#Asia Kickstarter lesson #2: anatomy of a crowdfunding creator


I was on my way to meet my team this afternoon for our Kickstarter meeting and I ran into an old friend. She told me that she would be launching an Indiegogo campaign in 6 months time for her card game project, and I congratulated her for the courage in doing so.

Once I probed a bit deeper, however, I became a bit concerned about the amount of preparation she had made for her crowdfunding campaign. Our conversation sparked the inspiration for this article on what essential functions need preparing before running a crowdfunding campaign. This is based on the 2 crowdfunding projects I had ran.

Product development

In the case of a table-top game creator, you will need these functions to develop a prototype to showcase your product:

Designer: designs the rules and the gameplay

Illustrator: draws all the essential unique characters and items and the box cover

Graphic designer: design the layout of the cards, the rule book, the board, the card back, symbols, back of the box; place the illustrations within the cards; decide on the font of the game, and the logo design.

Procurement: source for a manufacturer and supplier for the manufacturing of cards, boards and components. You will need to know the manufacturing cost so that you can budget for the funding amount, reward tiers, stretch goals, and weight of the product to estimate shipping cost.

Marketing & PR

You need to come up with a plan to build your community, prepare a marketing plan for the entire campaign and create a network of social influences who can help you spread the word. The functions include:

Campaign page design: the first order of the day is to set up your campaign page and plan out a skeleton of what you want to write, the story you want to tell, the graphics and photos you need.

Graphic design: you will need help in designing all the graphics needed for the Facebook banner, profile pages, campaign graphics, project updates, blog and website.

Events, roadshow, conventions: many crowdfunding creators not only engage in online marketing. They also need to showcase their products at conventions, flea markets, or simply invite people down to try out the game. You will need to prepare marketing collateral such as brochures, leaflets or souvenirs to remind them to pledge for your project.

Social media marketing: you will need to start sharing about your product with people as early as possible and engage in forums or sites where you can contribute to the community in a meaningful way. Going by a “Giver’s Gain” mentality will help you gain support when your campaign goes live.

Backer relationship management: you need to provide well written project updates every few days, thank each supporters personally for their pledge towards your campaign, and encourage them to share the campaign with their friends and on their social media.

Public relation (PR): you will need to prepare a list of media contacts in major media outlet, including newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, online news, blogs and public relation newswires. You need to prepare 3 press release, the intention to launch, the launch date and the campaign result.

Photographer & videographer: a good campaign video and some product photos are needed. If you do not have the prototype, be able to at least produce a 3D rendering of how the product will look like, and what the components are in the box.

Operation management

Shipping and logistic fulfillment: you will need to determine how to most effectively ship between your supplier, your manufacturer and your shipping point; clear customs and value-added tax (VAT); figure out the types of shipping methods, and the complexity of packaging the different items due to the reward tier, and warehouse storage.

Finance & accounting: budget and plan for all the costs and make an estimate of how much you need to raise in order to make your crowdfunding campaign successful.

Holy cow! That’s a lot of work!

Running an extremely successful crowdfunding requires people of different talent to work together in order for the campaign to work. You cannot work alone! There are so many small details to look out for and possible errors which may occur due to the haste in rushing for the project deadline.

I will advise any crowding funding creators to start assembling a team 1 year before the campaign and for pre-marketing to start 6 months before the actual campaign.

Plan early and plan ahead!

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