This is Part 2 of our “The Birth of Our Book” series, chronicling the behind-the-scenes of our new book, Accelerate. Click here to read Part 1.
Introductions to writers/bloggers: We certainly didn’t use this to its fullest potential since we were a very lean team, but asking our network of entrepreneurs for introductions did help us get some unique guest post opportunities on some startup blogs.
Fishing KickStarter pictures through Google: The press list was quite an interesting one. We took some of the most heavily shared KickStarter projects and copied their project picture into Google Pics, which allows you to search the internet for where that picture has appeared online. Since most blog coverage and guest posts about a project tend to feature the same picture from the project page, the goal was to find which links featured that picture and then contact the blogger. This is not the right way to connect with the likes of Mashable, Wired, TechCrunch, The Verge…. Still, this is a smart trick and it just might work for you.
What Didn’t Work:
Email to investors: One thing we tried was reaching out to a list of startup and business investors to see if they’d be interested in sponsoring our book. We were looking for a big fish. Unfortunately, since most of these investors didn’t know us it was quite ineffective.
Video explanation and plug for book: Though we were grateful for having the opportunity to be filmed talking about our book, the outlets that we chose for this had very little visibility and cost us more time than the reward warranted. The lesson here was: limit time-draining marketing activities to opportunities with high potential reward and very high viewership.
- When You Do Things, THINGS Happen. This was a massive lesson for us. It’s especially valuable for things that are quite hard to quantify or assume. For example, us blasting twitter announcements out about our book not only resulted in KickStarter backers but also helped us generate some incredible relationships with individuals that we probably would not have been able to connect with, if not for the book.
- Before it all starts: Structure your marketing campaign according to what NEEDS to get done and when. Put particular focus into those tasks that have a high reward (traffic) to effort ratio. Have a rough idea of what tasks are critical and spend time on those. Also, have a really good idea of what would be a waste of time, and spend NO time on those.We did this, for the most part, however we could have saved time by being even more selective about what ended up in our “worth the time” category.
- More Preparation: You can never prepare too much or try too many promotional ideas that are either home runs or nothing. More preparation would have been really useful in having all of our press lists, email lists, twitter lists, groups, and special contacts completely locked and loaded prior to the launch. Also keep in mind, some things that are massive long shots sometimes pay off and if they don’t pay off they can lead to something that does.
- Just because you are on KickStarter they will NOT come: Just 3% of our funding came through KickStarter. In a previous KickStarter campaign that reached $28,000 less than 2% of our support came from individuals that happened to stumble across us on KickStarter. No one cares about you being on KS unless they know you are on there.
- Hype: Do all you can to find ways to encourage discussion about your project. Is your project funny, innovative, scary, hard to believe, controversial? Concentrate on promoting areas of your project that people have strong opinions about and the encourage discussion.
- Generate relationships early: With individuals and organizations that could play a vital role in the success of your project.
Next time I’ll share how NOT to launch a project on Kickstarter and the 4 key mistakes we made.
Get your copy of our new book Accelerate: Founder Insights Into Accelerator Programs