In the first episode of CrowdPills we showed you how to turn your idea into a project. Now you have a daily dialogue with your future supporters and have committed to conveying enthusiasm, involvement and passion, it’s time to get to the heart of your idea and make the campaign a reality!

Today we will dive into the operational stages, to discover together what steps will take you from the construction of the campaign to the online project.

The episode ingredients: determination, creativity, storytelling, awareness.

STEP 1 – Building your campaign

You have been able to rationalize your idea, to actually make a project: now is the time to structure the content of your campaign and choose the crowdfunding platform on which to launch it. Remember, the content of the campaign will be designed and produced in time for the launch, not during construction.

The platform


The “perfect platform” does not exist. To guide you in choosing the showcase that best reflects the soul of your project, you will need to consider several factors. “Take it all” vs. “All or nothing”, specialist vs. generalist, international vs local are all examples of elements to consider. You can also find a complete study here: http://bit.ly/1QdQIJn.

Timing


Enthusiasm will be a determining factor in the success of your project, but be careful not to go too fast!

# Season. Consider the type of project you are promoting, if it is a seasonal product, program the launch of the campaign behind the current season. It is definitely easier to launch a winter duvet, than a summer thermos!

If you want to leverage gifts opportunities for specific holidays, consider the target country and production times to ensure your supporters receive the product on time. Don’t forget people take time off: if you’re planning to launch your campaign during the summer, your supporters will probably be on vacation and will not be as receptive.

# Duration. Setting a realistic timetable is crucial to the success of the fundraiser. Select a timeframe that will galvanize your audience and not disperse the enthusiasm and the expectation that you have already generated, but at the same time also allows the community time to get familiar with the project and support it. The equation “more days online = more money raised” doesn’t work in crowdfunding. Do not risk loosing the attention of your backers or burning all your energy unnecessarily prolonging the campaign. Instead maximize your efforts in 30-40 days and start working right away towards the realization of your project.

THE CONTENTS

After subscribing to the platform of your choice, you can proceed with building your campaign. All platforms use simple and intuitive formats to help the designer build and personalize the campaign with descriptive and multimedia content. But what content will you need?

Title

This will be the business card of your project. Choose a catchy title, evocative of your project, attention grabbing, but at the same time short and easy to remember.

Description 

In this section you can describe your project in detail. Step into the shoes of your potential supporter and try to answer all the questions they may have. Remember that the crowd is driven by emotional factors; to trust you they need clarity, honesty and transparency.

Graphics 

Whatever type of project you wish to launch, enrich the description with pictures and explanatory graphics. Visuals give an instant impression and are often the deciding factor when your audience is choosing whether to spend time reading into the details and specifics of your idea, or to move on.

Photo 

The photos must be high quality. In the digital world where you cannot physically interact with the product, a well made and beautifully designed item is not enough; the photos must show everything your audience cannot touch. If the images are poor quality, the perception of the product itself will be poor.

Video

Just tell me about one successful campaign without a dazzling video and I’ll eat my hat. Promise. The video is your showcase and you will need to literally show your face! The average length of your video will depend on the scope of your project. They are usually between 2 and 3 minutes, but the important factor is to hold the interest of your viewers. The first 30 seconds are the most critical for capturing interest. Focus on the project, explain in a clear and dynamic way, what you mean and why, where does the idea come from and why anyone would support it. Allow supporters to meet you and live the dream to which you hope to give life.

Target goal 

Calculate the expense of bringing your project to life. Also tally all costs related to the campaign itself in terms of delivery of rewards, fees for the platform hosting and possible backers who renege before payment. Your goal must be credible and chosen carefully. If too low, you will reach your goal quickly and there will be no further participation in the creation of your idea or the communal drive to bring your project to life, the campaign is likely to become only an online shop for pre-orders. If too high and unrealistic, the distance from the target may discourage undecided supporters.

Rewards

The best way to thank your supporters is to offer original rewards. Structuring good rewards means knowing how to build the right mix of emotion and material reward for the amount that your supporter is willing to donate. Your supporters will perceive that the value of what you offer is at least equal to the monetary investment that you are requesting. If your campaign is to pre-sell a product, create an incentive to pre-order by building dedicated and personalized packages within your budget limits.

Enter at least one “penny reward”, in which a small fixed amount of £, € or $ can be exchanged for a smile and a thank you. This broadens your audience and extends your project in the visibility ranking of your chosen platform.

STEP 2 – Launch & Monitoring

The construction of the campaign is completed and the launch day approaches, be prepared!! To reach your goal you will need to put in place a few effective actions to give constant visibility to your project.

# Pre-launch

In the days before your launch, schedule an email to go out to your press contacts in online publishing and blogs. Send out a press release on the launch of the project, with the goal of staggered press coverage, leading up to and throughout the early days of the campaign.

Prepare a newsletter to communicate to the community you have built during Step 1, that the campaign is online. Invite your contacts to discover the project. At the start of the campaign you will have to keep up with intense social activity. The more penetrating, consistent and constant the dissemination of content, the better the chances of attracting supporters.

# “Love Money”

Being confronted with a project with few contributions, hardly instills confidence.

Make sure that in the first 5-10 days of the campaign your closest networks contribute, so that the community will grow rapidly and steadily.

No man is an island! Ask your friends and contacts for help, even if they are not in a position to fund your campaign directly, inspire them to help out however they can, maybe just with contacts or advertisements.

# Monitoring

The campaign tracking has to be continuous. Every day you will have to check the progress of the contributions and interact with your supporters. Be present, listen to their concerns and answer their questions with kindness and enthusiasm. Help supporters to make a donation, by making sure that the act of contribution is simple and intuitive. Lead the daily performance of your campaign by publishing updates, thank you’s, comments and always keeping your campaign active.

Now that the campaign is finally live, you will live an intense 30 days in the world of crowdfunding! So fasten your seatbelts, we will do the journey together in the next CrowdPills episode!

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