If you really want to get your creative project done, look no further than kickstarter, your new business coach… along with Jessica’s 1-page project check sheet below.
Kickstarter is an online crowdfunding platform that solicits funds “from the collective” to realize creative dreams and projects.
As the creator of Kika the Upside Down Girl, a kid’s book about a young gymnast-in-the-making who loves living her life upside down despite the pressures to remain right side up, I thought long and hard about how I could get this story published. Once I decided self-publishing was the way to go, and that kickstarter was the best platform for my project, the real work began
For those new to crowdfunding, kickstarter’s definition may help: “Crowdfunding is the collective effort of individuals who network and pool their money, via the internet, to support individual and/or group creative efforts. Kickstarter funds the future.”
And why does it exist according to kickstarter – “We believe that creative projects make for a better world, and we’re thrilled to help support new ones. Building a community of backers around an idea is an amazing way to make something new. Kickstarter is full of projects, big and small, that are brought to life through the direct support of people like you. Since our launch in 2009, more than 4.6 million people have pledged over $753 million, funding more than 47,000 creative projects.”
Crowdfunding is changing the way things get done. In order to run a successful kickstarter campaign, and raise the funds you seek, one needs to be highly disciplined, focused, realistic and creative – the very skills that most business coaches focus on! One can never hear enough reminders of this….and more on what it takes here.
In thinking about how to realize Kika the Upside Down Girl, I thought hiring a coach would be best. I was clear on my goals for Kika the book, but unsure how to structure my work. So I thought about it – a lot – and when I saw amazing projects get funded online, I thought, “there is no reason that Kika the Upside Down Girl can not be added to the successful campaigns list!” If you know me at all, you know I like challenges – perhaps a result of those challenging sessions in the gym training as an elite athlete.
To run a successful kickstarter campaign, all your ducks (or whatever you want to line up!) need to be lined up in a row. This includes a compelling product/service, appealing pitch video, a clear project description, enticing rewards, and, most importantly, an engaged community of potential backers. Feeling excited and a bit overwhelmed, I get to work on all components.
But wait, I need structure right? Maybe I need a coach after all…can I actually create all the conditions for a successful campaign so that I can self–publish Kika the Upside Down Girl?!
Yes, start small. Make a list. Create structure. You can do this. What follows is what I did, and continue to do, to realize my dream of inspiring kids to live life fully through Kika’s story (btw – much if this and other great advice on kickstarter’s website).
Jessica’s one-page kickstarter check sheet:
- Platform (what to use, sign up, banking, etc.)
- Illustrations (who, when, how much, authors role, final files, etc.)
- Design (text font, layout, pages, binding, bar codes, dedication, covers, etc.)
- Printing (timing, cost, options, amounts, re-prints)
- Mailing/Distribution (costs in Can, US and Int’l, envelopes,
- Project description (text, photos, profile, etc.)
- Campaign rewards (levels, amounts, Sourcing, confirming collaborators, etc.)
- Campaign updates (text, video and photo content and scheduling)
- Network (current, potential, email, social media, gymnastics, parents, etc.)
- Communications (content creation, blog, social media, mailchimp, scheduling, etc.)
It’s a very basic outline of the things I know need attention throughout the campaign. By updating my check sheet weekly, I can see how I am moving forward in each section (or not!), while simultaneously keeping the big picture in mind. There is no way I could do this alone, and so I have asked for help (paid and unpaid) in the areas I need it most (video editing & social media), and am so thankful for everyone’s input and support thus far. I will write about my amazing “Kika enablers” in an upcoming post. All I can say is that I didn’t even know I needed a book designer to put it all together until I met Naomi Rose! I feel so fortunate to be learning from, and collaborating with, so many talented people.
Of course, there is more to it than this, including backing other kickstarter projects and researching what other creators have done to be successful. I hope this snapshot gives you a sense of what goes into planning a crowdfunding campaign – one that is poised to be successful!
I am feeling good about my campaign preparations. There is always more to do, but more than anything, I truly hope Kika can inspire kid who may feel a little bit upside down in a right side up world to be all that they can be.
So, before hiring your business coach (and I do love great business coaches!) for project support, consider a kickstarter campaign – it will kick you where it counts to do the work that matters.