Ok, people, I’m taking off the kid gloves. No more Mrs. Nice Guy. Get this message now or you will fail. You must find backers before you launch. Let me say that again in all caps: YOU MUST FIND YOUR BACKERS BEFORE YOU LAUNCH!
I’m not kidding here. If I get one more call from someone mid-campaign asking for help rescuing their campaign after they launched thinking everyone would just miraculously show up to support them, I might do something rash…like write this blog.
The world is a busy place. People are not waiting around for your email or Facebook post or Tweet or Instagram or Pinterest pin. They are living their lives. Add to that the onslaught of junk email communications we are bombarded with each day, and you’ll begin to get the picture for why they are “ignoring” you. (Yes, ignoring was the actual word used by someone who called me.) Maybe you are not posting anything interesting. Maybe all you do is post things about yourself. Maybe all you post is a request for their money.
Here’s a stretch. Put yourself in their shoes. What kinds of things do you like in your Inbox? What kinds of posts do you click on and read/watch from start to finish? What compels you to take action? I’m going out on a limb here, but it’s not usually the post that is begging for things. We want things that are funny, intriguing, sassy, supremely human, a bit crass, and heartfelt. Is this how you are reaching out?
You don’t believe me? Let me get some backup from Seed&Spark, a film-only crowdfunding platform. In my opinion, Seed&Spark is doing some of the best work on the street of educating project creators on how to succeed in funding their projects. Check out the resources under the “Crowdfunding Class” tab on their website. Crowdfunding GOLD! And you know what the heart of their education is focused on…how to build an audience.
To quote Max Silverman, Head of Product at Seed&Spark, “Crowdfunding is an exchange, not charity.” So my question, what are you giving people in exchange for the time they will spend learning about your project? You need to do THAT first before people will want to give you their MONEY in exchange for a reward or perk. And this kind of content creation takes time. Time to develop and time to communicate.
Seed&Spark recommends reaching out at least six weeks before you launch (and even gives you a handy guide on what to do during those six weeks on their website). For a whole lot of you out there thinking of crowdfunding, six weeks is not nearly enough time to build your audience. Think 3-12 months. You heard me…3-12 MONTHS.
If you strategically build your audience for 3-12 months before you launch, you will not only be more successful in raising your funds, but you will have built an audience that will support you over time. Meaning, not just this project, but everything you create going forward. That’s a two-for-one deal that you should not ignore.
Agree? Disagree? I want to hear it all. Spill it!
Editor’s Note: Crowdfund Better is actively working to solve the issues around crowdfunding education for all. We’ve developed The Crowdfunding Opportunity online course to help you navigate the crowdfunding ecosystem to fund your business.
Last Updated: May 2023