Are you currently planning or thinking about launching a crowdfunding campaign? Successful crowdfunding takes a lot of work and preparation. Some outreach is essential to gather the support you need to reach your funding goal.
Depending on your target customer’s demographics, it might be especially important to educate your followers on what crowdfunding is and how it works. Even though crowdfunding is becoming more popular, many people still haven’t pledged to a rewards crowdfunding campaign before and might be a little bit hesitant to do so.
If you fail to educate your backers, you’re going to have a rude awakening on launch day. You don’t want a bunch of people shying away from supporting your campaign because they don’t understand how to make a pledge (or why they should).
In addition, potential backers are naturally skeptical of handing over their credit card information to a completely foreign website, like Kickstarter or Indiegogo. Many of them have never encountered it before.
These tips will help you educate backers before you launch.
1. Host a Q&A
If your target audience is young, or the type of people who are on Reddit in large numbers, you can host a live Q&A to answer questions and get feedback on your campaign before you launch.
You want to start by gathering followers on social media or an email list and then promote that you will be hosting a Q&A, by creating graphics or text posts. Be sure to include the time and date that you will be hosting the Q&A, along with the types of questions you will be answering. Create hype leading up to it so that people won’t forget to check-in.
This online event will allow you to get potential backers engaged in your campaign. It gives people a chance to learn more about what you are doing and why, so make sure you are attentive and address people’s thoughts and concerns.
2. Educate Your Core Supporters
One good way to promote your campaign without having to do all the work yourself is to gather a group of core supporters. These are likely going to be people you know who are part of your team or just excited about your project and willing to help you promote it.
The key is to educate your group of core supporters so they can spread the word to their friends and on social media. Since you have talked with them quite a bit leading up to your campaign, they will be ready to answer other people’s questions about your project and crowdfunding in general. This gives you a chance to focus on more important things (even though chances are you will be doing some of this work too).
3. Spread Knowledge
When you are putting together a plan to gain support for your campaign before you launch, make spreading knowledge a priority. This includes knowledge that is specific to your industry and taking responsibility for teaching people what crowdfunding is and how they can back your project.
Industry knowledge: When you are building social media accounts for your company or service, you don’t want to overwhelm people with marketing and self-promotion all the time.
Take some time to share things that interest you and would interest your ideal customer. Share content that shows you know what you are talking about and are up-to-date with industry trends and information. Share information that people will need to make an informed decision when considering backing your project.
Crowdfunding knowledge: Depending on your industry, your target audience may or may not be familiar with crowdfunding. Chances are, not everyone will be. That’s okay. Become a bit of an advocate for crowdfunding by making information about it available for people who might not be sure.
Ask people who are interested in your project what they know and have a simple and quick explanation available. If they ask more questions, offer to send them an email or DM with more information. Be clear on how they can back your project when it launches, what types of payments are available, etc. so by the time you launch they are comfortable with the idea of using this new tool to support you.
If you want to spread the message about your campaign to a wider audience and streamline your message, consider sending out a press release. A press release is great because it can be added to your press kit and shared throughout your campaign. Ideally, your press release will be picked up by bloggers and journalists who want to cover your campaign.
Make sure your press release briefly explains what crowdfunding platform you will be using, along with information about your launch date, the length of your campaign, and interesting details about your project and your story. Telling people how you got to where you are is an important part of getting media attention and earning people’s trust before launching a crowdfunding campaign.
You can submit a free or premium press release with CrowdfundingPR.
Follow-up with people who show their interest when you launch and before your campaign closes. This will help you get more pledges since most people will put off backing your campaign at first, even if they are interested.
Keep in touch with these people by sharing campaign updates and checking to see if they had a chance to back your campaign, without being annoying or putting too much pressure on them. they will start to become more familiar with you. Once they see you have attracted some pledges, they might be ready to support you themselves.
If they are truly into your campaign, they will start to become more familiar with you and enjoy getting these updates. Once they see you have started to attract pledges, they might be ready to support you themselves.
If your target audience is older, you may need to follow-up with them to make sure they will back your campaign, especially if they have never heard of crowdfunding before. If the majority of your audience doesn’t comprehend the concept of crowdfunding, it will be very hard for your project to do well. If you offer support and are responsive throughout the whole process it can help, but be aware that crowdfunding is not right for every project.
Most of the time your first group of backers is people you know, like friends and family who have heard about your project and supported your ideas from the beginning. Getting other people on board isn’t always easy, but it can help if you have a large social network to start off with and come up with an effective outreach strategy.
Commit yourself to taking time before you launch to share information and get your audience ready for your launch. The more they know about you, your campaign, and the crowdfunding platform you are launching on, the more likely it is that more new people will back your campaign.
Feel free to leave any questions or comments below!