A Guide to Kickstarter
I self-publish all my books and I do this via Kickstarter. Kickstarter is a platform that enables ideas that might othewise never come to fuition exist. This page is dedicated to sharing what I have learnt over the years. Hopefully it'll help you build a better campaign.
I decided to give them a go after realising Kickstarter itself promotes them as the marketting business of choice. Let's get into why I really can't recommend them:
When you enlist Jellop, they will ask for your password to your Kickstarter. They will also gain access to your Google Analytics. Companies like these do not have your best interests at heart, they are simply motivated by profit, so it is a big ask of customers to trust them with such a high level of access. I didn't mind at first. I'd seen that they had worked with a lot of campaigns, wer ealso partnered with Kickstarter itself, and so I decided I would trust them with my accounts.
By giving over access to your Kickstarter, they can basically contact all your backers, past and present, at will and get them to fill in surveys. They will also get them to join their mailing list (basically taking your contacts for themselves so that they can use this list to badger the next client they work for).
The message they send out to backers makes it sound like they have to complete the survey in order to 'Complete their pledge'. The tone they use in contacting past backers isn't good either. It pretends to be you, but it isn't you. They also don't show you the messages they are sending to past backers.
Jellop make you feel like you no longer have control over your bank account. In hindsight, I'm relieved my bank kept denying transactions they were placing otherwise I would have run up a huge ad bill by the end. I asked my bank why they kept declining the Facebook ad spends and they said:
"It wasn't a good idea to give a company such free reign with your bank account. No business should ask for the details that Jellop asks for. It goes against any banks terms and service."
They aren't a company that is forthcoming with data when you ask for it. Their response to my request for data was :
"We don't send out Facebook ad data because it will only distract you."
Whenever I have run ads in the past, the information has always been very helpful and to not have it kept secret by Jellop only creates a weird power dynamic.
I love to communicate with backers and updates can be a thoroughly fun thing to do during a campaign. Sometimes I can post about eight or so updates just while the campaign is running.
Some advice fom Jellop : Don't send out too many updates. More updates only reminds people they have put money into your campaign and gives them a chance to back out.
Their advice to their clients is to make reward tiers a limited quantity and when they are all gone, just add another 3 or 4 extra slots each time. This is fraud.
Faking item scarcity preys upon people's fomo and since some people genuinely have a hard time not acting on impulse buying. Personally, I don't feel it is good behaviour to exploit that. They state in their 'phony item scarcity' advice blog post that backers don't care about seeing that an item that was once unavailable suddenly is available again with more slots, they just care about the campaign succeeding. In my experience, I have noticed people caring about this very thing. Such actions declare you as an untrustworthy creator and tarnish reputation.
Jellop charge a lot for the little that they provide. Jellop's service fee can be as low as 22% and as high as 40% on the funds they have raised.
The social media advertisements they create for you are generally not very well made. They produce ads that give the impression that they are audience produced, and that's why the designs have rough edges. Again, it's all just pretend. If you use Jellop, I would advise not entrusting them with the generation of your visual adverts for social media.
The long and short of it is, I felt that Facebook ads that I had personally placed in the past had performed far better than those Jellop had made for me. Over the past ten years, my experience with Kickstarter has been great. Working with Jellop however has been my one and only regret to date.