How to make sure influencers don’t abandon your campaign

How safe is your campaign’s launch if your “Ace in the Hole” contacts bail?

This isn’t a hypothetical, this happens every day to campaigns counting on major support from an influencer. Last year I saw a “Sure Thing” contact who for months promised to promote the campaign to their 20,000+ subscriber email list only to disappear in a puff of smoke.

It was devastating.

Be cautious of banking your campaign’s success on someone else’s followers.

Don’t get me wrong, having support from influencers is essential to a successful launch, but I’ve seen (and run) so many campaigns where support vanished on launch day that I’d be a big-dumb-mo-ron-who-wears-poo-poo-hats if I didn’t say you should be careful with your “Ace in the Hole” contacts.

How safe is your campaign’s launch?


First off, let’s understand what could be going on when influencers drop campaigns. Why would someone tell you “This is the coolest f’n Kickstarter I’ve ever seen, I love it, I’m gonna tell the world about it!” only to ghost at last minute?

While it’s easy (and fun!) to simply dismiss the person as “Flying Fucknut”,  that’s probably not the case. There’s a million reasons why someone would have to back out of promotion that don’t involve flying or fucknuts, including:

  1. They could have signed a paid promotion deal excluding them from other promos

  2. They could have just got burned by a crowdfunding campaign

  3. They could have had to adjust their own promotional schedule for their own products / projects

  4. A product they liked better could have shown up and they chose to promote that instead

  5. They forgot.

  6. They forgot they left a pizza in the oven right before they went out of town and their entire apartment complex burned down, leaving no survivors. All is lost.

And so on, and so on.

When it comes to someone else promoting your campaign, there’s a lot more you can’t control than you can.

It sucks, but it’s the truth.

Thankfully, there’s a way you can stack the deck in your favor to make it more likely that someone will actually follow through.

Unlike this stupid-ass frog.

“Yeah sure, I’d love to help promote your campaign!” he says, knowing full well that he’s a frog with no grasp of how social media even works.  Photo by  Jack Hamilton  on  Unsplash

“Yeah sure, I’d love to help promote your campaign!” he says, knowing full well that he’s a frog with no grasp of how social media even works.

Photo by Jack Hamilton on Unsplash

Words are cheap, pay attention to behavior.

When trying to predict the way someone will actually behave, the more actual action they take toward one option, the more likely they are to follow through. There’s a difference between saying you’ll help a friend move and actually showing up at 8am to haul forty more boxes of half-broken computer parts that won’t be unpacked for at least 6 months.

This is just one of the bajillion reasons I harp on email lists and the 40-72 rule so much; signing up for an email list requires a person to take a physical action that says “Yes I want to know when your campaign goes live”.

So wait, am I suggesting that the cure is getting them to sign up for your email list and bam that’s it?

Nah bruh, we can do better.

Let’s get all Benjamin Franklin up in this motherfucker.

One of many contributions made by BenBen Jefe, or BJ Fay as he was commonly known, was the persuasive trick that came to be known as the Benjamin Franklin Effect. Instead of trying to get a favor from someone by doing them a favor first (trying to obligate them to help), you attempt to get a larger favor from them by asking for a smaller favor first.

How does this work?

It plays on one of Cialdini’s Six Universal Principles of Persuasion, Consistency. Humans generally like to behave consistently, so by doing someone a favor once, they’re more likely to do them another favor later. (This is also known as the Foot-In-The-Door Technique)

So how can we apply this to making influencers more likely to follow through with support for your campaign?

Before making any ask for promotion / money / Daedric Armor from an influencer, ask them advice on campaign.

  • “What’s your honest opinion on my product?”

  • “What can I improve?”

  • “Do my prices make sense?”

  • “Does this campaign artwork make my ass look fat?”

Because asking advice is simpler and less-risky than promoting a project, it’s much easier to secure that first “yes”. The groovyness of this trick doesn’t end there, oh no. As a bonus, asking for advice also is a huge complement to someone (we don’t ask for opinions of people we don’t respect), AND it demonstrates that you’re actually putting thought & research into your campaign. That’s a pant-load of persuasion in one move, all aimed at increasing your chances of actually getting the promotion you asked for.

Hells yeah!

Words are great, but if you can get someone to invest their time in advising your product before it launches, you’re in a much better position.