First things first!
Thank you everyone who helped make this dream come true! And welcome any new members just discovering Metro Mage. I hope I can provide you with useful insight on game design, Kickstarter, and community development. If you are looking for help with a project, follow this link to our Discord and message me there. I would be happy to get involved (for free!) For anyone looking for the Kickstarter campaign, here is the link. Thank you once again 🙂
What I’ve learned so far…
To no one’s surprise but mine, the beginning of the campaign was not what I imagined. I’m here to share what I’ve learned so far. Let me know what you think!
- First, Doing a more complex product would have been exponentially more difficult. I have so much more respect for the ambitious table top Kickstarters you see popping up… every week at this point? If I was managing stretch goals, 100s of components, and 100s of backers the campaign would not being going so well, simple because there is so much to do, even for a small campaign like mine. If I do move on to bigger products it will have to be with a team larger than myself. I would be weary of launching your own campaign unless you know how large you expect the audience to be.
- Second, a personal touch goes a long way. At launch, I turned on my Facebook and Instagram ads, sent an email to my mailing list, and started promoting the campaign on Discord servers I use for Magic: The Gathering. As far as I can tell, most of my backers came from the Discord servers. This makes clear the value of community and personal messaging when looking for backers and if you have a campaign that does not feel personable or human than it is not going to do very well. I have had dozens of conversations with strangers about this product since it launched and I know it is has gone a long way!
- Third, sliding into the DMs was a great idea. Two days ago, I pulled a muscle in my neck so I decided to work from my bed via the Instagram app on my phone. I must have followed over 600 board game, game store, and Magic related accounts and direct messaged at least 100 people/stores. Before doing this the campaign had gotten no backers that day and my account had around 700 followers. By the end of the day I had gained 15 backers and my follower count was up to 950! This was actually hours of work, as silly as that sounds, and it is quite tedious (at least when not talking to people and just spamming links). Again, a personal touch is key when doing your first KS campaign since you don’t have a mailing list and a community to lean on.
- Forth, I totally messed up my budget! I am almost too embarrassed about this one to put it here but, despite checking my numbers 20+ times, I did not include a major expense in my estimates… Even though this project is not really about money (it’s about learning Kickstarter and preparing for future campaigns), it still is going to suck if I wind up losing money because I was not more organized! This ties in to the first point, running a campaign on your own is really hard. The only reason this was missed is because there was 100 things to do at all times so I decided not to check the budget one more time before launch… If I had a partner on this campaign my numbers would have come out more correctly.
Nothing more to say…
I am sure I will learn more in the coming weeks. Thanks for checking this out. If you want to support the Kickstarter you can take a look at this link and/or share the campaign with your friends and social networks. If you play Magic and want to enter some cool card giveaways I’m hosting on Instagram, follow my account and tag a friend on the giveaway posts. I look forward to writing more on this topic in the coming weeks and months! All the best 🙂
If you are interested in a specific aspect of the crowdfunding experience that I have not mentioned, please let me know in the comments and I will write about my experience in that area next.
Question for the readers, what do you think would be the most effective tactic for getting the word out about your first Kickstarter campaign?