7 Tips for Running a Successful Kickstarter Campaign
#1) Acknowledge the good
According to scientists, our brains are hard-wired to focus on the negative. They call it the negativity bias. “Your brain is simply built with a greater sensitivity to unpleasant news,” scientists say. “The bias is so automatic that it can be detected at the earliest stage of the brain’s information processing… [it] most likely evolved to keep us out of harm’s way [and] to dodge danger.”
Well that sounds pretty….negative…doesn’t it? Like we’re destined to be pushing the boulder uphill all our lives.
But here’s the thing. I also know that what we focus on expands. So in order to be, think, and feel positive and excited about the Kickstarter campaign, and to attract more supporters, I had to maintain a positive mental attitude. Otherwise, I was going to start thinking “woe is me” and get stuck in the muck of negativity. That kind of attitude would have drained my energy and repelled backers for the project.
So I started by making a list of the blessings in my life and the successes in my business. I reviewed the list daily and continued adding to it. It was actually fun and exciting to uncover things that had been buried for a while. Like the time I was interviewed for a job at Goldman Sachs. The cocky guy who interviewed me asked how much I wanted the job. “Do you want me to stand on my head?” I asked him. I guess I can be a little cocky, too. Lucky for me, he didn’t ask me to do that. And he hired me.
#2) Gratitude Attitude
My day always starts with blessings of thanks to my Creator. Before I jump slowly pull myself out of bed, I say “Modeh ani lefanecha Melech Chai v’Kayam,” I am thankful before You Everlasting and Living G-d.
But I’ve got to be honest – saying the same thing every single day means it’s easy to turn off my brain and say my prayers of thanks by rote.
I’ve always loved the idea of a gratitude journal to anchor in my feelings and beliefs. And here and there I’ve consistently journaled for a few days in a row. But I haven’t (yet) made the habit stick. During the last week of the Kickstarter, I made it my business to write my gratitude list to G-d. Sometimes several times a day. That list and the process of writing it down etched into my brain the abundance of blessings that I enjoy. It reinforced the reality that G-d watches over me always. He wants the best for me and He has a track record for pulling through and getting the job done! I am eternally grateful.
And I trust(ed) that He continues to support me.
While we’re on the topic of etching things into our brains, I also adopted the practice of writing affirmations. To the uninitiated, affirmations may sound wacky and a little woo-woo. But in reality, they’re simply motivational statements that I use to help me think positive thoughts.
Because here’s the key: your thoughts impact your feelings, and your feelings impact your actions. So, writing affirmations to stay upbeat and high vibe meant that I continued to show up with confidence and to promote my book. If I had chosen to focus on how slowly the pledges were coming in, I would have ended up going down the rabbit hole of despair.
In day-to-day life, we actually use verbal affirmations all the time. I use them with my kids when I tell them how much I love them, what a great job they’re doing and how proud we are of them.
Adults are big kids! We also need positive reinforcement to feel good about ourselves and to fight our mind monkeys. Here’s a list of ten affirmations I used:
- I have everything I need right now.
- G-d has a track record. He always takes care of me and gives me exactly what I need.
- I am a winner. I always win big.
- Money flows to me effortlessly.
- I am a lucky person. I feel lucky today.
- People love to pay me money.
- Something wonderful is happening to me today. I can feel it.
- I am grateful for all the money I have right now.
- G-d is abundant and gives me so much more than I need.
- I always have plenty of money.
Since many of these statements affirm what I have right now, they reinforce my feelings of abundance and push aside a scarcity mindset.
I love using the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) also called tapping to release stress. I won’t kid you and make believe that I wasn’t stressed about the campaign. After all, I’m human and I was. Because I really wanted the Kickstarter to succeed so I can bring my gift and my book to the world. So I threw everything I’ve got at it – affirmations, gratitude, tapping. Whatever it takes.
