How to Run a Killer Indiegogo Campaign Without Crying Yourself to Sleep at Night
With minimal mental breakdowns and moments of self-loathing, Still Poetry Photography has ever so successfully run their very first marketing campaign for Sarah Henry's first publication, intricacies are just cracks in the wall.
With the scrappy, motley crew of me, myself, and I, I was able to grow enough of a following to support the premiere of a book I'm super excited about.
But enough about me. You're here to learn how you can run your own campaign, right? Well, my fellow creators, here is the meager knowledge I can pass on to those who have dreams just like me.
1. The Campaign Starts WAY Before the Campaign Starts
You've got an idea? A book? A film? A blender that makes smoothies and does your laundry at the same time? Sweet! Congratulations of your spark of ingenuity.
The downfall of every project that has ever failed was because the creator assumed one thing.
"If I build it, they will come."
If only that were true. My job would be both way easier and also obsolete; every time I posted a product, people would buy it, but then no one would hire me as a marketer.
I created Still Poetry Photography's Facebook page on May 16, 2016.
That's right, folks. I created my primary platform for marketing intricacies are just cracks in the wall before the novel was even a twinkle in my little eye.
I've been building a creative platform almost ever since I picked up a camera. The time it takes to build a page organically is absolutely ridiculous that it's almost unfair. But because I've been constantly building relationships with clients, proving my creative worth to my followers, and interacting with everyone who comments and leaves messages, the people who eventually became the backers for my project had enough faith in me as a creator to buy the book and all the other fun perks we offered to celebrate the premiere.
Not only do you have to build a community, but you need to hype the product before launch day. According to The Rule of Seven, it takes a consumer seven times before they even begin to notice your product and possibly take action towards supporting it. I kept people updated on the film adaptation, I launched a premiere of the book by hosting a poetry reading and author talk back, I posted sneak previews of some of the poems and graphic designs, and I wrote blogs about the upcoming release.
This process started in January. The campaign went live in July.
People knew about the campaign far enough in advance that the day it launched, people were ready to purchase, because they knew enough about the product to trust me with their money.
2. Media is Everything
I will admit that as a photographer/videographer/writer that I might be a bit biased when it comes to this category, but I maintain that with crappy photos of your product, error-ridden prose describing your goals, and poorly shot footage of the idea you're promoting, no one, except maybe a really supportive aunt, will support your campaign.
If I see poor product photography or terrible copy, I just don't trust the person enough to hand them my money. This holds true even when I'm shopping on Amazon. If the product was as great as they say it is, they would have taken the time and effort to showcase it in the best light possible.
No one posts ugly selfies on Instagram, right?
I'm not going to comment on a crappy picture of a sunset, and I'm definitely not going to purchase that person's self-help book on finding your inner peace. If they believed in their product, they would put the effort, or money, into making media that showcases its value.
The phrase "don't judge a book by its cover" is about people; if you're talking about physical books, the phrase should be "I'm not saying just because the cover is ugly that the book is bad, I'm just saying that if they didn't take the time or spend the money to hire a professional graphic designer, there isn't that great of a chance that they spent enough time editing the book either."
I understand that not every creator is a photographer, videographer, or writer. It just so happens that the only three things I'm really good at happen to be the things I need to be good at to make a campaign successful.
Thank God that cardio or chemistry isn't either of the skills required.
But if petting animals was one of the skills required to run a campaign, I would be virtually unstoppable.
If you really believe in your product, hire a professional photographer, or at the very least bake a batch of cookies for a friend who owns a half decent DSLR in exchange for a few pictures. Even a swanky phone camera will do the trick! Make sure you have decent lighting, frame the object well, and take your time.
I learned how to become a photographer exclusively through research on Pinterest. I'm not even kidding. I went to college for something entirely different. Now people pay me money to take their pictures. If I can do it, you can do it, too.
3. Leverage the Relationships You Already Have Established
Even though I already had a page of my own, I knew I needed to reach a wider audience than my business Facebook, personal Facebook, business Instagram, personal Instagram, and business Twitter (honestly, don't even bother looking at my Twitter, it's excruciatingly underwhelming). I was saturating my platforms with this content; where would this content be fresh and exciting? How can I reach eyes that I'm not already reaching?
Thankfully, I have incredibly creative friends.
My friend Maggie runs an awesome blog and I hired her to interview me and write a blog on the upcoming campaign. My friend Erin runs an incredible illustration business and because I hired her for two commissions (one of which is on my Save the Dates!), reviewed her business, and always promote her stuff on my Facebook, she was willing to promote my campaign on her Facebook and Instagram in exchange for a copy of my book.
The illustrations and cover for the book itself was done by Caitlyn Fong and because I constantly buy her artwork, she gave me an incredibly fast turn around and I ended up paying her more than the price she asked for because she charged me way too low for such high quality work. Her art is all over my apartment and my home is all the cuter for it.
Support the artists around you and I promise you won't regret it.
That's all the tips I have for now! If you want more info or have some suggestions of your own, feel free to comment below! I'd love to hear your success stories and even your failures. What worked? What absolute did not? What kind of campaign do you see yourself running?