Developing a Campaign that Raises Funds on WO Funding Part 3 | WO Funding- Your ideal Crowdfunding site

Developing a Campaign that Raises Funds on WO Funding Part 3

Asking for Support

In planning your campaign you also have to work out how you are going to ask people for their support. This needs to explain and answer the following important questions that will be running through the contributor’s mind:

  • What you hope to do
  • Why you hope to do this
  • Why people should support you
  • Why they should support this project over any others out there
  • Why are you going to succeed in this project
  • What evidence is there to demonstrate you can deliver success

Don’t forget that there are thousands, perhaps millions of other projects out there all vying for funds. Your story needs to be genuine and appealing to others to get the attention of potential supporters. This means making sure that contributors can see how important your project is and why they should contribute, compelling them to give you funds.

What do you need the funding for?

You need to make sure that your project is specific, not just a general request for funds. This may be getting a particular product launched, or helping to purchase a particular item or items. This makes the campaign more measurable, and more easily understandable in the eyes of the contributors. There are other platforms out there for general support, such as GiveNow. That said, in a crisis situation, a crowdfunding campaign can be effective.

If your company has widespread support, and if it is likely to shut down without funding, crowdfunding might be an option to try out. However, in most cases this type of general approach will not be effective with crowdfunding.

Your project may have multiple phases, or it may just be a one-off requirement to raise money. Breaking a campaign into different phases can be a good way of sustaining fund raising and breaking it down into bite-sized chunks. It can also help in building interest in your story and longer term contributors.

For example, if you are an up and coming music band and you want to create an album you may have three stages to your project. The first stage may be making a demo of your album to send to potential recording studios. The second stage could be raising funds for covering the costs of recording in the studio. The third stage could be marketing your album, or paying for the costs of production.

When you are asking for money you have to appeal to not just your direct friends and family but also to many others. If you want your campaign to go viral you need to make it attractive, appealing and interesting to a very broad range of people.

The Attributes of an Effective Campaign Video

Research demonstrates that projects that have an associated campaign video raise more money than those that do not. You need a campaign video to be able to help you to connect with your potential contributors. Some people don’t much like reading blocks of text and most are much more attracted by something that is visually appealing, and this is where your campaign video comes in. It can also help you to demonstrate your huge energy for and dedication to your project to a wide range of different people.

No one wants to watch a video that goes on forever. Keep your video brief, while making sure it packs a punch. You’ll want to keep it under three minutes, and make sure that it shows you as being passionate, genuine and authentic. Showing real people that are involved in the project on the video is important for helping to build that bond between you and your potential contributors so don’t forget to include people in your campaign video for the best chances of success.

 Getting the Word Out

The one make or break point for crowdfunding success (or otherwise) is the ability of you to get the word out about your campaign. You need to get your campaign in front of as many people that are potential contributors as possible.

Social media offers excellent opportunities to reach a wide variety of different people that you might otherwise not be able to reach. By creating a very attractive appeal to your direct network you stand a better chance of being able to attract people in their network by encouraging them to share your campaign with their networks too. This is critical for gaining lots of success with your crowdfunding campaign. In fact you want to go even further and have their networks share with their networks, and so on, so that your campaign spreads far and wide.

Your contacts may also have recommendations of other people to contact. You can consider asking your contacts for other contacts that they think may be interested in contributing to your campaign.

Emails that are personalized are a good way of generating campaign support. Send personal emails to your contacts outlining your project. Explain what you are doing and why. In fact you can revert to these questions in developing your email – though keep it brief. People don’t have time to read an essay about you.

  • What you hope to do
  • Why you hope to do this
  • Why people should support you
  • Why they should support this project over any others out there
  • Why are you going to succeed in this project
  • What evidence is there to demonstrate you can deliver success

In your email you’ll also need to explain what crowdfunding is as not everyone is aware of this innovative new way of raising funds yet. You’ll also want to include your campaign launch date in the email, and request that people contribute as soon as you launch, encouraging them not to wait for later.

It’s good to take this step of emailing your contacts ahead of campaign launch. This means that you will hopefully be able to attract some initial support for your campaign right at the outset. This will attract others to contribute also. If you can get 25% of your target right at the beginning of your campaign, others will be much more attracted to it as they will think you have a better chance of reaching your target, encouraging them to contribute.

By sending this email up front you stand a good chance of getting funding at the start of your campaign, attracting others to contribute. You also make it more likely that early contributors and your network generally forwards the campaign to their network, getting ahead of the game in your campaign and giving it the greatest chance of success overall.

Using Social Media for Campaign Success

Some people make the mistake of assuming that their social media audience is one and the same in type. This is not true. Your campaign will be appealing to many different kinds of networks so you need to have several different types of messages ready to appeal to those different types of networks.

Facebook is a good way of letting people know about your crowdfunding campaign. You can also consider using blogs and Twitter to get the word out about your project and campaign. The more platforms that you can use the better. You need to appeal to others that are interested in your niche to have the greatest chance of success, and all three of these different platforms provide excellent opportunities for you to do so.

Look for influential individuals that write about or tweet about your particular niche and try to find ways to encourage them to let their networks know about your campaign. This will depend on your ability to be able to persuade them that your campaign and project is especially important in your niche.

Providing Updates and Driving Activity

A typical campaign has a lot of activity at the outset, it slows down in the middle of the campaign and then it has a lot of activity again at the end. Research illustrates that some campaigns manage to raise up to or more than 50% of their target at the very end of the campaign, even in the last 48 hours.

The part that you need to plan for especially is the part in the middle when there is a lack of contributions. This can be stressful. Plan your campaign to make sure that you have activities that can be undertaken to attract supporters even during this traditional lull period. The continuous activity that you encourage will also serve the benefit of attracting more people to contribute. Doing something different and unique in the middle of your campaign can drive a lot of interest in what you are doing and in your project. You might even consider holding a face to face event to attract supporters and contributors.

Updates are essential in keeping the momentum going. However, spamming people is the last thing you want to do, and there is a fine balance to be achieved between updating and spamming.

Updates might include sharing new information about the project and working on developing that personal bond between you and your potential contributors. To provide successful updates that are not spammy you could consider doing any of the following:

1. Give new information

Don’t just focus on the campaign or on the amount of funds that you have achieved. Instead show yourself or your team doing something new or different that will be interesting and appealing to your niche.

2. Never use begging as a tactic

People never like begging. It doesn’t leave a pleasant taste in the mouths of those on the receiving end of it, and it is likely to put off potential contributors.

3. Use video, music and photographs

Building that special bond between you and your contributors will be easier if you use video, music and photographs in your updates. People like visuals and are more likely to contribute if they see them.

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