What good is a crowdfunding campaign without the crowd? However, herding said crowd to your campaign page is trickier than you might imagine. Ridiculously successful campaigns will have you believe that all you need to do is post your campaign and the money will just keep rolling in. That is a belief trap.
It takes two things: a. understanding the different kinds of backers, b. timely communication with each of them. Let’s divide each kind of backer into a specific tier. So, who are these guys?
Family and best friends
A tried and tested theory we’ve seen through the years is that projects that reach 20% within the first three days are the ones most likely to succeed and even exceed their target amount. Which is why it is imperative that campaigners reach the 20% mark as soon as possible. And, how does one do it? You turn to your biggest and most reliable supporters- family, best friends and everyone you’re ridiculously close to. These are the guys who will be willing to put the money without really asking too many questions. Campaigners often save these people for the last- when the campaign needs a final push. However, a random visitor who’s checking your page is more likely to show faith in a project that has already been funded to a significant percentage than one that hasn’t received any funding at all.Continuous funding from your close-knit circle will help give your campaign the jumpstart it needs.
How to get them on-board? – We’re pretty sure they will already be on board by the time you’re ready to crowdfund. Tell each one personally about your campaign, how it works and how much you expect them to fund so you reach your first mini-milestone soonest! Keep them in the loop throughout the preparation stages, so they are ready to fund pretty much the moment you go live.
Friends and acquaintances
These are people who may not be actively involved in your life, but still, care about you and would be excited to support your really cool idea. You may not be as much in touch with them as you’d like to, but you can always turn to them to help you either by backing your project or spreading the word about it!
How to get them on-board? – Call them or write to them! First, apologize for not being in touch (if you’re that person), then tell them about your idea, how great it is, how it just NEEDS to happen- no excuses, and that you really, really need their support to do this.
Social, academic and professional networks
Yes, we know! This one is tricky territory. They know you, they may even remember you, but you can barely remember the last time you spoke to them. It’s understandable that you feel awkward reaching out to people in your professional networks, school and college alumnus and social circles. But, trust us, it’s absolutely important and worth it. People in this circuit will help you mainly out of the feeling of fraternity- that someone from among them is doing something crazy and the world needs to know of it!
How to get them on-board? – Email them. Attend social gatherings where these people might be present. Ride on your passion for what you’re doing, pride in where you come from and the sense of “taking one for the team”. You may have drifted away from your classmates and you may not be best buddies with your colleagues, but you are one of them or you were at one point. Put all of this across nicely, of course.
The cyberspace, in general
You don’t think successful campaigns rake in millions just from the campaigners’ friends, do you? A lot of backing comes in from complete strangers who probably saw a campaign through a friend or a friend’s friend or a random article on social media. They are people who don’t know you but are definitely interested in what you are doing. These strangers are also the people you need to build your community of loyalists around. After all, they’ve put their money on you solely out of love for your idea.
How to get them on-board? – Let your idea hog the limelight. Reaching out to these people requires strong PR and social media communication. One simple tweeted article has the potential to travel far and wide- only if your idea is revolutionary enough. But the packaging is equally important. So is the targeting; tap into influencers who share the same area of interest and online communities. Keep the content snazzy, engaging and as interesting as your project. Also, make sure you’re getting PR from good quality online sources. Different kinds of backers and each one needs a special kind of communication; who would’ve thought, right? It may seem tedious, but this strategic method really simplifies things and ensures smooth flow of backing- wave after wave.
Remember, a segmented approach will always be more effective than a one-message-fits-all model!