Hacking Kickstarter: How to Raise $100,000 in 10 Days (Includes Successful Templates, E-mails, etc.)

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Hack Kickstarter
Mike Del Ponte co-founded Soma, which raised more than $100,000 on Kickstarter using virtual assistants and free apps.

I first met Mike Del Ponte two years ago when he was running marketing at BranchOut, a startup I advise.

Before joining BranchOut, Mike had explored a variety of career paths, including preparing for the priesthood at Yale Divinity School and serving as a peacemaker in the West Bank.

Earlier this year, Mike came to me with a new product idea called Soma. Soma is, in its simplest form, a high-end competitor to Brita water filters. It combines Apple-inspired design (e.g. sleek glass carafe) with a subscription service that delivers the world’s first compostable water filter to your door. From form to function, from funding model to revenue model, Mike was eager to disrupt a sleepy but enormous market: water. I became an advisor.

To launch Soma on Kickstarter (and raise $100,000+ in just nine days), Mike and his team used some of the techniques that helped BranchOut grow to 25 million users in just 16 months.

You can replicate what he did.

This post includes all of their email templates, spreadsheets, open-source code to build landing pages, and even a custom dashboard Soma’s hacker Zach Allia built to monitor their Kickstarter data, social media, and press.

This post is as close to copy-and-paste Kickstarter success as you will find. And even if you have no interest in Kickstarter, Mike’s approach is a blueprint for launching nearly any product online for maximal impact and minimal cost.

Enjoy!

UPDATE: Soma is offering a 7-course, private dinner with me at a historic mansion in San Francisco (travel included) as one of their Kickstarter prizes. At the time this post was published, there was still one spot left.

Enter Mike

How many times have you dreamt of launching a new product, only to let your dream fall to the wayside?

I don’t have the money to even get started! What if it fails?

In the past, these excuses held some weight, as bringing a new product to market could be incredibly expensive. Oftentimes, you had to prototype, build, and then hope the world wanted what you were selling. If not, you could end up with a warehouse full of debt: unsellable inventory.

Now, there are new options. Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and IndieGogo allow you to introduce (test) a new product before you start manufacturing, removing a huge amount of risk. If people like what you’re proposing, you can pull in thousands or even millions of dollars to fund your dream. At the very worst, you were able to test your idea without investing much time or money.

But planning and running a Kickstarter campaign is often done in a haphazard fashion.

To prepare for ours, we didn’t want to leave anything to chance, so we interviewed 15 of the top-earning Kickstarter creators. Their projects ranged from a grizzly bear jacket to a gaming console that raised nearly $8.6 million on Kickstarter. What we learned is that whether you’re successful or struggling, your Kickstarter campaign is often “40 days of chaos,” as one creator put it. Either you succeed beyond your wildest dreams and are overwhelmed with inquiries from backers, press, retailers and investors, or you struggle to achieve your goal and frantically beg bloggers and friends to spread the word. Either type of overwhelm can be a huge headache.

So, we got creative.

Using virtual assistants, growth hacking techniques, and principles from Tim’s books, we raised over $100,000 in less than 10 days. Having accomplished our goal with almost 30 days to spare, we are now relaxing for the holidays. The Kickstarter is behind us, allowing us to get back to product development as we get to know our new community of 1,600+ committed customers.

Here are the steps we used to do it…

Step 1: Start with principles that require less work and yield better results

We chose three core principles for our Kickstarter strategy. The hacks and tactics we’ll share with you are cool, but these principles were the foundation of our campaign. Make sure you understand them before moving forward.

  1. Minimum Effective Dose. MED is the smallest input needed to produce a desired outcome. For example, if you want to boil water, the MED is 212 degrees Fahrenheit. Increasing the temperature above 212 degrees will not produce a better result, it will just waste resources. We wanted to focus on the 1-3 things that would allow us to raise $100,000 in 10 days, and eliminate everything else. MED is described in detail in The 4-Hour Body.
  2. Outsource and automate. These two steps allow you to get results by delegating tasks and setting up automated systems so you can focus your energy on more valuable projects. The #1 resource we found for outsourcing is Zirtual. Zirtual provides US-based virtual assistants (VAs) for as little as $399. Do not run a Kickstarter campaign (or your life) without VAs. They will save you countless hours of work. The 4-Hour Workweek is the best book on outsourcing and automating.
  3. Prep and pick up. Chef’s don’t prepare meals like you and me. They don’t start 15-60 minutes before dinner. Instead, they prep everything in advance (sometimes days before), so they can just heat the food and make it look nice when it’s time to eat. This concept was critical to our success. Our goal was to do 90% of the work in advance. For example, crafting emails 2-3 days early so we just needed to click “send” when we launched. We learned about prep and pick up in The 4-Hour Chef. It’s a game changer.

Step 2: Find the MED for Kickstarter traffic

If you want to raise a lot of money on Kickstarter, you need to drive a lot of traffic to your project. And you want that traffic to be comprised of prospective backers of your project. Applying the concept of MED, we knew we needed to discover and focus on the best traffic sources.

My friend, Clay Hebert, is a Kickstarter expert. One of the things he taught me is a simple trick using Bit.ly tracking. Bit.ly is a link shortening service used by millions of people…and Kickstarter. If you add a + to the end of any bit.ly URL, you can see stats about that link. For example: here are stats for the shortlink Kickstarter generated for our campaign http://kck.st/VjAFva+.

Click here for full size image
Bitly 1

Click here for full size image
Bitly

To discover the top referral sources, we gave our VA a list of Kickstarter projects similar to ours and asked her to list the referrers for each project. Almost without fail, the order of top referrers was:

  1. Facebook
  2. Direct traffic (primarily via email)
  3. Twitter
  4. Kickstarter
  5. Blogs

Based on this data, we decided to focus all of our attention on just two goals:

  1. Getting coverage on the right blogs
  2. Activating our networks to create buzz on Facebook, Twitter, and email

We knew that if we did this, we would be listed on Kickstarter’s “popular projects” sections, which is how you get people who are browsing Kickstarter to check out and back your project.

Step 3: Use the 80/20 rule to focus on the best media targets

At Soma, we were fortunate to get a ton of press in just 10 days (Forbes, Fast Company, Inc., Mashable, Cool Hunting, Business Insider, GOOD, Salon, Gear Patrol, Thrillist, The Huffington Post, and many more). We made mistakes and learned a lot. This section offers our best advice on how to get the MED of press and succeed on Kickstarter.

The 80/20 rule teaches us that 20% of stories will yield 80% of your press results. This was absolutely the case for us. One week into our Kickstarter campaign, we reviewed our press coverage. Surprisingly, the post that earned us the most money was on a site most people have never heard of: www.good.is, the online property of GOOD magazine.

We stopped and asked ourselves, “Why did good.is outperform bigger and more well-known media outlets?” We discovered that good.is was in some cases 10x more valuable than other press because the audience is relevant, the readership is substantial (400,000+ unique monthly visitors), we got an introduction to a writer at GOOD, and we reached prospective backers through GOOD’s daily email and its Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Therefore, when making your media list, these are the four things to look for:

  1. Relevance – will their readers LOVE your project?
  2. Readership – how much traffic does their site get? [TIM: For a quick idea, I use the SEO for Chrome extension]
  3. Relationships – do you know at least one person who can make a strong introduction?
  4. Reach – will the blog reach prospective backers by promoting your post via email newsletter, RSS feed, Facebook, Twitter, and other channels? [TIM: This is the most neglected checkbox. Blogs that expect you to drive all traffic to their posts are a waste of time. Remember: big site-wide traffic does not mean each post gets much (or any) traffic.]

