Sorry I’m getting this one up late.
Friday wasn’t a great day for the Kickstarter project. I woke up and was excited to see that we had broken $4000 but had expected more thanks to the brilliant write-up we’d received in Cool Hunting.
I’m incredibly grateful to Nara at Cool Hunting for her enthusiasm about Konichiwang and her post was on point but I kind of expected the number of backers to swell quickly due to the reach Cool Hunting has, I also expected once smaller sites to repost Cool Hunting's work. Alas it hasn’t happened yet.
For a Kickstarter project to be successful you really need some great press attention. I knew this in advance of launch and I had a hit list of the outlets I wanted to reach but I resisted from contacting journalists early because I didn’t have enough to show them. All I had was a cover and a concept when I felt like I needed a press release, mock layouts, an example article, and photos of the magazine in different locations. I only got my shopping list of shareable material the eve before launch and by then it was too late so I was left to cold-calling people on launch day.
If there’s one thing you should learn from this article it’s that the only thing worse than cold calling is cold calling when you’re desperate and need results immediately, so do your research weeks out from launch and start grooming relationships then, if even you've got nothing to show just say hi.
While I admit that I was late and unknown to members of the press I just thought that our main hooks would spark some interest. Here are the main hooks I went out with:
1) Konichiwang is the first magazine of it’s kind. It fills a gap in business media by chatting to SME’s and relatable entrepreneurs. The magazine asks 12 successful New Yorkers how they started out, how they made their idea happen, and how their life has changed since.
2) It’s a self referential magazine with a suitably meta Kickstarter video and magazine cover.
3) We created a limited edition mens button-down shirt that matches the cover of the first issue. The shirt is made in NY using Liberty Print fabric and is limited to just 50 shirts. The matching shirt / magazine cover was inspired from the matching wallpaper / shirt scene in the film Garden State.
4) We created a pop-up graveyard with life sized tombstones inscribed with great ideas that have deceased. The graveyard was planted outside AdWeek’s CEO Connectors event near Times Square, Pete Cashmore form Mashable was one of the panelists at the event.
Over the weekend I’m going to re-evaluate my press strategy, fortunately I still have more than 3 weeks to hit the funding target.
PS- Not that I’ve been really successful thus far at getting press but here’s a few tips (some of which I need to say to myself out loud)
-Figure out why your story is great and why people would be interested in reading it
-The journalist NEED YOU. You’re not bothering them, instead look at how you can make their job as easy as possible by giving them all the information and images they need.
-Tailor your pitches to the outlet and the journalist.
-Give some love back by either promoting their post on you or promoting their other work