ComixLaunch | 002 – Is Kickstarter a Finite or Renewable Resource?

“The man who thinks KS is a finite resource and the woman who thinks KS is a renewable resource may both be right”

ComixLaunch Session 2: Is Kickstarter a Finite or Renewable Resource?

Today’s Session is Sponsored by PureButtons.

Purebuttons, your go-to resource for custom buttons of all shapes and sizes.  

Go to ComixLaunch.com/purebuttons for 10% off your next order of custom buttons.]

What is Today’s Episode About?

In Session 001, we talked about mindset. I asked you to think about how you would fill in the blank: “Kickstarter Is…”

One of the things I asked you to consider was whether you view Kickstarter as:

A) A finite resource, one that creators can and should use once or twice before moving on to “legitimate” platforms.

Or

B) A renewable resource, a that creators could go back to again and again and have success with.

Today, we’ll answer that question, and explore:

  • How my own mindset needed to shift on this.
  • What Was holding me back from getting into KS.
  • 3 Ways to Make Sure Kickstarter is a Renewable Resource for You.

My Kickstarter History

  • KS Launched in April 2009. (Think about that… If KS was a human, it’d just be entering Kindergarten… $Billion Dollar.)
  • I First Discovered — Early 2010, seeing creators post projects.
  • First backed- May 3 2010 – The Astonishing Tales of Kid Occult TPB by Jimmy Glenn – Unsuccessful
  • Backed 3 more projects before one successfully Funded July 2010 — “Healed” by George O’Conner.
  • Launched my first project July 2012 — More than TWO YEARS after backed my first project
What Took Me So Long?

It wasn’t because I wasn’t making and selling comics. (Convention, Webcomics, Online store, Paypal.) It wasn’t because I didn’t believe in or understand crowdfunding, as I “Crowdfunded” the printing of a webcomic graphic novel, raising $500 on my own webcomic site.

The Real REASON:

I didn’t want to waste my chance playing my Kickstarter Card.  (AKA I had a “Finite Resource Mindset” toward Kickstarter.)

I thought I might get only one shot at Kickstarter, so it had to be the right project… so I stacked the deck in my favor.

That project was the Oxymoron Volume 1 Anthology.

What I discovered

During the Campaign Kickstarter was like a 30 Day Online Convention. The KS Page is the table, backers come they buy, they chat, they share, the come back, ask question, talk comics, get cool art/specialty items…

Closed out with a big ComixTribe Live SuperShow, and ended more than 300% funded. (450 backers, $26,000.)

Put that in perspective, what do I know about conventions?

Comic book conventions are not a finite resource. Rather, my best convention customers are my past customers, people I sold a book to, who came back for more.

What I realized then, was that if I deliver the goods on my campaign, if I create a great experience both during the campaign, and then after the campaign is over, then KS is a renewable resource.

The data backs that up.

A recent comprehensive study of what happens when successful creators return to Kickstarter found:

  • Creators with one past successful project have a 73% success rate on their next project (vs 38% overall success rate.)
  • 2 – 80%, 3 & 4 – 87%, 5 – 91%
  • Average Number of Backers and dollars raised also goes up.
  • Comics far and away the most likely category to have creators return (almost 30% of projects are by people who have previously had successful Projects.

Clearly… KS is a Renewable Resource… for Some

But what if you DON’T Deliver the Goods?

I’ve backed a creator who’s ran a successful KS back in 2011… still no book. He’s considering doing another KS… this time to REALLY fund it. People extend a lot of good will… understand it… but when you abuse that trust, you’re going to spoil the platform. 

KS is an incredibly powerful fundraising tool, but it’s not an ATM.

3 Ways to Make Sure KS is a Renewable Resource and Not a Finite One

Need to get in your head that your KS isn’t successful until every pledge delivered. The most stressful time is AFTER KS is over. Every backer pledge unfulfilled is a weight on your shoulders.  So, keeping that in mind, some tips include:

1. Under promise, Over-deliver

  • It’s easy to get caught up in a campaign and start promising the moon, especially as you get overfunded. Don’t get stretched by stretch goals or make promises you can’t keep.

2. Communicate

  • Keep in contact after.
  • Use Your Updates
  • Communicate Delays
  • Don’t let comments sit or questions go unanswered.

3. Show Gratitude

  • Thank You — Two of the most powerful two words in the English language.
  • KS Quantifies things — Backer #s, Dollar #s, Pledge Level tiers, but behind every number and ever pledge is a real live human being with a name, a life, a family, hopes, dreams aspirations, and quite literally a MILLION other things he/she could do with the money they’ve pledge to you.
  • Show gratitude before, during, and after your campaign.

Capture_PureButtons

Episode Sponsor: PureButtons

When creating your Kickstarter projects, it’s absolutely essential to have a variety of pledge levels and awesome rewards for your backers. Making custom buttons of your most popular characters is an easy reward or add on you can bring to your campaign…and the folks at PureButtons can help. Specializing in custom buttons of all shapes and sizes, as well as button packs, fridge magnets, custom coasters and much more, PureButtons is my top recommendation for fast, reliable quality printing of buttons and more.

And now you can get 10% off your next order by going to ComixLaunch.com/purebuttons. 

This Session’s ComixLauncher

A ComixLauncher is a short, actionable activity you can and should do right now, or immediately after listening to the show. They’re all activities I’ve done myself, and will get you one step closer to a successful ComixLaunch. They’ll transform this Podcast from a passive, lean back activity centered around Tyler James, into an active, lean-forward activity centered around YOU.

Thank 5 People

Take 5 Minutes and make a list of at least 5 people who have helped you in some way, big or small, in your comic creating journey, and dash them off a quick thank you note — IM, email, tweet, public or private, doesn’t matter.

All of us our busy, but we all can spare 5 minutes to do this. 

Wrap Up

You know the old Henry Ford quote “The man who thinks he can and the man who thinks he can’t are both right”? 

Well, the man who thinks KS is a finite resource and the woman who thinks KS is a renewable resource may both be right… It all depends on the creator and how he or she uses the platform.

By under-promising and over-delivering on your campaigns, by being an excellent communicator, and by showing gratitude, you’ll be well on your way to making KS a renewable resource for you for years to come.

Final Quote

“The world will conspire to distract you… Your most scarce resource is focus.” – Jeff Walker

It’s so true.

Our most scarce resources isn’t money, talent, or even time… it’s focus.

But the secret to getting more money, talent, and time is through focus.

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