You have your prototype? Good! Let’s get to business then. Whatever you chose to use as a platform (Kickstarter, Ulule or Indiegogo) crowdfunding project needs a crowd.
Building a community is a marathon
You may not like to read this but you need to create your community BEFORE you officially start your campaign. Simply creating a good board game and launching on Kickstarter is pretty much doomed to fail.
“But how can I already have a community if I never created a board game before?” Egg or chicken first right?!
The good moment to create a community is a year ago; and now, today.
Start by creating a mailing list and your social media accounts (Instagram, facebook, twitter) and provide good quality content. Get to know the landscape of the board game industry, comment on blogs related to it, engage yourself in a mature and enthusiastic manner. The whole goal is to be able to reach your small community when you start your campaign, so they can back your game during the early 24 hours.
If you do it properly, that you deliver quality games and stay patient: your community will grow project after project.
Finding a Manufacturing Company
It’s a boring chore but a very important one.
You may want to just focus on building your proto, your community and your campaign, but don’t underestimate the impact of a good or a bad manufacturing company. Depending on their expertise they WILL impact the size of your cards, meeples, box, miniatures. Your game can be very different indeed. Contact them all and select them depending on three factors.
• Quality: you won’t last if you don’t deliver.
• Price: don’t buy it if you can’t afford it
• Communication: China is far, make sure to get understood (avoid yes men).
Get professional reviews
It is SUPER important to get some reviews for your game, they will convert indecisive backers and give credibility to your project. Don’t confuse it with marketing, the return of investment with reviewers is poor, it does not drive a lot of sales. However, most reviewers are passionate about board game, kind and not in this side business for MONEY. Some will ask a small compensation, few a big fat cheque. Should you pay? It really depends on the reach you can get and how central they are in the community. But keep in mind, reviewers help indirectly your campaign, not directly.
Contact them ahead of time, stay in touch, build a media list where you can keep notes on them. Stay humble, YOU are asking a favour. The best PR tip you can keep in my mind is: Keep it short, save them some time, no bullshit.
In order to interest them you have to be interesting (DUH!), show them the prototype, explain briefly the game (remember your three pillars?), provide a timeline and some communication materials (press kit, pictures, article, other reviews, anything that show how serious you are and how awesome your game is 😉
When you have everything set up, then you can move to the next step: creating your marketing plan and your crowdfunding campaign page.
Quick hint, it’s long, it’s hard, it’s important XD