Storytelling Basics: How Creatives and Brands Can Build a Following | Learn with Kickstarter | Stephanie Pereira | Skillshare

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Storytelling Basics: How Creatives and Brands Can Build a Following | Learn with Kickstarter

teacher avatar Stephanie Pereira, Director of Community Education, Kickstarter

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Setting Your Goals


    • 3.

      Identifying Your Audience


    • 4.

      Finding Your Project's Story


    • 5.

      Relationship Building


    • 6.

      Communications Plan


    • 7.

      Press Outreach


    • 8.

      Launch Day


    • 9.



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About This Class

Join Kickstarter’s Director of Community Education Stephanie Pereira for a strategic 35-minute class on how to get people excited about your next creative project!

Building on Kickstarter's experience with 100,000+ project launches, Stephanie walks through essential steps, including:

  • Identifying your goals and audience
  • Writing key messages
  • Relationship building (before you need it!)
  • Developing a communication plan

This inspiring class is perfect for inventors, entrepreneurs, artists, and everyone eager to launch their idea. Plus, the discussion and project spaces are the perfect place to get started right away. Develop your story, get feedback from fellow students, and inspire others to help you share the word!


Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects – from films, games, and music to art, design, and technology. Since its launch in 2009, 10 million people have backed a project, $2.2 billion has been pledged, and 100K+ projects have been successfully funded. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Stephanie Pereira

Director of Community Education, Kickstarter


I've worked with the Kickstarter community for more than four years to help bring creative projects to life.

Before joining Kickstarter in Fall 2011, I spent nearly a decade in the non-profit arts sector. I am passionate about making the world a more creative and just place. I collaborate with artists, organizations and companies to bring new ideas into the world.

