October 21, 2013

How can I Market my Crowdfunding Campaign?

DSC_0173 by pennyblessings, on Pix-O-Sphere
Q: You always talk about “building the crowd” and I thought that I did that. I have over 2,000 likes on my Facebook page, 1,700 Twitter followers, and circled by over 5,000 on Google+. 

But when I posted my crowdfunding campaign, I only got a few likes, re-tweets and pluses. Only my family and close friends made comments. I tried to post it to groups and communities but the posts got removed as spam.

My campaign is live with only 10 days left. I need help now. I am praying that you answer this! So here is my million dollar question: Where can I post my crowdfunding campaign and not be perceived as spam?

-Frustrated Campaigner, Not Spammer

Thank you for your question and for allowing me to share this with my audience. I responded in more depth via email, but here I am going to separate my response because you touch upon two separate yet integrated segments of the crowdfunding marketing plan.

What does building the crowd really mean?
It doesn’t mean to acquire as many followers as possible. This is a common misconception. When you initially plan your crowdfunding marketing plan, take an inventory of your current social media followers. Who follows you and why?

For your campaign, you want people to follow you who are interested in (and want to support) what you are doing (idea/dream/business). This is your target market. Find ways to cultivate those folks organically. By creating natural connections, you are cultivating a network of individuals (followers) who are interested in hearing about the launch. These folks will share your campaign, look forward to hearing updates, and overall be engaged with you.

A lot of clients tell me the world is their market because everyone can/should/would benefit from the product/idea/business. This is never the case. The planet is too broad of a target market. Take the time to truly understand business concepts before you plan, not during the campaign.

With 10 days left on the campaign, let’s focus on where you can post:

 ü Look for blogs, influencers, and traditional media outlets that are natural partners and submit a thoughtful article about the product/idea/business and include a link to the campaign. Specifically ask them to post the article and/or share your campaign. This is an example of leveraging other peoples/businesses networks.
 ü Contact the local news. Many news stations have segments about the community; contact them to see if your campaign fits. Prepare enough information but don’t overdo it, be authentic and transparent.

 ü Don’t link drop. Link dropping agitates followers just as much as push marketing tactics and trolls.

 ü Wherever you post, post with intention. There are hundreds of crowdfunding platforms, hosting thousands of campaigns. Followers are not piggy banks and many suffer from fundraising request fatigue.

 ü Don’t limit your marketing to social media. Pick up the phone, send emails, write letters, host a demo, create hybrid events- get creative!

Another big misconception is that one receives enormous amounts of traffic from the crowdfunding platform itself.  Unfortunately, most crowdfunding platforms only highlight the most popular campaigns, so don’t rely on them for publicity.

If you have a live crowdfunding campaign and would like me to give you specific insights to improve the campaign, please schedule a crowdfunding consult here.

Mailbag Mondays is a biweekly blog series, so if you have a question regarding fundraising, entrepreneurship, or meetings and events; submit your questions hereDue to the volume of questions received, your question is not guaranteed to be answered and featured here on the blog.

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