In crowdfunding and engagement campaigns this ‘calm’ isn’t so tantalising. We can’t stress more about our shiver of concern with regards to the pro-active and enthusiastic crowdfunder who only focuses on the things they’ll need for their profile page. He makes a compelling video, has a fair product and writes about his vision, and does a little due diligence in choosing an appropriate platform. Hastily, he jumps on, uploads, and sits on the edge of his seat and waits. With his fingers crossed, he envisions the success and the potential of the next 8 weeks of his campaign. However often, at this point nothing happens.
SoLoCo, was originally a crowdfunding platform, and we have seen this happen often! SO – why does it happen and what are things you can do to prevent it?
Is it a bad project? A lack of passion? One thing for sure is it’s not pessimism. One P-word to address today is the ‘Pre’. The Pre is for that meticulous part before the crowdfund. Assuming that all variables are fair; project, personality, vision, etc. The campaign should unfold to be a success; however, as ever your preparation and a well thought-out strategy is huge and will enable you to really launch your project with the momentum necessary to achieve your goal. In a well thought-out marketing strategy for crowdfunding there is always one primary emphasis – how and who can you engage with.
If you are curious or pro-active about doing this, then start by grabbing a sheet of paper and brainstorming all the contacts that you know. This means; business contacts, twitter followers, friends, family, friends of friends, linked-In members, associations you’re part of, etc; all folks that might be interested or that can help out; anybody who you know who is influential. These fundamental networks will be the foundation to the success of your project, they will stimulate the momentum and the seemingly ‘big hit’ effect that will trigger the followers to reach out after the crowdfund is launched. Remember people don’t just jump on a platform with £20 and think who am I going to help out today. So you want to aim to have a fifth or even a quarter of your goal already donated before the campaign is launched – that way, when it is launched people are drawn to your immediate success. After all, people want to be part of the next big thing, right?
I certainly am filling large shoes talking about this subject. I know there is already a tonne of information about which crowdfunding platforms to use and the differences in their perks.
Envisioning how you’re going to attract your early adopters, that stage of raising capital and literally bursting into the live .com stage is often quite a daunting and exhilarating thought, wouldn’t you say?
Despite the whole crowdfunding topic becoming quite a saturated space online, today I want to raise a couple of thoughts. Things to consider when it comes to YOU and the “Platform Choosing Time”. We all know that there are a dozen plus platforms available. Each platform provides a slightly different reach, has a couple of percentage points different with regards to the fee for hosting, and hosts for community specific genres and locations.
Dealing with numerous clients, this is always an interesting topic of conversation. We advise you to assess your choice through the segmentation of your audience; demographically, geographically and through your audiences values, ie. Where they’re based, what they believe in and things like they’re income, nationalities, gender and age – Think, what kind of person uses my product/ service?
Consider this; your value proposition is for your audience so it makes total sense to position yourself most visibly in all aspects or your segmentation. Secondly consider the purpose of your crowdfund – Are you looking to raise money through sharing equity or aim to raise money through donations or is your business considering the crowdfunding model purely for an engagement campaign?
We’ve made a Segmentation takeaway for you to jot some notes and thoughts down to help you decide which platform is best for you.
Here are some crowdfunding platforms that you may want to consider;
People fund it
OR your own technology! (get in touch if you want to find out more about this)
Have a watch of our conversation with Gregg and Lesley-Ann of Big Baby Productions about the highs and lows of their 8 week campaign that exceeded their target of $30,000 by over $2,000. They talk about the importance of planning, using a network asset map, their global reach and the amount of time they had to spend every day during the actual campaign. For a background on Medicine’s Dark Secrets click here.
Some great snippets of advice for all who are thinking about running a crowdfunding campaign.
I spent many years growing up in a close-knit rural community in the Scottish Borders where trust was a huge factor in our everyday lives; I trusted the local garage and knew they wouldn’t rip me off because I knew the mechanics’ families and friends and other customers – if they did a bad job everybody would find out; I knew which was the best butcher, the friendliest chemist (don’t go in there, they never smile…) and we all certainly knew which was the best pub to go to. Cross-Keys, Ancrum – you know who you are.
And then I moved to Glasgow and a few months later my old car broke down. I didn’t know who to take it to, and couldn’t trust that what they did to it would be worth the price tag. I didn’t have any friends in the area, so had no local knowledge. Similarly I didn’t know which butcher sold horsemeat, and though I didn’t mind which chemist smiled I really did want to find a good pub. So, what did I do? What helped me here in the urban world was to look at reviews online and the increasing number of apps and sites aimed at people like me and looking at social media conversations.
My point? Our new world of online enables us to trust again where we might not otherwise be able to in our growing communities. It brings the offline online and then back off again. It creates a close-knit and trustworthy community where transparency is key and if it isn’t you’ll be found out. This community has no geographical boundaries, it is egalitarian and ultimately it wants the truth. Businesses can authentically engage with us, and us with them. This is a place for business and a place for customers, it is as much of a meeting place as it is a market place. It is truly authentic engagement.
P.S. for anybody else who wants to move to Glasgow I’ve got a phone full of recommendations for all of the above now, including a fab new start-up called Direct Mechanics who come direct to you 😉