6 Unexpected Lessons I Learned from Running a Kickstarter Campaign for The Fun of Baking Bread!

What Kind of Bread are you (really...)?

What Kind of Bread are you (really...)?

There are only 7 days left of my first ever crowd-funding campaign for upcoming book, The Fun of Baking Bread! What a great experience! As of Wednesday, October 5th, 12:13 pm – the project is 97% funded! And (like many things in life) the actual experience of running the campaign has been very different from what I imagined it would be. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for supporting my project – even if it was just in your thoughts! : )

Here are some observations on the process. 

  1. Fun: the main thing I noticed is that running this crowd-funding campaign has been way more exciting and fun that I expected! Certainly there was a mild feeling of apprehension – will people support the project? But the excitement overshadowed the fear. Seeing people support the project – day by day – is extremely validating. It gives me goose bumps!

  2. Inspiring: I am so inspired! Isn't it super inspiring to know that if you have a good idea, do some leg work and then put it out there, individuals from all over the world, including strangers, can help you make it happen?!

  3. Campaign Length: if I were doing this again, I'd make my campaign a little shorter. After debating the length, I settled on 23 days (on kickstarter the maximum length a campaign can be is 60 days). But most of my pledges came in the first few days – then plateaued. I can't be sure, but I feel like 14–18 days could have accomplished similar results.

  4. Marketing! It is just so unavoidable – somehow, you must get the word out about your project without being too spammy. Social media was my BFF: writing articles, a Shortstack quiz to help people determine What Bread Are You?, contacting friends old & new, requesting sharing, offering free recipes. Of course – the kickstarter campaign itself is a great marketing tool that keeps on giving, since the campaign stays up there indefinitely and it links to the project website after the campaign ends.

  5. The video... Related to marketing, I didn't realize this beforehand, but it is now HIGHLY recommended/mandatory to make / post a video as part of your kickstarter campaign. This threw me for a loop because originally I thought I could do it without a video. But in any case, I got crafty with my skills & resources and made a video.

  6. Learning new skills: that last point about the video helps me see how much I had to extend myself – learning new skills along the way – to do this at all.

  7. Watch out for the spam: I don't know if this happens with other crowd-funding sites, but I had to switch the email account associated with my Kickstarter campaign – because my inbox got so flooded with spam (KS hawks trying to get me to hire them to do marketing for my campaign). If you do use Kickstarter, try to sign up with an email that is not your primary one.

If you have an idea that you think people will like, it costs you absolutely nothing (but some time and help actually setting up the campaign) to test it on on a crowd-funding site like kickstarter! There's really something special here for anyone who has creativity they want to offer the world!