Kickstarter Post-mortem

[x_section parallax=”false” bg_image=”” bg_color=”” class=”center-text” style=”margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px; padding: 45px 0px 45px 0px; “][x_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” bg_color=”” style=”margin: 0px auto 0px auto; padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; “][x_column bg_color=”” type=”1/1″ class=”center-text ” style=”padding: 00px 100px 00px 100px; “][x_text class=”justify-text “]A few months ago I launched a Kickstarter project called ’The Voice of a Young Sailor’.

It started out promisingly, with New York gallerist, curator and author Ed Winkleman commenting, ‘an original and adorable pitch’, but it failed to build any sort of momentum and fizzled out, ending well below target on the 23rd August.

I enjoyed putting the project together, and ‘better to have tried and failed than not to have tried at all’, but having worked so hard on it for so many months, it was a disappointing result.

So what went wrong?[/x_text][x_gap size=”30px”][x_image type=”none” src=”http://www.paulsewter.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/23-2.jpg” alt=”” link=”false” href=”#” title=”” target=”” info=”none” info_place=”right” info_trigger=”hover” info_content=””][x_gap size=”30px”][x_blockquote cite=”Ed Winkleman” type=”left”]”An original and adorable pitch, so kudos on that”[/x_blockquote][x_text class=”justify-text “]My initial thinking was that, as hard as I’d tried, it simply wasn’t a good enough idea to grab the crowd’s attention. But then if that was the case, what about Ed’s comments? He’s a straight-shooter after all, not known for firing off casual platitudes.

I started by googling, ’Why did my kickstarter campaign fail?’ and came across some interesting results, such as ‘Your Kickstarter Campaign Is Going to Fail, So Don’t Bother’ by B.J. Mendelson.

Hmmm…

And then there was filmmaker Mark Kines, ‘8 Things I learned From my (failed) Kickstarter campaign’ who reveals that, ‘of my 249 Kickstarter backers, only about 20 were not friends, friends of friends, or Twitter followers.’

Double hmmm… This was something I thought might be the case, but I didn’t fancy the idea of my project being funded by friends and family’s charitable donations, so I deliberately kept quiet and focussed on trying to develop a ‘real’ audience by contacting people like Ed instead.

Then there were other clues, like the scores of emails I received from people trying to sell me marketing services; ‘We have noticed that your project is currently 1140th in the Arts category, would you like to push it to top 20?’ At the time I wondered why I was getting bombarded with so much spam. Now I know – without a great deal of time and attention given over to marketing, your Kickstarter project may very well end up like the proverbial tree falling in the forest, with no-one around to hear it.

The more I read, the more I came to understand how and why my project had come up short. And the more I thought about it, the more I realised that I was just like countless other unrepresented Artists out there, all trying to meet the challenges of marketing their own work, but more often than not appearing like castaways on a desert island – busy stuffing messages into bottles, and blindly throwing them onto the high seas, in the hope that they will reach an audience somewhere that can relate…[/x_text][x_gap size=”30px”][x_image type=”none” src=”http://www.paulsewter.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/1.jpg” alt=”” link=”false” href=”#” title=”” target=”” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover” info_content=””][x_gap size=”30px”][x_text class=”justify-text “]So what now?

Well, firstly, I‘m not giving up on the ‘Voice of a Young Sailor’. But I’m not going to relaunch the Kickstarter campaign – I’m going to do things a bit differently this time…

Secondly, I’ve decided to record my thoughts and findings on how unrepresented Artists deal with the ever tricky ‘marketing’ issue, via a new Diary blog page.

And lastly, I’m happy to be back in the studio making new work and thinking about new exhibition ideas.

Success is a game of inches, after all…[/x_text][x_gap size=”30px”][x_share title=”Share this Post” facebook=”true” twitter=”true” google_plus=”true” linkedin=”true” pinterest=”true” reddit=”true” email=”true”][/x_column][/x_row][/x_section]

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