Every backer you interest in your campaign brings you a step closer to success
It’s tempting to assume that crowdfunding simply involves creating a campaign on an online platform and waiting for the funds to start rolling in.
Whilst you may still receive a little support using this method, it’s unlikely that your campaign will even get close to hitting, let alone exceeding, your funding target if that is all you do.
To have a truly successful crowdfunding campaign, you must catch the interest of as many potential backers as possible, who, after all, are your investors, and will pave the way to success for your project.
Here are some pointers to consider that will help you maximise your chances of attracting backers and encouraging them to promote your message and pledge their support.
That old adage, ‘Failing to plan, is planning to fail’, is never truer than when applied to crowdfunding campaigns.
Before you approach backers, and before you even launch your campaign on the crowdfunding platform, it is beyond essential to take the time to thoroughly plan your campaign and its management long term.
An infinite list of key questions such as who will be updating social media, where will content be shared and when, who will respond to email queries, or what is the key information that backers should know, should be answered – and clearly understood by everyone in your team – before you go live.
Start with your existing audience
…or, know your audience. It is advisable that you start your search for backers within your personal network, and it is likely that your family, friends, and social media friends or followers will be some of your first investors.
Before you launch your campaign, however, make sure to seek out – or create – an audience for your project which does not fall within this personal network. Depending on the nature of the project, take the time to explore social media and join relevant groups, pages or existing networks, and generally get the word out in these ‘focus groups’ about your project. You should also take note of any feedback you receive from potential backers, and apply it.
That way, when your campaign does launch, you will have a fully informed and already-interested group of backers, ready and willing to invest.
Research to find Possible Champions
Whilst you are creating an audience as above, you are also not only starting to research the type of people who would be more likely to invest in your project themselves, but also those who would take enough interest in it to share it throughout their own networks.
As unrelated champions of your cause they can influence a number of others to support it, and are well worth your time to seek out, and to stay in touch with – even beyond the close of your campaign. These key influencers are a direct channel to your target audience, who could possibly even help persuade that audience to become your future customers or supporters.
With this goal in mind, make sure to check out any entities or organisations who may have links to your project, or online sources such as bloggers or relevant websites.
A Share is a Share, No Matter Where
The more you can spread the word about your campaign, and encourage others to do the same, the more backers will hear about it, and invest in it.
To this end, utilise every channel to make sure everyone possible is talking about your cause. Contact the media, preferably with a pre-written press release or press pack about your project, which minimises their workload and so improves your chances of being featured on their platform.
These media outlets may or may not contact you in return, but it does no harm to try – just make sure that you have planned who in the team is liaising with the media, so that you have a consistent and reachable point of contact. (We mentioned how important forward planning is, right?)
The same can be said for supporters who cannot pledge funds – whilst they may not be making a monetary contribution, they are no less important to the success of your campaign as they are still able to promote it throughout their own networks. Their word of mouth support could very easily bring you several other new backers, so they may be even more valuable to you than a single backer who invests but does not share your project with their network.
If you apply these ideas to your campaign, before you launch and throughout, then you are well on your way to attracting enough backers to kickstart your project, and set you on the road to crowdfunding success.