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Top 5 Things YOU Can Do to Help Your Friend’s Kickstarter Succeed

When we launched our first Mixed Company Kickstarter campaign in June of 2019, we had an amazing network of people who helped us with everything from sharing posts, participating in surveys, coming to events, playtesting and giving feedback, the list just goes on.

But when we had to shut down that Kickstarter because it didn’t launch as strongly as we thought it could, we got a lot of other support that was just as amazing. I got dozens of requests from friends and colleagues asking, “What can I do to help next time? I backed it, but what else can I do? How can we get your Kickstarter funded?”

We always knew there was going to be a next time, and so we sat down and thought about it. And we also asked some of our other friends with successful and in-the-works projects what they thought the best things to ask for would be. We came up with five solid things you can do that will help more than you probably realize!

What everyone thinks I do with Kickstarter games

#5) Get involved early

If you hear that your friend is getting ready to launch a game on Kickstarter, just be aware that it’s a lot of work. Most game designers take over a year of development work before they start getting ready for a Kickstarter. There’s a lot that you can do to help even if you don’t think you’re that creative! They’re likely to need people to playtest, people to show up for photo shoots and have fun, people to be in how to play videos or play through videos. Someone who knows how important this project is to them can be a big help.

"The content of your Kickstarter trailer video should always have a way to draw backers into your campaign. If it's a party game, show a big crowd playing and having a good time. If it's a strategy game, show players engaging and planning out their moves. Backers want to see how fun the game is right from the start otherwise they will lose interest before they read your Kickstarter page." - Linh Nguyen, Blue Gear Games. (Check out Blue Gear’s live Kickstarter here!)

#4) Follow all the things

Follow their game page, join the game group, sign up for the email newsletter. And like the posts they make. “But I’m going to hear about it from them!” you may have just thought to yourself. (Did you? Nobody else is here, you don’t have to pretend.) But it’s not that we don’t believe you’ll hear about it… it’s that you following us on these different social media platforms and signing up for email addresses helps us get more traction in the world of Facebook, Pintrest, Twitter, whatever platform your friend is using. More followers and more likes and more accepted invites means that the algorithm gods share our posts out to even more people who like things that you like and the other people that follow and like and share like. It helps us create a “look alike” audience of other people like you that will like us!

#3) Spread the word

If you like games, you probably hang out with people who like games. At least some of the time. Tell them about the game! Tell them about the Kickstarter, tell them about your friend and all the work that’s been going into it. David Thomas from Absurdist Productions explained, “Backing it [is number one] of course, but more importantly spreading the word. Both word of mouth and through social media. People can't back unless they know it exists, and they are more likely to back if recommended by someone they know.”

#2) Share, share, and share again.

Share when the Kickstarter launches, promote when they hit milestones, share when they post new content or put up a picture of people playing their game at a convention. “Always remember that we can help someone’s creative endeavor not only by providing funding but also by leveraging the power of our own personal reach to expand their voice. Passing their message along can have a strong impact on their project.” Josh Fry, Salamander Games.

And finally, what’s the best way to help?

#1) Back right away.

“…Back it on day 1 in the first few hours. Even $1 adds to the momentum.” Bryn Smith, Doomsday Robots

The first day is a critical hurdle for all Kickstarter campaigns now. And the first hours are just as important. It seems like it’s not a big deal to go in and back sometime during the campaign, and later is better than never of course! But backing when the campaign launches is a huge help , even if all you can pledge is $1. If the game isn’t your thing, if you don’t normally get games, if you don’t know if you can fit it in your paycheck this month, even that $1 or $5 support pledge in the first hours helps pump up the backer algorithms on sites that track Kickstarter success. Kickstarter won’t take any of your actual money, or even hold any of it, until the end date listed on the Kickstarter so getting in right away won’t be impacted by your pay day. And if you change your mind and want to increase your pledge, you can always bump up a level later!

My best guess at why friends and family aren't anxiously hovering over that green button the moment you go live is simply their naivety, naive in their understanding of what Kickstarter is, how it works, or the importance of their punctual pledges. – Lisa Deluca

Every little bit helps

Even if you can’t do all of them, doing any of those will help! And we get it, first time backing can be intimidating for people, so if you have questions, just ask! You can ask us if you’re not comfortable asking your friends, just email us or shoot us a message on Facebook.

So the next time your friend is working on a Kickstarter, you’ll have a handful of things you can do right away! And most of them will take either a little time or a little support without breaking into your day too terribly. And another thing that you can do that isn’t a top thing for success, but they’re sure to appreciate – Check in on your buddy. Kickstarter stress is a real thing, and it really means a lot when our friends reach out and let us know they’re pulling for us!

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