When it comes to financing your next project or entrepreneurial idea, crowdfunding offers a novel, flexible way to get it – not to mention also intercepting a vast community of potential customers willing to support your idea en route.
Successfully achieving both funding and an audience depends – in the crowdfunding world at least – almost solely upon your ability to communicate effectively with your potential supporters. Highlight the problems solved, the quality and the innovation that your project brings to the table and you could well be on the road to crowdfunding greatness. Unfortunately, the reverse is also true.
Since crowdfunding is an online phenomenon, most assume that online tools are enough to promote your campaign; they aren’t. Promotion and community interaction are possible in a variety of ways, both on and offline. Here are some of them for you to consider as you plan your crowdfunding journey.
Set up your own website (online)
Having a dedicated website for your crowdfunding campaign is one of the best and easiest ways to promote it, while interacting with potential supporters.
There are many online platforms available to make creating your website quick, easy and inexpensive – all you need is a homepage and a blog section. It can also be a handy digital home for your campaign, holding click-and-go links to all other digital mediums related to it, including the campaign page.
Make sure to plan how you will add relevant campaign content to your website at least once a week, to keep your supporters interested.
Social Media (online)
Social media today has almost a billion active monthly users – making it the most effective online channel to seek out, and engage with, your target audience.
By selecting the social media platforms that work best for your product or cause, you can focus on promoting your campaign to the relevant or niche groups applicable, as well as to the general networks of you and your followers.
Internet forums (online)
More active still than social media groups are online forums, where potential supporters for your campaign are already e-meeting to chat about the topics relevant to it.
Research the right forums for your campaign, then sign up and show up as often as possible, answering any posted questions to share (read: demonstrate) your expertise on the subject and starting on-topic chats.
In-person networking (offline)
It has oft been noted that face-to-face interactions tend to be far more beneficial than any amount of (albeit brilliant) online or written content.
As to why this is – the jury remains out. It may be that people tend to have more confidence or trust in a cause when they have been likewise convinced by the person behind it: in this case, you. In terms of crowdfunding, this reassurance regarding you as a person may well transform into funding for your campaign.
Launch party (offline)
Organising a launch party for your crowdfunding campaign is valuable in many ways.
As well as being a fun event for all involved in bringing the project to fruition, it is also a neat way to interact and network with your would-be campaign supporters in one space.
A launch party need not be an expensive event, especially if you can negotiate an offer from the venue regarding refreshments (think: rewards, campaign sponsors or even venue promotion via the campaign if relevant).
Press and media (online and offline)
Make the most of press and media to help you promote your campaign. Local newspapers, television channels or radio stations may be willing to promote your project to their audiences, especially if your campaign has local significance.
Make sure to pitch your story in a clear and concise manner to these media resources, to ensure that it is quick and simple for them to use the content you supply.
Bonus – your interaction checklist
- Be transparent in all communications and interactions, so that your backers are updated with all campaign project news, both good and bad.
- Maintain regular communication with your supporters to reassure them of your reliability.
- Accept – and make sure to act upon – all feedback you receive from supporters.
- Be clear about your project message at all times.
- Acknowledge the support of those who back your project, especially those who go above and beyond to help.
- Never argue with your supporters, since you will not only lose a potential backer but also those who are party to the argument both on and offline. Politeness and humility in all interactions will benefit you more.
- Don’t just communicate using text – experiment with videos and audio to make your relationship with your supporters more personal.
- Include a clear ‘Call to Action’ in all your communications, so that your supporters know what to do next.