K is for Killer Ideas

crowdfunding-pillarsNow the most obvious blog for K would be about a rather famous crowdfunding platform that has in the last year extended into the UK.  But no, I was determined to find our own K.  So I came up with Killer Ideas.  I’ll talk about platforms another time – wait for P!

Killer Ideas are what makes a crowdfund. They are the hook that makes people’s ears prick up, and then entices them to put their hands in their pocket.  SoLoCo works on the principle that a crowdfund has pillars that you can base your campaign on as follows:

“hook, social media engagement, network, geography, capacity, reputation and branding”

Of these, the critical pillar is the hook – and if your product or service doesn’t have a hook you need a killer idea within your campaign to make one.

Nucoco Chocolate Wall
Nucoco Chocolate Wall

When we crowdfunded with Nucoco we wanted to raise funds to help a chocolate company afford its branding and packaging. At first glance you may feel this would be easy ‘everybody likes chocolate’. But do they like it enough to donate more than the sum of a chocolate bar? The product was delicious, but what would make them stand out from other hand-made chocolate houses?  So, we had to create a hook.  Our ‘killer idea’ was to sell handmade chocolate and cake bricks that at the end of the campaign would form an edible installation. So we went all Willy Wonka – even to the point of hiding a ‘golden ticket’ worth £1000 in one of the bricks.

If you’re product or service doesn’t make waves, think of your killer idea first and how to build that into your campaign.  Remember the social media world is a noisy place. Killer ideas can help you to rise above it and be noticed.

B is for building relationships

On starting a crowdfund it is very easy to fall into the hard sell. But before you’ve hit the ‘publish profile’ button you need to ask yourself, what is it that you really want to get out of the crowdfund. Is it just the cash? Is it more customers? Is it a greater following?

If you are pre-selling a product, you are less likely to need to build a personal relationship with your customers as they are more interested in the product than in you. However, if you want to build a following of engaged consumers then you need to genuinely build a relationship with them.

Building relationships is a two way thing. It’s not simply about telling people what you do, it’s about conversing with them, paying them attention and genuinely listening to what they have to say. It’s about engagement.

Crowdfunding can be way less formal than a corporate website might be, you can chat to your followers and have fun. Twitter is great for the creative amongst us, with so few characters you need to be inventive especially if your campaign is going to last for months. The more fun you have the more fun your followers will have. This takes time, thought and flexibility. No Comms/marketing plan should be rigid, more a fluid document that will change and develop in time, but it is absolutely worth it in the longer term.

Not wanting to state the obvious but Twitter and Facebook are very different ways of engaging existing and new customers. Facebook though very visual is also a passive medium, users don’t have to do very much and inevitably don’t. Twitter on the other hand is a hugely powerful channel for engaging people. Users are prepared to converse and that is where the power and energy lies. We found Twitter to be by far the most effective method for attracting new customers, engagement and ultimately selling. On Twitter alone we sold approx £12K of product in 3 months.

Another great method for cementing your relationships is by creating micro-films and posting them on Youtube or Vimeo, they’ll allow you to update your followers and they’ll feel closer to you and your proposition. They don’t need to be super professional either, creating them on your phone is sufficient. And finally for this post, don’t forget offline engagement, go and meet your followers if possible, go to networking dos, events and to the street if you can; take every opportunity to further develop your relationships; these are your ambassadors, the folk who care about you, your business or project and will help spread the word.

Next up – C is for Creativity

Nucoco

We are proud to announce that Nucoco were awarded the Best Use of Social Media award for the SoLoCo crowdfunding campaign by The Glasgow Business Awards 2012. Great team work.  And what a night!

Since the crowdfund they have gone from strength to strength and are now stocking their gorgeous chocolate in a number of shops throughout Scotland.