What follows is a 5-step process for making the world’s greatest media list. Your VA will do 90% of the work. We’ve included email templates you can use to delegate these projects to your VA.

I. Find relevant bloggers using Google Images

Start by looking at who covered Kickstarter projects similar to yours. You can do this by using a simple Google Images hack. If you drag and drop any image file into the search bar at images.google.com, you’ll be shown every website that has ever posted that image. Pretty cool, huh?

Click here for full size image. Below, the Porthole by Martin Kastner.
Google Image Search

Here’s the process your VA will use:

  1. Find 10 Kickstarter projects similar to yours, and for each, do the following.
  2. Right-click and save-to-desktop 2-3 images.
  3. Drag and drop each image file from your desktop into the Google Images search bar.
  4. Review blogs listed on the results page to see which might be relevant to your project.
  5. Fill out the following fields in the attached “Media List” spreadsheet: Publication, URL, first and last name of the writer, and links to relevant posts by that writer.

You now have dozens of blogs that have a high probability of relevance, all neatly organized in a spreadsheet. Your VA can find more sites like the ones in your media list by searching SimilarSites.com.

II. Research site traffic on Compete.com

Bigger is not always better. But it is helpful to know the size of each blog’s readership. Have your VA research how many unique monthly visitors each blog has and add that data to your media list.

III. Identify relationships on Facebook

This may be the most important part of your PR efforts. For us, eight out of ten valuable blog posts resulted from relationships. Either we knew the blogger or got an introduction. When we pitched a blogger without a relationship, less than 1% even responded. With introductions, our success rate was over 50%.

How do you identify relationships? Facebook. Have your VA log in to your Facebook account, search for bloggers in your media list, and add mutual friends to your spreadsheet. You can also search on professional networks like BranchOut or LinkedIn.

IV. Discover each blog’s reach on email, social media, and RSS

After witnessing the value of good.is featuring Soma in their email newletter, we completely changed the way we thought about press coverage. A blog post is just the beginning. Once you get covered, you need distribution. You need to reach your prospective backers through email, RSS feeds, and social media.

To estimate a blog’s reach, have your VA research how many followers it has on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and RSS. Once you make your short list of media targets (see below), you should also sign up for each blog’s email newsletter.

You won’t really know what your reach will be until you’ve landed each story and received a commitment by each blog to promote your posts. But don’t worry, we’ll help you get both below. So keep reading.

V. Review your media list and turn it into a dossier fit for a Seal Team 6 secret mission

Ok. So now you have a really strong media list…and all you had to do is send four emails, which we wrote for you. Not bad. Now it’s time for you to double check your VA’s work and create your blogger shortlist.

  1. Open your media list spreadsheet and look at the mutual friends you share with each blogger. Delete the people you do not know well enough to ask for an introduction. Email the people who remain and say, “Hey ____, I saw you’re friends with [name of blogger] on Facebook. Do you know him well enough to make an intro next month? I think our Kickstarter project could be a good fit for [name of blog]. Thanks!” Based on the answers you get, rate how strong your relationship is for each blog (1 = strong, 3 = weak). If your VA didn’t find any mutual connections, tweet or post on Facebook: “Please message me if you know anyone at [name of blog]. I have a great story I’d like to share with them. Thanks!” I did this twice and immediately got introductions.
  2. Spend some time on each blog and judge for yourself how relevant it is. Rate relevance in the spreadsheet (1 = extremely relevant, 3 = not relevant).
  3. For each blog, research the writers your VA found. Based on their past posts, are they really the best bloggers to cover you? Is there anyone at the blog who is a better fit?
  4. Now, sort your spreadsheet by relevance, relationships, and readership (in that order) to prioritize your outreach. Have your VA find email addresses for the top ten bloggers in your spreadsheet. At this point, you should only focus on ten bloggers.
  5. Using this template, have your VA make a one-page brief for each of the top 10 bloggers. Print these out and hang them on the wall like wanted posters or put them in a top secret dossier. Whether you fancy yourself a bounty hunter or the next James Bond, your mission is to find, befriend, and get covered by these bloggers so the dream you’re launching on Kickstarter can become a reality.

Step 4: Turn bloggers into buddies

The only thing better than pitching a blogger through a friendly introduction is becoming friends with the blogger yourself.

If there’s one thing we learned from our Kickstarter campaign, it’s that friends are incredibly generous. They will go to great lengths to help you succeed. Blogger friends are no exception. Some of our blog posts came from close friends who offered to help before we even asked. For example, this Fast Company article by Amber Rae that got over 6,000 Facebook likes and 4,000 tweets in just 10 days.

The key is to genuinely form friendships with bloggers. They get pitched every day by strangers who don’t care about them and only want publicity. Do the exact opposite. Really care about them. Figure out ways to be helpful. Hang out. Even if they don’t end up covering you, at least you’ll have a new friend.

Step 5: Get the story and make specific requests to maximize your reach

Once you connect with a blogger that is interested in covering your project, your job is to make it as easy as possible for them to write a story that is valuable to their readers and to you. The benefit of starting with a shortlist of just 10 bloggers is that you can really get to know their blog and writing style. Armed with this information, you can tailor your pitch to their needs. For example, after receiving an email introduction to a blogger at Gear Patrol, the ultra cool men’s digital magazine, I sent over this pitch (to someone not named John):

Hi John

It’s great to meet you. I’m a huge fan of Gear Patrol and wanted to pass on something new that could be a nice fit for your kitchen section. I’ve attached an image of the Soma glass carafe and our revolutionary water filter. Our Kickstarter page has a video and bullet points on why Soma is unique.

We think Soma could be a great story for Gear Patrol for these reasons:

Innovative gear – Soma is the world’s first compostable water filter: made of Malaysian coconut shells, vegan silk, and food-based plastic.
Sleek design – The Soma carafe is made of decanter-quality glass, in a world of plastic pitchers. The hour-glass shape is unprecedented in the industry.
Made for busy guys – Soma delivers your water filters right to your door so you never forget when to change it.

If you’re interested, please let me know how I can make the writing process easy for your team. I’m happy to send more hi-res photos. We launch Tuesday at 8am PST.

Thanks for taking the time to check us out,
Mike

The good thing about Kickstarter is that most of the information and assets bloggers need for a story can be found right on your Kickstarter page, including high resolution photos and the embed code for your video. We built a press page and wrote a press release. In retrospect, they may not have been worth it given the amount of time we spent on them. All you need is a DropBox folder with hi-res photos and 5-7 bullet points about your project that you can paste in an email. The key is to make sure you package everything in a way that’s convenient for bloggers.

[TIM: For more real-world successful pitches (e.g. Wired Magazine, Dr. Oz), see my post “From First TV to Dr. Oz – How to Get Local Media…Then National Media“]

Once you get the story, your work is far from over. Remember, you want to ensure each story reaches people who will back your project. So after a story is confirmed, make sure to ask the blogger the following questions, ideally in person or over the phone one week prior to launch.

