Tips on my Pozible campaign
Last year I held a crowd funding campaign on Pozible to fund my first children’s book and it was successful. I reached 100% of the target within a few days, and we went over, hitting 146% by the completion date.
At the book launch I was asked lots of questions about the campaign, I wasn’t prepared for it, my answers were a bit vague and it was the incentive for creating this post.
Running a Pozible campaign is a lot of work. I had to prepare it and make it look good. Then I promoted it to keep it alive, and once it’s finished there’s the need to follow through with all the people who have been generous.
As a general thing, I thought it was important to be as open and honest as possible.
#1 – Friendly brains!
I had a lot of help from other people with knowledge and experience in Pozible and publishing. Designers, teachers, friends, everyone had bits of advice for me and I took it on board. I Learnt from people that have done projects like mine and from people who have run Pozible campaigns on similar themes.
I listened to other people a lot and then made choices on what I thought would work for me based on looking at similar projects than mine.
#2 – Planning
It took a long time for me to decide to run the campaign, and how I was going to do it. I didn’t rush, and started to get my head around it when the book wasn’t even finished.
I had a budget – I knew what the major costs were, but there were of course costs that crept out from behind bushes at the last moment. Next time I will know to overestimate my costs and to put in a small contingency just in case.
Making a timeline – I tried to be as clear and honest as possible in what people were going to get and how it was going to happen. I had a finished product pretty much ready to go. My book was all done, illustrated, written, designed and close to be print ready by the time I launched the campaign.
I got the printers to give me print and delivery dates but the books arrived over a month early! Sounds great but it’s meant it was hard to work full-time and deal with Pozible and book logistics stuff. I did my best to get the books out as quickly as possible and I’m lucky my husband Daniel was on holiday and did a lot of the running around.
I had over 150 books to send and it took about 7 minutes to package one – to sign, wrap, and write a card as well because I wanted them to be special like a gift! I also did some illustrations for some rewards, which takes a lot of time.
But in a best case scenario, the ideal would be to have time to distribute the rewards as quickly as possible, and making sure to take the time to show people your gratitude.
I planned the timing to be right for me and for others. I could have launched the Pozible campaign in December, as the book was close to being ready, but I wanted people to be available. Christmas time is not ideal unless you can deliver the product before the big day so people can give it as a present.
I made sure the rewards were generous: the illustration I offered to do for the biggest rewards were a lot cheaper that what it would normally cost to commission me.
#3 – Research
Read the FAQs on Pozible, and see if there’s a Pozible ambassador near you! I was lucky to know people (like Josh Santospirito not to name) who had done similar project and were very generous with their advice and support.
My husband Daniel also went to a Pozible workshop and learnt lots of tips about how to run a campaign, like:
- short is better. In most cases, one month is perfect. Longer campaign does not mean more time to hit your goal.
- half way through your campaign, run an event to get people excited again
- it is pretty normal for the campaign to peak at the start, then go a bit quiet and peak towards the end again
- if you reach 30% of your campaign within the first few days, it’s a good sign!
- make a video to present the project, it will show you are a real person and you really exist, it’s personal and connects you the community.
I didn’t follow all these advice: for example, I didn’t do a video. A friend wisely told me: “make sure you don’t delay starting your campaign by putting more obstacles in front of you. You should just go for it, you have enough on your plate.” It was a good advice!
Again, I felt prepared enough with the rest of the project to feel comfortable doing so, (and I don't enjoy being in front of a camera!) but I wouldn’t say it is the way to go for everyone.
I researched how similar successful projects did their promotion. Having a great Pozible page is crucial but it’s just as important that people actually see it!
#4 – Tell everyone about it!
Promotion is really important, and it starts a long time before you push the button on your Pozible campaign.
Facebook is the main way I let people know about my work – it’s something I started my page well before the Pozible campaign (years before). I’m also on twitter and instagram. I have a website and another blog too! Through these channels I kept people up-to-date on the progress of my book from the beginning of its creation – people knew it was coming. That helped because they already wanted to see the project through and they had seen it in progress.
People need to know about the campaign a bit in advance so when you launch it, they are prepared for it and are excited.
A big milestone in the progress of my book was to be invited to speak at the Emerging Writers Festival. The book wasn’t finished so this was an incentive for me to have it pretty much all done by the event. It was the first time I presented the project to a crowd and the response was great – before that, I was in the dark about how the concept would be received and didn’t have a clue if I was going to succeed. This gave me the confidence to do the Pozible campaign and it helped build the momentum.
Some friends who had run campaigns like mine insisted that I needed to promote it a lot on social media. It felt a bit like spamming to me, but it is good to realize that for people to see your posts, you need to repeat it a few times. And for people to remember, or go on the link and take the time to put the money through, it needs to be the right time for them too. So there I was, posting a lot about it on Twitter and Facebook. Again and again and again.
I did not send out a lof of bulk anonymous emails to people in my contact list, but I did put a link to my Pozible in my email signature.
I tried to make the posts a bit new every time; a new picture, an update on the campaign, something that wasn’t just asking for support, but also informing or amusing. I tried to be generous, or at least not too annoying ;-)
During the campaign I did my best to be available, I would reply as soon as I could to questions. I posted a couple of general updates on the Pozible page too.
When I say I was lucky, I mean it, people like Josh and my web design teacher Ian were amazing. Josh was so helpful by retweeting, sharing his experience, telling people about the project, etc… and Ian endlessly helped me through the printing process.
I also had a few VERY generous supporters who gave more than I would have ever asked for.
I was also featured in the local newspaper and on local radio. While I’m not sure how much support this directly results in, it certainly helps to give your project legitimacy and gives you something significant to share around on social media.
#5 – Audience
I had a product that would be for sale, so the Pozible campaign – at its most simple – was a way people could pre-order the book.
The book was targeted at kids, based in Tasmania and new for locals and people connected to Tasmania as a souvenir, for example. This audience was one I was already connecting with through my existing work and promotion on Facebook.
It was straightforward to work out relevant rewards for supporters. As well as book sales I was able to offer personalised illustrations – something that ties into the book and is only available through Pozible.
But there are successful campaigns on heaps of different types of project so my advice is to check out similar campaigns and see how their products are made Pozible-compatible, as I am no specialist.
Alright, I hope this will help someone out there.
If you have some questions I would be more than happy to answer them. The staff at Pozible are also really helpful so get in touch with them!