|Deadline is Upon Us|
My Deepest Thanks
to My WonderfulCampaign Contributors
Connie Walker Gray
What did I learn?
First off, that crowdfunding is a LOT of work. Next I learned that no matter how extensive I thought my research on running a successful campaign was, there was plenty more I still didn’t know. Third, and most important, I learned that the social media community is filled with encouraging and generous people.
I’m going to start with how much work it was, which is probably the most boring part, but what you most need to know.
Here is what it takes to launch and run a campaign
- Choose your crowdfunding platform
- Come up with intriguing perks (what’s that? A giveaway that a contributor can request for a given contribution. Not all contributors request one)
- Fill the site with content, easier said than done
- Comb your family and friends for early supporters
- Write press releases, tweets, and Facebook posts
- Come up with updates for your contributors every 3-5 days
- Write thank you notes for all contributions
- Scour your mind for ways to generate more traffic as the excitement of the launch winds down
- Implement some of those ideas.
- Purchase a press kit campaign on Fiverr. It arrives two days late and is ungrammatical. Launch a dispute and remind myself to tell everyone not to use Fiverr because they don’t guarantee that their vendors live up to their promises.
- Hire an email promoter – Green Inbox – highly pleased with the result and will use them again for book publicity.
- Campaign nears end and contributions slow down. The gap is too large to generate motivation to contribute so I turn my energy toward perk fulfillment.
- The deadline arrives and I send wrap-up thank you notes to all my contributors
First off, more research. Trouble is this is something you always learn in hindsight. These are the actions I would have changed.
- I would have set my campaign goal lower. This would have required changing my purpose for the campaign which was to buy bigtime advertising since 2K is not enough to pay for serious ads. However, it would have made it easier to use the deadline to generate last minute contributions, whereas the gap in my actual campaign was so large no one could believe we could close it.
- I would have researched online press releases and how to find relevant media. Back in the day when everything was done by snail mail or direct email I did considerable PR but I underestimated the value of it in crowdfunding, partly I suppose because I doubted that strangers would contribute to my campaign. I’m still not sure I’m a believer but I have learned that the highly successful campaigns get that way because they ignite interest in the larger community by using press releases.
- I wouldn’t have ordered 250 foam fingers touting a runaway bestseller. Talk about optimism.
- I underestimated the time and attention crowdfunding takes, otherwise I would have scheduled a shorter campaign.
In installment four of this blog series I wrote that it was going to be hard for me.And it was hard. Indiegogo has thought ahead on this quirk of human nature to come up with euphemisms for the words money and giving. Givers are called contributors, receivers are called campaigners, and money itself is called contributions.
There is, of course, a cultural reason for this. The subject of money is fairly well shrouded in mystery. We don’t tell others what we earn or ask them about their income. Nor do we like to ask for or be asked for money. Wealthy people often feel like others only want their money (there’s some truth in that). Poor people tend to think everyone wants to take their last dollar (also somewhat true). Even more crippling. the poor are often reluctant to ask for what they’re due. While these attitudes might be easing as new generations come forward, I think the flotsam that floats around money is a subconscious issue for most people who consider crowdfunding, one that keeps them from sending personal emails which are reputedly the most effective way to get contributions.
I know it was true for me and most of my reluctance came from fear that people would disapprove of my choice. A few did, but not many. One writer warned me that the entire writing community would get up in arms and I’d lose all my readers. Never happened. Another writer asked why I didn’t fund their advertising. I told them to let me know when they set up their campaign and I’d be happy to contribute. In truth, only a few expressed disappointment in me but they didn’t unfriend me and my Twitter following even increased. Most people cheered me on.
And therein is the character growth. I’m thicker-skinned these days and a whole lot less cynical. Just taking the step to launching the campaign boosted my confidence in ways I can’t quite explain and didn’t expect. All I do know is that I have no regrets and am willing to help others who are interested. If you're one of them, check back on Monday for part 2 of this post where I’ll talk about the do’s and don’ts of crowdfunding.
Week #1 Considering Crowdfunding?
Week #2 Getting Started With Indiegogo
Week #3 Pulling it Together
Week #4 Show Me the Money
Week #5 What if No One Comes
Week #6 Launch Week at Last
Week #7 Realities of Launch Week
Week #8-9 Elbow-grease Time
Week #11 Do's and Don'ts
To Connie Flynn Site