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1. Introduction: Hi, Skillshare, nice to meet you. My name is Stephanie Pereira. I am Kickstarter's Director of Community Education. So, Kickstarter, in case you haven't heard of us, is a funding platform for creative projects. This means anything from film, to design, to games, to food, technology. If you have a creative idea that you want to bring into the world and share it with other people, Kickstarter is the place to do it. We've been around since 2009 and to date. Over 100,000 projects have been funded by over 10 million people and over two billion dollars have been pledged to these creative projects. Those numbers are always super exciting to me because if I think of all the creative projects and all the creative ideas in the world and how many people have come together to make them happen, it's just amazing and mind-blowing. So today's class, is about building a community around your creative project. Through a series of videos and exercises, we're going to walk through how you take your creative idea and translated into ideas and stories that other people are going to be excited about, and want to run with and share with other people on your behalf. At the end of this class, I'm excited for you to walk away with a few different skills. One, you'll figure out how do you tell a story in a way that will get people excited about what it is you're doing. You'll figure out who the audiences for your project, who's who in particular is going to be excited about it and it finally and how do you engage that audience? What are they going to want from you and how do you bring them in and invite them to be a part of what you're doing? To get the most out of this class, a student should have an idea for a creative project. Whether it's that crazy T-shirt that you've always wanted to make, to write your first book, to launch a coffee shop, whatever it is, you should have an idea. You should also be familiar with platforms like Kickstarter when it's for, how it works and what's allowed. Student should take this class because one of the hardest parts of launching a creative idea into the world, is finding an audience for that creative idea and getting them as excited as you are about that idea. By the end of this class, you will know how to find that audience and engage them in a way that is compelling in the long-term for both you and for them. So, today's project will be to share the story of your creative idea. You want to figure out what it is that you want to make, how are you going to talk about that, how are you going to share the story of you and how you came to this idea and why you're excited about it. You're going to map out some of the people you think will be excited and how you're going to reach them or you're going to use Facebook or Twitter or whatever. What are the channels you're going to use and then what are the things you're going to create to reach those people on those channels, right? Are you going to make pictures, you're going to make videos. What's the most exciting thing you can create? So, it's just going to be a sketch, it's just going to be an idea, but it'll get you ready to go to launch your idea to the world. All right, so let's get started. 2. Setting Your Goals: The first step in sharing your creative idea with the world is figuring out what are your goals, what do you want to accomplish with this project. It's not just raising a bunch of money, that's okay. It's a good thing, but it's not the end of the story. It's what you want to make. Do you want to open a new coffee shop? Do you want to publish your first book? Do you want to have a show of your photographs? What is it that you want to do? We've seen in the hundred thousand successful projects, we've seen all sorts of goals. We've seen people who literally have said, "I never want to self-publish another book, I want to be discovered." So if your goal is to be discovered, that will change the kind of story you tell about your project. I'm going to show you a few examples to help you understand how people use their goals to define what their story is on Kickstarter. In the first example, By the Olive Trees, which is a collaboration between two editorial photographers, Michael Friberg and Benjamin Rasmussen, they had been traveling to Jordan for a while to photograph the Syrian refugee population there. Their goal with this Kickstarter project was to publish a newspaper that shared the stories and images that they'd been collecting as they went. One thing that was very important to them was that this would not be a newspaper that just reached other photo editors, other people in their world. They wanted as many people as possible to see this thing. So, the story that they told here was not an insider story. It wasn't a story for other photographers, it was a story that was meant to be as widely accessible and as exciting for as many people as possible. In this second example, which is the Sigmund Freud Typeface, A Letter to your Shrink, the creator had a couple of goals. He had the goal, of course, of creating a typeface. He was totally inspired by Sigmund Freud's handwriting, he thought it would be beautiful and thought it would be incredible if anyone with a keyboard could recreate it. He also thought it would be a fun challenge for himself as a designer. The third and final goal he had with this project was to enable anyone to write a letter to their shrink using Sigmund Freud's handwriting. It was a private joke with himself, he thought it'd be really funny; and by creating this typeface, he made it possible. So, now, you can go and download this typeface and write a letter to your shrink. I don't know if you've ever done that before, but now you can and you can do it in Sigmund Freud's handwriting. The third and final example I'm going to share with you all is a food magazine out of Chicago called Middlewest. It was created by people from the food industry: food writers, photographers, and designers. People who have been working in the industry for a while and had the dream of creating their own project. As you're thinking through your goals for your creative idea, ask yourself why. Don't get bogged down in the short term. I want to raise money. I want to launch a successful campaign. Think about what it is that you're trying to accomplish, what is most important to you to achieve through this project. So, now you've identified what your goals are, what it is you want to accomplish with your creative project, the next step is to figure out who are you going to share this project with, who is going to help you achieve those goals. 