Crowdfunding’ Faux Pas

By Lendpool

What you should know as crowdfunding aspirant before launching your campaign.

1. GREED – It’s not just about the money!

Crowdfunding gives you the chance to raise awareness and build an audience prior to – or while -working on your project. Many successful creators consider these benefits to be more valuable than the funding.

Non-monetary benefits of crowdfunding include:

  • Showing the world that you are not the only one to believe in your project (known as “third party validation” in marketing speak).

  • Building a network of supporters and advocates – even if people don’t buy your vouchers, they may talk about your project to their social network. (“word of mouth” marketing)
  • Starting distributing your product by selling your project vouchers – i.e. pre-sell your product (“market testing”).
  • Getting assistance from the public: let fans participate in your project. Hear their feedback!

2. GLUTTONY – What is a reasonable funding target?

It is ALWAYS better to meet your target than not to meet your target. Sounds obvious? So please choose a goal that’s creative enough that you can confidently meet and exceed. Exceeding your target will add a touch of brilliance to your campaign!

Bear in mind you can always come back for another round of funding later.

As to the precise amount:

  • Be straightforward about your actual costs, this is what you need to raise.
  • Think about how many vouchers you need to sell to reach your target. Is that a realistic number of sales?
  • There generally is a strong correlation between the size your existing social network and how much your can raise through crowdfunding. How many of your existing fans will contribute and how much? Be realistic.

3. PRIDE – Actually… a bit of vanity is good when it comes to your crowdfunding video!

The public loves to see your face on your crowdfunding campaign video (no really!). So show yourself and tell the story of your project (briefly).

Film makers: you probably already have a great trailer, but experience shows that the public often prefers to see the women, men and passion at work behind your project.

It’s even better if you can make your crowdfunding campaign video fun and original.

4. SLOTH – ZZZ… Success is about ENGAGING your audience!

Do nothing once your project is live, and… the odds are that nothing will happen. That’s why sloth is by far the most lethal of all crowdfunding sins!
Crowdfunding starts with your friends, family and existing fan base. Ask them to contribute!
Please use the tools at your disposal on the site to share your project with the world (Twitter and Facebook share, Grab the Widget, Facebook Recommend). Ask your friends to share your project page with their social network too.

If you don’t already have an account with Twitter and/or Facebook, please create one. Twitter is a particularly valuable marketing tool, as it travels across networks easily. We will support your Twitter/Facebook campaign through Sponsume’s own network.

Create a mailing list (Mailchimp for instance is free for under 2000 email addresses and has great monitoring tool). People respond more to email than social messages. Own your public!

Talk to people about your project and crowdfunding campaign (sounds old fashioned, but it is still the most powerful medium).

The next section explains how to build an audience in more detail.

5. LUST – Share the love!

Engaging your crowd is a bit like courting: you don’t usually just go and ask someone for sex..
Identify your audiences. Start by asking yourself the questions: What does my project talk about (themes), where is it located (places of interest), how is it being produced (genres, methods), who is taking part (team and beyond)?

These will give you a few clues as to what kinds of public you need to engage with. Ask yourself: who is likely to fancy my project? Who may identify with it?

  • Locate. You know who they are, now check where they live (e.g. Facebook groups). Get in touch with the groups and their organisers.
  • Communicate & Build rapport. Start a two-way conversation using a variety of media (different people respond to different stimuli), including social media, emails, talks. Don’t ask for contributions yet. First get to know each other…
  • Call to action. Time to get intimate. Ask them to contribute! This works better when addressed in a personal message.
  • Keep in touch: Tempted by a one-night stand? You’ve just built yourself a network of dedicated supporters and advocates. Nurture and treasure it, your public/customers are an invaluable asset!

6. WRATH – Keep cool: give yourself enough time.

However don’t give yourself too long either, or your campaign WILL stall. Deadlines actually help get things done.
Statistically, the projects that raise the most are those with a deadline of around 70 days. But it all depends on the nature of your project and campaign.

Just friends and family? A shorter period might do.

Building a bigger campaign with press support, etc? You’ll probably need longer.

Again, bear in mind that long campaigns (beyond around 90 days) tend to kill momentum.

Pick a milestone for your deadline (e.g. start of pre-production), it often helps motivate your troops.

7. ENVY – Keeping up with the (successful) Jones.

Check out what successful projects have done in the past and how they’ve done it. Be shameless about copying what they’ve done well!