Capture Camera Clip System: The perfect mix of product and passion.

Capture Camera Clip System: The perfect mix of product and passion.
In May of 2011 Peter Dering launched a wildly successful design project to being production on his Capture Clip System. In this interview we talk about how a single tweet from someone on twitter sent his project skyrocketing.

More then just a cool product, Peter’s project shows us what happens when someone who loves what they are doing shares their idea with the world. He put in A LOT of up front work but it all paid off in the end.

Launching your project

Most people think you launch a project when it goes live on the Kickstarter site. However, you may want to consider doing a soft launch before actually launching the project.

A soft launch, involves building awareness and gaining support for an idea before you are ready to start. This can be an important part to a successful campaign that is often over looked.

The actual launch is when you finally push the button on Kickstarter and your project is live. Once your project is launched you will use the contacts built up during the soft launch to help promote the project.

Soft Launch

The soft launch is a concept I came across while researching this guide. In his post 15 steps for a successful Kickstarter Project Gary M. Sarli talks about the idea of a soft launch.

“(7) Do a soft launch for the project on your website and via social media at least 30 days before you start the actual Kickstarter project. You want to get the word out and get people interested and talking before you start the fundraising drive itself. At this stage, you’ll need to be able to tell people firm dates for the start and end of the Kickstarter drive, reward levels for backers, and so forth; use your own website as the central location for this because you won’t have a Kickstarter page to send people to until later.”

“Go to any message boards you frequent to post about the project (but don’t be spammy — if you don’t regularly post somewhere, don’t announce in that forum). Include links to the project in your message board profile and signature.”

“There are plenty of other websites and blogs that might be interested, so don’t be shy about getting in touch with them to tell them about the project (perhaps as a formal press release). For example, if doing a roleplaying game project, you might submit a short press release to ENWorld to see if they’ll include it in their news feed for the day.”

“Get all your friends and colleagues on board; the more voices you can get talking about the project, the better your odds will be.”

Doing a soft launch is something I have not been very good at. For both, Identifying Nelson, and A Kickstarter’s Guide, I did not spend enough time reaching out to people before they launched. This meant that during my campaigns, I was forced to spend a lot of time looking for an audience, instead of promoting the project. Not only is this stressful, but finding the right audience can take a long time. Trying to do it during a campaign is very challenging.

Reach Out

By now you should have found where your audience communicates and become part of that community. Then you should start talking with them about the project and when it will go live. Share with them your idea and let them know you are thinking of running it as Kickstarter campaign. They may like it or they may hate it. Either way, take it with a grain of salt. I’ve had plenty of people love my ideas and then never back my projects. Conversely people might not understand what you are trying to do until it is live. The point is to start the conversation as early as possible.

Actual Launch

Once you have reached out to your communities, it is time to push the button and go for it!

At this point your nerves will probably start to “kick in” and you will be wondering if you got everything right. There is only one way to find out. Launch.

“Real artists ship.” – Steve Jobs

Best Time to Launch

I’m not sure if it matters. Just know that the campaign ends at the same time that you press the button. So, if you push it at 2 a.m., your campaign ends at 2 a.m.

During A Kickstarter’s Guide I realized that in the future I am going to want my campaign to end at night. This is because I had difficulty falling asleep knowing my campaign was ending in the morning. The project was already funded, but I was so excited to see the result that I just couldn’t fall asleep. Next time, I will be sure to start my project at night so it will finish before I go to bed.

Find The Fans

When you start your campaign, you will want to be on the lookout for your fans. They are the people who are going to go out of their way to make your project successful. They will help spread the word by writing on your behalf. They will get their friends and family to back the project. They will help you “cross the chasm.”

During my first campaign, Identifying Nelson, my friend Caroline was my biggest fan. She went out of her way to email friends, get her family on board, and anything else she could think of. Without her, I’m pretty sure my project would not have succeeded. Caroline, if you are reading this, thank you!

How Does it Spread?

Once the project has launched, pay attention to where people are talking about it. During my first campaign, Facebook was the most effective marketing tool. During my second, it was Twitter and If you have been doing your homework, you should have an idea of where your audience hangs out. Concentrate on the sites and methods that gain the most traction. Don’t try to promote your project on every medium because you think that’s what you need to do. If your audience isn’t on Twitter, then don’t post as often. Posting on networks that aren’t part of your audience annoys people, makes Kickstarter look bad, and won’t get your project funded.

Project Updates

These are a very useful both during and after the campaign. During the campaign, you can post about its progress. It’s a great way to keep your backers involved and enlist their additional support. You can thank them, and ask them to share the project with their networks. After the campaign is over, you can keep in touch with them about the project and let them know the status of their rewards.

Project updates are great. Use them! During Identifying Nelson I don’t think I used them enough. We didn’t write our first update until halfway through the campaign. You don’t need to write updates if you don’t have anything to say, but you want to engage the people who backed you. Even if its just to say thank you. In fact, you can’t say thank you often enough.

A Kickstart’s Guide to Kickstarter TOC:

pssst…you can read all of this offline by downloading the e-book.

A Kickstarter’s Guide to Kickstarter: Introduction
How Kickstarter “Kickstartered” it’s own website
Understanding Kickstarter
The Basics of Kickstarter
Kickstarter is an updated version of the Parton Model
Kickstarter is like girl scout cookies…without the calories!
Make sure your project has an ending
Some additional benefits to running a Kickstarter project
Perry Chan’s Six Principles on why Kickstarter projects are successful
Yancey’s thoughts on getting funded
Brainstorming Your Project
What is this damn thing about?
Simplify your project for success
Is your project a Purple Cow?
Making Lemonade And Telling A Good Story
Reward The Patrons
Naming Your Kickstarter Project
Doing Your Homework
Before you launch, do your homework
No one cares about you
Some People Care About You
Who is Your Audience?
Where is Your Audience?
Resonating With Your Audience
Crossing Chasms
What Will it Cost?
Understanding Profit Margin and Costs
Setting Your Goals
Make or Break Decisions
Running the Numbers
Focus on what you need
Reasonable funding goals
Why be Reasonable?
How long your campaign runs depends on one thing, momentum
30 days or less
Managing Deadlines
Going for the BIG bucks
The Allure of a Large Backer
Pricing theory, thoughts about pricing your Kickstarter rewards
The Paradox of Choice
Crafting Your Pitch
Creating a compelling pitch for your Kickstarter project
Four questions people want answered when visiting your Kickstarter page.
Show some credibility to get more backers
Clarity is your friend
How to ask for Support
Kickstarter is a video-driven site
Examples of great pitch videos
Launching Your Project
Launching your project
How to track the progress of your Kickstarter campaign
The 30% Kickstarter project “Tipping Point”
How to engage an audience with a Kickstarter project: Idea & Story