3. Identifying Your Audience: Once you know what your goals are, you can take the next step of identifying the best audience to help you achieve those goals. So, let's look at the examples from the last video and look at some of the possible audiences for their project, and hopefully that will help you all figure out how to figure out the audiences for your project. Going back to By the Olive Trees, there's a few possible audiences for this project. We know that the creators have the goal of reaching beyond the photography community, but we know that other photographers and the industry around it are going to be super excited about what they're up to. So, that's one possible audience. Who else would be interested in this project? Probably, people who are interested in current affairs or international events, and also, of course, the Syrian diaspora. So, other people who are experiencing what these population in Jordan are experiencing are going to want to see these pictures and hear these stories. So, that's three possible audiences. So, let's look at the Sigmund Freud Typeface example. Who is the possible audience here? There's actually quite a bit going on in this project. There is of course people who are excited about Sigmund Freud. The designer has said in the project that he wants to create the typeface in Vienna. He wants to really channel the time and the place that Freud was in. So, it could be people who are living in Vienna. Who are excited about this project? It's probably other designers, people who create typefaces. I mean, this is quite nerdy. If you look at the project page for itself, he shows a lot of the design process for how you translate handwriting into a typeface. Other people who might be excited about this are people who know this designer. This could be you, you could be someone who has an established following. You've created other typefaces, you have other design work people are familiar with. You should not discount that audience, that's a built-in audience for you. So, there's a lot of different ways you can go with something like this. Looking at Middlewest, the food magazine, again, there's a handful of different audiences I can identify right off the top. One is other foodies, especially foodies you cook. Another one is the people in the food industry, the creators themselves are writers, and photographers, and designers from the industry so probably their peers. Third possible audience are people who love magazines, especially people who subscribe to food magazines, people subscribe to things like Bon Appetit, or here in New York, we have edible things like that. Those are definitely going to be people who are excited about this project. Probably, finally, other designers. This is a well-designed magazine, it's thoughtfully executed, there's beautiful images, those are people who are going to definitely be excited about this magazine. If you get stuck, if for some reason, this is a hard project for you, if you just can not, you're racking your brain and you just can't figure it out, I advise you to look at projects similar to yours. Figure out who is writing about these people. Who's excited about them? Who's liking their Facebook post? Who sharing their Facebook post? Who's partnering with them and doing events with them? Look at their world, that's likely going to be a similar world to yours. I think once you get going down that path, it'll start to make sense to you. Now, that you know who your audience is and what you want to achieve, it's important to find the right story to connect with those people so that they can help you achieve your goals. If you haven't already, check out the worksheet that we've included in the class resources. You can get started by writing a description of your project, and then charting down some of the audiences you think would be excited about what you're up to. Okay. Now we know what our goals are, we know who we want to talk to, it's time to figure out what we're going to say to those people. 4. Finding Your Project's Story: There are a few simple steps you can take for finding the right story for the right audience. So, first, take out that worksheet, again, and choose one of the audiences you identified. Now, ask yourself, what do these people want to hear? What are they going to be excited about? What kind of stories did they tell each other? How do you tell a story to them that they are going to share with their community? Finding the right story can be hard. The first step you should take to find that story is go back to your goals, what is it that you want to achieve, right? In the case of "By the Olive Trees", there's a few different stories they could possibly tell. They could tell their personal story as photographers, right? How did they end up in Jordan? How did they get together as collaborators? I mean, that's interesting. They could focus on the stories of the refugees, the people that they've met on this journey. They could also possibly tell the story of the photobook, the thing, the physical object that they're making. Knowing that they want to reach as many people as possible. Knowing that the Syrian diaspora are people that they hope to connect with this project, it's probably the story of the refugees that they want to focus on, right? The images, the stories that they collected while they were in Jordan. In the example of the Sigmund Freud Typeface, we've already talked about some of the possible stories, right? So, there's the story of the typeface itself. How does one create a typeface? We could talk about the inspiration behind it. We can talk about Sigmund Freud. We could talk a lot about Sigmund Freud. We can focus on Vienna if we know we want to engage people in Vienna. We can really focus on that part of the narrative. So, if you want to pair a few different kinds of narratives just tell one rich, interesting complex story. You can look at the Sigmund Freud example, it's a great case for this. They kept the story of Sigmund Freud front and center and we know that he's a powerful figure and will draw a lot of people to the project. His handwriting and the way that it was so beautiful is also a powerful driver for the narrative here. So, if you look at the project page, you're going to see lots of examples of his handwriting and different samples of that as it's evolved over the years. Another part of the story that the creator decided to go with, was the story of Vienna, of him being in Vienna to create the typeface. So, if you look at the project reward, he actually uses the