Crowdfunding is no longer the buzzword it was in 2006. Social media has undeniably taken over and changed the way we interact and connect online. Gone are the days when discussion forums were the go to tool for getting numerous opinions. Crowdfunding by definition is, “the practice of funding a project or venture by raising small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet.”
This is basically asking strangers around the world to help you get your project or campaign off the ground by financing it as a collective. Not only does this mean you’ll have the necessary capital to get going, but you will also have peace of mind. Through the indirect market research crowdfunding provides, you’ll know that a community of backers believe in your service or product.
The average person has 5 social media accounts, this means you have a few options on how to get your message across. Sometimes, all you need is a quick update on any platform and you will be flooded with an array of responses from your followers, catapulting your crowdfunding plans into the stratosphere. The next step is knowing how to harness the power of those platforms to bolster your crowd funding efforts. However, there are dos and don’ts when it comes to crowdfunding. You’ll need to ensure that people don’t view your suspiciously while ensuring long term success beyond the initial campaign.
Build a good foundation before the launch
30% of your donations will come from people you know. With this in mind, you need a solid network of people you have already been connecting and engaging with online before launching your campaign. This could take months so make sure you are ready to put in the work. There is no shortcut to a strong social following of engaged users.
Even more important is to ensure that you have the ‘right’ kind of followers. Through a great social media strategy, you can discover people who have shared interests. These are those will be more likely to support your cause.
Don’t rely on one platform
It’s very easily to rely on one platform. You may think your Facebook friends know you well and will support you but avoid putting all your eggs in one basket. Pick the right platform based on where your audience is, where you receive the most engagement and where you will be able to monitor things easily.
Rather than using your personal profile (which could get spam-like towards your friends and family), start a separate page for your campaign and get people to like and follow it for updates. You can also have a separate page for yourself. This way people can see the woman behind the campaign, you never know, it will probably be one of many projects you undertake.
Content is king
You need consistent and engaging content in order to stay current and pull in the crowds. Your copy should be punchy, to the point and shareable in order for the word to spread. Use rich imagery where you can, as well as other content types such as infographics, videos, podcasts etc. Share updates and milestones in order to keep the excitement going among your backers. Keeping content consistent and frequently updating will ensure you stay on top of people’s minds.
Don’t jump the gun
Asking for money right away makes you seem greedy and desperate. These two words can taint your campaign. How you frame your requests also matters, no one wants to feel like you are begging them to send money your way. Refrain from, “Please give 30 dollars to my campaign.” Instead go for subtle ways of encouraging support such as, “Could you be my next backer?”
Listing the amount of money you require in your update might seem daunting to someone who only has a little to give. Rather, post a link to your landing page where people can decide for themselves how much to give.
At the end of the day, even if you don’t reach your required amount through crowdfunding, you will still have a great community of people who believe in your ideas. Don’t ditch them. Instead, thank everyone for their efforts and keep doing what hooked them in the first place (consistency, remember?). You never know when your next bright idea might come and you need them again.
Have you run a successful crowd funding campaign? Let us know in the comments section below.