Over the past couple of weeks we’ve explored why creatives are turning to crowdfunding and the effectiveness of a thirty day campaign. In this post, I explain why crowdfunding never consists of just those 30 days.
For my first solo Kickstarter campaign, the pre-launch phase was (inadvertently) almost a year long. Before I’d even fully committed to launching a campaign, I understood the effectiveness of using a drumbeat countdown in a marketing event. As a part of my decision making process I outlined what I was certain of and how I might make use of my time.
- My project was Kung Fu themed and featured a tiger
- That project was complete*
- I had just launched a newsletter as part of my career building enterprise
- I was planning to gameify my social media activities, also a part of my career building enterprise
- The Chinese Lunar Calendar would celebrate the Year of the Tiger on February 1st 2022
- That first day of the Year of the Tiger would be on a Tuesday
- The alliteration Tiger Tuesday was also a discarded hashtag #tigertuesday
- I had 41 Tuesdays available before that February 1st holiday
As a low cost experiment I adopted the #tigertuesday hashtag. I created a series of #tigertuesday themed graphics drawing from the massive amount of artwork that comprised my project and unified these graphics with a countdown. A 42-week countdown would have been fun for nerdy reasons but I’d spent that week figuring these things out. Since I hadn’t yet committed to launching a campaign, this countdown could still be a run-up to the Lunar New Year if I decided against crowdfunding.
Around weeks 26 – 22, I was six months away from that fateful Tiger Tuesday. Fortunately, I made good use of Janna’s super useful 6 Month Marketing timeline.
I also launched a second newsletter. It’s not something I would 100% recommend as there was redundant work involved. It did, however, afford me interesting opportunities to creatively and subtly ramp up the number and frequency of newsletter updates directly related to the campaign’s launch date.
As the author of both newsletters I made an effort to maintain a strong thematic identity for each.
The PLUGOarts.com MUSEletter has been delivered to inboxes on the second Tuesday of every month since March 2021; sometimes a week earlier or with an additional update inbetween. It’s a personal chronicle of my inspirations, endeavors and musings of the moment. Readers of that MUSEletter also have exclusive access to a now-intermittent stream-of-consciousness, sometimes autobiographical comic titled IMPERFEComics.
The newsletter for aTigersTale.com has much more specific focus on the graphic novel(s), other comics, art and essays based on the same body of Kung Fu research and lore.
I mention these details to illustrate how these elements support each other. Also to expand the concept of that 30 day cycle. A 30 day countdown to that 30 day campaign can go a long way towards a strong launch date. If you have more lead time, I’d encourage starting that newsletter; if you haven’t already. An easy subject to start your newsletter with: your decision to give crowdfunding a try.
The most important part of that campaign – building and activating an audience in support of your art (whatever the form) – can become an ongoing font of opportunity.
In my upcoming “Crowdfunding: 5 Helpful Hacks” workshop, I’ll explain how crowdfunding had a much broader impact on my career beyond funding The Tiger’s Tale comic. And I’ll offer ideas on how you can use crowdfunding as the springboard for getting to the next level in your own creative work.