You’ve decided to launch a crowdfunding campaign for your new idea, project, product or film: Now what? Draft your pitch text, upload your photos and launch? Not so fast!
Did you know that most campaigns should have 30% of their goal already funded before they even launch? Gaining momentum and raising funds will help other contributors feel more comfortable contributing their own funds to your project once it goes live. The best way to gain momentum for your project is to build an audience.
Don’t worry – it is not as daunting as it sounds and the benefits of reaching a larger audience go way beyond funding. A large following of backers will provide tips and insights to give you an idea of whether or not your idea can make it to market. Take it from the campaign owners of AXIS Gear: Motorize your existing window shades: “All the feedback our backers gave us, and finding a group of people as excited about AXIS Gear as us, was huge…finding our backers not only proved that we truly are onto something great but also provided us countless ways to improve on the idea we thought was so close to perfection.”
You want to build momentum and receive tips by building an audience? With these tips, you can make the jump from connecting with your network to connecting with the world and your campaign will take off before you know it!
1. Find Your Story
Being able to tell your story about why you are crowdfunding is a critical part of gaining backers. The campaigners of cuddle & kind: knit dolls that help feed children found a way to use their story to reach their networks:
“We explained our mission to help feed children in need and the idea behind cuddle+kind… we explained how crowdfunding works and asked them for their help and feedback. From these conversations, we learned how important it was to create an easy to understand message, then present it in our video and consistently throughout our own website and social media.”
2. Identify Your Circles:
Start by making a list of everyone in your inner circle of friends and family. Next, expand the list to friends of friends and acquaintances. Your third list will reach your outer community, people your friends have referred, industry leaders and relevant businesses. Knowing who your audience is and how to reach their networks will better help identify how to target them and build upon the base of supporters. Use your team members and their networks as well. Soon these networks will grow and grow!
3. Build Your Email List:
Once you know what you’ve identity your network, start to gather email addresses. Have your team members add emails from each of their circles as well. Combine these networks and start your initial email campaign. It’s also okay to ask your inner network and community to share the message. In this way, you will have an outer circle, and an untapped world of backers, before you know it!
The ‘Nuheara IQbuds: Super Intelligent Wireless Earbuds’ campaigners gathered their email database early: “We had about 22,000 people on our database before we launched.’ The startup also had about 17,000 Facebook likes and 30 to 40% click-through and open rates.
4. Share Your Campaign On Social Media:
We find that social media is the 2nd most effective method of driving traffic to campaigns on Indiegogo. In fact, successful campaigns raise 21% of their funds from people who learned about the campaign through a Facebook post. So start spreading the word on Facebook, Twitter and any other social media site you are a part of. You can do this from your campaign page by using the share tools. Check out this Facebook post from the Birdie: make your camera fly! campaign for inspiration:
5. Get creative, the world is your oyster!
Expand beyond email and Facebook and turn to contacting bloggers, the press, FB groups and any other outlets you can find! This is your time to get scrappy and have fun with it. Find a list of bloggers and local publications (through a quick Google search) who write about similar topics to your campaign and pitch them. A great way to approach this is to write a blurb about your campaign and send it to publications as a suggestion. Learn more about how to use the press to your advantage in this blog post.
Through targeted marketing and storytelling, you’ll build a loyal fan base of backers before you know it!
Want to know more? Check out our Essential Guide for running a campaign.
Already Feeling inspired? Start your campaign today