Many people see Crowdfunding as a fundraising vehicle. This is a fair assessment since the most obvious result of a successful campaign is the money it generates. When you start to speak with many successful crowdfunders what you will find is that the true power of Crowdfunding is the marketing mojo your business or project receives.
When I work with my clients everything we do together is using Crowdfunding as a way to get the word out on what they are doing in a very powerful way, build a fan base of loyal followers who are excited and understand what you are doing and generate social proof that their project or new business idea has merit.
With this focus its obvious that getting the greatest number eyes on your campaign is key to succeeding. So how can you do that? The options are endless but here are some of the most powerful way to generate excitement and get your friends, family and peers visiting your campaign and sending their friends, family and peers to your campaign, as well.
- Begin communicating about the campaign with your circle long before your campaign launches. Anywhere from three months out you can simply drop hints that you are going to be doing something new and exciting and to “stay tuned. As you move closer to launch date start to tell them what it is. Provide teaser video or copy when available.
- Ask your circle for help as you prepare for the campaign. This can be anything from help naming your campaign to reviewing your pitch video. You don’t want to send your pitch video to everyone you know before you launch but sending it to some key people will help individuals feel connected to your campaign which leads to increased contributions and referrals.
- Once you launch have well written communications that is short and to the point. I’m often asked to help jump-start campaigns that have flopped on launch. If the pitch video is good (which is critical) inevitably the problem rests in the crowdfunders written requests for support. Many crowdfunders feel the need to catch their friends and family up on what they’ve done over the last five years that led them to launch a crowdfunding campaign. Please don’t do that. Assume your reader understands where you are in this moment and give a brief summary of why you are crowdfunding and how they can help. Short emails are read. Long emails are deleted.
- Create a team of at least 5 ambassadors. These are individuals who have expressed a clear desire to help you beyond simply contributing to your campaign. Their role is to talk about you and your campaign regularly during your funding period. This ensures communications about what you are doing are being pushed out from multiple sources, which will help you remind the people in your sphere of influence about your campaign without sounding annoying.
- Run weekly contests between your ambassadors to make their involvement fun and exciting. For example, the ambassador that flows the most traffic to your campaign might get a special t-shirt or a night out for drinks. If you and your ambassadors are having fun that energy will be felt by potential contributors and translate into increased support.
What I love the most about the world of Crowdfunding is that it is still very new. Every one of us that is playing in this arena on a regular basis learns more about what works each month – that is how quickly it is changing and developing.
Don’t be afraid to over-communicate. Don’t be afraid to try something new! Although a few of us may know an awful lot about this world you could be the next person that teaches us our favorite tip, trick or tool!
Be bold. Honor that you have an important gift to share with the world and Crowdfunding is helping you get it out there. Your friends, family and peers will support you if you make it easy for them.
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