  1. “We’re launching on Monday at 8am PST, can the story go live at that time?” If they say “no,” ask for the story to be published at another time on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday 8am-5pm PST, ideally in the morning. If they say, “I’ll try,” push for a confirmation of the date and time your story will go live. We missed out on a lot of valuable traffic because big blogs posted our story at night or on the weekend.
  2. “As a subscriber to your email newsletter, I always read the stories you curate and am sure others do, too. Can our story be featured in your newsletter?”
  3. “We’ve found that Facebook is the #1 source of traffic to Kickstarter. Can you post our story on your Facebook fan page the morning it goes live? Cool! And I’m assuming you’ll tweet it out, too, right? Awesome!”
  4. “I follow you on Pinterest and noticed you have like a gazillion followers. We pinned a new picture of our product. If I send you a link, would you mind repinning it?”

Once we realized how important timing and promotion were, we started making these requests. To be honest, initially I was nervous. I thought it would be more polite to not bother bloggers. But then I learned two important lessons. First, bloggers work hard to create content and they want it to be seen by as many people as possible. And second, bloggers won’t get annoyed by your requests if you’re polite, explain why timing and promotion are so important, and give them the time and help they need to work within the confines of a content calendar they may not control. The more you befriend bloggers and consider their fears and motivations, as well as your own, the better your results will be.

What I’ve just shared with you is a step-by-step approach to getting the most effective media coverage possible. I’ve worked with PR firms that charge $20,000 a month and spend three-months planning a launch. Follow our advice and there’s a good chance you’ll get better results without spending anything.

What I’m about to share, how to activate your network, is equally as important. In both cases you want to create what Tim calls “the surround sound effect.” Especially on the first few days of your launch, you want people to see your project everywhere – on blogs, Facebook, Twitter…everywhere. One tool that creates this surround sound effect is retargeting. For as little as $500, you can display banner ads on various sites to 10,000 people who have seen your project, but may not have backed it. I haven’t heard of many Kickstarter projects using retargeting, but it’s something worth investigating.

Step 6: Segment and activate your network

Someone recently asked us, “How did Soma raise $100,000 on Kickstarter in just nine days?” Our answer: friends. The secret to our success was leveraging our personal networks. Our friends introduced us to bloggers, were the first to back our project, and promoted Soma to their personal networks via email, social media, and word of mouth. Your friends are super heroes. Treat them as such.

The way to activate your network of friends is to give them a sense of ownership. Let them know they are part of the team. That way, they are working with you, rather than doing you favors.

Our Kickstarter launch team included three full-time teammates, two virtual assistants, one intern, and an army of friends. Our network of friends had a strong sense of ownership because we engaged them months before the Kickstarter launched. Here’s how.

  1. Ask for (and listen to) your friends’ advice. We asked for feedback on everything from our name to product design to pricing.
  2. Offer them “sneak peaks” that no one else gets. We showed our friends product renderings, pictures, and our Kickstarter video long before we released them to the public.
  3. Throw a launch party. Having a large group of people in one room, all excited about your project, creates a united energy you can’t create through emails, phone calls, or one-on-one meetings. Invite over 50 motivated and influential friends, show them your Kickstarter video and make a speech telling them why you need their help and exactly what you need them to do. The people who attended our launch party ended up being our first backers and our most passionate evangelists.

Segmenting friends to ensure appropriate messaging

I went through the tedious process of making segmented email lists for my personal network. Since this involved making decisions based on my personal relationships, it was impossible to outsource. It was annoying, but worth it. I exported all of my Gmail contacts, about 7,200 total, into an Excel spreadsheet. Then, I deleted 6,000 contacts I did not have a meaningful relationship with. The remaining 1,200 contacts were divided into three groups: influencers, in-the-know friends, and acquaintances.

  1. I identified my influencers using Klout, which measures online influence. Go to http://www.klout.com, connect with Facebook, select “friends” from the drop down menu in the upper right hand corner of the screen, then click on the “top klout score” tab half-way down the page on the right. This will show all of your Facebook friends, ranked by Klout score. Anyone with a Klout above 60 was put on my influencer list. Our goal for this group was for everyone to share Soma on Facebook and Twitter, right when we launched, to create the surround sound effect.
  2. My in-the-know friends were already aware of Soma. They knew about the Kickstarter campaign, and that we wanted them to back our project and spread the word. The people in this group, regardless of their Klout score or financial resources, were ready to hustle for us.
  3. Acquaintances were people I hadn’t spoken with in a while. They needed to be told what Soma is and why it’s important. This group was by far the largest, comprising at least 1,000 of the 1,200 people on my master list.

Each of these three groups received a different email when we launched, which you can see here. The acquaintances received a mass email sent via MailChimp. The influencers and in-the-know friends each received a personalized email, everyone was slightly different.

Personalized emails require much more time than one mass email, but we put in the extra hours to honor our friends and reinforce that they’re part of the team. One tool proved to be a huge time saver. TextExpander allows you to paste any saved message – whether it’s a phone number or a 2-page email – into any document or text field, simply by typing an abbreviation. For example, when I type “ppush”, a basic form of the email above appears with fields for me to fill in the name, in this case “Joe”. It’s a must have app that probably saved us 1-2 hours a day in typing.

One tool that we did not use, but should have, is Boomerang, a Gmail plug-in that allows you to schedule emails. We crafted emails to our influencers and in-the-know friends the day of our launch, using TextExpander, then slightly customized each one. What we should have done is write and save these personalized emails a few days before we launched. That way, we could have scheduled them to be automatically sent by Boomerang the second we launched. This would have freed up many valuable hours on launch day.

Step 7: Use landing pages to spark sharing

Social Sharing

You’ll notice in our email templates that we often send people to landing pages we built for our Kickstarter launch (rather than to our Kickstarter page directly). We realized that most Kickstarter creators do one of two things:

  1. They ask for too many things (“Back us! Tweet! Like us on Facebook! Email friends!), which often results in people doing nothing at all.
  2. They ask for just one thing, which people do, but miss out on other actions their friends might do if asked the right way.

We wanted to have our cake and eat it, too. So we asked our friends to click just one link, which of course, had 3 ways to help! Then, when they returned to their email, we had a subsequent ask, which was to forward the email to others.

Why it worked: Essentially we were asking them to do just one thing at a time, typically just to click something.

Throughout the campaign we built two more landing pages. Each were meant to maximize sharing on social media, primarily Facebook. We included videos so our friends were incentivized to visit the landing page and got value. These videos were recorded on an iPhone. They were free to make and only took about an hour to shoot, edit, and upload. Highly recommended.

Landing Pages2
The emails and landing pages were sent out on days 1, 2 and 9, usually at 8am. We’ve left them up so you can check them out: Day 1, Day 2, Day 9. You can see the emails and Kickstarter updates here.

These landing pages were critical when it came to creating the surround sound effect. We know because every time we launched one, we got flooded with texts and emails saying, “Dude! I’m seeing you guys everywhere. Congrats!” When you get a lot of people sharing the same link on Facebook, it’s displayed to more people, who share it with even more people, and you get this virtuous viral burst that keeps growing.

