“You can either sit at home waiting for your reward, or you can go out and get what you deserve. It’s your choice!”
- Liz & Amir -
It is very inspiring and rewarding to be part of making a dream come true! That’s exactly what I have been doing during last month. I helped my friends at Lemonade Stand Animation create a legend, the Legend of Novo comic book.
Few years ago, it would not have been easy to fund your dream, today it’s easier. Today you have a great crowd funding platforms such as Kickstarter which enables creators, creative people, tinkerers and dreamers to fund their dream.
Is it really that easy?
Amir and his partner set to raise $10,000 within 30 days to produce their first comic book. In 2013, three million people pledged $480 million to kickstarter projects! Should not be a problem, three million people, you only need few hundreds and your dream is funded. Should not be a problem.
The reality is a bit different. Kickstarter is a brilliant and important platform. However, not every project is successful. In the Comics category, 3,490 projects were launched, 1,680 were successful and 1,748 failed.
I followed the Legend of Novo project as it progressed. I witnessed the amount of work it required, the long nights, personal phone calls, emails, texts, posts, tweets and interviews. I asked my friends to share their learnings of making a successful project. Here are their 5 simple rules.
Step #1 – Invest time and create an amazing project
The first step is easy, make your project memorable, make it exciting, pour your heart and soul into it, make a great video, create exciting pledges, add great images so when people discover your project they feel the same excitement you do!
Step #2 – Set your daily Goals
Raising $10,000 in 30 days is a big goal, instead of letting the $10,000 number intimidate you, set daily pledge goals which are more manageable to pursue.
Step #3 – Come up with a daily “asking” plan
After establishing your daily goal, plan how many people you will need to contact to achieve your goal. If you want to raise $400 a day, assuming each backer will pledge $20, you will need 20 people to pledge on any given day. In order to get 20 people to pledge you will need to contact at least 60 people a day. Write down the names of at least 60 people to contact every day.
Step #4 – Ask, Ask and then ask some more
Now for the fun part, you need to call, email, text, ping, or use any other way to get in touch with your contacts, tell them your story, excite them, and ask for their support, ask for their pledge. No way around it, you need to ASK. Yes, you can do press release and interview but your chance is much higher with people who know you.
Step #5 – Get even more exposure
Kickstarter have different categories in which projects are presented to the site visitors. One of the key ones is “Most Popular”. This category is mainly driven by…well popularity. Popularity is mainly driven by the number of people who pledged. Many small amount pledges amount to more than few large amount pledges. Time to ask everyone you know (and some that you don’t know)
At that point, I remember Amir paused for a long minute. He was thinking and then said. “I forgot the most important rule for success”. You have to believe. He continued and said “You cannot succeed in achieving your project goal without believing you will achieve it.”
Sounds simple right? Well not so much. What you do when you raise only $147 in your latest 3 days? I remember those 3 frightening days. I remember asking Amir, “How could you continued?” Amir looked puzzled and told me “how can one give up on his or her dream?”
He told me “You must believe. You almost need to be delusional about it. You must continue to tell your story, to ask for support. You must because you understand how unique, creative, inspiring and wise your story is. It is your dream.
Amir finished telling me his rules. He paused for a second, smiled and said “You know Liz. There is another way, a better way. You first go ahead and build your tribe. You do it before you launch your Kickstarter project. Create your web comic site, post regularly, build your audience and only then launch your Kickstarter project”.
He smiled again as he was about to leave and said “Next time Liz, next time”
As of 1/12/2014, Only 455 Comics project have ever raised over $10,000 on Kickstarter, the Legend of Novo is proud to be one of them. Thanks guys for the inspiration and for all the support. Go Ashley! Go Novo!