Setting realistic expectations and creating a plan that is based on logic right from the start gives a project creator the best possible chance of success. Ambitious plans are quickly exposed, early in a funding campaign, creating a disincentive to continue, and almost a resentment of a non supportive crowd. The project creator quite often disconnects from their fan base, achieving the exact opposite of what a funding campaign is supposed to deliver. But we now have some industry intelligence that sets down the basis on which to set your campaign targets.
There is a great rule of thumb formula on which you can base your funding target. Add up all of your networks. That is, all of your Friends of Facebook, your Followers on Twitter, everyone with whom you have a connection on any form of social media, and every person in your email address book. Once you have amassed the grand total, remove any duplication, and you will end up with your total network reach, or the total number of people with whom you can directly communicate. Whilst you may be buoyed to see the number of people with whom you can connect exceeding your expectations, now comes the grounding piece of news – in setting a target, you should base your forecasts on only 10% of these people pledging their support. So if you have 1,000 people in your total network reach, you should base your forecasts on just 100 people making a pledge. With the average pledge being $50, your target should be around 100 (people) x $50 = $5,000. This then becomes your conservative, realistic, base target.
Ok, so the Pebble guys didn’t have 2 million people in their total network reach (do the maths based on them having achieved $10mil in funding). They did, however, bring into play the next great component in achieving an amazing total. They offered really well sought after rewards. Their inducements evoked a feeling of “I’ve just got to have it” in the hearts and minds of prospective project supporters. T-shirts and coffee mugs just don’t inspire the same emotions, so you really have to give some thought to the rewards you offer and be realistic about the impact these will have in driving the campaign to achieving a greater total. If you take your base target of $5,000 in the example above, and offer a really attractive reward that people really desire, you can comfortably set your target considerably higher. Without such rewards, you are best to stay closer to your base target.
Once the campaign is underway, you have a greater deal of control over their campaign than you would believe. A campaign is work – teamwork! During a funding campaign, you must spend a few minutes each day, engaging the ”team” through social media, email blasts, winning over the media to get them to offer coverage – anything you can to get the word out there. Not just once, but repeatedly. If you are not committed to doing this, then in setting your target you should be far more conservative with your base target. How can people be expected to support a project about which they know nothing or haven’t even heard of? Many would argue that if the project creator is not prepared to really drive their campaign, they should reconsider whether crowd funding is actually for them.
But what does “driving it” actually mean? There are five golden rules for promoting a funding campaign:-
- Find other groups on the internet and let them know about the campaign, tapping into your shared passion.
- Ask people to not only support the campaign, but to spread the word.
- Don’t beg. It is not always about the money. Inform the crowd about the campaign and its intended outcome, and they will engage.
- Saying thank you publically and singling out project supporters in social media delivers great kudos, creating a flow on effect in their efforts to provide their ongoing support
- Persistence, Persistence, Persistence – keep promoting, even when the campaign hits its target, continue to spread the word and engage the audience
Exploring your immediate crowd and using a simple formula based on global data will help you define your base target. Take into account your preparedness to drive and promote your project – the greater your intentions, the more you should consider increasing your base target (as long as you actually do live up to your intentions! Or as long as you use services like that offered on iPledg whereby they do your social media and database work on your behalf). And don’t forget to consider how you will use the five golden rules for communicating your message.
With the information at hand, and a good hard look at what you really can achieve, you should be able to set realistic targets which, when pursued with unrelenting drive, deliver wonderful results to your crowd funding campaign.