Things I (Re)Learned in Promoting My KickStarter Campaign

By the way, The Legend of Jamie Roberts, Chapter 2’s KickStarter IS STILL GOING. You have until 11:59 pm EST on Feb 21 to back this project.

Not gonna lie – I’ve had 11 successful KickStarter campaigns. Once you’ve had so much success, you fall into a rhythm.

But I HAVE had one KickStarter campaign fail. I learned a lot from that failure, which makes it true that you learn more from your failures than your successes. Because when you’re successful, you develop a groove.

The thing about grooves, though, is that it’s easy to get comfortable inside of those grooves. It’s like when you walk in circles in the dirt – after a while, there’s an obvious path of where you’ve tread.

And if you want to grow, you have to take a step outside of that dirt circle.

I’ve re-learned a few things in promoting the KickStarter for The Legend of Jamie Roberts, Chapter 2 (which is STILL GOING until Feb 21 at 11:59 pm EST). Here’s what I’ve re-learned:

Make Use of Empty Space on Your Blog Sites

Ever since the demise of Project Wonderful, I’ve written off the power of ad spots on blog sites and webcomic sites. It’s easy to write it off, since it can be difficult to make money from posting ads in this era of ad-blockers.

Yet the original reason these became ads were to signal-boost SOMETHING. Someone wanted their product known, so they made a promotional image and paid someone to post it.

Well, I don’t (yet) have a network of peeps to reach out to and ask about posting an ad on their site and paying them for it.

But I DO have sites of my own. Sites for Johnson & Sir, Charlie & Clow, The Legend of Jamie Roberts, and THIS site. AND I have space on these sites that isn’t used yet.

So I made a button to promote the KickStarter, posted it on the sites, and VOILA – insta-ad. I’m still getting traffic on these sites, so the ad spots are seen by the peeps who go to these sites.

Reach Out to Folks Who Are Adjacent To What You Do

I have to thank Jamie (no relation to Jamie Roberts) for this one. I had almost written off this particular tactic.

The Legend of Jamie Roberts is about a genderqueer pirate. So Jamie (no relation) suggested I reach out to LGBTQ centers, and ask for their help promoting this KickStarter campaign. He sent me a list of LGBTQ centers in Ohio (which you can find here). This resource includes contact information for these sites.

I also had a flier for another LGBTQ center, from when I went to Flaming River Con. (One of the few positive things to come out of that show). So I reached out to this center, as well.

All told, I reached out to 5 or so of these centers, and only heard back from 1: the center whom I had a flier for. I think it helped that the contact spoke with me at the show, so they had a face to connect to the email.

So while perhaps blind contacting doesn’t work – what DOES help is keeping your rolodex of peeps you meet at comicons, festivals, and other shows. Reach out to those who are adjacent to what you do and ask if they can help signal-boost you.

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Fliers

I made a flier for my local comic shop to promote my KickStarter campaign. Then I sent it shortly after launch. I asked if they could print up copies and set them with their other fliers, and make a social media post, as well. And they agreed to help (I’m very fortunate that the folks at my local comic shop are cool dudes).

I DID notice that a few days after I did that, the number of backers and money raised went up a good 20-25%. Pretty dang good!

So don’t underestimate the power of fliers. Share them with comic shops. They’re usually more than happy to help indie comic creators succeed. If not? Find someone else who’d be happy to share your flier.

Those are what I’ve re-learned in promoting a KickStarter campaign into success. Next time I’ll make a post about how to run a successful campaign. I just realized I don’t have a post about that (yet).

Thank you for reading!

You. Are. Awesome.

What Does a KickStarter Scam Email Look Like? Well…

You come across a LOT of junk mail and bull-crap whenever you run a KickStarter campaign, whether it’s your first time or your tenth.

As it turns out, The Legend of Jamie Roberts, Chapter 1 is my tenth campaign on KickStarter. And, true to form, I’ve been getting messages from total strangers saying that they “can help boost this campaign to millions of people” and that they know “the best outlets to promote this KickStarter to” so I should “reply to this email ASAP to jump on this unique opportunity.”

But there was ONE email that I got recently that stood out to me… for all the wrong reasons.

First, this is not the first time this guy emailed me. He had sent a previous email starting with, “I get it. You’ve seen thousands of messages from people saying they can help your campaign” (which I have). But the difference was this NEW guy emailing me called himself “a guru in crowdfunding.”

Pro tip: never call yourself a guru of anything. You sound pretentious and it’s step number 1 of making sure I delete your email.

But shortly after that one, he sent me a NEW email.

Here, I’ll show you a screencap of this thing. Don’t worry, I’ll censor out the guy’s email, name, and face. Just pay attention to the email text:

In case you can’t see it, the email says, “we’ve chosen The Legend of Jamie Roberts, Chapter 1 as our weekly “what could this campaign be doing better?” round table discussion.”

Already off to a bad start. I know what I can do better. This is my TENTH campaign. And I already made the fixes before this dude sent me this message.

