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Seth Godin: Why Kickstarter projects fail or succeed
Many comic creators are turning to Kickstarter to fund publishing book collections and other projects. Rich Burlew raised $1.2 million; Jake Parker raised $80,000. Those are some of the major success stories. Seth Godin, author and authority on marketing in the internet era, has written an article worth reading on why some Kickstarter projects fail.
Kickstarter appears to be a great way to find fans for your work. You put up a great video clip and a story and wait for people who will love it to find you.
But that’s not what happens. What happens is that people who ALREADY have a tribe, like Amanda Palmer, use Kickstarter to organize and activate that tribe. Kickstarter is the last step, not the first one.
He basically preaches what Howard Tayler told me (who got it from someone else): “It’s easier to sell to an audience you already have than to find a new audience.” Bottom line: work to build your fan base, your social circle, your 1000 true fans. Then and only then give them something they’ll buy.
UPDATE: Johanna Draper Carlson has more thoughts on how to run a successful Kickstarter campaign regarding how much you ask for, timing in delivering the product, etc.
I am more comfortable funding a project where the work already exists, one where the creator needs print costs. This doesn’t apply to Lea’s case, but one of the reasons why is that, if rewards deliver within a couple of months, I’m protected if something happens and I don’t get what’s promised. Within 3-6 months, I have the ability to do a credit card chargeback in the worst case, if the provider flakes out. On a more personal level, it’s more rewarding to get a book or other rewards within a couple of months, as though it was similar to a preorder. Otherwise, it feels like throwing money into the wind.
Via: Point-counterpoint: What is Kickstarter for, anyway? (Robot 6)