Are you doing an indiegogo or kickstarter campaign? Are you wondering how to make your goal when your mom gave you $200 but your goal is $5,000 and it seems so hopeless?

Recently I was approached by the marvelous Connie Simmons to help with a Kickstarter campaign to raise $20,000 for Landscapes Through Time, a public TV show focusing on the artist David Dunlop going to different locations where the old masters painted, and revealing their techniques.

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They had just two weeks left and were close to their goal, but wanted to make over goal.

This is the kickstarter: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/308907317/were-back-season-2-of-art-series-landscapes-throug

How did we do it?

First, Connie had the idea to buy the ArtistDaily email list.

This is the email list they bought: http://www.interweavestore.com/about-interweave

She wanted me to come in because she wanted to make sure the fundraising copy on the kickstarter page and in her email to the Artist Daily email list was just right.

We worked hard on her email, on the gifts they gave to their backers, and the description, and they raised over goal, over $30,000!
Successful Kickstarter

How can you reproduce her success?

0. Be prepared to spend a LOT of time to make this campaign a success. This campaign was several months in the making. They had to edit the video. They had to create the preliminary marketing text. They had to figure out the different stages of the campaign and how they would utilize their resources.

1. Look at buying an email list that is appropriate for your audience.

2. Get some help writing the email to this list, to make sure it is the most effective from a fundraising and marketing perspective.

3. Try to get some measure of fame before you begin a kickstarter campaign. This means not just getting a lot of twitter followers. This means communicating, consistently, with your audience, via email or snail mail, or preferably both. If you’re a 100 year old nonprofit with an email list of 40,000, this is going to work a lot better than if you’re a start-up nonprofit with a mailing list of 500.

If you are completely unknown, it’s unlikely a kickstarter will work for you. Try doing an indiegogo campaign instead. Indiegogo will allow you to collect money even if you do not raise the full amount. Kickstarter will not let you have the money unless you raise the full amount or more.

Just as BK Mendelson says in one of my favorite books, “Social Media is Bullshit,” (click through for my review) social media success stories are most often successes because the people are already famous. So it’s a rigged game. But if you can get influencers to tell people about your campaign, you might have more success than if you just tried to go it alone.

Successful Indiegogo campaign4. Make sure the prizes you have are meaningful to your audience. Don’t just give “warm fuzzies” or a tweet to someone. Give them a mug, a t-shirt, a DVD, SOMETHING.

If you look at Amanda Palmer’s successful Kickstarter campaign, she used her fame but she also used her network to get the word out about her campaign, and she had really incredible prizes too.

Doing a successful kickstarter means having prizes that people would actually want.

Look at TheOatmeal’s Let’s Build a Goddamn Tesla Museum indiegogo campaign. This had the goal of raising $850,000. It raised nearly double that, roughly $1,370,000.

Compared to these two exceptionally famous people, $30,000 doesn’t seem like much at all.

But the point was not just to get the money and sell the DVDs. It was a marketing event for the TV show. They would have way more watchers than if they didn’t do the campaign.

So ask yourself, am I JUST doing this for the money? How could I leverage this massive commitment of time and energy for this campaign into more exposure for this cause?

If you’d like more details on how to have a successful kickstarter campaign, why not read this book?

Have you done a successful online fundraising campaign with a microfunding platform?

What were your results?

Would you like to add anything to this advice?