reward as a storytelling device within the project. So, he offers to send letters from Vienna to you, of course, in Sigmund Freud's handwriting. So, I would encourage you when thinking about your stories and how you weave them together, look at these project pages and look not only at the project video and the product description, but also how they use the reward descriptions and the images on the page to tell a story that would appeal to different kinds of audiences. Looking at the Sigmund Freud Typeface project and looking at their different rewards that they offered, the descriptions are a great example of using your rewards to tell a story. So, for example, when we look at the $5 reward, we have the Sigmund Freud journal, which includes a digital journal of the complete work process from beginning to end. This includes sketches, daily design notes, studio photos and videos, drafts and corrections. Then, this is my favorite part, photos of Vienna. So, this includes, of course, the Freud Museum and the coffee bars that anyone who's been to Vienna knows about. Then, all the research material from the projects. So, what the creator has done here at the lowest level for participation, has invited you in to be a part of the project, to become his fan, and follow him as he creates this font. We can look at some of the other rewards from the project, including Sigmund Freud @home, which is the font itself. Looking at the $20 reward, we have a letter from Vienna, which is wonderful because it includes the fonts, the project, whoever backs the project gets the font, but you also get a letter sent from Vienna, typeset, of course, in the Sigmund Freud font, signed by the creator. So, there's 103 people pledged for this. This is a full $10 more than getting the font itself. People were excited about getting involved in the process and connecting with the creator and, of course, getting a letter in the beautiful font of Freud. So, looking through the rewards on the Sigmund Freud project, there's lots of examples of how the creative community is invited to be a part of the process of this project. So, everything from letters sent by the creator to you or you can ask the creator to send a friend a letter from the project. There's photos and posters. There's different Vienna oriented things. It's a really fun example of using storytelling throughout their rewards to engage people in the process and in the project in a big way. Looking at the example of Middlewest, the food magazine, you can see, again, lots of possible stories to tell. There is the story of the team behind the project. I mean, it's pretty cool to see collaboration across fields. So, you having photographers and designers come together to make something as pretty amazing. There is the design studio involved, there's a well-known design studio in Chicago, so you could really talk a lot about that design studio. You can talk about food magazines in general. You could say these are why they're great, this is why they're not great. There's lots to talk about there. Thinking about the audience of other people in the industry, of course, in the food writing industry, you could talk about what it is that you wanted to change, and what you wanted to fix, and what your goals were. In the end, the team because they're all pretty well-known in Chicago, food writers, and the designers in particular, they talked a lot about their team and themselves. They made sure that they were a core part of the narrative they were telling. Then, the novelty of the idea of recipes on cards was a big one because not everyone lives in Chicago, not everyone knows who these writers are, and who the designers are. So, they wanted to have two main narratives to go with one that would really resonate with the local Chicago community and one that would resonate with people at large, those people who subscribe to food magazines, as people who love cooking from recipes, they wanted to make sure to reach them as well. So, let's look at how they told that story, right? Those are the two stories that they told. One was about the team and one was about the recipe cards and why they're exciting. Looking at their project video, they have just a very simple, clean demonstration of someone cooking a pretty basic recipe. In a way, it embodies the simplicity of the cards and the vibe that they were trying to convey with the cards. Looking at the project description itself, it's very clear, super concise, and to the point. They say, "What is Middlewest?" "Who is Middlewest?" "What are the recipes like?" They're answering the basic questions that they know their audience is going to have. Super important is including images. So, there's a photographer on the team, it's one of the big visions of the project, is to have beautiful images on the front of every card. So, they included samples of what those images would look like. They answered one of the key questions, which is, why is Middlewest unbound? One reason they answer that also was to highlight the fact that these are cards. These are recipe cards. This is not a traditional magazine. So, by asking that question was another way for them to highlight that this is a special edition. This is something unique that you haven't seen before. If you run into a roadblock while you're working on this exercise, phone a friend. Sometimes it's hard to figure out what a message is outside of your own head, but you know the project so well, you know it so intimately, you forget how to talk to other people about it. So, literally, call a friend up, say, "Hey, I'm thinking about this thing" and just talk to them for a while and then at the end of that call, say, "What was most exciting to you, what did you think was cool?" Like we talked about with Middlewest, we think that it's great, that it's unbound, right? With the Sigmund Freud font, we got stuck on all the Vienna lore, right? So, have that conversation with a friend, figure out what really sticks with them and what really resonates with them, it's a great way to find your key messages. At this point, go back to that worksheet we started working on in the last exercise. Draft some key messages for your audiences that you listed out. If you have one you're particularly excited about or one that you're struggling with, go ahead and share it at your project workspace. Ask other students for input and feedback and see if they have any great ideas for you. 5. Relationship Building: Now we know who our audience is, what we want to share with them, and what we want to get out of the whole experience, right? That's great. Next step