1. Do you have a following?
I implore you, please…PLEASE get a following and create a mailing list before undertaking a crowdfunding campaign. Why? Well, I know from personal experience this is a MUST. Back in 2017 when Dillon and I formed SeerNova Comics the first thing I wanted to do (Yes me, not him) was to find a way to get money to make comics. I didn’t even think of doing the required research for a beginner in this industry. I was just trying to find a shortcut and thought oh, Indiegogo gives money even if you don’t hit your goal.
I had the wrong mindset from the get-go with that whole thing. To add the cherry on top of that we were brand spanking new to the community. We didn’t add any sort of value to it, we didn’t have anything to show off like a comic, art, nothing. We had a fancy LLC at the end of our name and a website in production. So, after Indiegogo failed which had a huge goal for no reason (we will talk about that later) we didn’t have a following at all. Now, if I waited and grew a following, somehow found a different way to get a few comic pages made before the campaign we could’ve maybe had a better shot at a successful campaign.
2. Make sure your campaign has a direct focal point!
This I also have experience in. Remember before I said I ran an Indiegogo out of the blue? Well, I did another 2 campaigns before putting Dillon’s suggestions into action (again…we will get to that). This time after 2 failed Indiegogo campaigns I made a Kickstarter which failed, but Dillon still was there to support me through this as we tried harder this time around. It failed for many reasons, but one huge reason was that there wasn’t a focal point on the campaign. See it was for The Indie Revolution. It was to help startup our company (another shortcut). The campaign was budgeted for us to make our video game, make around 10 comics, go to conventions, get music and film equipment as well. After the failure of this campaign, I finally learned my lesson. I guess 3rd time’s the charm.
3. Figure out how your backers will be rewarded.
Why is this part of the checklist you’re probably wondering right? Well, some people throw a campaign together and don’t think things through before it is too late. You need to figure out what your audience/backers will receive as a reward. Yes, a comic, but a ton of people that back crowdfunding campaigns like getting a few swag items like shirts, posters, variant covers, etc. Figure all of that out and make sure it is right for your campaign and it works within your budget!
4. Make it fun! Use your personality!
People aren’t going to want to back a campaign where the creator of the said campaign isn’t even passionate about their project. So, go all out if possible. I and others in the community have made memes in the past that center around our sense of humor while still focused in a way around the theme of the project. See?! You can make memes, have cool unlockable backer rewards, and more!
5. Create a video!
Creating a video for your project doesn’t need to be equivalent to Hollywood status or anything, but as long as it has good audio and isn’t over 3 minutes it’ll attract a few backers you might not have gotten without it. Plus, a video gives you an 80% better chance to be funded!
6. Build Anticipation
This sort of falls under releasing a campaign out of the blue because that is something you shouldn’t do. Instead, you should build anticipation! I use 3 months of promotion and marketing for a campaign. You don’t need to take that much time, but I wouldn’t just release a campaign and say, “Oh look I did a thing!” Then you expect to fund without people knowing what you are trying to fund. Yes, they can go to your campaign page to check it out, but most people like to get hyped up first.
7. Build Urgency!
This can be part of step 6 in a way. You still are building anticipation, but to build urgency you need to create a few emails with that fancy pants mailing list you’ve been building! In the emails make your mailing list want to back your project by showing them little pieces of the campaign process and maybe behind the scenes pieces of your comic(s). Don’t be so clickbaity because that could leave a bad taste in their mouth.
8. Post the time and date in advance.
This is simple. While you are building your following one of your many posts can be a teaser that shows a date of when the campaign is starting so again it builds anticipation and lets people know when it launches.
9. Create an exciting story for your campaign.
Storytelling. It is all about storytelling. You’re a creator so this should be 2nd nature to you. If your story within your campaign is exciting and explains what it is about without giving away the entire plot because if you do that then why should they back your project if you just spoiled it in the campaign? After creating your project and it gets approved, shares that preview link everywhere!
10. Proofread your campaign!
I’ve come across campaigns that didn’t do this and it is just like reading a book with spelling errors all over and it just throws you out of the story. You don’t want that because that’ll send backers fleeing your page before they hit that lovely back this project button. If you are alone wolf creator don’t be afraid to send the link to a fellow creator to help you out. We are all in this together!
Greg Moquin, is a comic book writer and owner of SeerNova Comics LLC