And he adds, “We choose one very lucky campaign and go through it top-to-bottom to see what you can do better.”

This is the most slimy sentence I’ve come across.

And I’m saying this as someone who’s sat through brutal art class critiques and read thousands of pages of copy other people have written to promote their work.

I’m saying this as someone who studied marketing and promotional materials during college AND after. That sentence is slimy.

Why is this sentence slimy? Because it is preying on the email recipient’s insecurity about their campaign.

Whether you’re running your first campaign or your hundredth, there will always be a bit of insecurity that you feel when you launch. Will this thumbnail stand out? Did I make enough rewards? Did I overprice one of these tiers? Etc.

That sentence in that email is designed to snag onto that insecurity and make the email recipient feel like they NEED help.

Trust me: you do not need help from a guy like this.

I’ve had better luck getting help from ComixLaunch, and I found that program to be very hit and miss for me. Again, I’ve run ten successful KickStarter campaigns, and The Legend of Jamie Roberts, Chapter 1 is looking to be my eleventh successful one.

Never trust a dude who would use sentences like that, no matter how professional or “well-meaning” the rest of the email sounds.

I hope this helps you if you’re looking to start crowdfunding – or even if it helps you spot similar emails in the future. I hope this blog post has helped you spot what kind of language to watch out for and what to avoid.

Best of luck to you, and thank you for reading.

You. Are. Awesome.

NOW ON KICKSTARTER: The Legend of Jamie Roberts, Chapter 1

HOLY BANANA PANTS, it’s finally here – The Legend of Jamie Roberts, Chapter 1 is now on KickStarter, looking for funding to get to print!

Patreon support has helped make the production of each individual page possible. But KickStarter will help cover the gap to get this first issue to print.

The book will include a never-before-published short comic about Captain O’Malley (just how DID she lose her arm?). Plus there will be behind-the-scenes sketches showing how pages for the comic are made.

Among the rewards available for backers, there’s commissions, WANTED poster-style mini-prints, and even a new 11 x 17 inch print!

So if you can back this KickStarter campaign, please do so BEFORE JUNE 20.

Broke? Share this campaign with your friends. Every share helps.

Want to back the campaign, but don’t see a reward you like? Hit me up via email at kelci(at)kelcidcrawford.com and I’ll work with you.

That’s all for now. Thank you for your support!

You. Are. Awesome.

Gods & Spirits: RE-LAUNCHED

On Monday, the initial campaign run for Gods & Spirits: A Sketchbook on KickStarter did NOT meet the goal.

And I know why.

I set the asking goal too high, and I incorporated rewards that should not have been part of the initial asking goal.

So I went back, made some tweaks, and re-launched Gods & Spirits on KickStarter, to take advantage of the demand for the book that WAS STILL THERE.

And within 2 days, WE MADE OUR INITIAL GOAL!

So now Gods & Spirits: A Sketchbook WILL be going to print once the campaign wraps up.

Now the next goal is to raise extra funding to get stickers printed.

There are 3 designs available, plus new reward tiers that include stickers as part of the package.

If you haven’t pledged to the KickStarter yet, I hope you take the time to check out the rewards and claim the one you like.

Thank you if you pledged to this campaign (again) – your support for this project is MARVELOUS!

Broke? Share this campaign with your friends and family searching for unique gift ideas!

That’s all for now. Thank you for your support!

You. Are. Awesome.

Gods & Spirits: A Sketchbook, Now on KickStarter

Gods & Spirits was the theme I did for this year’s Inktober – the artist challenge to make a new ink drawing every day during the month of October.

Last year I had done Inktober, themed with Witches. Once I was done I gathered the sketches into a book (Witches: The Sketchbook), put it up on KickStarter, and it got funded.

This year, after I wrapped up the sketches…

(The above is just a sampling of the sketches done during this year’s Inktober)

…I thought, “Hey! Let’s put THESE sketches into a book, as well.”

And that’s why Gods & Spirits: A Sketchbook is on KickStarter, looking for support.

This will be a SHORT campaign – it ends on November 12th.

However, there are Early Bird Special rewards that are only available until the end of TODAY, November 7. Here’s a link to the campaign to check out the early bird rewards.

I realized upon launching this that I may have put the asking goal too high, especially for a 7-day KickStarter campaign.

I DO hope we make it to the goal! But if we don’t, expect a few modifications to the campaign to lower the asking goal and a relaunch of the campaign shortly after.

Still, I DO hope you back this campaign, because if we make our goal by November 12th, the sooner this book and the rewards can be done for the holidays!

Rewards for this campaign include commissions – HOLY BANANA PANTS there are so many commission slots available!

There’s also copies of the book, prints, and something new I haven’t offered before…STICKERS.

These will be printed through StickerMule and measure roughly 4 inches each, so be sure to make some space on your sticker surface of choice.

If you can give to this campaign, PLEASE do!

If you’re broke, share this campaign with your friends. Every share helps.

Thank you for your support, however you give it!

You. Are. Awesome.