What is this Sandpit all about?

Can you remember way back when you were a wee, never exhausted smiley child?

You would go out and affront the world with no concern, all humility and do your best at every shot, whether it was building the most stunning sand castle in your sand pit, or an incredible drawing for your mother. Then came along Mr opinion, closely associated to you – a friend or sadly, maybe a parent that came down on you and your  creation giggling and said “what’s that?” in a condescending tone. From there on in, the story built a sad ending on the marvels of your creativity. You are never simply bad at drawing or finding solutions, you have simply conditioned yourself repetitively, to remember that you are just “not good at it”.

Shame isn’t it? Just think, there could have been the eradication of some really serious social issues if this were not the case.

So, how does this relate to what we do? For your campaign to be successful be yourself towards a member of your tribe without driving your service at every opportunity. Establish authentic ways to engage with your communities online. Firstly take pride in your creative thought and secondly,  don’t let other people and their judgmental selves dictate the real you.

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