You can make your own custom landing pages by using our opensource code.

Final thoughts

If you look at our advice, it essentially boils down to empowering people and making it easy for them to contribute to a worthy cause. Always try to empathize with other people. And take the time to say, “Thank you.” It goes a long way.

The best story we heard about using Kickstarter to derisk a business was by the founders of Hidden Radio, which raised $938,000 on Kickstarter. Inspired by The 4-Hour Workweek, they wanted to test out ideas as much as possible. So before building a prototype, they submitted product renderings to a few design blogs. The response was positive, but they didn’t rush into manufacturing. Instead, they tested their idea again as a Kickstarter project, knowing it forces people to put their money where their mouth is. 5,300 people backed their project, which provided proof of concept, capital, and a big group of customers willing to provide free market research. To us, this is a great example of hacking Kickstarter. It’s about a mindset, not just tricks and technology.

Although we stopped marketing our Kickstarter on day 9 of the campaigin, our page is still up and you can reserve a Soma until January 11, 2013. If you’re fast, you may also get a private, 7-course dinner with Tim Ferriss, which is the last reward listed on our Kickstarter page.

Tools

Zirtual – US-based virtual assistants. ($399 and up)

TextExpander – Paste frequently used text and pictures into documents, emails, and text fields by simply typing an abbreviation. ($34.95)

Boomerang – A Gmail plug in that allows you to schedule emails. You can also receive reminders to follow up on an email you sent if the other person does not reply. (Free)

MailChimp – A service to design and send mass emails. (Free if you have less than 2,000 subscribers and send less than 12,000 emails per month)

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing – This book provides critical insights on how best to position your product amongst the competition. ($11)

Brainfluence: 100 Ways to Persuade and Convince Consumers with Neuromarketing – A must read for anyone doing any form of marketing. The sections on pricing and copywriting will be incredibly helpful as you craft your emails, video script, and Kickstarter page. ($17)

Custom Kickstarter dashboard – We built this Chrome extension to manage our Kickstarter campaign. You can see your Kickstarter, Facebook and bit.ly metrics, as well as tweets and press. All updated in real time. You can even see Klout scores of people tweeting about you and reply right from the dashboard. (Free)

Click here for full size image
Kickstarter Dashboard

Posted on: December 18, 2012.

Please check out Tribe of Mentors, my newest book, which shares short, tactical life advice from 100+ world-class performers. Many of the world's most famous entrepreneurs, athletes, investors, poker players, and artists are part of the book. The tips and strategies in Tribe of Mentors have already changed my life, and I hope the same for you. Click here for a sample chapter and full details. Roughly 90% of the guests have never appeared on my podcast.

Who was interviewed? Here's a very partial list: tech icons (founders of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Craigslist, Pinterest, Spotify, Salesforce, Dropbox, and more), Jimmy Fallon, Arianna Huffington, Brandon Stanton (Humans of New York), Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ben Stiller, Maurice Ashley (first African-American Grandmaster of chess), Brené Brown (researcher and bestselling author), Rick Rubin (legendary music producer), Temple Grandin (animal behavior expert and autism activist), Franklin Leonard (The Black List), Dara Torres (12-time Olympic medalist in swimming), David Lynch (director), Kelly Slater (surfing legend), Bozoma Saint John (Beats/Apple/Uber), Lewis Cantley (famed cancer researcher), Maria Sharapova, Chris Anderson (curator of TED), Terry Crews, Greg Norman (golf icon), Vitalik Buterin (creator of Ethereum), and nearly 100 more. Check it all out by clicking here.

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532 comments on “Hacking Kickstarter: How to Raise $100,000 in 10 Days (Includes Successful Templates, E-mails, etc.)

  1. The suggestion to copy and paste the kickstarter image into Google images was brilliant. That pulled up the key blogs who have covered a particular Kickstarter project right away.

    Like

  2. Mike – your post demonstrates Elegant Simplicity. You’ve given the critical counter-intuitive knowledge, templates and actions on one page here. Amazing! Too many are trying to spend a lot of money to learn this stuff. Some of us have been funding outsourced talent in attempts to learn and create the GREAT Kickstarter campaign. Now you’ve opened the vault of life-transforming direct paths to real success on Kickstarter! It’s like spending time and resources trying to create the anti-gravity technology we know exists, and then Mike gives us the perfected blueprint with easy to follow instructions. Tim: We’ll meme this… but that’s going to mean A LOT of competition, which means more fun! Thank you both.

    Like

  3. I am also full of power after reading Tom’s books and articles. I created new product (bag) and I am trying to find a plant which produce it for me to sell.

    Like

    • Paulina,

      The challenge you are having of finding a manufacturer is THE issue facing most Kickstarter projects. Time and again it’s manufacturing that derails a successful project. If anyone can point to a resource to help solve this problem, that would be very valuable.

      Like

    • Each industry varies for how to find manufacturing. Networking is your best bet, along with some time and patience. Paulina, I’m in fashion too, so I may know some people who can point you in the right direction. If you want to chat let me know!

      Like

      • I would like to help my fahter to run his cloths company. one of many option is to have mercantile agency in Poland, another option is to find a foreign partner to could sell our cloths abroad. website of Vera Moni is very simple and it is only in polish. but if someone will be interested in this, I can translate into english, german or italian. I am receptive for chat and cooperation. Thank you very much.

        Like

      • Christen, you say you’re in fashion, would love to connect. I have two ideas I’m trying to suss out (to see which is more viable) and have been trying to connect with clothing manufacturers in the US. I’m currently in Los Angeles but would prefer to work with manufacturers in perhaps Detroit or New Orleans for reasons I can explain later. Might you have any suggestions? Would be greatly appreciated.

        Like

      • Hi CW!

        I’d love to connect. Can you visit my website (click on my name on this comment) and send me your info via the contact form? We can chat more then!

        Thanks!

        Like

  4. loyal means that when you give some project / some design to produce for some manufacturer they will not copy your design and they will not sell it with cheap rate.

    Like

    • Paulina,

      A manufacturer that respects your intellectual property is very important. How do you know if you can trust a manufacturer? Do you know of any cases where an otherwise reputable manufacturer took a client’s design and made a competing product?

      Like

  5. Yes, I know. my father has a cloths company. He produces collections for women. after two weeks from fashion show some projects of blouses were on market. I remeber when I was in Hamburg, in very up-market cloths store. I bought very expensive blouse and I was thinking I would be the only one who will have it in Poland (ok, maybe not the only one, but in my town probably nobody would have it). after summer I went back to Poland and my friend had almost the same blouse. she paid 20 usd and I paid 10 x more. have you every read a book Edwards-Jones Imogen eg. Fashion Babylon? everything by everyone can be copy.

    Like

    • Paulina,

      It’s true, everything can be copied. It may not be by the original contract manufacturer, however. It might be by another manufacturer that simply saw it and copied it.

      Like

      • My apologies. I only went onto your site after posting the question (ashamed…) I had a friend years ago who runs a clothing company in the north of Poland. His name is Czarek 🙂
        Regards
        Daniel

        Like

      • Daniel, I live in central part of Poland, in Kalisz. the company from north was Magnum Maloa? where the mail designer was lady named Anna?

