The initial misconception surrounding crowdfunding is the belief that upon launching a crowdfunding campaign, a flood of participants will immediately flock to your cause, resulting in hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars pouring in. However, this notion is purely a fallacy.
In reality, crowdfunding platforms serve as amplifiers; they thrive on the foundation you lay and the community you cultivate. It’s unreasonable to anticipate that a crowdfunding platform will deliver an instant audience. Instead, it’s imperative to lay the groundwork for your crowdfunding initiative independently.
This might necessitate a substantial budget. Nonetheless, we recognize that not everyone possesses substantial initial funds. That’s precisely why we’re presenting five cost-effective strategies for your Kickstarter promotion. We’ll guide you on leveraging your time and effort to maximize free publicity.
Before starting, we strongly advise the creation of a dedicated landing page for your project, a topic elaborated on in the “Landing Pages” section. Once your landing page is established, you can formally transition to the promotional phase, where you’ll undertake two critical tasks:
Assemble a committed crowd list of individuals prepared to support your project upon launch.
Filter your information, keep what is useful, and delete what is useless.
5 Low-Budget Kickstarter Promotion
1. People Around You
Creating a comprehensive list of individuals you’ve encountered or have some connection to is an excellent initial step in this process. It will enable you to establish an audience for effective communication. These contacts can be categorized into three layers:
Level 1: These are people you have a strong familiarity with and have engaged with in the past two years. When you reach out to them, they will readily recognize you.
Level 2: This layer comprises acquaintances, individuals you’ve met at some point in your life but do not maintain regular contact with. This category may include business colleagues, individuals you know through mutual friends, or those you’ve encountered only occasionally.
Level 3: These are individuals you have not met in person yet but have connected with through networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, etc.
The reason for segmenting your contacts into these categories is that your communication approach will vary depending on your relationship with them.
Once you have compiled all your contacts and their information into a comprehensive list, you can begin the process of eliminating those you do not wish to involve in your project. The remaining contacts can then be manually organized into the various layers, allowing you to tailor your communication approach accordingly for your project outreach.
2. On Ground Marketing
Broaden your outreach by dedicating time to grassroots engagement. This may involve distributing flyers to pedestrians, engaging in face-to-face discussions while seeking advice from residents, organizing gatherings at potential customers’ residences, participating in industry-specific events and competitions, and more. Invest the effort to seek out, converse with, and cultivate relationships with individuals. This approach is essential for showcasing your ideas, projects, and brand.
Interacting with these individuals is most effectively achieved through one-on-one channels such as phone calls, direct emails, in-person discussions, or even Facebook Messenger chats.
This method holds immense value as it enables you to gather customer feedback and insights even before launching your crowdfunding campaign. It empowers you to address any uncertainties and even discover answers to questions you hadn’t previously considered.
3. Other Similar Projects
Kickstarter boasts a plethora of card projects. When you delve into the top 15 most generously funded Kickstarter projects (judged by both dollars raised and the number of backers), you’ll notice a common thread: most of these card creators actively support fellow projects.
In the grand scheme of things, lending your support to other creators’ endeavors grants you direct access to their Kickstarter inboxes. It opens the door to forging direct relationships with these creators, affording you the opportunity to seek guidance on card-related matters and offer your insights if they seek them.
Above all, this approach increases the likelihood of establishing a connection when you launch your own card deck, potentially leading to greater exposure for your project. If you’ve engaged with them and your online presence indicates an impending card launch, they may start following your journey and ultimately contribute to the success of your campaign.
4. Communities and Forums
If you’re familiar with poker, you’ve likely come across platforms like Playing Card Forum and United Cardists. If you’re into Tarot, Tarot Forum, Tarot, Tea, & Me Forum, and Cult of Tarot Forum may ring a bell. And for card game enthusiasts, the likes of Board Game Geek and others are well-known destinations.
Card players and collectors frequently turn to these forums to seek information about new card releases, read card reviews, gather strategic insights, brainstorm design concepts, and delve into accessory creation, among other discussions. Consider the potential benefits of gaining visibility within these communities.
Moreover, securing (positive) reviews for your cards on these forums serves as a means to establish credibility. You can encourage your friends, family, colleagues, gaming comrades, influencers, or anyone else to contribute their thoughts and comments. These reviews can be prominently displayed on your Kickstarter page, complete with forum badges, ratings, and select reviews quoted as citations.
Reddit presents a valuable avenue to explore. Consider the potential audience reach on this platform alone: the /r/poker/ subreddit boasts over 250,000 members, the /r/tarot/ subreddit has a community of 320,000+, and the /r/boardgame subreddit reaches a staggering 4 million+ members!
Ponder the attention your project could attract in these spaces, and remember that these are just a handful of the numerous card-related subreddits available for engagement.
While Reddit’s user base is extensive, advertising is a challenging endeavor. The platform generally disapproves of overt advertising, and blatant self-promotion risks being swiftly removed, downvoted, or even leading to an outright ban.
To harness Reddit’s potential, your first step should be to accumulate “Karma” points by actively participating and contributing to the platform. By sharing relevant and engaging content, you can earn these “Karma” points.
This approach allows you to seamlessly introduce campaign-related information when the time comes, integrating it into the ongoing conversation rather than being perceived as someone solely interested in self-promotion.
5. Medias & Tests
Numerous professional video channels on platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok provide valuable insights into card usage and qualities. These channels boast substantial followings, with devoted viewers eagerly seeking recommendations from these influencers when it comes to new cards.
Similarly, these influencers consistently seek top-notch content to produce their videos, so most are happy to accept project pitches. You can explore options like reaching out to them, providing complimentary samples and project introductions, or even offering a promotional fee or commission to collaborate with them.
Should you manage to enlist influencers to test your cards and create review videos, remember to extract compelling quotes from these videos to feature on your crowdfunding page. Incorporate the videos into your updates and distribute them widely to enhance your project’s exposure!
2) Bloggers, Editors, & Reporters
Bloggers and journalists are inundated with promotional emails daily, but the majority of these emails end up in the trash folder. To increase your chances of getting featured, it’s crucial to provide them with all the necessary information upfront in a concise and engaging format, eliminating the need for back-and-forth communication that can create friction.
In essence, the less effort the blogger has to put into researching your project, the better. By offering well-prepared publicity materials and organized information, you make it more convenient for them to decide to cover your project. Keep your outreach concise, appealing, and personalized. Instead of sending generic emails, take the time to craft each message specifically for the person or blog you intend to contact.
Your email should encompass the following elements:
Links to folders containing professional assets (such as images, text, videos, etc.).
Project name and launch date, along with a link to the preview page or landing page.
The aforementioned methods represent five recommended cost-effective promotional strategies for Kickstarter. Nonetheless, if your project is substantial, and you have a sufficient budget, you may want to explore “High Budget Strategies for KS Promotion” for more efficient and robust promotional tactics.