There’s a lesson I learned when launching my failed Kickstarter campaign. It seems obvious now, but I just didn’t see it before when I was working on my campaign.

It’s very simple and it’s something every good marketer knows:

Your Twitter and Facebook friends are not necessarily the right audience for your show or product.

I took as many steps as possible to make my campaign a winner. We had a great trailer, a great script, fun rewards (though I also learned some lessons about that) and, if I can say so myself, a good Kickstarter video (if you’re curious, watch it below).

On the marketing side, I gathered as many people that worked on the show as possible and I got them to share the project on their Facebook, Twitter, etc. My friends at Jetpack America also graciously gave me a shout on their social media.

All in all, we totaled around 45,000 friends and followers, and the total people that actually backed the project: 23.

That hurt.

Here’s the breakdown by dollars pledged:

Strangers through social media  $    48.00 5%
Strangers that found us on Kickstarter  $    88.00 10%
Friends and family  $  270.00 29%
Mom  $  520.00 56%
Total  $  926.00 100%

Technically my mom is part of the Friends and Family group. But she made such a big single contribution that she deserves her own slot. Plus, it looks funnier that way 🙂

What this graph tells me (other than the fact I have a wonderful mom, friends and family), is that from all the 45,000 people we reached only got $48 dollars from 4 people, $12 each.

A comparable web series could be Video Game High School, the tone is different but we were trying similar things. Their Season 2 Kickstarter campaign raised $808,341 from over 10,000 people. Roughly $85 each person.

I’m pretty sure Freddie doesn’t have a huge family, he’s Asian. There are of course many differences between our shows, but at the most basic level, the main difference between his campaign and mine is that he had tons and tons of fans that trusted him and knew his work. Ours didn’t.

Of the 44,996 people that saw our posts on Facebook and Twitter and didn’t support it, many didn’t know us enough to check out yet another Kickstarter. Others probably liked it but they never heard of us before, so there wasn’t any trust to give us their hard earned money.

I think that the biggest reason people didn’t contribute was that we just reached the wrong 45,000 people. They were friends of friends. Virtually none of them were looking for a show like Bionique.

If you compare that to Freddie. He has a YouTube channel that people have slowly found. If they like it they subscribe. Over time this creates trust and familiarity of the work he does. When Freddie posts a new project on his channel, he reaches around 7 Million people that already said they like his work. And since the project is an extension of it, they’ll at least check it out and consider supporting it.

I’m not saying you need 7 Million fans to get your project funded. Just don’t make the mistake I did of relying on sheer numbers of random people to like your project and offer you money for it.

You really need to build an audience, however small or big, and size your project accordingly.

This article is part of a series with tips and lessons I learned from my failed Kickstarter campaign. Go to the main article here.