How We Raised Our Kickstarter Goal in Less Than 24 Hours Without Spending a Dime

Arms & Influence is live on Kickstarter now!

We launched Arms & Influence on September 17th, 2020. Since then we’ve shipped the game and people all around the world have played it. We’ve been grateful to have such an amazing reception to game. But perhaps the most surprising thing about our campaign was the fact that we did not spend a dime on pre-campaign marketing.

So here’s exactly what we did that resulted in us hitting our $7,500 goal in less than 24 hours.

Used Our Existing Network

Many people don’t realize that over the course of their lives they’ve built up a network of people that want to see them succeed. Every positive connection you’ve made over the course of your life is a potential person that may want to be a part of your success. Use that! It has proven to be incredibly valuable to us. As long as you are creating something that you believe can bring value to peoples lives they will want to help you.

Built a Network

The plan we created was to get people first to our Instagram and then to get people who are more invested into our newsletter. So we took the following steps to do that.

1. Created an Instagram account and built it up with content on a weekly basis. (Targeting people with specific interests and using hashtags that go with our brand)

2. Used posts and Instagram stories to drive people to sign up for our newsletter on our website where we sent out weekly updates about how the game was coming along.

3. Treated the newsletter subscribers like the super fans that they were by showing them content before anyone else.

4. Told everyone we possibly knew and got them to follow our Instagram or sign up for our newsletter.

The bulk of our initial customers were from our existing network that we’ve just built up from daily life. From their they tell their friends and those are the strongest types of network connections. When a friend recommends something it’s a strong indication to buy, especially when it’s like oh this is my friend of a friends game.

So think about where you already have a strong network and tap into that first.

Used These Apps

Here is what we used from what we gave most attention to what we gave least attention:

Instagram

We built up a following of about 800 people. Nothing crazy but just enough to keep our existing network updated and bring potential customers into the fold.

Squarespace (Website with integration to Mail Chimp)

Before the campaign our website was mainly to drive interest to our Kickstarter page as well as have them sign up for our newsletter.

Facebook Page

An easy way to get your current network involved is to create a Facebook page. We had about 200 people following the page.

Mail Chimp (Newsletter)

We built up a newsletter of about 250 potential customers. We used monthly updates to keep people updated and engaged and drive them to the Kickstarter page.

Kickstarter Page

Prior to launching your Kickstarter you can create a preview page where potential backers could sign up to get a notification when your page went live.

Our Customer Acquisition Funnel

We Did It… With One Thing

Our existing network. Now during the campaign (after we had eclipsed our goal) we did end up spending money in places like Board Game Geek. But that turned out to not have as big effect as we had hoped.

I hope this helped a bit and if you have the money for advertising go for it. But this is how we did it on a shoe-string budget.

Please check out Arms & Influence — You can find me on Twitter or Instagram @thedrewprint

Software Developer — Game Creator — Let’s work together! Reach out on LinkedIn or Twitter @thedrewprint