Tapping Into Your Networks for Crowdfunding
Crowdfunding projects need a steady flow of people looking at them in order to maximize their funding potential. This article talks about who looks at your project and where they come from.
You have a project in mind that would be perfect for crowdfunding.
You've made a killer video and written a project description that conveys your passion for this project.
The rewards you've created are unique and have a personal touch; just the right "thank you's" for this project.
You've decided on the funding amount and the duration of the project.
A couple more reviews of the project information and you're ready to hit the Go Live button.
Ready, set, GO!
Your project is live...and there it sits.
The fact is that you need people to look at your project in order for them to want to donate to it.
How do you get the word out about your project?
To begin, you must understand that there are 3 groups of people who will look at your project.
Friends and Family
These are the people closest to you. They are probably the people you communicate with the most and who know you best. And based on their association with you, they may fund any project you come up with.
The best way to let them know about your project is to simply talk about it with them. Email, phone, Skype...whatever is your preferred method. Update your Facebook, MySpace or Twitter with a link to your project. Get the word out to everyone you know.
If you can, it's very effective to give people a "heads up" that the project is going up on a crowdfunding site. Perhaps a short paragraph describing your project with the parting note "...more to come!”
This sets an expectation and people will be watching for word of the project!
When you speak with them about your project, also ask them to let their friends and family know about it. Free advertising!
Another thing to note is that this group of people tend to donate to your project in the first 5 days of it being put up.
This group of people will look over your project and some, if not all, of it will connect with them. However, they are cautious about donating right then and want to feel more confident about your ability to deliver the project.
The Watchers will come back to your project over and over, checking out your Updates, the Comments and the number of backers you have. They want to know that the project is proceeding well under your watchful eye!
This is where creative blogging skills is important! See What Do I Do After My Crowdfunding Project Goes Live?…Blog like Crazy!
Watchers may find your project through your social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), other peoples’ social media, word of mouth, or they may be people browsing projects in crowdfunding sites.
Watchers tend to donate in the final few days of your project. After watching the project, they have decided that you’re OK with them and they want to be a part of things before the opportunity goes away!
Imagine someone donating $25 to the local radio telethon because they like the fancy umbrella being given away as a “thank you” gift. That’s a shopper.
Your project will be viewed by Shoppers, too. They will click somewhat with your project, but more so, they will want one of the rewards you are offering.
“That’s a good idea but I really want one of the T-Shirts they are giving away”
Shoppers will peruse your project and donate throughout the duration.
Shoppers will also come in via a number of ways, social media, etc.
Now that you know who will be looking at your project, how do you get them there?
As I said before, rely heavily on your social media. With everyone you connect ask “If you cannot donate financially right now, would you be a part of this project by sending my project link out to your friends?”
This is not the time to be shy!
Do you belong to any clubs or organizations to which you could give your project link to send out to their members? Church groups, hobby club newsletters, community bulletins?
How about online forums or mailing lists? Are there any specialty groups that would click with your project?
If you’re publishing a gardening book, speak to local horticultural clubs and writer support groups.
Remember that your project probably touches on a number of areas of interest to lots of different people!
If you have the connections, write up a press release about your project, contact the local TV and radio stations. The worst thing that can happen is that they say “No thanks”
Fly over your city in a hot air balloon and throw out little streamers with your project link on it!
OK, maybe that’s a bit much!
But, hey, be creative and have fun with it! You’ll never know who might want to support your project until they know about it!
Learn more about the author, Mark Blair.
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