Leonie Erasmus assisted with Mama Marikana’s successful Thundafund campaign and heads up this advice for you on the 3 S’s to help your campaign!
Brilliant idea – nailed it.
Thorough research – did it.
Funding model – found it.
You are half way there, your campaign has been launched on Thundafund, backers are buying rewards and you are super excited!
While you wait for your campaign to pick up speed, there are a few things you can do in the meantime to make your campaign run as smooth as possible.
Recently I saw a quote by Robert H. Schuller: “Spectacular achievement is always preceded by unspectacular preparation.”
With our Mama Marikana campaign, I learnt that the unspectacular preparation is not always as easy as it may seem, so I’m writing about the 3S’s – system, structure, and stories to help future Thundafund’ers.
1. Create a System:
It is super exciting to get an email from Thundafund announcing that your project has a new backer, but that email can quickly get lost in your inbox, and you might forget to say thank you! Create a special folder for your backers, and remember to flag the email if you don’t have time to thank the backer immediately.
I also made use of Trello, a free web-based project management application, to help me keep track of who I still need to thank, as well as who bought which rewards and where we stand with the design/production of rewards, etc.
I also found it quite helpful to pre-write ‘Thank You’ letters for all of the rewards, and because we live in such a visual era, I also pre-created ‘Thank You’ images (with stills from our project) on PowerPoint.
With my system in place, and with my pre-packaged content, I was ready for backers to buy rewards.
So, when I needed to thank a new backer, I had a pre-created image and pre-written letter, I simple personalised the content, posted the pic on Facebook and emailed the letter and my ‘Thank You’ was done.
The pictures on Facebook worked exceptionally well, the style was consistent and the backers shared the pics with their friends, and so our project gained traction because the ‘Thank You’s served as additional marketing material.
We also created a special email address and Facebook page for the campaign, from where we sent all of the ‘Thank You’ emails. It just looks better if the ‘Thank You’ comes from the campaign’s email address instead of your own personal address.
2. Structure a backers and rewards plan:
One of the most important decisions for your campaign will be who will be in charge of thanking the backers, and who will be in charge of creating, managing and sending out the rewards. It can be the same person, but it is a decision that has to be taken before the campaign gains too much traction.
I was in charge of the backers and I decided to dedicate one hour every day to send out thank you emails and do the thank you posts.
I literally booked out one hour in my schedule as if I had an appointment with my backers. This worked really well because it ensured that the’Thank You’s were always done on time.
This is very important as the ‘Thank You’ also serves as a proof that payment has been received, without the ‘Thank You’, backers might worry that their payment was never received. Please provide your backers with peace of mind…☺
When you know that you cannot commit to the one hour for a specific day, it is easy to “outsource” your responsibilities if you have created a System.
For the person in charge of the rewards, it is a good idea to start working on the rewards while the campaign is still running , if it is a product like a T-shirt, get the designs done, get quotations, and pick a service provider – when your campaign ends it won’t take too long to manufacture rewards.
3. Stories are powerful:
People care about people, and therefore people respond to stories. Personalise your campaign, in your Facebook posts, write about the individuals who will benefit from this project. Or write about yourself, your own story, and why people should care.
Move away from impersonal clichés, and make your campaign genuine.
Good luck, Thundafunder’s – may your unspectacular preparation bring you spectacular achievement!