Help us bring Kickstarter back to the inventors and the creators. Let’s bring a spotlight to the little guys again. For anyone who’s had a dream, an idea, and wanted to share it with the world, I want to show them that it is still possible. It may not be as easy as it was (I mean a guy got $55,000 to make a potato salad in 2015 and now good products and ideas are getting zilch because of the over saturation of kickstarter, paid advertising, and bigger companies/famous people running preorders though crowdfunding sites) but it can still be possible.
Myself and my husband Jake are little guys. We had idea, a game, and knew that others would have as much fun playing it as we did. We set out to get DoodleMash in a place where it could be accessible to the public. Jake is a tattoo artist by day, and I am stay at home mom. Producing, manufacturing and marketing a board game isn’t in our normal toolset, but thinking on our feet and being creative is. We didn’t shy away from the challenge even though I often compared it to climbing Mt Everest. We started with what we knew. We had a prototype and we started messaging well known toy and game companies. Our game is a great family/party game and we didn’t know where else to start. Most of it was dead air, but we did have a nice correspondence with a smaller toy and game company. That ended up not working out, and we set out again to figure out how to get DoodlMash the game out there. By this time, we had heard whispers of a Shark Tank season 10 casting call in Chicago, so we decided to give that a try. It was also around the same time that we were digging deep into the board game industry/community and boy let me tell you what a deep rabbit hole that is! We’ve played light party games and card games, but there is a whole other world of amazing games that are being made by smaller game publishers. There are people who worked for gaming companies that are now making their own games and starting their own companies. I had no clue this was a thing, but I was starting to see there were more options than we thought out there. From all of this research, I had found out that a lot of these lesser well known companies work though Kickstarter. While I had heard of kickstarter, I had never backed a project or really even knew how that worked. At that time we were neck deep in our Shark Tank pitch, and after that they asked us to send a follow up video, so a lot of our time and energy went toward that, but what little spare time I had (it was summer and both kids and myself were in full summer mode, baseball, swimming, piano, beach, friends, bonfires, lighting bugs, and all the summer goodies) I started digging into this kickstarter thing. We never heard back from Shark Tank, and we used that to launch us head on into our kickstarter campaign.
In order to be a little guy and have a successful kickstarter campaign, there is recipe for success (I can’t say that it’s work yet because we launch our campaign tomorrow) but here is what everyone else is saying you need to do:
-Your product needs a following. People who like what you’re about to make and are exciting to see it come to fruition. This following has to come from a compilation of social media (facebook, instagram, pinterest, twitter, youtube) and from there you use that following to subscribe to your email list. This part is very hard. Social media is a monster, and most businesses on Facebook get 1-2% of their posts seen. That’s it. So if you have like 200 people that like your page, that’s literally 4 people at most. This isn’t criticism of how social media works, and I’m not going to say whether that’s a good or a bad thing, it’s just a fact. There is no better way to describe this feeling than with the saying “shouting into the void”. There are a few tips I have learned to help strengthen your voice.
-Your product need reviews. That idea that you have and love has to get to people who know about it so they can give you honest, unbiased opinion about it. Once you’ve got some reviews, use them to show people on your kickstarter page that others have used the product and like it.
-Prepare prepare prepare. In 2018 it’s pretty close to impossible to have a successfully funded kickstarter campaign with little work. Even though we had a couple of months to prepare ours, I still feel grossly underprepared. Some will say if you’re not ready then don’t do it, but thats not me. I know we have enough to launch, and what’re missing we’re not going to obtain (money and followers) in the next couple of months anyway. We’ve reached a point where we know a kickstarter campaign is part of the next step for us. We are a simple pair, just the two of us, but I know that we’ve done everything possible to get to this point.
Did you know there are more ways to support a small start up than just offering money? Whether you don’t have the money, or simple don’t want to spend it on this particular thing (no judgement from me! We’re a single income family and I budget every penny like crazy) you can still help people like us, and here’s how:
If you’d like to support us through our kickstarter campaign by either buying a game a or helping fun it by giving money, here’s where you can do that. Thanks for all your support!