is relationship building. What do I mean when I say relationship building? This is super important. So many people launch a creative idea into the world and only then do they start telling people about their idea, and at that moment there's a lot of pressure, there's a lot of things going on and you just find yourself hammering away at people and saying, "Share this, hey can I tell you about something? Share it, share it, hey hey. " Now what do you want? The best thing is to start early, you want to build relationships with people before you need them. You want to start sharing your idea in the world, getting feedback, learning if your key messages are hitting where you think they're going to hit, and refining those messages as you need to. You might also initially start with just by sending emails and then realize no one's opening those e-mails, you may then realize that everyone you know who cares about this thing is on Facebook. You might also learn that the videos that you share are the most popular thing in the world. Videos take time to create, so you want to make sure that you give yourself the time you need to create them. You may learn that nobody cares about video and they just care about images, great news that makes it easy. But you still want to give yourself ample time to create images that people are going to be excited about and want to share on your behalf. This is what I mean about relationship building. It's finding the people and then starting to reach out to them early, and start communicating with them early, learning about them, and then using that information to define the kinds of messages you share with them when you launch your project. If this all sounds great to you but you have no idea how to do it, let me help. So, step one is, going back to that list of audiences that you've defined and figuring out where they are. So, go to the audience building section of your worksheet and write those audiences into each section of the first column. So looking at by the olive trees as an example, we know that Michael wants to reach out to the Syrian diaspora. So, you would write Syrian diaspora in the first box, and then you want to figure out where do these people hang out? So you're going to go on Facebook, you're going to go and look for forums, you're going to look for websites, you're just going to try to figure out where is this community? Where do they interact? Then the next step is to figure out what kinds of stuff they share in those spaces. Typically in forums people are just sharing links, and ideas, and conversation, you want to join in that conversation. On Facebook of course people share all sorts of stuff, so go to different Facebook groups, join those groups and get a feel for those conversations. Are people sharing news? Are they sharing videos? Are they sharing stories from home? You want to know what kind of stuff people talk about in these spaces. That might vary from group to group. Looking on Twitter and looking at different hashtags, you may get a whole other sense of the different conversations people are having in these spaces. This is the stuff you want to track in the third column of that worksheet, and this is the stuff that will inform the sort of things you want to build. Once you get a sense of what people are talking about, you can start trying out your own things as well. Create images, create texts, create videos, share links, see what people respond to, see what people are sharing because it's one thing for someone to like a post or heard a post, it's a whole other thing for people to reply to you and to comment to you, and to share what you're talking about. That's really the ultimate goal, to create something that people are engaged in actively. So to give a quick example of this idea of discovery and finding groups that are going to be excited about your project, still boggles your mind, you can look at Middle West magazine. We identified that one of their audiences is likely people who are excited about food magazines and food culture. So, look at other food magazines. Look at something like Edible or Bon Appetite like we talked about before. Look at who is following them on Facebook, who they're following on Facebook, look at their Twitter feeds, look at who's at mentioning them and who they're writing back to. You can get a pretty good sense of the online community around these things pretty quickly, and that's when you should start following and joining yourself and jumping in the conversation where you can. As you do this, of course, makes sure to have your own spaces set up. Your own Twitter, your own Facebook, your own Instagram, whatever the space you want to create is, so that people who are interested in what you've been saying and what you are sharing, could then go and follow you in return. Make sure that you're not losing all this engagement and all this relationship building as you go. All right, you're on board. You don't want to be chasing people on launch day, you want to build relationships before you need them, what are some easy steps you can take to start building those relationships? One, social media drives discovery, it really works. So, make use of those hashtags on Instagram and get on Pinterest. Two, post often and when you do ask for feedback. Not only will you learn a lot along the way but people love to feel like they have a stake in making a project successful. Three, try making a project that features your fans. When you post it online they'll be that much more likely to share it. Four, create an insider's email where you share previews of your process and exclusive opportunities. Keep the email short and don't oversend, you want the email to retain value over time. If you do decide to create an email list, make sure not to send too often, people will stop opening your emails and worst-case will unsubscribe. As far as how often you should send an email, think about your own behaviors, look at the emails that you get every day or every month or every week, which ones do you look forward to you most, which ones are you most excited about, which ones do you feel like just don't come often enough, use that to help you guide your own cadence. One of the most common things we hear from creators on Kickstarter is they wish they had taken more time in this step, taken more time to build relationships before they launched a project. So, they wish, if it's a game creator, they wish that they had gone out into the world and play tested their game more, not just to have a better game but to find more fans for the game earlier on. We've heard writers