A Kickstarter superbacker is a person that backed at least 25 projects in the last year, with pledges at $10 or more. In other words they back a lot of projects. As a Kickstarter creator I always have a lot of questions I want to ask regular backers. Thats why I reached out to superbackers (and a few aspiring superbackers) on the web and asked them three really important questions. This is the second part of this backer interview series. The first part you can find here.
The question I asked the superbackers was:
IF YOU COULD TELL KICKSTARTER CREATORS ONE THING. WHAT WOULD THAT BE?
Dont overlook the Kickstarter exclusivies and dont over promise on delivery times!-Robert M (447 backed)-
Have a playable prototype, reasonable goals (delivery and otherwise) And for the love of all that’s good don’t price out the average backed by asking 100+ for a game. I have to KNOW that I’m going to love a game before I spend that kind of money -Becca (305 backed)-
Less options is better. KS that have too many tiers or too many add-ons will turn me off. The K.I.S.S. priciple applies. Stretch goals are great, but don’t make stretch goals additional add-ons. And if you do have add-ons, make a “one-of-everything” option to streamline what backers have to figure out. -Karl (300 backed)-
Take your time and study the collective successful projects in your space. Follow the leaders. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. You have about 30 seconds to make a hook impression make it count. Make your page look professional and like you know exactly what you’re doing. With so many choices today… gambling on someone that looks like they just kinda phoned it in or don’t understand what the market expects is not going to get my pledge. -Joel Colombo (260 backed)-
It’s great that you’ve got a great world configured and fleshed out, but write the page in common language, I’m not going to waste my time figuring out what you’re cool in-world speech is supposed to mean. Leave in-world in the world. -@_attriel_ (250 backed)-
Keep the rewards simple and don’t have too many, I don’t want to have to work out which one I want or whether I am getting the full experience of the game as originally designed. -Frank (160 backed)-
The most important piece of advice I can offer to Kickstarter creators is to communicate, communicate, communicate. Transparency is important for backers, and a creator that rarely posts updates won’t inspire much confidence in their backers. Posting regular updates, even if there isn’t much “new” to add, will keep people interested. It’s better than months of silence, leaving the backers wondering if the project is still alive. I’ve seen that happen in more than a few campaigns I’ve backed. –Eric P. (157 backed)-
What is one thing I would tell creators? I would say follow Jamey Stegmaier’s blog Kickstarter Lessons and maybe buy his book “A Crowdfunder’s Strategy Guide: Build a Better Business by Building Community”. Study them well before you have your project go live. I consider him the gold standard for running Kickstarter projects. If I ever post my own project I’ll be following much of his advice. -Joseph B (113 backed)-
I would tell Kickstarter creators who are new to bring their audience with them. To many think they can show up and it will happen – @thegdgame (108 backed) –
Update your backers. Even with it is just to say “we’re working on it, or the manufacturer is working on it and we cannot do anything until that is complete.” -@atherisandrew (100 backed)-
LISTEN to your backers. They are the ones who are giving you the money, they can just as easily walk away if they do not like the direction the project is going or feel you are taking them for granted. They are your lifeblood and where you will get your funding and goodwill towards future projects. This does not mean give them everything they ask for. Be understanding. Why are they saying it? What are they actually asking for? Is it better Graphics, better box/insert (most common complaint I hear about KS games) or are they asking for larger cards to see the art better? remember if you can’t offer it as a part of the actual KS campaign or as an achievable SG. Can you offer it as an add-on or even an unlockable SG add-on? After all they backed you because, they WANT you to SUCCEED -Mark Capell-Helm (83 backed)-
It would have to be Communicate with your backers. It is one of the most important parts of running a successful KickStarter especially if you hope to continue to run more than one. 4 weekly or monthly updates post campaign are absolute minimum and be regular. Even if it is to say things like “been in contact with manufacterers this past week discussing files (yawn)”. Nothing irks backers more than going silent for weeks on end. Remember we have given you money for your project and that means we have a vested interest in it we want it to do well, but we also want to know when things are not going well and what your doing about it. -Mark (71 backed)-
Pay attention to your campaign (Research and involvement) -Erick A. (70 backed)-
My biggest pet peeve are creators that are super communicative while the campaign is active, but then go to radio silence after it ends. What the hell? I was good enough to keep updated when you depended on my cash, but now that you’ve got it… you don’t have to update me? I would even be okay if they were just like, “Not much to report this week!” I understand delays in the manufacturing process and won’t get too upset about it, but I have refused to back second projects from some companies based on lack of communication in their first campaign. -Chris W (70 backed)-
Do your research first, a lot of it! I.e. take a look at other successful and failed projects, learn from the experience of other creators, read through Kickstarter Lessons from Jamey Stegmaier and also through Tompet Games Kickstarter interviews… 🙂 – @BoardGamerWkly (70 backed)-
Be rather conservative on delivery estimation dates! It’s surprising how many projects fall into this trap over and over again. IMO, it’s much better to provide more conservative estimation and deliver on time (or make your backers even happier by delivering ahead of schedule) than to promise early delivery and fail on it (which brings nothing, but frustration) -@kion (56 backed)-
Have as many reviews as possible and don’t start the campaign until you have them. Blind playtesters are just as important with that to get their feedback. Oh, and make sure your game won’t release in retail for less than your KS rewards. I forgot to also add…figure out what BGG is and be involved there. -Matt (38 backed)-
I wish there was a rating system that rated prolific Publishers/Creators based on a certain criteria and list deficiencies/complaints and what the company does well and not so well. -“The doctor” (36 backed)-
I would tell them to have something quick and snappy that describes their project, a written elevator pitch if you will. When browsing Kickstarter I read the small amount that is written with a single screenshot and that’s what attracts me to look at the project further, or forget it and move on. –@jac0byterebel (35 backed)-
You don’t need KS exclusives, nor do you need a ton of addons. Sometimes simplicity can be great, don’t just add a lot of other steps or more things to please people. Make the game you want. -Michael S (35 backed)-
I’m planning to launch my own ks so this is kind of difficult. I think I would say that you should try and stay true to your vision and not be peer pressured into changes. This is based on comments from the momento mori campaign -@wreck_and_ruin (30 backed)-
The video must make sense. If it’s for a game, give a brief overview of game play. Explain to me what I should expect as a player. Fancy art and graphics are okay, but if that’s all I get, with no explanation, I may skip checking out the campaign completely.
Secondly, please do not kill us with add-ons released throughout the campaign to such affect that a pledge had to adjust several times. I’d rather see the long awaited all inclusive pledge level right from the start. -Alfred P (29 backed)-
After completing a project keep in good communication with backers. – Michael C (10 backed)-
Research similar projects before starting their campaign to see what worked/didn’t work for them. (Again, we at Kicktraq offer a host of free tools to help with this. I swear I’m not writing an endorsement. The use of those services is free. We made them to help based on feedback from project owners, so this is something we’ve already put a lot of thought into. -Meloney B.-
Communication is key. Even if you’re only posting an update to let everyone know that there are no updates is better than nothing. Customers hate going weeks/months with no updates. -Magnarinfectus (7 backed)-
Fancy videos aren’t necessary – Edgardo M (2 backed)-
I also asked the superbackers one other last question. That answer will be published some time in the near future.
If you are a superbacker and want to be interviewed, let me know by sending your email in the contact form.