So you’ve done your research, targeted your audience and prepared your story. The launch button has been pushed… now what?
Running a successful campaign does not happen on your crowdfunding website alone. You will need to get out there and pull your supporters in. Get them to contribute and share – the more viral you can make your campaign, the better. Check out the following recipe below to ensure crowdfunding success.
The First Ten Days: Create Momentum For Your Campaign – Get Out There.
Sure, it’s great to extend your reach and inspire your supporters online but you should not underestimate the power of offline strategies in creating momentum for your campaign. Here are some examples of how you can get out there and strengthen your position:
a) Throw a fundraiser event, party or gathering: Bring the community together and let your supporters and future customers share positive stories with their friends, families and other potential supporters. Creating this kind of positive hype about your product or service and getting your supporters to talk to each other (and to the product/service team) will keep the momentum of your campaign going.
b) Gather a small team of launch ambassadors: These ambassadors will become the top referrers of your product and can come from your campaign community. They can include bloggers, media personalities and any other influential individuals. Get them together and take them onboard your campaign so that they can share the problem and YOUR solution to it. By becoming part of your team and immersing themselves in your campaign, your launch ambassadors will be able to spread the message far and wide.
c) Spam your audience with newsletters, brochures, flyers and emails: Remember, the best way to maximize your engagement is to be very targeted about whom you approach. That will not always be easy, so make sure you use the tactics above to get the word out and people in. Services such as Fiverr.com may be effective in extending your presence and increasing your supporter base.
The Next Ten Days: Keep Up The Momentum
a) It is easier to retain an old customer than to create a new one: By this point you should have quite a substantial following. Use this time to engage your audience. To keep people engaged, it is always good to share your progress with them. Show your following what stages you are going through, how things are developing and share your personal journey with them (whether it is positive or negative). Your following is no ordinary audience or customer base – they are supporters and investors with an interest in your product/service and they would like to be involved, so keep them in the loop of what is going on.
You can also engage your supporters by presenting them with a progress report every once in a while – if you are showing progress and keeping things transparent, your following will be empathetic to any delays that may occur. People are more forgiving if they are informed.
Remember, every post you put up is an opportunity for your audience to share; every share is an opportunity to reach out to more people, and the more people you reach out too, the higher the chances of getting more traffic to your site, which will, in turn, lead to more contributions.
b) Share yourself with your audience and encourage them to ask questions: It is inevitable that there will be lulls in your campaign and while you may be hard at work perfecting your product/service, your following may drift away if they are not kept engaged with your campaign. To prevent them from getting bored, share news posts, jokes and inspirational material that relates to your product/service with them.
More importantly though, you need to be asking questions. There is nothing more appealing and satisfying than to be able to contribute to a cause – so ask your community some questions that are related to your cause (or even related to any general product/service problem that you may be facing). By asking them for their opinion and creating a forum for knowledge sharing, you are doing more than gathering supporters – you are engaging them.
That being said, remember not to overdo it. You do not want people hitting the ‘unsubscribe’ button and removing you from their feeds because you are invading their space. You want to keep them interested for the longest time possible – so plan your posts wisely.
c) Empower new ambassadors: There is so much to be gained from socialising and networking in professional environments and the same holds true for building your crowdfunding campaign. What every good salesman knows is that it is much easier to convert a customer face to face rather than through the Internet. This is why many politicians still hit the road and keep their online campaigns as secondary. You will get better support if you can personally meet the people that will be supporting your product/service.
Go to parties, meetups and events in the community. Shake some hands and mingle. Tell people about your cause and what you are doing about it and don’t forget, it’s as simple as showing your passion and telling your story.
The Last Ten Days: Prepare To Launch
In the last leg of your campaign it is time to present your supporters with new visuals and videos showing your progress and if possible depicting your journey thus far. This will really help to seal the deal, especially if you are really close to reaching your goal.
Remember, if your supporter base is still less than 50% at this stage, then the chances of your campaign succeeding are not good. You may need to re-think how to capture more crowd and increase the participation of your target audience so that you can maximise your fundraising.
The campaign is over – launch was a success! Can I go home now?
Sure, you can go home but the campaign is far from over. The launch was just the beginning and you have now presented supporters with your product/service. It’s now time for post-launch strategies to ensure your campaign delivers intended results.
Stay tuned for Part 4 of this series where we will examine some of these post-launch strategies.
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