When most people think of a Kickstarter campaign, they think of a cool new gadget or an innovation seeking for backers to come to market. Well, one out-of-the-box thinker leveraged this platform in a different way. For John Lee Dumas, founder and host of EOFire, Kickstarter was much more than a crowdfunding platform. It served as a key component of an overall marketing strategy.
And wow, did it pay off! His Kickstarter campaign for The Freedom Journal—a gorgeous faux leather-bound journal that guides you in setting and accomplishing your goals in 100 days—was named the most-funded publishing campaign of all time (!!!).
Kickstarter was John’s crowdfunding platform of choice because he understood the value in using such a recognizable independent third party to help market and sell his books. John already had thousands upon thousands of subscribers. He also had the money needed to produce these journals. What he didn’t have—prior to his Kickstarter campaign—was validation that people would pay real money for The Freedom Journal.
During our recent Self-Publishing School Summit, John shared his biggest tips and strategies for using Kickstarter as an amazing tool to market and sell your next book.
Read on for John Lee Dumas’s tips on how to run a successful Kickstarter campaign to sell your own book.
Assemble Your Kickstarter Book-Launch Team
John credits so much of his success to the year-long behind-the-scenes work he put into The Freedom Journal before launching his Kickstarter campaign. John put together a Grade A team, which included a logistics person, a designer, a crowdfunding expert to set-up pages and keep the campaign running smoothly, an editor and a social media guru.
In advance of the launch he also took the time to stockpile content. He made sure to pre-write marketing emails and social media posts. His pre-planning helped him focus on the campaign while it was happening.
John’s overall goal was to bring people on this journey and make them feel part of The Freedom Journal from the very beginning. For nearly an entire year, he teased about the impending launch and directed people to join him in his project. From his homepage to his podcast, his followers were asked to opt-in to be kept in the loop.
His efforts were so successful that by the time he launched his Kickstarter, he has already amassed more than 12,000 emails of people wanting to be part of the project.
If the first days and weeks of a Kickstarter campaign are successful for you, it’s probably because you’ve planned, prepped, and assembled a top-notch team to stand with you.
Launch Your Kickstarter Campaign With A Bang
In a Kickstarter campaign, the traction you get from your launch is everything. John says your goal is to get that initial momentum going. In other words, you want to create a snowball effect and take advantage of the rankings you can get if your campaign trends. The goal is to create an organic momentum that encourages others to back your project.
Here is what John did to help get that snowball started.
Tap Into Your Existing Fan Base. John made direct calls-to-action at the beginning and ending of every podcast.
PRO TIP: Direct people to a domain-specific website that shares information about your Kickstarter. You always want to collect emails and point people to your site, instead of directly to your Kickstarter page.
Communicate Consistently and Frequently. During his campaign, John did daily podcasts AND sent daily emails. He also sent newsletters.
Keep Active on Social Media. John used Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and Blab to keep supporters engaged and informed about the campaign’s progress.
Invest in Advertising. John purchased ads on Instagram and Facebook. Sometimes you have to invest hundreds of dollars per day to make thousands.
Utilize resources. This is when you have to call in some favors. John reached out to his influencer friends and asked people to share information about his Kickstarter with their communities. He offered to be a guest on other podcasts and guest post for publications.
PRO TIP: Be specific in your request and ask for the shares to happen right on or around your launch.
Keep The Kickstarter Momentum Moving
Your job isn’t done with the launch of your Kickstarter campaign. John says that thanks to the help of his Kickstarter pro, he was able to successfully keep the momentum going by releasing new offers and packages throughout.
Thanks to the amazing analytics available with Kickstarter, John could gauge what was moving the needle and adjust accordingly. He could also see which referrals were paying off with real conversions.
One of his biggest tips was to follow-up all sales of a physical product with a personal message and offer to upgrade. In his case, that simple step resulted in more than 500 people electing to upgrade from purchasing one book to a bundle pack of five.
PRO TIP: Keep your campaign going viral. John sent free Freedom Journal t-shirts to everyone who had appeared on his podcast as a thank you. The results were phenomenal as these influencers took to social media to show off their gift.
Whether you have a huge base of subscribers or not, with the right amount of planning and preparation, Kickstarter can be a critical part of your next book’s marketing strategy. Visit eofire.com/kickstarter to learn how you can crush your next Kickstarter campaign.