Creating a successful crowdfunding project is both an art and a science. It is an engagement process that requires you to do the following:
Find A Crowd
Remember that this isn’t primarily about money. Otherwise you could just go to your rich uncle or pitch to a friend with deep pockets. It’s about getting a lot of people involved in your cause. So you’ll need a crowd of people who want to see your project succeed.
Tell A Good Story
Getting the attention of your friends and followers can be tough in our time-crunched world. You need to engage them with a good story. What is it that you’re trying to do? Why should they care about it? What will they get out of the experience that makes it special to them?
Create Value for the Community
Not just any project will do. You’ve got to propose something that your crowd really wants or needs. In other words, you’ve got to carefully consider just what your community values enough for lots of people to pitch in and make it real.
Use Social Media Tools
Working with crowds takes a special kind of conversation. Monologuing just won’t cut it. You’ve got to sustain meaningful dialogue with your crowd that encourages the word to spread. This is not a “low touch” activity. Talking with the crowd is ongoing, dynamic, and sometimes outright intense.
Get Your Fans to Spread The Word
Few among us have a thousand followers already hanging on our every word. And simply talking with your two best friends for weeks on end isn’t going to get the word out (or bring you a large enough range of people to get the pledges you’ll need to fund your project). You’ve got to ask more of your fans AND do it in a way that helps them feel good about doing more than dropping money into the coffers.
Follow Through on Your Promises
At the end of the day, if all goes well, you’ll have all hands on deck and enough fuel in your tank to make the drive. Even when you reach your fundraising goal the conversation continues. Remember that this is about engagement. You’ve got to deliver the rewards, stay in contact with your fans while you create your killer product, and get it out in the world like you said you would.
Suresh Fernando and Joe Brewer are in the process of writing a Crowdfunding Manual for Social Change. This is an excerpt from the forthcoming eBook.
Other entries in Crowdfunding Nation, Shareable's week-long series on crowdfunding:
- Crowdfunding Nation: The Rise and Evolution of Collaborative Funding
- Crowdfunding Social Change
- Of The Crowd: Q&A W/ Kickstarter's Daniella Jaeger
- Crowdfunding and the Law
- What You'll Need to Run a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign
- How To Run a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign
- Why Crowdfunding Isn't Really About Money
- The Top Shareable Crowdfunded Projects
- The Enabling City: Crowdfunding Urban Livability
- The Motorhome Diaries: The Dance of Crowdfunding
- Loudsauce Crowdfunds Advertising That Matters