Crowdfunding – keeping momentum during your campaign
Crowdfunding campaign – tips for effective action
You’ve got a brilliant idea; uploaded a video; done your action plan; drafted press releases; built up your twitter and Facebook following; got your initial donors to pledge immediately and then you’ve launched. If you’ve done the work above you’re on track for a successful result. You should see an initial batch of donations which will be very satisfying. A trickle more …
… and then …
… then nothing … and you are in the mid campaign slump …
Crowdfunding campaigns usually begin with an initial bang, followed by a mid campaign lull, and pick back up again towards the end. All stages are important. You need pledges in when you launch, donations to keep your spirits up in the middle and a boost in the last days. It is vital that you maintain momentum to tip your campaign into success.
“A lot of people think they can just put up a campaign, walk away and money will arrive from nowhere. We call that the field of dreams and it just doesn’t work in the real world,”
Danae Ringelmann, co-founder and chief operating officer at IndieGogo
“Remember that crowdfunding is a full-time job,” says one crowdfunder “Executing an effective campaign takes many hours in front of your computer. Things such as answering emails, creating videos (before, during and after a raise), and social media management can eat up an enormous part of your day.”
So what can you do in this quiet mid campaign period?
Keep asking people for support
The key to the success of a campaign is a high-level of self-promotion to the people within one’s inner circles, accompanied by the task of expanding upon this base. It’s called “leveraging the crowd”. So keep on telling people about ten campaign, send out emails, phone people – don’t be afraid to ask for money.
Make a specific request such as this one .. “We have 441 FB likes that don’t really count for anything. If we can get them to pledge $8 that will add up a bit“.
Or this one
“Please share that with your friends and community and help me get the message out. Not everyone understands how Kickstarter works, so help them! Tell them how easy it is to pledge. Tell them that they can choose their rewards valued at their pledge amount. Tell them the the urgency is that if we don’t meet the goal by June 8th, No one gets anything. Not me, not the project, not the backers, and the next production doesn’t get rolling“.
Make your email requests different by adding new rewards or competitions
“A prize for the person who brings in the most referrals or for the next 10 donations or who tweets the most times in the following week”.
“All backers will be in a draw for a free T-shirt tonight!”
“Send us a photo of yourself with the flyer on the wall and we’ll post it on the RATS!FB, to let the rats know you should be spared when the time comes. This photo will earn you a first look at the quick start booklet once it becomes available. If the photo is especially awesome you might find yourself referenced in the rulebook or one of the expansions”.
Let people know when you reach a milestone
Let donors download beta versions, draft cartoons such as .. “We’ve just hit the half way mark! To celebrate, here is a (very short video) of playtesting the prototype in the library”…
Place updates on your forum with Q&A about the campaign
Don’t forget these campaign updates will be seen by people who reach your page. They may, depending on the platform, be sent to existing donors. But they won’t drive traffic to the site. They will just make it more attractive when someone sees the page. Get your friends to post questions that you can answer. Add photos or videos of work in progress.
Run a special campaign
This is not a crowdfunding campaign but an experiment to see what would motivate people to retweet as message. The Twitter Experiment: Japanese Man Forbidden From Leaving Work Until He Gets 1000 Retweets. Sebuyama had 2131 followers and was challenged to have one 1000 retweets before he could go home. A simple request “please retweet got 52” but “I’ll stick clothespins on my body equal to the number of times this is retweeted and post a picture online.” had 1815 retweets!
Don’t forget Offline action
Skype, phone, run fundraisers, talk to people. Bring with you cards, flyers or envelopes for cash. Have a collection box in the office. and face to face fundraisers, cards, network meetings. At present in the UK only Buzzbnk allows proven offline donations to be added to your total without paying commission. Otherwise send the money in yourself.
Bring in your big donors
If you have big donors ask them to make some donations in this period. Ask them to match donations up to their limit. Publicise this as a BOGOF (Bring One Get One Free). “We are excited to announce a challenge grant offered by one of our supporters! Every dollar donated this week will be matched dollar for dollar up to $2,500”!