Everyone who has run a crowdfunding campaign before will share a different story of how they found their audience.
For me, the following actions worked and helped me find the right audience for my campaign:
– Reach out to all of your friends and family members, and simply ask them for any kind of help they can offer: social media outreach, help with running the campaign as well as financial help. Don’t be shy; be courageous and assertive but not intrusive and pushy or desperate in the worst-case scenario. There is nothing shameful in asking for help and support. Quite the opposite, you are daring greatly to follow your dream, and this is always something to be admired.
– Be loud about your campaign. Let all of your email contacts know about your campaign and be very clear in explaining what you are after and what you need at this stage. If you are after a financial contribution, don’t be afraid to say so (some people will help you and some won’t). If you are after social media exposure, explain that to everyone. Don’t forget to ask your email contacts to forward your campaign on to their contacts too. Again, some of them won’t do it, but the ones who do could get you in touch with your angel investor/supporter. The more people in your network know about your campaign, the greater chances you have to reach the critical support your project needs. This is just a simple case of six degrees of separation. The more people know about your campaign, the bigger chances you have to be successful with it. If you notice that people are a bit reluctant in helping you out, and don’t be surprised if they will be, you can offer some tangible incentives such as a physical copy of your product, credits in the movie or some sort of special award. Just watch out for the budget; make sure the math adds up.
– You MUST be very active on social media. What I mean is posting and tweeting around the clock during your campaign. Tweets disappear almost as soon as they are posted, and other social networks have bizarre algorithms that don’t allow all your friends or followers see your posts. To reach the critical mass your campaign needs to succeed, you need to properly target and almost “bombard” your social media accounts with your campaign messages. Just remember: don’t spam, make it relevant, make it count and make it interesting. Of course, it doesn’t mean staying awake 24/7 and physically typing or pasting your messages in. It means using the right tools for the job. In this case, it’s a scheduling platform. I, for instance, use Hootsuite to schedule my posts. If you have never used a scheduling website, check out Youtube’s “How to…” videos to get the most out of it. It took me a few days to get my head around Hootsuite’s layout and functionalities, but it was worth it at the end. Hootsuite isn’t the only scheduling website out there, but it’s the one I found the most user-friendly and suitable for me. It’s worth investing time in finding the right platform that works for you (the one that you find the easiest to navigate).
Top Tips for Posting on Social Media
– Try to tweet at least every 30 minutes. Don’t tweet everything at once as you will be competing for the audience’s attention with yourself and trust me; there is plenty of competition out there. During my campaigns, I was tweeting every 15 min.
– Post visuals such as videos, photos, GIFF’s. People share those more willingly.
– Try to post and tweet to people individually. Use their first name to build the connection faster. To support this point: I got the biggest contributions towards “Anna and Modern Day Slavery” by contacting people personally on FB.
– If you have access to a University, work or school newsletter, charity, or any large organization, ask them if they could mention your project in the newsletter. This way you will reach a much bigger and diversified audience.
– Pitch your project to your local media outlets and bloggers you know or have worked within the past. This can be a massive help, i.e. interview with you or an article about your project. I would strongly suggest having the Media Kit (including synopsis, description, working links, images and video) polished and ready to go beforehand. Getting media and bloggers on board of your project may be the difference between getting it off the ground or not. If you notice a spark of interest from them, help them and make their lives easier by providing all the essential and relevant information about your campaign as soon as possible and in the best possible quality. The bare minimum for their help is offering something in exchange such as Thank You credits if this is a movie, mention on your website or the poster etc. But why stop there? You can always ask them if they would like to be your media “patron” (and that includes bloggers too) and have the making-of and special interviews or exclusive information first. Be creative in offering co-operation opportunities to media, bloggers and individuals willing to support you.
Believe me; they can massively impact your campaign.