That’s not a typo. 3D Virtual Tabletop, the immersive new system for tabletop gaming across mobile devices, has garnered an incredible $56,000 for their project. That’s $51,000 dollars over their goal of $5,000, putting them at 1100% over goal! If you take a look at their Kickstarter page, you can see how many stretch goals and amazing new features they smashed through on their way to the top. A product that started out as a modest proposition now has the potential to reach many more people on more platforms (Windows/Mac desktop, & Windows Phone have been added), with a fuller feature base and great customisation options. Amazing, right?
We caught up with Brendon Duncan, the creator of 3DVT, to talk about his experience using Kickstarter as a New Zealander, and also how the Dojo helps Kiwis get ahead when using Kickstarter to fund their projects.
+What did you learn from the process, and what kind of advice can you offer other New Zealanders hoping to use Kickstarter?
I’ve got lots of advice, I’ll break it down into high-level strategies and low-level tactical details, and give you the top 3 of each.
As with many things in life, the key component of your success is preparation.
- Have your marketing campaign tried, tested and refined before beginning your Kickstarter. The analytics provided by Kickstarter, while reputedly better than Indiegogo, are rudimentary at best and make it difficult, if not impossible to evaluate your marketing efforts. It’s much easier to do this on your own website, even if it is just a landing page with a signup form.
- Leave some fat for partners in your Kickstarter margins. If you truly have something outstanding you will get approached by people wanting to collaborate, and some of these will be high quality offers that are worth incorporating into your project.
- Do everything you can to build up the number of backers during the beginning of the campaign, projects with many backers have their own momentum. If you’ve got any paid marketing or articles lined up, do more of it in the early stages.
- To build up momentum, post an update for your project every 2 days so that your supporters have a reason to tell others about you. Each time you post an update, also mention it everywhere else around the internet where your target audience will see it. Ideally before you start you should have a plan of updates that you can post for the first ⅓ - ½ of the project. You can use stretch goal announcements as part of this.
- Start your project early in the week and early in the morning. The first few hours and first few days are crucial, so put yourself in the best possible position. If your project doesn’t have a lot of momentum, you’ll have reduced activity in the weekends so stay away from those for both the beginning and the end. Also start and end your project at the time of day where your audience is online, which is probably somewhere around 6am-9am in New Zealand.
- Backer engagement is very important as they will become a very important source of more backers. If your funding target and team are large enough, keep an eye on your Kickstarter 24 hours a day to promptly answer questions and address concerns, not just on the on the Kickstarter site, but also on the various forums and communities where people will be discussing your project. Initially, this may seem like a waste of time as you will certainly get extended dead periods, but a good indication that you have momentum is when you have activity at all times of the day and night.
+How did the BizDojo help with getting your project off the ground?
The Dojo helped in 2 main ways:
- Reviewed and improved the copy on the project page. Phil made the benefits of the product much more obvious which I’m sure helped encourage people to pledge.
- Advised me to run the project longer than the Kickstarter recommended time of 30 days. Initially I was skeptical because all the advice I have seen has recommended 30 days, but I changed it to 45 and I’m so glad I did. The biggest problem is not persuading people to pledge, it’s getting people to know that your project exists in the first place and having it around for longer greatly helps this. Even with the project going for 45 says I still had people contacting me in the days after it finished because they had missed it but still wanted to pledge.
+What’s next for your project and how do you plan to roll it out? You’ve got so many new features to add.
I will be staging out the release of the initial Kickstarter version of 3D Virtual Tabletop over the next 3 months, which will contain the features included in the original Kickstarter funding target. Updates will be released after that as each stretch goal is implemented, with backers that pledged for immediate and early access getting to experience them first. I have a lot of work to do but the massive support of backers on Kickstarter lets me know that it’s worthwhile.
If you haden’t already heard, The Biz Dojo’s Kickstarter intiative partners with MEA to provide results to small and large Kickstarter projects. We’ve got a great track record of success, and are available to help on variety of levels, check out the site for more details!