A question I hear frequently:
How can I find more backers on Kickstarter?
You’ve done all you can, you’ve reached out to your networks, you’ve run yourself ragged gathering every single one of your current backers, but the well has run dry. Now you’re wondering why Kickstarter can’t help you find people to back your project too.
Let me be frank with you. With many-thousand projects active at any one time in more than two dozen categories, you just can’t expect Kickstarter to actively help connect new backers to your project. They only feature a handful of projects as staff picks per category, and an even smaller sub-set are featured on the homepage, so it’s wildly unlikely that they will be much help. I’d ask, why are you looking to Kickstarter to help you when you’ve got a small group of excited and enthusiastic people who already love your project?
I say this time and time again:
Your backers are your biggest advocates. Enable them!
If you want to find new backers, who better than your existing backers to tell others how awesome your project is and why they backed it? Your best bet is to enable and empower those backers to advocate for you.
So, now you’re asking how do you help your backers advocate for you.
If you could sit all your backers who are willing to go “door-to-door” digitally down in one room, what would you tell them? What would you GIVE them? Images? Press release? Links? Videos? Audio? Think about what networks you’d like to target, and help shape your message accordingly.
For example, Twitter: Write a 110-character press release that includes a link (110-characters gives room for unedited retweets). Post this to your backers and encourage them to help by simply telling others about the cool project they backed that their friends can back too. You can tweet this out yourself and build it to be easily retweeted, or you can update your backers asking them to copy-paste the update in their own twitter feeds.
You can give your backers a little one-line “signature” to use in forums, blog comments, etc that includes a common catch-phrase of your project and a link. For lack of a better example, think if you were running a project to launch Pokémon. You’d want to tell all your backers to use the phrase “Gotta Catch ‘Em All” and provide a link to the project. Keep it simple and non-spammy, and enable your backers to tell the story of your project a little, because frankly their words matter and are more powerful more than yours in that moment.
Or, if you want to visually reach places like forums (and even Kickstarter): Create an avatar that expresses support for the project, and provide it in a variety of standard avatar sizes (60×60, 100×100, 120×120, 220×220, etc.) and teach your backers how to use them. This not only opens up opportunities for conversations, e.g. “hey, what’s your avatar?”, but it also makes your backers feel special that they can wear their badge of honor for supporting your project.
A great example of a successful use of this technique specifically on Kickstarter is Zombicide. Cool Mini posted an update on their project with a sharable avatar, and even gave instructions on how to update an avatar specifically for Kickstarter. Soon there were hundreds and hundreds of folks wearing this badge on more places than just Kickstarter, and then anytime someone asked about it, that backer had the perfect opportunity to share their experience and excitement about the project.
Start from there and put together targeted messages for each platform, but put them in your backers words, not yours, so when they share that message it’s personal from them – not a spammy re-tweet or posts from you.
Your dream is within reach! Good luck to you!