        Like

      • Hi Paula. I think we need to move this off here not to abuse the hospitality of our host lol. Find me on 2010wlcc at gmail
        Cheers
        Daniel

        Like

  6. Mike, Tim,
    Your article and crib notes are a generous primer in online marketing for product launches, bringing a beautiful blend of low tech/high efficiency to the online ‘dialogue’ which marketing and pr has become. Though I work in this stuff all the time, and am a huge fan of Tim’s 4hww since it came out, I picked up a ton of fresh insights and appreciate the clarity of your methods, it is so easy to get bogged down in the wrong kind of analytics or optimization. This cuts so nicely to the chase. Cheers.

    Like

  7. Wow … this is incredibly interesting and highly relevant. Would you be available for a one-to-one should I require some further advise? Thank you and all the very best in your venture.

    Nadio

    Like

  8. Brilliant.. Been Saving This Read… Recently launched a fundraiser for my son’s soccer tour this summer in Spain and Portugal (which is nearly 50% funded in 2weeks).. Good to know I am using many of these methods, but there are nuggets that I will implement if it makes sense… Thanks for sharing….

    Like

  9. Mike,

    First, this was a GREAT guest post! Loved it.

    I am guessing that this will not work with Indiegogo because they do not use the bit.ly links. Correct?

    Thank you,
    Bill

    Like

  10. Excellent piece Tim and Mike. There is so, so little information out there about how to execute a successful Kickstarter campaign. I am launching one in late-Jan, early-Feb 2013, and have been documenting my process on my site…hopefully your writing here will inspire more people to share their experiences and tactics they used with Kickstarter.

    Like

  11. Great Article and I love the way you think. Do you think this way of fundraising is appropriate for Mobile Apps?

    I am in the process of raising funds for an internet start up for a Smart Phone App Project my team is working on and I think using a website like KickStarter would be very helpful in securing additional funds. I have also found a few others like Indiegogo.com etc… When I searched these sites I have only seen very few Smart Phone App Projects. Do you think that is because App start ups are ‘secretive’ about the new services they will be providing or are there other website that are more geared towards that market?

    On a certain level, the App idea is very focus and on the cutting edge of what is coming out right now on the App Store. There are a few somewhat similar Apps but nothing quite like ours and keeping certain ideas proprietary until launch is important to our team as not to prompt the competition.

    Thank You

    Like

    • Stefan,

      There is something called “selfstarter” you might want to consider. This is a DIY crowdfunding app that was released as open source by an app developer when their project was refused by Kickstarter. The app, Lockitron, raised over $2 million. Here is a link http://selfstarter.us/

      Like

  12. Holy shit balls! This post was awesome.

    Thanks for opening up templates and everything, wow. I’m in same situation of recruiting / cold emailing. This makes it so much more easy.

    Also that 3 button share website was legit, how did you build that? Thanks again!

    Like

  13. As I mentioned in an earlier post, we were in the midst of our Indiegogo campaign as this article came out.
    It went well (click my name for the link).
    Tim knows what he’s saying! (Someday we’ll meet).
    Keep up the great evergreen posts Tim!

    Like

  14. I love how you template this stuff so we can learn from actual examples, this is very exhaustive and a must read for anyone looking to Kickstarter for funding.

    Thanks a lot!
    @jephmaystruck

    Like

  15. Tim & Mike, I just launched my own Kickstarter campaign using your templates and “hacks”. We haven’t been live for even a day and have already raised $1000! Thank you so much for this invaluable information! [Editor: URL removed. Brian, please use the link for your name, not in the text body. Thanks!]

    Like

  16. I think this post is awesome and with many useful marketing resources. What’s totally new to me was the Klout service and the Braininfluence book.

    Thanks a lot!

    Like

  17. Wow. Seriously this is WAY better than some of the info products Ive paid 2k PLus for….And all designed for action! Seriously a colossal thank you! I wonder how many businesses you have saved or given a means with this excellent post! Many thanx!

    Like

  18. Good article. However, i assume it doesn’t hurt to have Tim backing up the project. His name and network seem to be major “kickstarters”!

    Like

  19. Here’s my attempt to replicate these steps on a campaign.
    Just launched today 01/14/2012. About $30K so far.

    Thanks Tim and and Mike! Tons of useful information.


    Zac Park

    Like

  20. Thank you for sharing! I’m working in a couple of days for a project stuck with 10% funding.. it gives me great ideas to help to restart

    Like

  21. I have been eating social media for breakfast, lunch and dinner since the new year with the resolution to get my company to the top. Reading your article was the best thing that happened to me today, when I’m wondering if this is worth it or if it will make any difference. I will spend the next couple of days studying your article and all the links you provided. My brains is starting to turn!

    Best,

    Argentina

    Like

  22. Can anyone recommend a venue to find VA’s? The company he recommends in this article is a little pricey. I’ve been using oDesk for a while but it’s hit and miss. Mostly miss.

    Like

    • Hey Adam ,

      odesk is great if you qualify them first and keep them on a short leash until they prove themselves and even after that keep checking in regularly to keep them honest.

      I’ve also had luck on craigslist ( Philippines ), But if you really want to take the guess work out of it and learn a lot more about getting the best results from VA’s check out Chris Ducker and virtualstafffinder.com he is the go to guy for VA’s

      Like

  23. Once again, I’m reminded by this article of the importance of outsourcing more aspects of business, including research and contact/media list building. Even if someone did it themselves, the criteria you list is invaluable, and I must admit I’ve never thought of securing introductions through Facebook. I’ve typically sought to be as personable as possible, but NOTHING replaces being introduced by a friend of the blogger or writer.

    Thanks for this inspiring post, nothing short of an explosive blueprint/brainstorm.

    Like

  24. so i have read your piece on this kickstarter stuff. I dont have all those capabilities. so will you back my project? its called zomb-body luvs you and i just launched it yesterday jan 28th 2013. its a line of zombie inspired shirts i drew and put on clothing.

    Like

  25. Great article. Extremely useful. Have you looked into how different scales and/or categories of Kickstarters could affect the kinds of incentives people are interested in? I’m thinking specifically about the claim that people aren’t really into t-shirts. If you’re looking for $1000 pledges obviously giving away t-shirts isn’t going to get you there, but if you simply want to get up to $50 from $30 it might do the trick. Also, depending on how locally-based your company is, wearable unrelated items could offer some street cred.

    I am looking to do a Kickstarter project for my pickling business. We’re called Uncommon Pickle and we’re based in Oakland. Any specific food-related advice you have discovered?

    John

    Like

  26. Hey Tim, thanks so much for giving us this valuable information. I haven’t really defined what I want to do when I get older, but I just read your book “The 4 Hour workweek” and I must say you changed my way of seeing life, I only have a $100 bucks and I hope I can began to run a business with MED, outsourcing and automation and with this pay college and then take a round-world trip 🙂 As for the moment I’ll see what I can do to start and thanks for all.

    – Jaime Rodriguez
    sorry for the bad english if I made any mistakes

    Like

  27. Hey Mike, is Sparkseed still going strong? I wasn’t able to find a website for it.

    We’re running a projected on Kickstarter for a social media video game hoping to open up doors around the world.

