Your campaign has been successfully funded, congratulations! Your backers, curious and excited as they are, are going to start asking you a lot of questions. Here at BackerKit, we recommend posting an update at least every two weeks, even if nothing has changed since the last post, and here is why!
Sometimes Everything Goes Wrong!
Posting an update when you are facing manufacturing errors or delays can be very hard, and possibly even embarrassing, but these are truly going to be your most important posts. It can be very tempting to not say anything, hide under the proverbial covers, and hope that the problem will resolve itself quickly, but going silent is going to cause you to lose a lot of trust with your backers. No one likes being kept in the dark. That’s when backers pull out the pitchforks and go hunting for the crowdfunding creator that took their money and stopped responding to messages.
Keeping backers updated, especially when the news isn’t good, will help keep your community engaged and supportive. Explaining the issue and detailing your plans to resolve said issue, will make it much easier to handle support requests, comments on your campaign page, and social media mentions.
Most backers understand that things happen, there’s a lot of uncertainty in crowdfunding. As long as they know that you are working to get the rewards out, they will stay interested..
Sometimes Everything Goes Right!
What if your project is going as smoothly as possible, and you haven’t run into any problems whatsoever? First, that’s really awesome and amazing! Second, you should still post updates to keep backers engaged and show that you’re still working. Consider sharing some behind-the-scenes information with your backers? This can come in the form of pictures of manufacturing, different colored dyes, or even snapshots of teammates coding frantically on their computers.
How to Write a Good Update
When updating your backers it is always better to post more often. No one is ever disappointed by having more information! Writing a good update is easier than you think, even if writing is not your forte. Try not to focus on making giant updates that cover everything. Break up your content into clear segments. An effective and informative update should include these basic points:
- A Good Title
Putting more detail into the title “Where we are with the shipping process” or “We are doing X” will help drive more backers to read the post as opposed to a generic title such as “Update 11”.
- Show Progress
Explaining where you are currently with the manufacturing or shipping process.
- Explain Delays
If there are delays, explain what happened and what you are doing to fix this.
- Call to Action
If there is a call to action, such as having surveys filled out before a lockdown date of 00/00, make sure you give backers notice!
- Throw some pictures in there!
Pictures of machines tinkering away, packages ready to be shipped out (make sure you blur/remove the addresses and names first!) or even just the items themselves.
What do Good Updates look like?
We highly recommend checking out the great, thorough updates posted by these projects:
- Mini Museum 2
Mini Museum 2 went into detail about historical detail about specific components of the museum and how they were added to the product, which is a great way to add more interest to a production update!
- Rocketbook Wave
Rocketbook Wave shipped months ahead of schedule, so they quickly informed backers to confirm their shipping address and be on the lookout for their books!
CHIP is really great about keeping backers informed of where they are with the production and shipping process, as well as posts showing what CHIP is capable of creating.
- Xpand Lacing System
The XPAND team kept their backers informed with frequent production updates and shipping information, as well as instructions on how to use the product so backers can use the laces as soon as they received them!
We also asked a few project creators why posting updates is a fundamental part of backer happiness!
“Backers of a project deserve to see as much as possible since the project wouldn’t exist without their support, so I approach each project update as an opportunity share my gratitude for their support and to extend the experience of the Mini Museum itself.”
-Hans Fex, Creator and Chief Curator of the Mini Museum
“There are two great reasons to make backer updates a priority, one is practical, the other ethical. The practical reason is that your backers hold the key to word of mouth, and to your reputation. The second reason is that you truly owe these people a debt of gratitude, and keeping them in the loop is the best way to pay them back. Backers don’t want you to sacrifice the quality of the product for their updates… updates once a month at first, and then every two to three months is generally enough. Sometimes we just get busy and forget and the fans always remind us. Updates don’t need to be elaborate. Mainly they want to know you’re still working hard and making progress, and share in the experience a bit. Also when you post updates, share a bit of your excitement, and a little artwork, or music, or photos or whatever will entice them. Anticipation is all part of the fun. It’s often tough to pull your head out of deadlines and make the time for it, but it’s well worth it.”
-Greg Johnson, Creator of ToeJam and Earl
“Updates when things are going well gets your backers sharing and talking about your product. But updates when you hit bumps in the road are even more valuable. They make your early-adopter audience “part of the team” by bringing them behind the scenes view into the world of an entrepreneur.”
-Jake Epstein, Cofounder at Rocketbook