One of the greatest things about being a successful entrepreneur is the humility to learn from my mistakes. I hereby offer my fellow Kickstarter dreamers this wisdom:
20 ways to screw your Kickstarter game project
- Do set your fundraising goal to what you WANT to build your game, not what you NEED.
- Don’t line up any friends or family in advance to support your Kickstarter at launch.
- Do keep your Kickstarter secret until the day you launch to ‘surprise’ everyone!
- Do hire a Community Manager with no experience in video games and no personal passion for your project.
- Do your Kickstarter launch days after E3 so the media is sure to ignore you.
- Do have your Web marketing guy leave you hanging the day before your Kickstarter launch.
- Do have a critical family crisis the day of your Kickstarter launch.
- Do wait until a week after your Kickstarter is launched to get our press release out.
- Do take days to get back to interested media to schedule interviews.
- Do offend at least one special interest group.
- Do require a committee to sign off on every FAQ, press interaction, or comment you write.
- Don’t learn to use Twitter, it’s only for kids and celebrities!
- Don’t do your marketing or media plan until after launch.
- Don’t get your team and most avid fans talking about your project in the social media.
- Don’t think about how to widen your game’s audience until after launch.
- Don’t send out an update until at least a week after you launch, you are way too busy!
- Don’t do a Reddit AMA or otherwise reach out to the social networks to answer questions.
- Don’t reach out to your LinkedIn or address book to ask industry colleagues for help.
- Don’t contact local press and media, your project is boring.
- Do schedule yourself to be out of town for the final days of your Kickstarter.
That said, we did do several things well, so, in balance, I will offer 10 of those as well:
- Do communicate your passion and personal desire to build your game.
- Do create a professional, engaging, and compelling video.
- Do reach out to the fan community in advance.
- Do research and contribute to many other Kickstarters before you do your own.
- Do send out fan wallpaper and other goodies to get people excited about your project.
- Do respond to comments and posts on your Kickstarter page at least daily.
- Do come up with some exclusive and creative rewards for your VIPs.
- Do plan in advance with the media to have a respected blogger ‘break’ your announcement.
- Do get a celebrity or industry lead (Trip, in our case) to endorse your project.
- Do not give up if your first Kickstarter does not succeed!
This is not the end, only a lesson to be learned. We look forward to applying our wisdom to another Kickstarter very soon!