talk about wishing they had shared their draft with people, join more writing groups, had more conversations about the art of writing and publishing a book, for the same reason, to learn more about what you're doing but also to build that community, to build that network. So, if this step seems like a throwaway step to you it is absolutely not. This is probably the most important lesson you can take away from this. Up next, we'll talk about how to put these ideas into action and create a communication plan. 6. Communications Plan: All right. So, we've already done a lot of work. We figured out what our story is? What we want to achieve with our project? Who we want to tell about it? How we're going to reach those people? And what they're going to be excited about? Now, comes the hard part, it's not hard part. We will bring all those pieces together and create a communication plan. For this part you're going to take out another worksheet, the campaign asset table and get ready to fill it in. You might be using your worksheet to create different communication plans for different audiences. So, the images, videos, posts events, event announcements that you create, you might create different sets of content for each of your audiences. So, using the Beidi olive trees example, we might have three different communication plans, one for photography insiders and other for the Syrian diaspora, and yet another for people who were interested in current affairs or international events. Let's start with thinking about social media. With social media there's a bunch of different kinds of things we know work well, we know that short-form texts, we know that images with pull-quotes or short videos and of course GIFs work very well on those settings. So, these are likely the assets you create for those spaces. Looking at the campaign asset table, you'll see that I have the example of photos and pull-quotes listed underneath the what column. So, when I talk about what, I'm talking about what video, audio, GIF, image or live event are you planning for to support the story of your project. In the who column, I've listed the Syrian diaspora. When you're thinking about your who's, you want to ask yourself, all right. I'm creating some content who's going to be excited about this? So, you're creating some images and pull-quotes, who will be most excited about this? In this case, it's likely those Syrians who have traveled all over the world and are looking back towards their home, and towards the conflict at home, who are going to want to see those images in quotes. Checkout the where column. This is where I talk about where you post this content for these people. So, I suggest using Facebook groups as a place to share these images in quotes. Then finally, the last column is when. So, this is when do you share this content? I suggest with this thing that you want to start sharing in the months leading up to your campaign because remember you want to build those relationships before you need them. So, let's take a look at a fun example of how a musician and artists use Facebook to share images with his Kickstarter backers and his fans after his campaign had been funded. This is a little different than the before the campaign has been funded stuff, we'd been talking about, but it's the same idea. So, first we have a photo of the creator of the project Tim Fite in front of a drawing that he created that says, "Check your mail," and then in the description he says, "Check your mail," all the rewards from the project have been shared. This is a fun image, it's very sharable, this is something that 74 people liked, which is incredible and he had several comments on the project images well. That's always a great sign. Then we have two more examples, that from his Facebook feed. One is announcing that the special Kickstarter backer only digital download of the album would be available soon. This is really key because, when you're creating a project and you're telling a story that was meant to be exciting and exclusive, you want to create exclusive opportunities for people who participate in it. So, what he's done here, is created something special just for the people getting the special version of his album. This of course gives the people who did in fact his project a sense of missing out and wishing that they could be a part of it, but that's not a bad thing, it means that next time he does one of these projects, will make sure to jump on board. Again, 83 likes and tons of comments people are super excited to see this coming. Then the last image is yet another image to say that, the album has dropped, it's a funny image for people to share on the Internet, and celebrate the album with him. So, in each of these three examples, I think you'll see that these are fun these are things you'd be excited to see, this is the stuff that you would see in a Facebook feed and want to share and engage with. This is distinct from some of the other stuff that we see around these campaigns that's not so fun. He says that, "Help me please I just need a little more money, you were so close, we're getting over the line if we just have X X X," that can get exhausting and not fun for your fans and your community. One thing to keep in mind always when sharing stuff on social media is that this is about generosity, you want to be giving, giving, giving as much as you possibly can. It's actually this behavior that will encourage people to give back. 7. Press Outreach: All right. So, let's talk about press. Not everyone reaches out to press for their campaign, you certainly don't have to, you can definitely rely on the other community and audiences that you build. But a lot of people ask about press with Kickstarter projects and so I want to make sure we touch on it. Let's use by the olive trees as an example once again. Looking at the campaign asset table we have, in the what column, a media rich press release this is something that you definitely want to have in your back pocket when thinking about press. Which kind of pressing are you sending it to? So, this is what we have in the who column. You don't want to just create a generic media release for anyone to consume. So, let's think about that photography audiences, photography insiders here. What kind of press write's for those people, so that's the where column. So, we might want to think about messages for websites like Time Light Box, or or Then finally, you do not want to reach out to press in the lead up to your campaign because you don't want to exhaust them a you don't want them to publish the story before they have somewhere to point people. So, in the when this is usually the day of launch. It's up to you what time but usually, definitely wait until your campaign has launched. In some cases people do reach out to press beforehand as part of their relationship building thing and they might identify a person or two who can be their champions and advocates for their campaign when it goes live, that's definitely been super effective for people. We've heard stories of creators who have found one writer at one big magazine who is super excited about what they're doing, and has committed to publishing a piece for them on the day of the project launch. If you are that strategic, you can certainly try it. But if you don't want to, you don't have to you can just go ahead and hit that press list when you launch. 