After getting a grasp of the logic behind backers’ inclination and response to a crowdfunding campaign, you are most likely asking: “OK so how do you build your committed crowd?”
IDEA and PEOPLE
Firstly, you need to ensure that your idea is one that can be successful with a significant number of people that would be interested in backing your campaign. You do not need a huge crowd. What you need is a niche market and this has proved to be very lucrative but you need to test the IDEA on PEOPLE. Do not be scared to share your idea because it is likely that someone else actually has a similar idea anyway and at the end of the day a successful project or business is more about the quality of execution than the actual idea. Most of the big tech companies we engage with daily were not the first to come up with the idea (Think of Facebook, Google, and Instagram). Share your idea with family, friends and trusted acquaintances.
Building The CROWD
Once you have been able to validate your idea with people, it is time to start building your crowd. If you are an existing business your initial points of call are your current clients. If you are starting out from the scratch it is your social networks or sphere of influence (on and offline).
- Set up a Landing Page that gives an overview (a brief and detailed information) of what you want to do
- Use video to engage and get people to sign up to a mailing list and/or Facebook group.
- Take about 60 days to Drive Traffic to the Landing Page and Build Your List.
If you are looking to raise $50k, you should at least build a list of 1000 people. This means that if 30% of the 1000 people are backing your campaign at $50 each in the first few days, you would have reached 30% of your target raise.
In order to drive people to your landing page you can use Facebook, Instagram and Google Ads. This has a cost involved but if well designed can provide a great return. A more time intensive but free way to get people to the landing page is to engage communities online that are your target audience. Build rapport with groups and individuals and over time drive them to sign up to your list.
This takes time and you need to add value to people before they add value to you. Writing comments on Facebook groups such as “Hey all I have this great idea please support me by signing up here” is not going to work. It is most likely going to have you labeled as spam and could result in Facebook blocking you. You need to add value! As Gary Vaynerchuck suggests Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. Check out his book with the same name. The idea here is to add lots of value before trying to extract value from a relationship.
Build rapport with some influencers who can drive traffic to your page. This rapport building should follow exactly the same method as above, find ways to add value to them rather than begging for help. You can use the followers of YouTube, Instagram and Facebook influencers to back your idea and assist you in building your list. As I have said before, this is a time consuming process and needs to be genuine relationship building.
Once you have grown your list, it is time to get them excited about your campaign and remind them that they have the opportunity to be the pioneers of your amazing opportunity. Divide up your followers as Affiliates, Advocates and Activists and let the magic begin.
More information on what to send through to your list will be explained in my next post titled: “SEGMENTING YOUR BACKERS: How to get the most out of your list before launching your crowdfunding campaign.”