Kickstarter Success – Maker Movement Documentary Shares Crowdfunding Tips
“Maker” is a feature-length documentary on the Maker Movement and its impact on society, culture and economy in the U.S. It ended up raising over $30,000 on Kickstarter with an initial $15,000 fundraising goal.
Having managed to attract 700+ backers to the campaign, the Maker team had some great insights for individuals looking to start a Kickstarter campaign and for creators wondering what it takes to be successful on Kickstarter. I’ve included our interview below.
One of the things creators find hardest is maintaining the momentum of their Kickstarter campaign. It seems like you’ve had a pretty steady climb upwards. What do you credit this to?
The community from the previous film (Design & Thinking), and the people who care about the Maker Movement. Because the community of Maker is very specific and passionate about the movement, we were able to receive a lot of support. Also, we wanted to maintain an intimacy with our Backers, so we created a Backer’s Map, which is a world map featuring the locations and countries where our Backers are based. We also put some effort in maintaining our Twitter, which has gained us a lot of support and coverage.
What do you think the biggest misconception is when raising on Kickstarter, and what’s your biggest surprise or lessons learned from the process?
We agree whole-heartedly with the founder of Indiegogo, one of our interviewees for our new film. She stressed that there is a constant misunderstanding with regards to crown-funding. People think it’s “Stranger funding”. It is easy to think that your project may be instantly successful overnight. That is, unfortunately, not how crowd funding works. Crowd Funding is more like community funding, raising money from your inner circles first, then from your outer circles, and eventually from strangers. In our case, our early backers are not strangers, as most of them are supporter and audiences from our previous film. After a week or two, new members begin joining your fundraising community.
How have people found your campaign?
On the first day of launching our project, we got the Kickstarter “Staff Picks” & “Project of the day”, and a splendid “Kickstarter Feature”, so that was really exciting. We gave our communities from our previous movie first hand info, and we’ve also got several blogs talking about the movie. This time, for social media, we focused on Twitter more than Facebook, and found that Twitter is a more effective and precise platform for building up audience.
What kind of video conversions are you getting for percentage that completes the video?
According the Kickstarter data, we got 43.27% of plays completed.
How much time do you devote each day to running/marketing/managing the campaign?
It depends on the different phases in campaign. In the beginning, we spent more time on managing, around 3~4 hours a day. Now the campaign is getting stable, we take around 2 hours a day. As the campaign is coming to an end, we will spend more time to give it a kick.
Any things you wished you knew before you started the campaign that you’d like to pass on to other creators?
We wish we sent out the press release earlier, before launching the Kickstarter campaign. It might bring more attention from other websites or blogs, and not just our inner circles. We only started to get press attention after the first two weeks. If we started letting people know about our campaign earlier, we would have had more time to prepare for social networking.