The most important thing you'll do:
Build community before launching your project.


CONTENT STRATEGY

Want a strong win on your launch day? Make sure to Build the Community surrounding your idea.  We recommend 5 self-hosted blog articles that you write to help position your project and provide useful information to the people who are most likely to benefit from your project. Rave about your project on facebook, maybe use inbound SEO to get early traffic to your blog posts.  Make sure to place an EMAIL OPT-IN on your blog page offering a free gift. Embed the form in the page, and also us an automatic popup. Extra credit if you calculate A/B data on the content that gets you the best sign ups, then send more folks there. Main point: Write great articles that interest people, become an expert in your industry. Read the article on the 6-month pre-launch content strategy which my student Ergodriven used to get to $100k.


FRIENDS & FAMILY

 

create New Leads

There is no better source of initial backers, shares, and evangelists than from your existing community of loved ones.  Can you make a list of 500people who know and love you?  Do you have their contact info? Even people who are just colleagues or acquaintances can qualify if you think they might be interested in connecting more about your passion and receiving some attention from you. You'd be surprised at how willing people are to help!  The key: ask for help & advice long before you ever ask for financial contributions.

 

START EARLY WITH FOCUSED ATTENTION:

  • Create a spreadsheet with emails of Friends & Family and other contacts
  • Write people individually manually or through a mail merge process. Personalized, single-recipient mail gets you a boost when it comes to social capital. Keep it short so they know its just to them and not a newsletter.
  • Create a 4 line personal email, just saying whats up, mentioning you have been getting more focused on {your project}. asking how they are doing. The theme of this message is "I'm saying 'hi' because you are my friend.  How are you? Here's one line about what I'm working on these days."
  • Schedule phone calls, reply back to conversations.  Begin customer service.

Invite Fans to get more involved

After establishing connection and sharing personally with them,

  • Send them a preview of your website / project video
  • Send them a survey asking for feedback about your concept
  • Build a newsletter of responders and start to send "behind-the-scenes" updates

Every resource used to plan and launch a $75k Kickstarter

 

 

FOR PEOPLE THAT GET BACK TO YOUr Personal emails

They are forming the basis of your "inner-circle".  They will eventually be the ones you ask to fund your project on the first hour of Day 1.  But first you must build social capital by having conversations with them and asking their advice.

 

FOR PEOPLE THAT don't GET BACK TO YOUR EMAILS

Send a follow-up message: Be personable and persistent.  Get your friends and family to acknowledge if they are willing to have a human connection with you prior to asking for anything specific.  Start with friendship, and you'll have plenty of backers later.

 

BUILD THE LAUNCH TEAM - START your REWARDS PROGRAM

Use programs like Launch Rock or Kickoff Labs to set up affiliates trackable links, create a contest and offer amazing gifts to people who get the most traffic to your blog article / website.  As conversations continue and you share mutual interest in each others lives, invite them to share your project with their friends. Biggest sharers get a free product when we go live!

 

Make a specific Ask

Don’t waste your friends and family time with long emails. Let your campaign page do the talking for you.  Before your launch, send an email letting people know that you are launching soon, and ask: would you consider helping for our launch day?

 

Go Public only when you have Enough verbally Pledged

If you don't want to make a fool of yourself, you'll make sure that you have at least a significant percentage of the total number of backers you're expecting to need to complete the project, available with their thumbs up and ready to contribute on the launch day.  Why?  It's called "early-adopters syndrome." Most of your customer base WILL NOT JOIN your project until they see that already a significant amount has been pledged.  A huge portion of your audience are simply not early adopters, so you need to raise alot in the first 24 hours to ensure access to all audiences.

gain access to the early majority: Find early adopters before launch


Get Some Press

You'll want to become friends with press early on, way before your time.

  • Find bloggers you are already connected with, use facebook graph search to find your existing friends and close relations who work at "blogging" and like "{your industry}".  Ask for a personal introduction to bloggers from the mutual friends you have with them. Sign up for buzzstream to get more press contact info. Follow them on twitter, linkedin, start liking and commenting and sharing their posts. Be a good neighbor, they'll notice. After a while of doing nice things to them, ask your mutual friend that initially showed you the connection to personally introduce you to the blogger with a super dialed 5-line personal introduction letter
  • Find blogs in your industry to send your pitch, use blog search tools like Do Follow Blog Finder, SocialBro, Blog Search Engine, Best of the Web Blogs

    Focus on soliciting blogs that have 5000-25,000 max monthly visitors, as they more likely to respond and support your campaign by writing an article (not as overwhelmed by requests as top-tier blogs are). In addition, find blogs whose audience is extremely focused with your industry in mind, and they are likely to work harder to spread the word.   Try to avoid words like "Kickstarter" and "Crowdfunding" or "Fundraising". The media hates these terms and it will usually kill your lead.  Focus on your brand and features, and only after they engage about your idea you can tell them about plans for KS launch.

  • Reverse engineer your competition -get a free trial of moz's backlink search tool and enter the url's of successful projects in your space - this will give you a list of all of the websites that linked to their campaign.  GREAT WAY to find unknown blogs and sources of traffic that are willing to post about kickstarter. Add these sites to your list of who to contact.
     
  • Reach out when it's time - 4 weeks prior to your launch, after you've made your spreadsheet of blogs to contact with the writer's name, a link to their blog, email/FB/linkedin contact info, and write them a SUPER SIMPLE message (repeat, don't abuse their inbox by overloading them with info). Assume nothing, be really nice and act like you know they are a human and have feelings too. Don't attach a press release or pitch deck. JUST TALK to them. For bloggers that engage, then you can send them a press release / preview link.

With these tools of community engagement, you can be sure to have an audience that is ready and willing to look at your project page. Start designing your project page only once your already gotten the buzz machine moving....

 

Want more support?

Check out my FREE Guide: 

"How I launched multiple $50,000+ Kickstarters in less than 45 days"