Marketing Mistakes: My Failed Kickstarter Campaign

This past year I created and designed a board game, called Mercenaries of Chance. I was super excited to see this project come to life, so I launched a Kickstarter campaign, hoping that it would succeed.

It did not succeed. I failed.

One thing I try to emphasize is that failure is a great teacher. In fact, it can be one of our most helpful teachers, if we let it.

So, for this post we are going to take a look at my marketing mistakes and see how we can learn from them.

The Strategies

I knew I had to leverage social media platforms, since that’s where most board gamers lived. Especially instagram.

So, I started with a few ideas of how to build an audience before launching my Kickstarter campaign.

  • A Facebook page, leveraging Facebook Ads
  • An Instagram page, showcasing the game, and also leveraging ads
  • A second Instagram page, to compliment my primary instagram page down the road.
  • A YouTube channel, primarily to host videos explaining the game, and how to play it

The hope was that I would build up a large enough audience to garner a good enough response to get my campaign launched in March.

That plan backfired.

My First Mistake: Impatience

My first marketing mistake was this… I was impatient.

I had been working on the game for so long that I wanted to see it come to life, without any regard for timing.

Patience can be a very hard thing to have whenever you are wanting to see your product or business come to life. Especially whenever you are a go-getter like me. You just want things to happen! So you take action!

While being ready to “move and act” on things isn’t always a bad approach, it’s important to step back realize that it can be.

I should have had more patience and built up a much larger audience and following before launching the Kickstarter Campaign.

My Second Mistake: Budgeting

The second mistake I made was this… I didn’t budget enough money for my project.

I had a limited budget of $1,000 for my board game. This included all of the expenses for development, manufacturing (prototyping), and marketing.

The problem was, I was so focused on development and prototyping that I didn’t plan for marketing expenses. I was sure that I would be able to get a large organic following on social media.

I was wrong.

If I had to do it again, I would have saved and set aside at least $2,000 to pour into marketing expenses.

(Yikes, this was an expensive hobby!)

With this money I would have had a strong focus on getting my game in the hands of board game Instagram influencers.

Why, you might ask?

Because social media influencers ALREADY have the following of your target audience. It would have done me well to leverage that.

Not factoring in marketing costs really hurt me here.

My Third Mistake: Failing to Plan

As I stated earlier, I was so focused on the product and experience that I didn’t plan for the endgame.

The creative process gave me tunnel vision.

I didn’t plan for the marketing expenses.

I didn’t expect to perform so poorly on Instagram and Facebook.

I didn’t plan out my budget.

The Takeaway

You’ve probably heard this phrase before — failing to plan is planning to fail.

It’s true.

Take time to sit down and think through things before you do them. Don’t just look at your products/services/business from a microscopic view. Look at things from multiple perspectives.

Ask for other peoples perspective. Think through the entire process.

And most importantly, learn from mistakes.

What are some mistakes you’ve made marketing your business?

What did you learn from them?

Let me know in the comments below!

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