Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Kickstarter Day One

Great first day! We hit 30% of our total goal on day one, which was right about where we wanted to be. The goal of this blog is to give filmmakers and artists a glimpse behind the scenes -- to reveal our successes and failures. The goal of my life is to help artists (myself included) find sustainability in their passion. We're all short on time, so I will try and be as concise as possible.

How did we hit our day one goal?

I emailed my inner circle a little over a week ago to give them a heads up about the Kickstarter. This list consisted of about 50 people who have been supportive of and/or shown an interest in my creative endeavors over the years. The only action item in that email was a link to our Facebook page. Some responded, most didn't. But the impending Kickstarter was on their radar. I then called or texted most of those people over the weekend. (I chose to do this during the Super Bowl, which was simply bad planning on my part. Maybe shouldn't have gone snowboarding on Saturday.) Monday morning, I clicked the green "LAUNCH" button on Kickstarter, then I texted my dad, my brother, and my good friend and Quality of Life Producer, Brant Smith and urged them to contribute whatever they could ASAP to get the ball rolling. Kickstarters that start strong tend to finish strong. People want to be associated with success. Momentum is everything.

My three cornerstone contributors confirmed and pulled the trigger. None of them are wealthy, but they gave what they could. And we were off!

I proceeded to email and/or text the remaining people from my list to inform them that the Kicsktarter was live. I urged them to act today to help build momentum. Then Mothers Milk Marketing Director/Associate Producer, Gracie Bingham and I proceeded to post updates via Facebook and Twitter. Gracie came up with an idea a couple of weeks ago to offer cupcakes with the first 20 Boise contributions over $35. This is a Valentine's Day promotion (we call it the VD reward) -- Gracie will deliver six homemade cupcakes on her bike on Valentine's Day to the person of the contributor's choosing. It's a brilliant idea because a) people (mostly dudes) tend to forget about VD (giggity), and b) it gives us something to talk about in the middle of the campaign, when most Kickstarters tend to sag. Several of Gracie's friends did contribute based on this reward. We will see if it catches on beyond our inner circle next week.

This brings up three important points:
  1. The majority of Kickstarter activity occurs early and late in the campaign. We are prepared for this dip, but we also plan to keep stoking the fires along the way. More on that soon.
  2. Most Kickstarter contributions come from people you know. While we hope that some strangers will support the campaign, we are focusing the majority of our fundraising energy targeting people in our circles. With that said...
  3. Crowdsourcing is more than just a fundraising tool. It's a way to rally general support and exposure. We asked everyone we knew to support financially AND to tell their friends. We will not have an advertising budget; there is no line item for this. We are relying almost exclusively on social media and word of mouth. When people ask "how can I help?" we tell them, "Tell a friend!" Personal pleas and testimonials are far more powerful than anything we can do on our end.
We are chilling out a little today. The energy and excitement around the project was phenomenal yesterday. However, we don't want to clog people's streams or they will hate/abandon us...He says as he posts another daily blog entry...

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