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The Power of Partnerships (and How This Can Help Your Kickstarter Campaign)

There are so many different methods you can use to build a following and promote your Kickstarter or other crowdfunding campaign.

Live and virtual demos.

Paid ads.


Getting involved in the community.

And so many more.

But today I’m going to talk about a really powerful method that very few people use or even understand. This one method alone really moved the needle on my campaign for Relics of Rajavihara.

I’m talking about the power of partnerships. Let’s dive in.

What is a partnership?

Generally speaking, a partnership is an agreement between two or more parties with some mutual benefits.

What does this mean for a game designer or a publisher? More backers and more games sold. At least in theory.

In the case of my Relics of Rajavihara Kickstarter campaign, it meant that another creator mentioned and promoted my campaign to her followers. In one of her post-campaign updates, Crystallo creator Liberty Kifer posted some pics of her playing the prototype and mentioned how much she liked the game. She even included a link to my campaign page.

Did it help? Have a look at this graph and you tell me:

The Power of Partnerships (and How This Can Help Your Kickstarter Campaign) 1
The Power of Partnerships (and How This Can Help Your Kickstarter Campaign) 2

Just one mention – to the right audience – and boom! A sudden influx of backers.

The day of this post and the day following were by far the best days during the middle of my campaign.

How to reach out and build a partnership

Just like pitching a game to a publisher, when you’re thinking of reaching out to a partner, you have to make sure they are a good match.

In my case, I was looking at other creators who had success on Kickstarter with solo games. Even better would be if they had success with a game that was kind of puzzle-y, like Relics of Rajavihara.

In terms of who you might want to partner with, consider other board game creators and publishers, influencers (in the board game industry or those who are just board game fans), and anyone else with an audience who might be able to help you get the word out. Contemplate reaching out to board gamers with a sizable social media presence, particularly those that post about games that are similar enough to yours that there will likely be a cross-over between audiences.

You may even be approached by others, such as those on Instagram with a decent following. They may offer to do a post or story about your game in exchange for a small fee. You’ll have to assess how closely they align with your game and audience to determine if this is a good investment.

If you reach out to them before your campaign, you can ensure you have enough time to send them a prototype of your game if they’d like the opportunity to play it as well. If they’re willing to show pictures of them with the actual game, this can make their posts more authentic. However, sometimes it’s just a matter of providing images or a video that they can share with their audience.

I approached many potential partners during my Relics of Rajavihara campaign, knowing full well that only a small number would even reply. I was also contacted directly by one creator, which was a really nice feeling.

The first thing you want to do is make it about them. WIIFM. What’s in it for me? If you just ask them to promote your game, you’re likely going to be met with crickets. But if you sweeten the pot a little, you’re likely to get a better response.

Maybe you can help promote their game as well. If they have a game on Kickstarter at the same time or coming soon that you’re genuinely excited about, you could ask if they’d mind you promoting their game, or just go ahead and promote it and let them know. You’ll be surprised how well the law of reciprocity works. Quite often, they will return the favour if they think your game is equally awesome.

If they’ve had a previous Kickstarter success, you could ask if they’d be interested in a referral fee in exchange for mentioning your game to their audience. They might even offer to promote your game for free out of the kindness of their hearts!

Just make sure anything you say is genuine. You don’t want to promote a game to your audience that looks like it was thrown together in 15 minutes or is a complete Monopoly clone. It has to be another project you truly believe in.

The point is, if you don’t ask, you’ll never know.

Return the favour

It goes without saying that you should thank anyone who helps you by promoting your game. You could even offer to send them a free copy of your game as a thank you.

But you could go one step further.

You could offer to help them out in the future. If they are a creator that you admire, maybe you could help to promote their game to your audience.

If you’ve run a successful campaign and treated your backers well, you have earned their trust. If there’s another game out there that you are honestly excited about, there’s nothing wrong with sharing this game with your followers. They might really like the look of the game and even thank you for letting them know.

This is just one way you can repay someone who has helped you out when you needed it.

What other methods of boosting a Kickstarter campaign have you seen?

Please hit the comment button below and let me know!

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