Many people who launch Kickstarter projects think themselves to be guilty of but one thing - They are but chasing a dream. Namely, their dream.
The problem doesn't lie with people chasing their dreams, though. It doesn't even start with that. Rather, it's when they allow themselves to become distracted from chasing their dreams, that they then become susceptible to all kinds of distractions. In essence, the problem is when they allow other things - other pursuits - to distract them from chasing their dream.
To chase a dream is one thing. To realize one's dream is another matter, altogether. They are not one and the same thing. They never have been. They never will be.
I hang out at the forum over on KickstarterForum.Org quite a bit. Too much, in fact, but that's not your fault. It's not even Salvador Briggman's fault. In case you don't know Sal, he's the guy who founded the KickstarterForum.Org site (amongst other things). But, this isn't an article about Sal Briggman. Nope! This is supposed to be an article which offers a tip about how to better your chances of making your Kickstarter a success.
So, let me begin to connect a few dots, and we'll see if any of it makes sense. Fair enough?
Like I was saying, I hang out in that forum - a lot! I encounter many postings authored by many different people, there. Unfortunately, I also encounter a lot of people chasing rainbows.
Not chasing their dreams, but chasing rainbows - and they do this by allowing themselves to become distracted from the important task at hand. Namely, they should be building and growing a community of their very own, but because that can often turn out to be hard work - a struggle, even - they allow themselves to fall pray to all kinds of distractions.
Distractions - They're out there. They're everywhere!
If I told you that I could make your Kickstarter project successful, that I could make you reach your funding goal, simply by you giving me five dollars, and me then tweeting about your project on Twitter, would you believe me?
If I lined a bunch of people up in a circle, and told them all to back one another's projects, would you believe me if I then told you that this was the right way to go about building and growing a community of your very own?
Either of those examples would likely strike you as odd, or perhaps even a bit on the strange side, particularly if I insisted that you take me seriously, when I was suggesting them to you.
Yet, on a regular and recurring basis, this is just, exactly the kind of distractions that I see people who launch their own Kickstarter projects buy in to.
What about you? Yeah, YOU! Do you believe in the Five Dollar Fairy? Well, what if I told you that there wasn't just one Five Dollar Fairy, but a whole slew of them? What if I told you that for a measly five dollars, you could buy a whole bucket of Five Dollar Fairy Dust?
Line up, people! The line forms right over here, right behind YOU!
Five Dollar Fairy Dust is apparently a very widespread commodity. But, it comes in other increments, also. Need some ten dollars fairy dust? What about fifty, or even better, one hundred dollar fairy dust? How much do you want? How much does your Kickstarter campaign need? How much can you handle??
If I tweet you out to all of my Twitter followers, will you still buy my fairy dust?
Apparently, you will. If not you, then the next guy or the next gal. You are just a number. Your Kickstarter project is just a number. The number of Twitter followers that I have is just a number.
Yet, to some, it becomes a fixation.
Do this - Pick a card, any card. Go on, pick a card. Pick a number, any number. Go on, pick a number.
As an example to help me to illustrate a point, let's say that I have one hundred thousand Twitter followers. Oops! What was I thinking? It will look better, it will come across as more visually impressive, if I write that very same number in numerical form.
Yeah, baby! I'm cooking with Twitter Crisco, now. This is the big time. This is Twitter City. Look at that number. Focus on that number. Stare at that number. You're getting sleepy - very, very sleepy. You are under the sway of that big, fat, juicy, gorgeous number. You are under my command.
Send me your five dollars!
I am trying to make a point here. This is no sleight of hand. The sleight of hand is in the number that you're focused on. And, because you're focused on that number - on somebody else's Twitter number - then your focus isn't upon your project. It's not upon building and growing a community that is unique to your Kickstarter project.
Tell me this - if your Kickstarter project is truly unique, then why are you chasing rainbows in pursuit of a generic community?
Why are you spending your time and your money helping somebody else to realize their dream of making money off of the size of their so-called Twitter "following," instead of nurturing your own sense of community for your very own Kickstarter project?
Why are you chasing circles, pledging to supporting his campaign, if he will only support yours? Sure, that does technically qualify as trying to build a community, but is that actually the kind of community that you are wanting to build? Before you hit the launch button for your Kickstarter, was THAT the kind of community that you envisioned for YOUR project? A community of people pledging to support a project, if everyone else will only pledge to support a different project, turns the whole concept of "community" on its head.
What you end up with is a distortion. What you end up with is a freak.
Is that what you're after? A freakish version of community? If not, then why allow yourself to stoop to such nonsensical antics? Don't you have better things to do? Shouldn't you be out and about actually building and growing a vibrant, thriving community of people who actually give a damn about what it is that you are trying to do?
Or, are you after numbers, at any cost?
Is there any level to which you will not stoop? Is there any antic that you won't engage in? Is there any tomfoolery that you won't engage in?
So, you don't know what to do, huh? Is that it?
Well, I can - and do - understand what it's like to find yourself in that kind of a predicament. But, tell me this - just how, exactly, did you end up in this predicament?
I mean, after all, I certainly didn't tell you to launch the exact Kickstarter project that you thought was such a good idea, at the time that you launched it. Somebody else is responsible for that. You, perhaps?
Running a successful Kickstarter campaign isn't about always knowing just exactly what to do. There are plenty of people who have run successful Kickstarter campaigns, and they will be the very first to tell you that, looking back on things with the benefit of hindsight, they truly had no clue as to what they were getting themselves in to.
But, they didn't let that stop them. Heck, some of them even allowed themselves to get distracted by some of the very same stuff that you have allowed yourself to get distracted by. They've been there. They've done that.
No, running a successful Kickstarter definitely isn't about always knowing just exactly what to do. In fact, it's more about knowing what NOT to do.
Running a Kickstarter is a learning process. Did you hear me, when I said that? A LEARNING process. It's a PROCESS that entails learning.
There's definitely a learning curve. You will almost certainly make mistakes - maybe even a LOT of them.
But, at some point you have to acquire good judgment, based upon your mistakes, and upon what you have learned from them, not to mention what you can learn from the mistakes of other Kickstarter project creators who came before you, well before you ever even came on the Kickstarter scene.
If I offered to sell you a bridge, would you buy it? What about fairy dust? If I offer to sell you some fairy dust, right here and right now, would you be willing to buy it, having now read this article?
What about running in circles? Do you honestly think that your project will ever get anywhere, that it will ever reach the destination that you picked for it, by running in circles - the circles of you pledging to support my project, if I will but support yours?
In the old days, it was called a shell game. Now, it's become a substitute for being productive for your Kickstarter project.
Oh, that's right. I forgot! How silly of me! How could I forget something like that??
Maybe - just maybe - you'll be the one that gets lucky.
And, we all know that that's how most successful Kickstarter campaigns get funded - by getting lucky.
I'm not trying to rain on either your Kickstarter project or your dreams. All that I'm trying to get you to do is to come in from under the sprinkler.
It's not rain. It's not fairy dust. It is running in circles.
Learn to recognize things for what they actually are, not for what you want them to be.
Wishful thinking and reality are two very distinct things. Even a genie only grants you three wishes.
How many wishes does it take to make a Kickstarter campaign successful?
Let me know when you figure out the answer to that last question.