaign is no longer news. Just like Gypsy Rose Lee you gotta get a gimmick. For my campaign for Diani & Devine Meet The Apocalypse we are releasing a new video every day. Sometimes two. Is this a gargantuan and insane amount of work? Yes. Will it get blogs to notice? We’ll see.
2. RESEARCH, EMAIL, REPEAT. “So,” you ask me, “how do those blogs find out about me in the first place so they can write an article about my gimmick?” Essentially you have to be your own publicist unless you can hire one. Then I’ll tell you to read this article by Leah Cevoli. Then we can both go vomit and cry a little bit because that is a terrifying amount of work. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to outsource a little bit of it, and if like my partner and I you usually do everything yourself you should outsource this too. Our two angels of mercy have researched everyone who’s ever written an article about anyone or anything that has anything to do with our movie and put that information in a fancy spreadsheet so we can contact those people and keep track of the responses. It’s not a small job.
3. SOLICIT SHARES AND LIKES. You should send all your friends and family an explanation about how crowdfunding works. Explain that if they’re going to give, it does the most good in the first couple days. Tell them to share on Facebook and to like your posts. Facebook’s algorithm is designed to make you want to pay them to get your posts out. If your posts are popular you can get some traction without doing that. Likes and Shares get your post seen by more people in YOUR Facebook feed, not just those who share it.
There is one more thing. It’s much more important than you think. Give people sample posts; make several of them for Facebook, lots for twitter. Consider personalizing them for family members. Include the links and hashtags you want in there and have the tone match your campaign. People are infinitely more likely to copy and paste the thing you wrote than write one themselves. Really. If you don’t do it you will see posts exactly like this. “My sister’s kickstarter is up! Give to it.” Very nice, but virtually useless because there is no link.
4. INVOLVE YOUR FRIENDS. In the 30+ videos we’ve made we cast some of our brilliant friends. These people will be sharing the campaign anyway because they are awesome but something you’re actually in is more interesting to your mom’s friend than just something you’re sharing. We’re hoping that more people than just us being in these videos will be one more thing that will increase our reach and boost our signal. When you make people a part of something you not only get help but they have an ownership over the project. The people who help you are making something with you just like the people who give to your campaign. It’s a team effort and it’s a lot easier than doing it alone. More fun too. We’re so busy with this campaign that shooting the videos is pretty much the only time we ever see our friends.
5. COURT THE LURKERS. While it is very true that you need to drive the attention to your own campaign there are people who sit down and browse crowdfunding sites looking for stuff to give money to. You can’t depend on these people finding your campaign but if you’re really hustling and getting on the “popular” or “staff pick” sections then you will pick up some of these mini Medici. You should make your page pretty for them. People glance and skim, and things that aren’t engaging are much less likely to get backed.
Your video is without question one of the most important parts of your campaign. Now I’ll make a confession. I hardly ever watch them. You need to make the rest of your page as good as you can so people who never watch the video still love it. I usually look at the Kickstarter app late at night and playing a video would wake the dog up. He needs his beauty rest.
6. THINK OF WAYS TO ASK FOR MONEY WITHOUT ASKING FOR MONEY. Everyone knows you need money. You need to think of new ways to ask for it. We’re releasing a video every day with an “Apocatip” for a better end of the world experience. They consist of a short funny clip about how to survive the apocalypse followed by a call to action to find the project on Kickstarter and to share the video. Nowhere in those videos do we ask for money.
7. TELL EVERYBODY. LOTS. Being annoying on social media is a terror we all SHOULD have. I think it’s one of those things where if you’re worried about doing it you probably aren’t. I hope so anyway. But I think there are some people who are too worried about this. So worried that I don’t even know they have a campaign until after the fact. If I follow you on twitter or you show up on my Facebook feed I should know you have a campaign. Talk about it. Nobody will care if you don’t. Boost your own signal.