    [Moderator: Link removed]

    Like

  28. Thanks Mike and Tim. Very generous sharing.

    I have noticed that there is a layperson perception regarding crowd-funding that you just post your offer and wait, and hope, and if it hits, it hits. But from your (very comprehensive) post it looks more like a “buckle down the hatches and all systems go!” endeavor. To craft your successful campaign, you employed a great strategy and had a dedicated team.

    “Our Kickstarter launch team included three full-time teammates, two virtual assistants, one intern, and an army of friends.”

    You also said that your goal was to have 90% of the work done before you launched.

    For the sake of an even clearer picture of the commitment it takes to run a successful campaign, can you please clarify a few details for me (and all of us venturing into a campaign)?

    What was your prep time before you launched to get that 90% done?

    Were there dedicated roles that your full time teammates took on, if so, what were they?

    Were there any other roles or skills you wish you had had? (I know you had a successful campaign, but were there any bottlenecks of time or efficiency due to lacking an unforeseen skill set?)

    How much time and for what period did you require your VA’s?

    I want to help my friend have successful campaign, and you do such an amazing job at both making the possibilities magical, and showing how the magical is made real–through strategy, technique, and execution.

    Thanks for everything you have done and shared already.

    Like

  29. Mike & Tim-
    Thank you so much. I am a recent business graduate student from the University of New Mexico. I have been blessed with the opportunity to work with an amazing company called H2gO Purifier. My boss, Mr. Rodney Herrington went out on a limb by hiring me right out of college to help support his crowd-funding campaign. I am doing everything I can think of to make his dreams come true while making sure I can get another job in this town by not failing miserably at it. I am extremely excited and nervous all at the same time. Being able to read this article, it has given me confidence that my initial steps have been on the right track but you have also shown me ways to manage and measure those steps which I would have wasted precious time building and figuring out myself. Now I’m off to build relationships and try to introduce myself to bloggers! I look forward to following you! Maybe one day we can chat.
    Sincerely,
    Michael J. Hufford

    Like

  30. Thank you! I found this information very informative when researching and creating our kickstarter campaign. Hopefully I can report good news after our launch but until then, the marketing strategies here gave us confidence to move forward!

    Like

    • oh – I would also like to give you credit for utilizing your techniques. Please share with me how you would like for us to do that.

      Like

  31. Its great that you shared all this information. It a testiment of the ability to sell something based on the buzz you create for the product. I wonder if people would have been willing to pay so much for a product if they saw it in a store side by side other products selling for $25.

    Like

  32. Thanks so much, this is a fantastic resource that I would have paid $$$ to a consultant for otherwise. We’re launching on IndieGogo, could I get your developer’s contact info for the custom Kickstarter dashboard? Would love to hire him to make us one for IndieGogo!

    Like

  33. Hi Tim. First, let me thank you for such a terrific post on Kickstarter. I found this while beginning to study crowdfunding options and what it task to launch a successful campaign.

    While what the SOMA guys share is a practical blueprint on how prep and manage a campaign, I am struggling with something much more basic: how to categorize my project. My project is the launch of a typical dot com start-up. It will be a community site that provides benefits to both members and charities related to the travel industry (note: this is NOT a non-profit). It will not “sell” a tangible product as its core deliverable.

    So my question is this: how do you classify a “stereotypical” dot com start-up on Kickstarter that is not an obvious fit in any of their existing categories? I’ve been looking at current/past projects for similar situations, and I’m struggling to find any comparables. Do you (or any other readers of this blog) have any thoughts on this, or advice on where I can search further.

    Thank you in advance for any thoughts you can share.

    Regards,

    Tim

    Like

    • if its not in Kickstarters categories or if you are finding you cannot categorize it it may not be permitted by Kickstarters rules. There are many other corwd funding options which may suit you better. The real key to success is in the promoting of your project not the platform

      Like

    • Hi Tim Myers, I’m in a similar boat. In my humble, newbie opinion, the trick is to come up with tangible (as much as you can manage) manifestations of your benefits of your service, then “sell” that. What do you offer your audience? How can something that you can tangibly give, in the forms of rewards or otherwise, as a teaser/taster/representative of your startup’s real benefits?

      Someone said to me: “can you make a t-shirt?” when I was first sharing my ideas around, and I didn’t think much of it first. But it actually makes a lot of sense! People want to buy things they can touch.

      Good luck!

      And Tim Ferris and Mike, thanks for sharing this awesome resource. I’m floored, and ready to really study this.

      Like

  34. an amazing read. i really enjoyed this write up. have been browsing kickstarter for awhile and really love the ideas that people are constantly coming up with.
    kudos tim

    Like

  35. Awesome article. I was referred to this by a friend of mine as we are getting ready to launch a kickstarter campaign. It would be great if you can comment/provide more details on the prep time. How many days/weeks of prep was done before launching the campaign? I see that this was asked before and probably missed out on a reply (or I missed seeing it).

    Like

  36. Hi,

    Thank you so much for this post, it has been very helpful. Quick question- What if you do not have press contacts or friends well connected? I’m about to launch my kickstarter in a couple of weeks and the item is a food item. Do you suggest I send a press kit to writers with some product samples beforehand? Also do you have any specific advice for food based items and how to get strangers to contribute to your project?

    Like

  37. Tim,

    I’ve launched two Kickstarter campaigns so far, (http://kck.st/yLvOs2 and http://kck.st/JuVCUD) the first was successful, the second crashed and burned. What I learned was that I got cocky after the first and what I really needed more research and prep work.

    As I am about to launch a 3rd campaign, I’m in research stage (And the potential is huge if I do it right). Stumbling across this article is an absolute Godsend! I’m almost tearing up as I realize how invaluable the information is that you’ve provided, and at no cost to boot.

    I’m a couple months from launch, and whether this works out or not, I can’t thank you enough as you’ve given me a fighting chance.

    IN appreciation, let me know how I can ship you one of my prototypes.
    (I promise it’s something you’ll be able to use)

    Like

  38. Hi Tim,

    Firstly, like everyone else here, I am blown away by the information you are sharing with us. Truly amazing and generous of you! We are following all of your recommendations and have found them to be invaluable. Thanks!

    I have a technical question regarding the use of landing pages. I love the idea, but nowhere can I find out where these landing pages reside? Are they part of your website?

    Thanks so much,
    Cindy

    Like

  39. Tim and Mike, thank you so much for a well thought out post.

    My business partner and I followed it to the T and just launched our first Kickstarter last week. Check it out: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bentbasket/bent-basket-a-better-ride-with-design

    We just got featured on Coolhunting, Swiss-Miss, Notcot and Bikenet.

    My question is when did you actually see the bump after those blog posts? We get a little bump but our $100k goal is still far away.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    David

    Like

    • Awesome tips for running a KICKSTARTER campaign! Wish I had seen these before my campaign launched. These tips are very inspiring to those of us who are new to crowd-sourcing. We are currently at 12% funded. I know our concept is very appealing to the pet industry. My biggest hurdle is getting folks to watch the video. After the KICKSTARTER campaign is done, I’ll start selling them on my own website. [Moderator: Website reference removed]

      Like

  40. Brilliant article. Only problem I have with it, is that it pretty much assumes that you have 1000+ ‘friends’ of which a lot have influence in your target market. I only have a few 100, and maybe a dozen with some minor influence. Still I’ll definitely follow these rules when I launch a new crowdfunding campaign.

