Crowdfunding - Performing
This a follow up to the Generators on Planning a campaign and choosing a Platform. In this exercise we will look at launching and running a crowdfunding campaign from start to finish.
By now you will have made an engaging video with a compelling story to tell, have devised a range of attractive pledges, and published your campaign on a crowdfunding platform. Many of the crowdfunding platforms provide widgets that you can place on your website or blog to spread the word.
Start promoting your campaign through family, friends and your personal networks through personal emails, twitter, and Facebook. It may also be worth promoting to your professional network on LinkedIn but only if the project is appropriate and relevant.
Hootsuite is a useful social media dashboard with a free option to manage up to five social profiles across Twitter, Facebook Pages and LinkedIn. Tweriod is a useful tool for working out the best time to send out tweets based on where your followers are located. If someone follows you during your campaign then make sure you follow them back.
Share your campaign progress with regular updates to keep your fans engaged such as behind the scenes blogs, pictures, or videos. Make it easy for people to ‘Like’ or ‘Retweet’ and come up with a distinctive #hashtag for supporters to use on Twitter. If you do come across someone talking about your campaign online then communicate with them, starting with a thanks.
Don’t lose momentum in the middle, as all campaigns are ‘U shaped’. They start with a peak of initial interest then tail off with another peak at the end. The faster you raise pledges the more likely you are to reach the homepage, and the first and last weeks are the most critical. Kickstarter has found campaigns that reach 25% of funding have a 90% chance of success, so focus on getting to that first 25% and keep pushing through until the end.
Think about how you can increase the interest in your campaign in the last week. You could try running or streaming a live event where you take questions about your project. Online promotions are important but don’t forget traditional media, as a well written press release sent to Scoop.co.nz may get you print, radio or tv coverage.
- Be transparent - break it all down and show every step
- Celebrate milestones - first 25% raised, first twenty supporters
- Make fans visible - thank everyone, then thank them again
- Add personal touches - handwritten notes, tweets, Facebook messages
- Set up Google Alerts to track any mention of your campaign online
Once you’ve hit your target the hard work starts - delivering your pledge rewards and project promises. Thank everyone, personally if you can, and send out rewards as quickly as possible after the campaign closes. Stay in touch with your fan funders even after your project is finished, as you may find the 1000 true fans that Ken Kelly believes are needed for any artist to make a living.
Even if you don’t reach your campaign target, not all is lost. If you have chosen Indiegogo’s Flexible Funding or RocketHub as a platform then you will be able to keep whatever money you have raised. Even if this is not the case you have still raised your profile, connected to a new fan base and learning can be just as valuable as earning in the long run.
Some projects even raise more than you ask for. So go on, give it a go and tell The Big Idea about it!