8. Launch Day: So, at this point you're starting to add up a bunch of different assets and you have a bunch of different whens, you want to start organizing this information in a timeline. We've included in the resources section a sample launch day timeline. So this is a great way for you to look at how other people have organized their communication plans on launch day and beyond. So when thinking of the scope of your communication plan, you want to start thinking as far as a month before launch day. In that month lead up this is when you might want to reach out to that early press relationship that you have, but certainly this is when you want to reach out to your email list. So I have an example here which is from a bicycle called the priority bike, and you could see in their newsletter that they announced just to their general email list that there's a new bike coming soon in one month on Kickstarter. It was a super clear message right up top at the top of their newsletter and then followed on by the usual content. Then for over the course of the next month, they sent additional communication once per week, coming in two weeks, coming in one week and then right up until the day before launch saying, tomorrow at 09:00 a.m. this bike is happening. I can tell you that I have all the emails, I'm only sharing a couple with you here today, but they each get progressively longer and more details. So the day before launch we actually have a video from the founder in the email itself, where he's introducing the idea and why it's exciting to him. So when you're preparing your pre-launch emails there's a few things to keep in mind. One, is of course audience, it's something we've talked about a lot today. You want to know, who are you sending these emails to? Are they people who know your project intimately? In the case of priority bikes that I shared with you, this is people who know the brand and know the founding story intimately. A lot of got onto this email list because we backed the first project, were all owners of the bike, we've spent time with the founder and we know their story well. So they felt comfortable going into detail, they felt comfortable sharing the passion story, they felt comfortable asking us to support early on and to share from right out the gate. It's important to always know your audience and to know what they're going to be excited about and what they need to know. If you have doubts or if you have questions about this, as always Phone a friend. Always test your email on them, see what they think of it, ask them what's missing, ask them if it hits, ask them if it's too long or too short. Get advice, get feedback. Don't send anything out without anyone looking at it first. After you launch your project you're going to be sending tons of messages. You'll be sending lots of emails, you'll be posting on social media something like three or four times a day, you'll be speaking at events, you're going to be sending project updates using the Kickstarter platform, you're going to be doing a lot of talking. The most common mistake people make is not planning for all this communication. So what happens is they launch their project and suddenly they find themselves just hitting the same message over and over again which tends to be help me get my idea funded. Which is not a very exciting message, it's not very unique, it's not very compelling and it's certainly not sharable. If you take the time to plan your communications in advance with a specific audience in mind, you'll be able to craft messages that are timely and that are more impactful and more exciting for people to pass along to their communities. Alright. Some parting thoughts for you as you work on your communication plan. One, a general rule of thumb to keep in mind is something called the 70-30 rule. You want to plan for about 70 percent content that is about your creative idea, your process, things that are exciting, stories that you want to share about things that happened to you, and then only 30 percent of what you're sharing is about your campaign and reaching your funding goal. This will help keep people engaged and excited to hear from you and more willing to share what you're talking about. Another tip for you to think about is if you are a Facebook person, then use Facebook. Don't feel like you have to jump on Twitter just for this campaign. You should focus your positive energy in a place that you want to be. You'll have more fun doing it and you'll feel better about what you're sharing. If as you work you're running into obstacles like we all do, make sure to refer back to the worksheets, they'll help guide you. Final tip for you guys is again, always look for inspiration out in the world. Find projects similar to yours, pay attention to what other people are talking about their projects, where they're sharing them, follow people online, go scroll back in time on their Facebook pages or on their Twitter feeds or Instagram or wherever it is that they're posting, and see what kind of stuff they were posting a year ago or a few months leading up to their project, or during their project, or after their project. It's important to learn from other people's lessons and of course their mistakes. 9. Share!: All right, that's it. I hope you had fun watching this lesson. I hope you've learned a lot about how to take your creative idea and translate it into something that other people are going to be as excited about as you are, and of course figuring out who those people are, and how you're going to reach them. Remember, the best stories aren't just you telling it, but rather, the stories that other people are excited about and want to pick up and carry and share with their friends. I'm really looking forward to seeing the story of your creative project.