    Like

  41. Helpful info! My team and I just launched a Kickstarter campaign to introduce a new way for people to leverage their opinion and drive change by influencing decision makers [Moderator: link removed]

    Like

  42. Retargeting in Kickstarter: NOT POSSIBLE!! I paid the $500 and did everything possible to get some retargeting, but it was technically impossible to implement in the Kickstarter system.

    Thanks for the tip, I’ll implement it in the post-Kickstarter website!
    [Moderator: link removed]

    Like

    • @Jan: I reached out to Adroll to inquire about retargeting my company’s current Kickstarter campaign, and they said it isn’t possible since we “can’t insert the snippet of code necessary in order to build user lists that serve as the retargeting inventory”.

      I have, however, definitely been retargeted myself after viewing other Kickstarter campaigns and not pledging, so I’m sure it’s possible. Maybe this can be done using Adwords? Maybe someone reading this has experience with this?

      Like

  43. Hi 4-Hour Weekers,
    I just found this awesome collection of Kickstarter how-to articles! They work great in combination Mike’s article. Check them out. I wish i had read them before I launched my campaign.
    Introduction to Crowdfunding: http://bit.ly/121Emix
    Should I do this? http://bit.ly/13cOp3C
    Prepare the launch Pt 1: http://bit.ly/13yaN3k
    Prepare the launch Pt 2: http://bit.ly/XwhhNv
    Communicating with your backers: http://bit.ly/15aV9xJ
    Cheers,
    Jan

    Like

    • Those Don Lehman Core77 articles are great. Thanks for sharing.

      I’m in the second week of my SIMPLcase campaign on Kickstarter, and while my partner Ed & I have been following much of the awesome advice on this blog (thanks again Tim et al), there is a bit of a sticky widget that we could sure use some advice about:

      Our SIMPLcase is a fairly low cost reward. Indeed, our most expensive SIMPLcase, the limited edition tungsten grey with Kickstarter green insert is only $18 including free global shipping. To make things interesting, we added a couple of more expensive rewards at $180 for a hand made custom functional prototype and a $250 lunch / video conference consultation. We didn’t expect that those higher level rewards would be as popular as they have been, with most of them spoken for within the first week. We don’t want to do more of those, because they are quite time consuming, especially the customized prototypes.

      SO, we would like to add some mid-priced rewards, say around the $25 – $50 level. The PROBLEM is that we can’t think of anything really relevant and value added. Kickstarter won’t allow sets of single rewards, so we can’t bundle packs of SIMPLcases. We don’t really like promotional gift items such as stickers and t-shirts because, well, I’ve never backed a project for a t-shirt, and it seems projects that offer affordable product rewards such as ours, would spend more on the related item than on the focus item. Short of designing something else, I’m out of sorts on what we can offer in between our low and high priced reward levels.

      Any ideas or comments are greatly appreciated! And hey, if from your experience you can tell me that people actually like t-shirts and the like, please let me know and I’ll get on designing one 😉

      Cheers!

      Simon

      Like

  44. Hi Tim, I love the 4 hours work week and one day I will get out of 9-5 job.
    But this kickstarter article is pure gold. I´m planing on relaesing a kickstarter project, so this is just great for me. thanks a bunch

    Like

  45. Tim + Mike-
    thank you for sharing all this valuable insite! We’re working on our campaign now (as Mike knows) and this is really inspirational. Do you have any advice on what should go into making the video for our page? I like that yours was so personable, not pushy. Also, what any tips for coming up with tier prizes for our backers?

    Like

  46. Good stuff! Thanks for this post. Trying to get a few film projects up and running.

    If anyone here needs any film production or videography done, hit me up on linked in.

    Like

  47. Thank you so much for this article which must be considered SEMINAL 😉 when it comes to info re how to kickstart successfully.

    We’re in the middle of our campaign and I wanted to ask if anyone has any suggestions for a CRM / email handling system that we can use to keep track of who we have replied to etc and who we have sent Surveys to etc?

    Thanks so much,
    Ed

    Like

  48. Only question I have is your Google Images hack.

    If I load up a Kickstarter page. All of the images are hosted on Amazon S3. Those same images aren’t going to be hosted anywhere else so how exactly are you hacking Google Images here to find out relevant blogs?

    Why wouldn’t you just google the Kickstarter campaign to find out relevant articles?

    Like

  49. Soma crew has some great insights here. We were able to use a lot of these to successfully launch Nice Laundry socks – over $13.5k raised in ~12 hours. Check it out here:

    In one sentence, preparation is EVERYTHING.

    Like

  50. With your help I have been able to help myself a bit with my own indiegogo campaign. But it’s quite different from what you are speaking about here. Mine is a documentary film, and doesn’t apply to a lot of what you speak of, but there is some great info for people doing what you are doing. I’m sure if I had the money to hire a VA that would help me too. Or if I had the money to buy into those PR sites that Tim speaks about in 4HWW. But I have to do this the cheapo way, Facebook, Blogs, and Emails.

    http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/who-s-afraid-of-red-yellow-and-blue-filming-trip/x/502312?c=home

    I’ve been working on my film for over two years now and have had difficulties raising funds for every step of the way. I’m hoping this will be the last fundraising campaign for filming trips. So far it really is the best one. And I thank Tim Ferriss for the 4HWW and it’s giving me the courage to go out and stake my claim.

    Jeffrey

    Like

  51. Once again you guys are awesome. Thanks so much for sharing this information. We’ve just launched our Kickstarter project and came out of the gate strong.

    The dashboard has been great, and somewhat addictive!

    [Moderator: Link removed.]

    Thanks again. I know I have better tools to run this campaign because of this post.

    Like

    • Sorry- my bad, I didn’t think it was wrong to post the link. Had checked other comments and seen them there. My apologies. The thanks for the resources stand of course!

      Like

  52. Thank you Tim…your information came just at the right time…have completed our video…and was just asking all of the questions you answered for us.

    We have developed the “the silver bullet” for Literacy and Reading. At this time, we teach our reading method on SKYPE and in person to individuals and classes of from 3 to 30 students. Our instruction takes 2 1/2 hours for our students to transform from frustrated readers to confident readers, improving a minimum of two grade levels.

    We are developing our method to be taught online …One that teaches students how to read during one 2 1/2 hour interactive, online session.

    Our capital requirements are for the production of our prototype to be used in conjunction with our brain scan research project and study…that leads us to our final product. Would this be a double tiered presentation?

    We were planning on sponsoring students for free for each x amount of donation in the donors name or allowing the donor to receive our finished online product for 50% off our posted price.

    Curious to hear suggestions from you Chris and from others on this forum!

    Thank you!

    Like

  53. Very useful information. It helped me hit my goal but I will say having a network and email mailing list built up over time was crucial.

    We had originally thought it would be fun to run our Kickstarter drive for 100 days in honor of Napoleon’s “100 Days Campaign” – which started with Napoleon’s return from exile on Elba and ended on the battlefield at Waterloo. Turned out we needed only about 100 hours to get the project funded!

