Creating a Kickstarter Campaign – by Seb Harding

September 1, 2015 by

It’s been just over a month since we made our crowdfunding target for the 2015 tour of Black Tonic and since then we’ve had a bit of time to reflect on the successes of the campaign and consider what we’d change if we could do it all again. Overall the process has been complex, but ultimately, very rewarding.

We thought we’d share our experience by creating a quick four step run down of the factors we found most important in creating our campaign.

Doing the Groundwork

Many of the companies and individuals we spoke to whilst researching the campaign warned of the perils of beginning a hastily planned fundraiser.

We began seriously planning our campaign in November therefore giving ourselves around four months in which to develop a series of rewards, create a quirky campaign video, plan a marketing campaign (with video and written content) and organise a low key launch event.

Regardless to say we were of course working on all of this right up until we launched the campaign. It’s definitely possible to produce a campaign in a much shorter amount of time, and our obsessive attention to detail probably doesn’t help, but we can’t stress enough how many hours go into creating a slick successful fundraiser.

Make sure you have budgeted for everything!

We’re pretty sure someone is reading this and thinking “Surely a Crowdfunder is about raising money, not losing it” but the reality can be quite a very different picture.

To begin with, lets consider the rewards. Admittedly you won’t have to physically create anything before you make your target but once you do you’re effectively tied down to deliver all you’ve promised. The reality of how much you may have to spend (don’t forget person hours) could take a large chunk from the amount you raise if you have failed to factor in all the costs.

As our production of Black Tonic has relatively small numbers of audience members we couldn’t just give tickets away in the lowest, and most popular, tiers. This meant we had to devise attractive rewards that linked to the show but could also stand alone as attractive offers to any indecisive backers.

If, on the other hand, most of your rewards are a direct result of the project you’re fundraising then you may think it’s a relatively simple affair. Though don’t forget if, for instance, you give away 50% of tickets to your show but are also relying on high ticket revenue you could end up losing money overall.

Don’t underestimate how much content you will create for Social Media 

Before you begin any plans for marketing your campaign it’s worth bearing in mind that your audience will possibly have to come into contact with your project at least three times before they actually part with their money. The sheer amount of Social Media content that successful campaigns have to create is pretty much uncontested but the route you take to present your message can be incredibly inventive. For our campaign we created content such as Video endorsements, behind the scenes videos plus an in depth blog on the research process behind the production we were trying to fund.

See it as a project in itself and enjoy it!

The process of creating a crowdfunding campaign is very similar to that of creating any small public facing project. Therefore it is important to see the campaign as an extension of your creative output and not separate to it. If you can think creatively about the project video, campaign visuals and backer rewards your audiences are far more likely to get on board. Try to invest as much personal interest in the campaign and the whole process will hopefully become both more attainable and enjoyable.

There’s so much we could write about concerning our crowdfunding experience but we’ll stop before we bore you! Hopefully these tips might come in use if you’re thinking about creating your own fundraiser, and if so, we’d love to hear from you. 

If you haven’t done so already why not follow us on Twitter or like our Facebook page.

Our wonderful Kickstarter Supporters

August 4, 2015 by

We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who backed our Black Tonic 2015 Kickstarter Campaign.
Thanks for helping to make Black Tonic 2015 a reality.

So, in alphabetical order by first name, our thanks to ….

Alexander Kelly
Aly Fielding
Amy Dawson
Ana Stefancic
Backer Name
Bianca Winter
Carol Attfield
Catherine Allen
Catherine Pitt
Chris Unitt
Claire Porteous
Clare Reddington
David and Janet Walden
Debra Skene
Delia Garratt
Derek Nisbet
Fiona Handscomb
Flo Swann
Florence Raynaud
Gavin Inglis
Helga Henry of Creative Shift
Ian and Helen Burn
Jacky Tivers
Jane Packman
Janet Vaughan
Jason J Crouch
Jenny M
Jess Pearson
Jill Dowse
Jo Gleave
Joel Love
John McGrath
John Sear
Johnathan Stephen
Jonathan Williams
Jorge Lizalde
Josephine Arendt
Julia Boyle
Julian Horne
Karen Miller
Katherine Maxwell-Rose
Katie Keeler
Kaye Winwood
Lachlan Smith
Lara Ratnaraja
Laura Gimson
Laura Grady
Lisa Meyer
Liz Porteous
Lou Platt
Ludic Rooms
Luke Neve
Mark & Kim
Mark Ralph Tattum
Matt Ball
Matt Mark Hill
Matt Patterson
Michael Day & Jean Scott
Michelle M Rafferty
Mick Diver
Mikal Saltveit
Nardia Lloyd-Ashton
Paul Burns
Paul Gilligan
Paul Maxwell-Rose
Peta Murphy
Pippa Frith
Rachael Griffin
Rich Hurley & Billy Reading
Ruth Paterson
Sarah Ellis
Sarah-Jane Watkinson
Stephen Wilson
Steve Harding
Steve Johnstone
Steve Lawson
Tamara von Werthern
Tamsin Mosse
The Shells 2015
Tom Levitt
Tomas Wright
Tony Kennick
William Porteous

Sharing our learning about crowdfunding

July 17, 2015 by

I was asked to give a presentation about how to run a successful crowdfunding campaign recently, and thought it would be a good opportunity to share some of the learning I’d accumulated through running our Black Tonic 2015 campaign earlier this year, and the research I did that fed into the campaign.

I thought I’d share a PDF of the slides here, so others could take a look too.

Successful Crowdfunding Presentation PDF

Black Tonic 2015 Pledge

March 26, 2015 by

If you missed the chance to pledge to our Black Tonic 2015 Kickstarter, you can still get involved.

You can buy our £10 reward below, and receive the same benefits as our Kickstarter backers:

We’ll send you a neat little thank-you video + We will credit you on our website in our list of project backers.

Our Kickstarter campaign to support our 2015 tour of Black Tonic is LIVE!

February 27, 2015 by

Our hotel-based interactive thriller Black Tonic is coming back for 2015. And our Kickstarter campaign to support the tour is now LIVE!


Black Tonic is a theatre adventure in the bedrooms and corridors of a hotel for 4 people at a time, Black Tonic explores the chaos caused by a disrupted body clock.

We have already raised 95% of the money we need to tour Black Tonic in 2015. We are launching this Kickstarter campaign to raise the final £3,000.

We’ve created some beautiful hotel-themed rewards, to thank you for backing this project. The Tea Towel, Limited Edition Framed Print, Card 3D Model Hotel Kit, and Do Not Disturb Door Hanger, all feature original hand-drawn illustrations created just for this Kickstarter.

Other rewards include: priority booking, a signed copy of the script, a pair of tickets to see Black Tonic, having a name of your choice featured in the show, a hotel mini-break, and privileged access to the creative process.

We’re really excited about bringing Black Tonic back for more people to enjoy. We want you to be a part of making that happen.

Make your pledge today!


Black Tonic Kickstarter Campaign

February 11, 2015 by

We’ll be launching a Kickstarter campaign soon to raise the final £3,000 we need for our upcoming tour of Black Tonic.

More soon…