Influencing people – useful tips for crowdfunding
How do you influence people?
When you are crowdfunding you have to ask, and ask again for people to donate to your campaign. It’s worth having a think about why people say yes.
In 1984 Dr Robert B. Cialdini wrote a book called Influence: the psychology of persuasion. His theory is that there are six simple universal principles to increase your chances of people saying yes to you.
Have a think about how you approach a request or appeal and see if it resonates with you.
The universal principles are as follows:
1. Reciprocity – if you give then you receive. People are more likely to say yes to those that they owe. Be the first to give and ensure that what you give is personalised and unexpected.
Tip for crowdfunding: build your social capital by giving to other campaigns; give something through your appeal and not just the rewards at the end; make all your emails personal; have an event where you give something of the campaign.
2. Scarcity – people want more of what there is less of. It’s not enough just to tell people the benefits of choosing to buy your products and services. You must explain why they are unique and what they stand to lose if they don’t get involved.
Tip for crowdfunding: the rewards should have an element of exclusivity; there should be a buzz about the campaign – donate now, or never!
3. Authority – people follow the lead of credible experts. Signal to others what makes you a credible knowledgeable authority, for example qualifications or years of experience, before you influence.
Tip for crowdfunding: don’t just assume they know you or your work. Have links to your social media profile, publications, awards or other projects.
4. Consistency – people are more likely to commit to something if they have already made a smaller commitment. Start to influence by asking first for small commitments.
Tip for crowdfunding: ask for a £1 donation or a share or follow first if people aren’t ready to commit to a larger donation. You then have them on board to ask again.
5. Liking – people prefer to say yes to people that they like. We also like people who are similar to us. Spend time exchanging personal information and building rapport before you attempt to influence.
Tip for crowdfunding: personal connection is strongest; smile in your video; build relationships before you crowd fund.
6. Consensus – people will look to the actions and behaviours of others before determining their own behaviour (especially if the others are people ‘like them’). Show people how ‘other people like them’ have benefited from saying yes.
Tip for crowdfunding: make sure you launch with at least 20% pledged immediately!
Have a think – do these seem right for you? If so they are likely to be right for your crowd too.