    Interested readers may search for “Napoleon” by Columbia Games on Kickstarter (live until April 14, 2013).

    Like

    • Hey, we just failed at kickstarter)) – but this gives so much more light into the crowdfunding. Especially the email’s part! I had this mailchimp account I never used and was about to delete it.

      Thank you!

      Like

  54. Am in the process of creating a full out campaign so your information proved to be a lifesaver. Like my current motto states, don’t analyse but utilize. It’s keeping me going for sure.
    Thanks a lot and special thanks to Tim for posting these case studies. Owe you big.

    Like

  55. I’m a writer/director and I want to raise £50k on Kickstarter for a short film to raise awareness of a feature we have in development. We thought we have all the copy and the vid done, this article has made me realise we have a ways to go. We haven’t launched yet so I’m so pleased I saw this first. Thank you for sharing
    Alexandra Boyd

    Like

  56. We are about to launch our Kickstarter for a short film I’ve written. There’s some great advice here. Thank you for sharing. Alexandra xx

    Like

  57. great advice tim!

    I was hoping to use the media list spreadsheet you mentioned but can’t seem to find a link to it. Is there any chance you could help me with this?

    Like

  58. Great article Mike! I am in the process of launching a ‘starter’ company and have been hesitant on which direction to move – search for bigger investors or go down the crowd funding road… While the article didn’t help me make a decision, what it does do is make sure I’m ready with all the information and tools that ANYONE would want to see in my product. It is a method for creating great market traction with a community of people that you essentially have some sort of relationship with.

    I love the details about virtual assistants. This is really the first article I have read that really demonstrates a good system for using them. I have read books like the 4hrWorkWeek and didn’t find applicable case studies to my lifestyle and business method… Your case though is outstanding and brings all the previous ideas I have read about into alignment so I can have my own practical ideas for using the VA’s now.

    I’ll share the Facebook company page to our new product once its ready to go so you can see how we ended up applying your method – and will perhaps be a case study for you in the future.

    Like

  59. We took many of the principles and templates from Mike’s amazing post and adapted it for our social enterprise Kickstarter [Moderator: link removed]. We surpassed our 25K goal within three days and are at 55K in less than a week! So amazing. 🙂

    One important mod we made was to change the order of the clicks on the share landing page. [Moderator: link removed]. We divided our personal e-mails into two groups, and the watch page performed a lot better than the original share page.

    Like

    • Thanks Meredith for the data on your A/B test. Since the moderator removed the links, just a clarification that the change in order was to:
      1. Watch the Video
      2. Share via Facebook
      3. Post to Twitter
      You can see how substantial the difference was by reviewing the bit.ly stats.
      We’re launching on Indiegogo on Tuesday. We were planning to change the order – and this was all the data we needed to make a final decision.
      Thanks!

      Like

  60. This is exactly the information I was looking for. Very detailed and comprehensive. Thanks Mike! Also, what are your thoughts on using this information that your provided and starting a Kickstarter Campaign for another industry such as a children’s book? Do you think it would take a lot of tweaking, or would the concept be more or less the same regardless of product? (Especially since published work on Kickstarter is known to under-perform) Any advice is helpful!

    Like

  61. This is full of ideas to help me back up my round the world trip project.

    Already captured the post on evernote. I will definitely re-read this post to digest all this information.

    Tim you a real life hacker, the quality of the posts in your blog blows my mind.

    Thanks to Mike for sharing all of this.

    Like

  62. Thanks for the fantastic How To guide! We’re in the midst of our Indiegogo campaign right now, and I was wondering what you put in the subject line for your emails to bloggers / press. I always struggle with finding the right way to phrase that first attention grabber, so as to encourage the writer to actually read the email. Thanks for your suggestions!

    Liked by 1 person

  63. Tim and Mike, you guys rock! I basically did everything you outlined but did not plan ahead. That is key! We are 91% funded with 4 days left. Zirtual is awesome!

    Like

      • Yes. I saw it this morning. Im very pleased for you. When Im ready for my campaigm would you mind me picking your brains with a question or two? My financial goal is closer to yours then Mike’s 🙂
        Regards Daniel

        Like

  64. This is a great tutorial! We’ve recently launched our campaign and our in our second week. The email templates you’ve shared and also the tips/hacks to find relevant networks are golden. I especially like the landing page idea. Thanks so much!

    Like

  65. These types of posts are especially motivating. To see how you go from A-B helps out tremendously, many times people will devise an idea and this helps bring that idea become a reality.

    Like

  66. Hello) Thanks for the article. we are two moms from Belarus. We have now started a project LocaMath-game for the study mathematics but there are not very good at it ((
    try to change something on your recommendations!

    Like

  67. This post KICKS ASS!

    I freakin’ love it. I’m prepping to do a Kickstarter to fund a record I’m making with a Grammy-award winning producer, and I’m just LOVING all of the super valuable info y’all put in here. Super inspired to get down to business to create the internal and internet structures to have an awesome and pleasurable funding campaign.

    Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!

    Like

  68. Mike and Tim thank you for providing this amazing resource!! My team and I have avidly referred to the information on this post to prepare for our Kickstarter launch. We launched yesterday!! http://kck.st/11hSKzV

    I decided to pursue this project sometime after reading the 4 Hour Workweek so it only makes sense that I find one of the best resources for a successful kickstarter campaign on your blog, Tim. Thanks again!

    Like

    • What happened on the 25th April??? You got a massive traffic spike according to the tracking through Bitly…

      thanks, Daniel

      Like

  69. It is information like this by great people that makes the internet invaluable. Thank you for being so generous. Knowledge is king and those who share it are special people.

    Thanks.

    Emanuel

    Like

  70. I’ve been surfing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all webmasters and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be much more useful than ever before.

    Liked by 1 person

  71. Great info. Since the majority of traffic is coming from facebook I am considering paying for a facebook campaign to promote my kickstarter campaign. Not sure if anyone has tried this.

    Like

  72. Just launched my kickstarter project using the share feature described here bit.ly/11AqRlt It was difficult to implement a lot of the other suggestions since it’s a hot sauce! Whoo hooo 28 day to go! If anyone has any other tips especially for food items let me know! Thanks guys!

    Like

  73. Tim, great article. In section 3, “80/20” rule, you mention an attached media list spreadsheet but I am having trouble locating it. Am I missing something or can it be sent to me separately?

    Like

  74. Tim and Mike – This post is amazing. For sure the best single place to model a successful Kickstarter campaign. Thank you from me and the entire team at Verbosity Online for sharing this valuable information.

    Like

  75. Thank you so much for breaking this down into digestible bite sized chunks!

    I’m launching an 8 part online business course for artists and I was looking for the best way to construct a Kick Starter campaign.

    This is just what I needed. xx

    Like

  76. I just wanted to say that I’m going through the process now and am using the VA email template as a to do list for myself. Since I’ve never successfully promoted a product before, I don’t feel asking a VA will help with me understanding the process.

    Like

  77. By the way, I haven’t see this website mentioned: http://www.kicktraq.com/

    I’m not affiliated in any way, so hope that moderators will allow it. It’s been called “google analytics for Kickstarter”. All projects get tracked live.

    Like