December 13, 2012 · Success Stories

Campaigner Insights: Grassroots Crowdfunding Promotion


While searching Instagram for the hashtag #Indiegogo, I found this picture (above), accompanied with the message, “At the Brooklyn Bridge today promoting old skool. Stop by and say hello if you are free !!!!”

However lo-fi and “old skool,” this kind of promotion is, it is fairly unique in the online land of crowdfunding — but no less valuable. Given that Indiegogo is an Internet-based crowdfunding platform, it’s common (and logical) for the primary effort of campaign marketing activities to often occur online. While various forms of social media and email are excellent ways to connect with interested audiences inside and beyond your network, sometimes hitting the pavement and engaging in more grassroots marketing activities can be another great way to spread the word about a campaign.

The Instagram picture above is part of Cristina Henriquez and Samantha Shane’s campaign for their theater company, A Red Lipped Rebellion’s, production of Neil LaBute’s, The Shape of Things. With a director and cast already in place, they are raising money to cover $5,000 worth of production costs — including lighting, sound, and the rights to the play.

I got a chance to speak with Cristina and Samantha to find out more about how they are raising awareness about their campaign offline at a grassroots level:

What did you keep in mind while you planned your campaign marketing?

For our campaign marketing, we kept in mind all of the different people we know and the various social circles we are a part of or connected to.  We asked ourselves, “How can we make our project appeal to each of them, while remaining true to our artistic vision of the project?” — and we went from there.

Can you take me through your “offline” marketing strategies?

We are like the real life “2 Broke Girls.” We work our patooties off in restaurants every night to get up and pound the pavement and spread the love and our art during the day. It is difficult to get someone’s attention via email a lot of the time when you are just starting out, so we started showing up at the places we wanted to contact.  Someone at least has to shake your hand or look you in the face that way, and even that definitely goes a long way. The more we did it, the more we realized how beneficial it was and the offline guerrilla thing sort of became our shtick.

1. Guerilla Marketing – We had these cards that said random (and sometimes sort of questionable) things on them with our website on the back.  Our hope was to get people to ask, “Who is A Red Lipped Rebellion?” The cards said things like, “Kiss this” — “If its with your mouth does it count?”  — and Oscar Wilde’s quote, “Truth is entirely and absolutely a matter of style.”

2. PARTY! – We were guest bartenders one night at a local pub and threw a mini bash for our play.  That not only got our friends super excited about the play, but we were all having such a good time that the regulars at the bar took notice and hung out with everyone as well.  We had a raffle and gave out red lipstick.  It was so great to have so many people there repping ARLR with their red lips!  It was lots of fun!

3. Canvassing – We went to businesses with bulletin boards in the same neighborhood we are doing our play in February, posting flyers and schmoozing, getting to know the people in the community.

4. Flyers + No Sleep Till Brooklyn –  We took a stroll on The Brooklyn Bridge with “Hi my name is…” stickers and flyers.

5. A Walk in the Park – We set up shop at Washington Square park with a guitar, the “hi my name is” stickers, and some bubbles.  Music is the great equalizer of the world, and we thought that would be the easiest way to get some attention from passersby.  Also, who doesn’t love bubbles?!  Throughout the day we had a group of anywhere from 3 people to 15 people jamming with us, blowing bubbles and having an awesome time. I think we also ended up in a music video!

How has the community responded to your “offline” engagement?

The community has definitely responded favorably, but because we are in NYC there has definitely been some skepticism from a few locals.  There is always going to be “that person” who is apprehensive to take a flyer or make eye contact even, but it has made us appreciate getting attention from the next person that much more. Sometimes “no” can make you want to be more proactive than a “yes”.

To find out more about A Red Lipped Rebellion, check out the campaign!

Interested in running an Indiegogo campaign? Find out how here and start today!

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