Found a project on Kickstarter or IndieGoGo that you’re really into? Is there an event, store, or even a game you want to support? But maybe you’re strapped for cash. Or possibly, you’ve already backed your favorite project, but you still want to do more to help.
Whatever the case, if you want to help a project you care about without a spending a dime, here are a few thoughts on how to do that.
Nothing is more powerful than word of mouth. I don’t know about you, but when Geoff, or my brother, or someone else I respect personally tells me about a campaign, that speaks louder than any advertisement or review. When you mention a campaign directly to a person, you’re letting them know that if they check it out, an interesting conversation about it is bound to be had.
If you’re already a known member at a forum that might be interested in the campaign you care about, you could really help that campaign by telling your community. If that community is a forum, here’s an example thread you could post:
Hey friends! I’m so excited about Crypt Run that I just had to tell you about it. It’s a medieval fantasy hack ‘n slash with a twist – the game isn’t over when you die!
Play the alpha: http://cryptrun.lostdecadegames.com/
After you play, SEND ME THE CHALLENGE at the end and I will beat your score! ;)
Even if you’re not a member at any forums, you could find related communities and let them know about the campaign. Lists like Pixel Prospector’s Big List of Video Game Forums or Wikipedia’s List of Internet forums are great places to start looking.
If the folks running a campaign want it to succeed, they’d better be busting their butts, emailing everyone on the planet! But that doesn’t mean you can’t, too. Emails from 3rd party fans who aren’t directly attached to a project are invaluable. Having vocal fans speaks volumes about a project’s quality, and seeing multiple emails about the campaign may help convince a notable journalist to write about that project.
Is it a game you want to help? YouTube and Twitch are changing the way players find out about games. More than ever before, gamers use these social discovery channels to determine where to spend their time and money. One popular approach is to simply record your screen to video while playing a game. Some of these “Let’s Play” videos attract millions of views and could be a huge benefit to a campaign.
Obviously the obligatory tweets and Facebook posts are a great way to let friends know about projects you care about. But you should be careful not to oversaturate and upset your friends! Other social networks gaining popularity recently include Tumblr and GitHub.
Lastly, reach out straight to the people behind the project. Chances are, they’re overwhelmed and stressed out! Comment on the project and/or send them messages of encouragement. Sometimes that can provide the motivation a hard-working crowd-funder needs to get through the day!