EFT works by tapping lightly on your body’s acupressure points while simultaneously talking out and releasing negative energy, like stress, from your body. Tapping sends signals to the emotional center of your brain (the amygdala) to calm the stress response. Stress blocks the flow of positive energy in your body. Sometimes I tapped out the negative by focusing on it and saying out loud “all this stress” as I tapped. Other times, I tapped in the positive using my affirmations.
Visualization involves creating the mental image of the goal you want to reach. It means clearly seeing that goal in your mind as if you have already achieved it. And feeling the feelings – the excitement and the euphoria – that you’ll experience when you arrive.
People set goals all the time. Especially at New Years – but by February, U.S. News reports, eighty percent of New Year’s resolutions fail. While there are many reasons for failure, one of them is that people don’t really believe they can achieve what they want. It’s too far away. Untouchable. Visualization enables you to step into your goal and connect with the reality of a different future.
As I dropped into bed, exhausted, during the last three nights of the campaign I visualized the number – the dollar value of the pledges – that I would see on the computer screen the next morning. Wednesday was good. But Thursday morning the campaign hadn’t come close to my goal. And admittedly I had a bit of an emotional setback. But throughout the day, as more and more pledges came in, the campaign topped $5,000. Later that day I cried tears of joy when the campaign crossed $6,000.
Thursday night I focused on $7,000. I thought about $7,500 but chose $7K instead. And guess what? The Kickstarter closed Friday night at $7,064.
I wonder what would have happened if I had visualized $7,500 instead?!
#6) It takes a village
I could not have done this by myself. Even though I’m fiercely independent and I love to do things on my own, this achievement was beyond me. Firstly, I work with an amazing, heart-centered business strategist, Tash Corbin, who held my hand and guided me through the Kickstarter process from start to finish. In addition, a wonderful team of real life and online friends supported the campaign by sharing it regularly on their social media platforms. There’s no way I could have reached so many people and spread the message all over the globe without a team. We’ve got to remember that when we help each other, everybody benefits. A rising tide lifts all ships. And that’s one more thing to be thankful for!
#7) You have to ask
Let’s admit it. It’s not easy to put yourself out there and ask people to support you. Women in particular, whom I believe are naturally hard-wired as well as raised to be nurturers and givers, don’t like to ask for things. Especially money. So we hesitate to send out emails and post on social media. We’re reluctant to let people know that we’re selling something. We don’t want to be pushy or sleazy. I was a little shy about posting too much in certain Facebook groups and letting people know that I was running a campaign to publish a book.
And guess what? I learned that people are rooting for you. They want to support you and help you succeed. Some of them because it’s you and others because they really want what you’re offering. And if you don’t give people an opportunity to support you and to buy your thingy, you’re holding back on them. And you’re not sharing your gifts with the world.
So I got a little better at asking. I sent a “last chance to support me” email. And Sarah, one of my subscribers, was so grateful that she sent me this email early Friday morning:
“Real quick, I just want to thank you for sending out this reminder! I was planning to purchase awhile back and time just got away from me. Without your warm and tactful reminder, I would have missed this opportunity, both to benefit from your wisdom and also to help you.”
I got better at asking, but there’s still room to improve. Sunday morning someone told me she only saw the reminders Saturday night after the Kickstarter ended. And I know that some of my friends and neighbors have no clue that I’m publishing a book. I wonder what would have happened if I’d been will to ask even more?!
Running a Successful Kickstarter Campaign was an amazing opportunity and experience
All things being equal, I learned a tremendous amount about myself and about running a successful Kickstarter campaign.
Perhaps the greatest thing I learned from the Kickstarter campaign is that I should have scheduled self-care time for myself, both during and after the launch. While I am over-the-moon excited and filled with gratitude for surpassing the funding goal for my new book The $1K Investor, my body is tired. All that showing up, leaning in, and injecting positive energy into the campaign took its toll. A massage mid-week of the campaign plus a 2-day work holiday would have been awesome! It would have helped me keep my energy higher and more balanced. Fortunately, by Tuesday this week, I wizened up and scheduled a massage for Thursday morning.