The last two months have been absolutely consumed by the Kickstarter campaign for Pint Craft. The project reached its funding goal and will be produced in early 2013. (You can follow Pint Craft on Twitter and Facebook to keep up with the latest project updates – there’s also still some time to pre-order the game.)
- Find your audience before launching on Kickstarter – The best thing I did for this project was to identify a core group of people interested in the game. These contacts came through the early Print and Play game release and some initial outreach on Board Game Geek. While I don’t know exactly how many people in this group pledged toward Pint Craft, their interest got the project going at a high speed!
- Stick to 30 days – It’s tempting to stretch out to the full 60 day window allowed by Kickstarter. But it’s not worth it. Looking back at my funding progress, the middle three weeks were painfully slow. (Granted, there was a national election in there, too.)
- Thank your backers early & often – About mid-way through the campaign I came up with a template email to send out to all backers within 24 hours of a pledge. The simple message gave them lots of ways to share the project over social media. These messages helped me to form a better connection with backers as they decided to contribute to the project in the arduous middle weeks.
- Don’t be afraid of media attention – An oversight of mine was not reaching out to local and national media outlets earlier. While Pint Craft got covered by AnnArbor.com and Good Day Sacramento, I think I could have triggered this coverage much earlier in the campaign.
- Get out there! – For a product to succeed, people need to experience it. An impromptu game at Bill’s Beer Garden and a planned game at Vault of Midnight were both instrumental in attracting the right kind of attention to my project. Ideally, these events should be planned out to coincide with the launch of your Kickstarter campaign.
- Make a great video – If I could do it all over again, I would find somebody to help me make a spectacular video. My barebones iMovie did just exactly as much as it needed to do – but there was a lot of room for improvement.
- Advertising is for suckers – In the course of the Kickstarter campaign I learned about advertising opportunities through Board Game Geek and several other websites. During the slow middle of the campaign I seriously considered spending real money on ads. I am glad that I didn’t.
- Remember International Shipping – When backers add this to their pledge, these funds effectively become a pass-through. If it’s at all possible, limit the availability of international shipping or provide a separate method of payment so that backers from New Zealand and the Bahamas are each paying their fair share.
Now that I am wrapping up Pint Craft, I hope to get back to updating this website with some great, fresh content!