Having a compelling and relatable story is one thing that will encourage people who see your campaign to actually back it. In many cases this is done really well, whether the creator has an interesting story and is a skilled writer or they paid someone to put together their story in an appealing way for them. Those are the campaigns where I watch the video, want to read more, and before I know it I’m at the bottom of the page and impressed at the hard work they have clearly put into presenting their idea.
On the flip side many campaigns do not communicate their stories so well. Every once in a while I come across projects where I watch their video and read some of the page (either because it is too long or poorly written) and still find myself confused about what it is the creators are trying to do. Another example is projects where the creator is clearly only trying to sell a product or doing it purely out of self-interest.
Launching a crowdfunding campaign out of self-interest isn’t a bad thing. In fact, that is a big part of why most people do it – to further their careers or passion projects, for attention, or monetary gain. Still, backers are usually interested in what crowdfunding projects will do for them and creators are often excited about the effects that their campaigns will have on their backers. That is the spirit that you need to communicate to your audience. A large part of crowdfunding’s popularity is based on the fact that it goes both ways.
Here is some advice on how to put together your crowdfunding story in a way that will make your audience excited to give you’re their support, including six things you should include and how you can communicate them effectively:
This part is all about who you are! What is it about your background that makes you perfect for this project? What gave you the idea? How do you get inspired? In what ways has this project changed your life?
Any aspects of your life that are relevant to the project and you feel comfortable sharing will go a long way in helping backers feel like they know you. This increases their trust and desire to see you succeed.
You need to clearly explain to your audience what it is exactly that your project would like to achieve. What is the end product going to be? Does it have a unique look, feel, or function? Is it something new?
Remember to keep this simple and try to focus on one main goal. Sometimes I’ve seen projects looking to raise money for something small (like a clothing line), but their video talked about something much bigger than they were looking to raise money for initially, which was very confusing. Long term goals are good and can lead to repeat customers or backers but shouldn’t be the main focus.
Mention where the project is taking place. This could include a few things, like: does it have a local element? What social media sites will you be communicating through? Do you have a website where fans of your project can find more information? How can people get in contact with you? Where is your project being made, or based from?
There have been growing trends that encourage the funding of community initiatives as well as supporting local artists and businesses. By pointing out local ties it may increase your chances of having your story picked up by the local media should your project gain some early success or get you pledges from people in the area.
Some other important things to communicate to backers are questions such as: when is the project launching and ending? Are there limited rewards? When will backers be receiving their rewards?
Knowing the answers to these questions can help instill a sense of urgency in a potential backer that they need to support your campaign fast before time runs out. Knowing when to expect their rewards (especially if it is soon or at a convenient time for them) gives backers something to look forward to and be excited about. If your deadlines aren’t clear it can make people a little hesitant to contribute or they may just put it off and forget altogether.
Another interesting piece of information that you can share with backers when expanding on your story is why they should support you. This goes back to what I mentioned at the beginning of this post about how people want to help your efforts and know your story but also want to get something in return.
As stated in an Information Architected Inc. post:
“It doesn’t particularly matter if you’re looking to raise $500 or $1,000,000 – if you are not finding a connection to the crowd of volunteers who could, with the right motivation, fund (or over-fund) your project, then you are likely to find that your project remains just a vision, rather than a product, service, or movement that has taken a life of its own through the efforts of your engaged crowd.”
Have you created something that you feel you absolutely have to share with the world? Something epic you don’t know how we’ve been living without? Do you want to use your campaign as a platform to spread some social good? Or are you just offering some amazing rewards that backers should be excited about?
Don’t forget to tell us about it.
One of the final things you will need to communicate on your page is how you are going to get the project done. Do you have any prototypes? Are your manufacturing plans set up? How are you going to use the funds you are raising to get the job finished on time and with good quality?
Being very open and honest with backers about your plans and expectations makes them feel good knowing what to expect. Letting them know about any potential concerns beforehand can make a huge difference in backer support if you should run into any road blocks throughout or after your campaign is fully funded. This can save a lot of negative feelings in the long run.
Never post your first draft. Don’t be afraid to edit it several times keeping in mind grammar and spelling but also look to remove anything that is unclear or repetitive. Have friends, family, or other people to read what you have written and stay open to suggestions on how you can improve. You may be set on telling your story a certain way, but if you try to write with your audience in mind you will achieve a greater connection with them and better results.
Feel free to leave any questions or comments below!