Lunda Wright, a Thundafund co-founder, is all about projects, risk management and technology. He is a career business consultant with a unique blend of entrepreneurial, legal and technology expertise. He is also passionate about Thundafund’s approach to promoting creative talent and meeting the self-empowerment needs of Africa.
Here are some pointers he thinks you need to get your campaign going… And the order is important!
1. First and most importantly: “Drink your own champagne.”
This saying captures an important aspect of crowdfunding. It talks to a basic human characteristic that people don’t take you seriously if you give them the impression that you are not taking the thing you care about seriously.
So, you need to show the crowd that you support your own campaign, otherwise they will be wondering why everyone is avoiding it. And you’ve put so much effort into preparing the campaign – why don’t you show that you care for it?
2. Attract your closest friends and family to the campaign.
After “drinking your own champagne” it will be easier to tell those closest to you “Become a cheerleader!” and spread the word. Your closest friends know you best, and if they don’t find the campaign believable then your campaign will struggle.
You should be encouraging them to support the campaign by spreading the word, and putting money in, so that (and here is the key) they will tell their closest friends and so on… And they are also the basic testimony for the legitimacy of your campaign.
3. Keep your Facebook marketing strong.
Keep your Facebook page updated. Add direct links to the campaign (and even to the rewards) with suitable written text and media to keep people interested. Then share those posts with Facebook friends.
Most of the money raised for crowdfunding campaigns come as a result of Facebook referrals.
4. Send emails to potential supporters.
Send email directly to potential supporters, especially highlighting rewards that they may be interested in.
Email referrals have a higher rate of conversion than Facebook. (With Facebook you reach more people and raise more money in total, but emails, especially if they are personalised, are more intimate and more persuasive than Facebook.)
5. Get into the mainstream media.
Contact journalists who can spread the word for you. And if they publish articles, you can post them on Facebook, refer to them in emails and Twitter.
Also consider other media that is self-published, like bloggers, online influencers and events websites.
6. Be bold an attract the attention of celebrities.
This kind of thing works best if you either have a personal connection to a celebrity, or it looks like your campaign is attracting large crowd support.
7. Tweet. Tweet. Tweet.
Lastly, use Twitter, but remember that in terms of social media marketing, the order of effort should always be:
- Most effort on Facebook;
- Additional and more personalised effort on email;
- Fill in the gaps with Twitter.
You can consider include getting help from marketing and social media experts.
Crowdfunding success depends largely on you. Are you up to it? Remember that Thundafund’s value proposition is that funds are returned to people if you don’t reach your tipping point. That makes people feel more comfortable with supporting campaigns, because they know that the funds are only committed if other people commit as well. It’s democratic capital.
What else could you ask for?