What happens to a creator in the opening 3 days of a Kickstarter Campaign

It has been a busy few weeks for Hard Wyred, culminating in a wild May 1st weekend. For those that missed it, we went live with our Kickstarter campaign. It got off to a great start thanks to the support from our amazing backers, and we can’t thank them enough. We are now 72 hours into the campaign, and 46% funded.

Speaking of success, we were top of the charts on Kicktraq on the night of May 3rd. Check out the screenshot Erik was able to grab. We later finished #3 overall for May 3rd. So an amazing start and we will hope to continue the momentum heading into Ottawa Comic Con weekend.

We also got a brand new article written about our Kickstarter campaign by the great guys over at ComicBastards.com. You can check that out here.

Well with all that news out of the way, we can get down to the reason why you are here. To discuss the tumultuous feelings one may go through in the opening 3 days of a Kickstarter (or any crowdfunding expedition) or possibly just the feeling one gets when they put themselves out there in the world. It’s scary, it’s exciting, it’s confusing, and I found it to be disorienting at times. I went to school for marketing, was trained how to bring the right message to the right people, yet here I found myself scrolling through numerous subreddits and forums wondering how I can work my comic into a discussion about fantasy baseball. While there may ultimately be fantasy baseball players who also read comics (I’m one of them), posting about Hard Wyred in spots meant for fantasy baseball is a surefire way to irritate a great deal of people. If I remember anything from my marketing school days, it’s don’t piss off people (it ends poorly).

What lead me to this near bonehead move was shear infatuation with my Kickstarter project. Infatuation also just so happens to be one of the 3 pitfalls that I have experienced so far with my Kickstarter (see what I did there.) This is what I have experienced in the past three days and may not apply to everyone who has run a Kickstarter.

1. Infatuation

Your Kickstarter is so shiny and new, you just can’t help but check it every 5 minutes. You swear the last time you looked you saw another backer pop up. This is the part where I would say it is good you are excited about your Kickstarter project. However, don’t be like me and obsess over it. You have a plan for your Kickstarter (or at least a general sense what you are going to do with it, I hope) so stick to that plan. The backers are going to come, or not come, whether you are looking at your project page or not. What you should be doing with your time is finding ways to either a) bring in more views for your campaign, or b) add value to the people who are already behind your campaign. Mindlessly fiddling through graphs in the early going did not help my Kickstarter any, but tweeting, posting, and sharing about it did. Don’t get caught in the trap I did and stare at those numbers. Go follow your plan, and continue being productive like you were before you launched your project.

2. Highs and Lows

This is linked to infatuation in a way, but I felt the need to write about it separately just to bring some extra attention to it. Every time you get a new backer is like a small firework goes off somewhere in your brain. Endorphins pump through your body and you feel like the king of the world for a brief moment. And why shouldn’t you? It is one more person believing in your creation, your dream, that what has been inside your head for so long deserves to be in the world. Yes, all of this is true, and you should feel a sense of pride for having someone believe in you. However, it is what follows these highs is what bothered me the most. You will have stretches of hours where no one is backing you, this is normal (especially for a small budget comic), yet there will be lows that you will feel (or at least I felt). You’ll cast doubts on yourself, your work, and (worst of all) your project, all because nobody new backed you in 3 hours. Don’t do this. You started your project for a reason, people who have backed your project have backed for a reason. Don’t let these down periods try to diminish what you have accomplished. I could just be crazy for experiencing this, but I did, so I would imagine that others do too. My best advice when this happens is take a break. You need it. Go workout, play video games, be with friends or a significant other. Getting this project set-up was a ton of work, so don’t let a lull ruin it for you. Stick to your plan, and let yourself come back to Earth.

3. People are not walking money signs

After you get a couple backers, you may start getting this craze to begin asking everyone for pledges. Resist it. It is fine to talk to people about your project, but do not harass people for their money. No one wants that. You know who has backed your project, but no need to hold it against anyone who does not back your project. If someone wants to back your project, they can. If not, it might just not be for them. You may have noticed that the friend who said they would back your project has not pledged yet, even though you sent them the link. No need to ask them again. They will pledge in their own time. I am not saying to stop promoting on your social feeds, just to avoid personal messages if you’ve sent one already. Treat each and every person with respect, and you will be just fine. I was tempted several times to ask people more than once for a pledge, but managed to resist. If I can do it, you can do it to. This is a project about bringing something awesome to the world, no need to spoil it.

These are the three things that have popped up for me during just the beginning of my campaign. I am sure there is going to be much more to come, but felt I had to share these ones. Hope it provides some solace to crowdfunders out there, and helps any aspiring crowdfunders in the future.

Hope you all have a good night.