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How a cat photo doubled our funding

Posted by Jason Tagmire on

Here's a Kickstarter life lesson for those of you who are having trouble funding, or for anyone in their mid-campaign slump...

WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS, POST A CAT PHOTO!

I did this, and it worked. Here's the story.

My campaign for Alex Strang's Movie Plotz opened to about 25% on its first day and had a few pledges bringing it up to about 35% by the end of day two. I was a little stressed out because I had hoped it would have done better, but at the same time I wasn't too worried because I knew it usually works out by the end.

Our goal was just $1000 (to cover costs for our travel wallet packaging and fancy bulk folded rules), so 25 and 35% still feels very low. We also have a low base pledge level, so it kind of balances out. I'm just used to seeing a large backer count on opening day, whether it's a Kickstarter of mine, one I'm part of, or one that I'm just watching. Movie Plotz had a few immediate Kickstarter strikes against it (party game, storytelling and very little art), but I still saw it's potential and wanted to bring it out to a larger audience. With it being small and easy to ship, it balances out once again. Lots of balancing on this project!

By the end of day two I was scratching my head. If we had a higher funding goal I would have been in full-on panic mode, but I was thinking of how we would reach a larger audience??? I posted a Boardgamegeek article about "How To Package A Microgame" and it had a bit of buzz going. Lots of thumbs, favorites and retweets. Some people even jumped in on the discussion, which is near impossible when you post directly about your game. This didn't translate to funding, but that wasn't the point. It was to show off our new form of microgame packaging... as seen in Movie Plotz on Kickstarter. <wink!>

Everything changed on day three when I posted this:

Poor Ernie's Catastrophe is a fake movie that was made up in a session of Movie Plotz. The session was videotaped and available on youtube when I was thinking of making a fake poster. This one turned out great (designers Jay TreatBonnie Neubauer and David Dunham really nailed it) and being able to share the video made it the perfect choice.

Within a few hours we had doubled our funding and our worries turned from "what happens if the lull continues?" to "uh-oh, it's time to announce some stretch goals!". Not a bad problem to have.

So that is what happens when you post a cat photo to your Kickstarter. INSTANT FUNDING!*


*I should note that I also sent out the Button Shy newsletter the same morning to about 800 of our followers, but I cannot conclude whether our surge was due to the newsletter or the cat photo. You'll have to try it yourself and let me know if it works. :)


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