Harnessing the power of social media and the widespread exposure that is available to anyone with the internet, more and more people are turning to crowdfunding to support their fundraisers, launch their projects and fund their dreams. However, crowdfunding isn’t a shoe-in, and not every campaign is successful. We’ve put together our best tips for setting yourself up for success.
Pick Your Platform
First, you need to pick a platform to run your campaign on. Cause Mobile Wallet is the most affordable (read: our fees are a much smaller cut of the money that YOU earn), yet easy and viral way to raise money for yourself and the things you care about.
Our campaign set up is quick and easy. We’ve found that conventional crowdfunds are laborious, naturally because most are geared towards a product, with many layers of incentives, and other things that muddy the waters. Cause Mobile Wallet is direct and to the point!
We’ve found that campaigns that run for 45 days are the most successful. Campaigns that run for an absolute minimum of 30 days really give your fans and friends time to rally around your cause. This timeframe allows momentum to build, and gives you time to make adjustments to your promotion and apply the things you learn about your audience in real-time.
Build Your Audience
Speaking of audience, the best time to build your audience was yesterday. If you haven’t made audience-building on social media a priority, you should start today. As soon as you know crowdfunding is in your future, audience size and engagement becomes important. A large social media audience in no way ensures that you’ll have a successful campaign, but it is helpful to already have a social media presence.
Setting Up Your Campaign
Actually setting up your campaign in Cause Mobile Wallet only requires a campaign name, image, goal and end date, and description. Let’s break each of them down:
Campaign Name: This is what people will search for on the app, so make it clear and concise, yet specific. Something like “Lacrosse Team Fundraiser,” could be confusing, and potential supporters might wonder if they are supporting the lacrosse team that they intended to, so be specific, like: “Orange County Tiger’s Lacrosse.”
Image: The image should be representative of your campaign, and is the same image that you will share on social media. It could be a photo, a professionally designed graphic, or even your logo.
Goal and End Date: This is how much money you want to raise, and by when. Remember, 45 days is an ideal timeframe for a campaign.
Description: This is where you can spell out the details of your campaign. The people who will be funding your campaign don’t want to fund just any project. They want to know the ins and outs of exactly what they are funding. Define where the money is going, explaining what it will be used for, and answering questions your backers may have before they even ask. When writing your description, remember that it is important to hook their attention right away, the internet is full of distractions so make it interesting for your supporters.
Promote with Purpose!
The best way to gain momentum for your campaign is to plan your strategy before it starts. Early momentum is key so having these plans in place will get your campaign off to the right start. After that, it’s important to keep consistent communication with your backers. Help them stay up to date with your cause, celebrate new milestones met, encourage them to setup automatic contributions to your campaign with each purchase, and ask them to share the cause with their friends.
Connect Your Why
Before launching your campaign, start by connecting with your “why.” There are many worthy causes in the world, and you need to stand out by appealing to your ideal backer. Creating a simple story around who you are raising funds for and why (including personal experiences) connects better than focusing on the what. For example, including a story about someone that has benefited from your cause in the past is more attractive than simply listing statistics. While statistics, facts and figures are helpful to support your story, people connect with other people more than they connect with numbers.
List Your Touchpoints
Hopefully you have already begun to build an audience network through social media. Make a list of all of the touchpoints you have with potential backers, such as:
- Social media accounts
- Email lists
- Personal or business contacts
- Offline events: networking, community events, tradeshows, etc.
- Influencers or internet “celebrities”
- Traditional media outlines like local news stations or newspapers
Planning your content in advance (what you are going to post or share, and where) so you aren’t as stressed during campaign, makes it so that you can spend your time answering questions, interacting with people, and thinking about new ways to optimize your campaign while it is running.
During the Campaign
Promote, promote, and then promote some more. Not everyone will see everything you post, so don’t be afraid to keep talking about your campaign. You need to consider your current posting schedule to decide how much is too much for your audience. If you only post once per day on Facebook, you probably won’t be able to share your campaign every day. However, if you post 3-4 times per day on Facebook, you might be able to afford to make one of those posts about your campaign.
People love to participate in something bigger than themselves. While the campaign is running, you should share frequent campaign updates. How close are you to your goal? What new incentives do you have to offer people to participate?
If you have a good rapport and a highly engaged audience, encouraging them to share and get the word out can be an effective way to add some viral buzz to your campaign.
When all is said and done, be sure to profusely thank everyone for their support, and let people know how things ended up.
This is also a great time to de-brief and write down any key learnings that you came away with, while it is fresh in your mind. There is no magic formula for crowdfunding success. Learn from your first time, and be open to implementing changes if you need to try again.