Ok, so you want to Kickstart your comic and heard I do crowdfund consulting specifically in comics and games…
People often approach me under the mindset that hiring me for “X” amount of dollars, will directly equate to raising “Y” amount of dollars in their campaign.
Sadly, it doesn’t work like that.
Let’s break down some basics:
First, is Kickstarter even a viable option for a new comic creator?
Yes, crowdfunding can absolutely be a viable means to raise money to fund a comic project.
One thing you must keep in mind, no matter what your approach, ultimately the crowd decides what funds and what doesn’t.
There is no formula, or undertaking that guarantees you will reach your funding goal whether it’s $500 or $50,000.
<Steer clear of any consultants making guarantees, even the ones who only get compensated if you fund. Those guys usually work with as many people as they can, making their money on the few guys who fund, and simply ignoring the bulk of the guys who don’t.>
Get out of the mind set that there is some sort of secret trick for getting money through Kickstarter. Crowdfunding is not a bank, just waiting to hand over cash to all who apply.
The real keys to capitalizing with crowdfunding and running a successful campaign, are preparation, organization and making the best impression in order to maximize your presence, effectiveness and reach.
Successful crowdfunding is all about increasing your odds, not about playing a game you’re certain to win.
Do you need a crowdfunding consultant?
* If you’re product is fresh, original and truly superior, the answer is probably, no. *
The best widgets (including comics) tend to sell themselves.
Of course, a good consultant will always bring value to the table, and where you could fund on your own with a breakout hit, you’re likely to go that much further with some professional advice behind you.
Unfortunately in reality, your comic is probably not the best thing since the Fantastic Four, with legends of the industry on your production team.
So, like everything in life, you’re left with the choice of leveraging someone’s experience in the arena or going it yourself.
You can definitely go it alone. Most people do… (with mixed results).
If you go it solo, just be prepared to spend a lot of time doing extensive research.
Jumping into a crowdfund without the organization, preparation and a solid plan, is a surefire way to fail. And I can tell you from experience many projects fail, not because the book was inferior, but because the creators didn’t run their campaign properly.
Much of the preparation and organization required in running a successful campaign is not very complicated. Like knowing;
- you shouldn’t start until 25%-50% of the funding goal is accounted for.
- that making that 25-50% the first 24hours of launching, dramatically increases the likelihood of funding.
- Videos over 3 minutes tend to lose backers.
While a lot of running a successful campaign isn’t rocket science, there is a lot to know, a lot of subtle points that span all the different facets of the campaign from the organizational to the creative.
Truth is, most of the time when creators reach out to me after they’ve researched Kickstarter “extensively”, at a point where they feel confident and are ready to launch–in reality there’s a lot of points they totally missed… a lot of things they could be doing more effectively.
In over 75% of crowdfunds I’ve been a part of, the creators were not ready to launch and already had their fingers on the button.
Remember, successful crowdfunding involves a strategy. A strategy that not just covers an initial launch, but extends over a 30 day period.
It may sound silly, but much of running a successful campaign comes down to your mental attitude.
Sometimes tough love, the advice you don’t want to hear will save you (and make you) the most money.
For example, let me give you two pieces of advice, most creators don’t want to hear and don’t believe it when you tell them.
Crowdfunding is not the place to go to fund a concept. It’s the place to go to fund the completion of a nearly or complete project.
Concepts that fund almost always come from proven talent with an established fanbase. The crowd is less likely to back noobs with a dream. It CAN be done, but you start from a dramatic disadvantage.
Crowdfunding does not give you an audience, you have to bring your own.
This sounds counterintuitive to the whole crowdfund concept, but believe me it’s true. The only time a crowdfund platform REALLY brings you an audience, is when you get featured–when a company like Kickstarter basically does your marketing for you… and this, you can never count on.
This means attracting backers is all about how hard you hustle outside the crowdfunding platform.
At the end of the day, when folks ask me if they need a crowdfund consultant or not, I ask them “how important is it that you fund?” If you don’t care if the kick is successful and are happy to start up again with an improved campaign, then full steam ahead. Live and learn.
But if you need the campaign to fund the first time around, it’s a good idea to bring an experienced head into the game. ▪
About the Author —
Nick Macari is a full-time freelance story consultant, developmental editor and writer, working primarily in the independent gaming and comic markets. His first published comic appeared on shelves via Diamond in the late 90’s. Today you can find his comic work on comixology, amazon and in select stores around the U.S. Visit NickMacari.com for social media contacts and news on his latest releases.