Tuesday, October 2, 2018
The Drip Platform from KickStarter: Some useful information
If you read my post immediately preceding this one, you know that I was planning on launching a Patreon page, and documenting the promotion, use and results of that effort. That plan changed when I received an unexpected invitation to become a creator on KickStarter's Drip platform.
At this time, I have halted my Patreon page development and I am focusing on the development of the Drip page. By the time this entry is public, my Drip page will be active.
As Drip is invitation only for creators at this time, I thought it would be useful for people to know how the platform works (from a new user's perspective) so you can know what to expect once it becomes available to you either by way of invitation, or once it becomes openly available. It is my hope that you find this informative and useful, so lets get down to it. All of the forthcoming data is from my experience with the platform to date, and links go to the Drip resource pages, FAQ, and an article I read earlier this year.
If you aren't familiar with Drip, don't worry not many people are aware of it yet. KickStarter's introduction post to Drip is here: https://www.kickstarter.com/blog/introducing-the-new-drip
You can find the Drip FAQ page here: https://help.d.rip/hc/en-us
Also see an interesting article about KickStarter and Drip here: https://www.theverge.com/2017/11/15/16652582/kickstarter-drip-creator-subscription-service-announced-perry-chen-interview
Getting logged into Drip was simple. It appears to clone the credentials from your KickStarter account, but you can change those easily.
Once you are logged in and ready to start work on your page, you'll find that your image and video upload points clearly indicate available file formats. Having a recommended image file dimensions would be nice, but the lack thereof didn't cause me any real difficulty. Choosing the image and creating the video for the page were far more time intensive.
Choosing the page image ~ I elected to use the illustration created for Tale of the Wizard's Eye by Phoenix O'Faery. I secured permission to do so (seriously folks, make sure you have rights/permission before using someone's art), and had the image loaded in seconds.
The Video ~ My webcam is a decade old. No, seriously, it really is. It doesn't have great resolution, and I'm going to need to replace it soon. This means that I didn't want to, and fortunately I didn't have to, shoot the page video on that old hardware. I had help from my friends at Digital Eden Entertainment, and had a new video with much clearer resolution in a matter of minutes. To develop the video content I looked at resources on Drip as well as information from articles I had read on creating Patreon pages. We did the video in two shots, as I fumbled the first attempt.
Page description ~ The Drip platform has little helpful tips that populate along the side of the page as well as links to other Drip pages in your category. I found it particularly useful to look at the pages of the two other game developer creators I could find. Both were receiving what I would call significant support from their subscribers and followed a similar outline for the page descriptions. I told myself not to try to reinvent the wheel, and outlined my own data in a similar fashion. Let me be clear, I didn't copy and paste anything, I just chose to structure my description after the same fashion (so introduction, what I do, what I'm making available, etc.). I like the natural flow of that format and I'm planning on sticking to it.
Category ~ Your drip page is limited to one category. My page is categorized under games. As all of my currently published work has been role playing games, that makes sense to me. I have a friend who has been invited, and his is in comics. You can offer a wide variety of materials, but you'll only have the one category. Keep this in mind as people exploring Drip for people making comics are not going to find you if you are in games and vice versa.
Subscription Tiers ~ Setting up subscription tiers is remarkably easy. If there were something I would like improved, it is the ability to feature an image with the Tier. Presently that isn't available like it is on Patreon. One thing you do need to differentiate in your tiers is whether it is a monthly subscription or a one time (pay this amount and get X) tier. I've set up three different tiers of monthly subscriptions. I won't set up one time payment tiers until I have a developed item for such a tier. Presently, I'm planning no more than a quarterly release of such material as I don't want to over burden my work load (which is already pretty heavy).
What you do with your Tiers will vary as widely as the material we all create. I think most of us will focus on digital rewards only, as it is the most cost effective and easily fulfilled. Having said that though, I like physical rewards as a way connect with my audience in a very real and tangible way. Consider those physical rewards carefully, do your math and check it twice, and make sure to leave yourself some room for things to go wrong and for you to pull in revenue. Drip is intended as a way for people to support your creative endeavors, so make certain you do see some of that money in your hands to help keep the lights on. I know that is what I'm hoping to see.
Promoting your Drip page ~ I'm not great at self-promotion but I've had some success and I've done some research on the subject. I recommend you do your own research as well. This is a good example of the scientific method of testing theories devised by others and looking at the results to reach your own conclusions. Pretty much every source says utilize your social media, place the links online, network with others and have them help you spread the word. I agree with all of these. Place the link into your pages, remind people of how they can support you, and as in all things, be honest with your audience. When people ask, "what are you doing with the money", tell the truth. I'll be using it to commission art, help keep my lights on, to put food on the table for me and my kids, keep my car running, etc. Whether I find $20 a month or $200 a month, every bit helps. Be honest about that. People will relate to you and be more likely to support you.
I made my Drip page live just before posting this entry. You can find it HERE
Take a look at it, and keep it in mind for your own page (should you decide to launch one). Maybe it will be a useful example of how to set one up. Maybe it will be a cautionary tale of what not to do. Only time will prove if it was successful or not. I hope you'll take what you like from the example and make good use of it in the future.
Oh, also please do support the page. Your subscription is very appreciated. I will give my best effort with each release.
Thank you for joining me today as we continue our adventure in game design, writing and self-publishing. My book "Whispers of Persephone" is currently on KickStarter. Please do take a look, support it if you can, and please do share the link to the campaign to help me reach my funding goals.
I will be updating information on how Drip is working for me, things I learn along the way and what I'll be offering on that page. If you have questions, please feel free to contact me through blogger, through KickStarter messenger, on Drip, or on my social media channels. This blog is a means for me to convey my experiences, help you avoid my mistakes in your own endeavors, and to chronicle the material I've been developing.