Getting supporters to get on board your funding campaign is not just a matter of making a cool video and offering really sought after rewards. It is equally as important to get the word out to the crowd and let them know of what you’re doing and what you’re offering. And perhaps the best way of doing this is by tapping into the Blogosphere.
Crowd funding is not a passive exercise. A project creator needs to be proactive. It involves gathering and engaging your community to spread the word and to get involved by way of any support they can give – feedback, monetary pledges, or just letting the world know of your plans and aspirations. Engaging the crowd can be done in the physical sense (going and seeing them, or at least calling them by phone), or online by way of social media, emails, and blogging. But it is blogging that gives a project creator the ability to really engage online, and to reach out to a broader crowd with greatest effect.
Clever project creators, the ones who achieve the greatest of success, start by making a list of the blogs and communities to whom they can possibly reach out. This is best done before the funding campaign even starts, and sometimes the project creator will start to build a following even before the campaign starts, thus building anticipation and a want to get involved from day one.
Going directly to the editors of blogs can also be a powerful way of getting your message out there and bringing on advocates for your campaign. Editors will have a great deal of influence on the focus and direction of the blog, so getting in touch with them and getting on their good side is paramount to being heard.
Choosing the blog sites can be a mission in itself. The best way to work out which blog sites to include in your list is to go with anyone that has a stake in the message you are trying to convey. If you are conducting an environmentally based campaign, then find any blogs with any sort of environmental focus, as you will be surprised as who will engage. And if you can find any celebrities and famous personalities on these blogs, make sure to address them personally and do what you can to get them on board, as their networks and following are sure to be extensive.
Make sure you build credibility and rapport with them by not only taking an interest in what they have to say, but by showing them what qualifications or experience you have in the area of your project, or what successes you have achieved before. And it’s not so much about asking for money, rather than telling people what they can be part of.
During your crowd funding campaign, the pace will ebb and flow somewhat. Having the list of blog sites that you composed prior to kicking off your campaign will give you areas in which to focus your attention in the quieter times. New “noise” can be generated when revisiting groups regularly with a new angle or approach regarding your project. For example, if your campaign is about saving the elephants, you may talk about how they are endangered, then next time talk about the ivory trade, and then the next time speak of the environmental impacts, and so on.
But the best way to ensure that momentum is maintained during your funding campaign is to ensure that you maintain regular promotional activity, and this includes the blogging that you do. Regular, steady, metered approaches are better than flooding the blogosphere one week, and then doing nothing for days until all momentum is lost and you need to start again from a stationary standpoint.
And for the project creators who don’t feel confident enough about their writing skills to deliver their message in a blog – the answer is simple – be creative! Feel free to exchange a written blog for a cartoon (there are a heap of websites that can help convert your message into a cartoon), or even deliver your message in song. There is also the option of a video blog, where you can simply use your phone to make a 1 minute video with you addressing the screen about what you are doing or what you want from the crowd. Or perhaps even get a friend to write your blog pieces for you, and involve them in spreading the word about your campaign.
But the key to getting the greatest success on blog sites is to first build some momentum from those closest to you. Be sure to engage family and friends and get some pledges from them first. If you can get those who know and love you to start you off, others will be more likely to jump on board and pledge based on the initial credibility and momentum you have created. Keep in mind that people are reluctant to be the first follower, but are likely to jump on board if your campaign can get to (at least) 10 – 20 % shortly after launching.