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Get the Messaging Right – Components of a Good Crowdfunding Campaign 3

twitterIn the third of our series on running a good crowdfunding campaign we focus on Messaging. Messaging is absolutely crucial. Your proposition must be compelling. If its not then why would anyone choose to fund your campaign when there are so many to choose from? So having a message that inspires, clarifies and explains exactly what your campaign is about and why someone should invest in it is key. A clearly defined goal or project that conjures a vision for investors is very important. But don’t be fooled. This is not a simple process and getting the messaging right, clear and understandable and engaging is hard and precise work.

The messages or calls to action, as some refer to them, need to be tailored to the audiences you are approaching in the first instance. So this may mean different approaches, different styles and different types of appeal. This can be necessary as each may be addressing a different demographic through a different channels and with an alternative perspective on your campaign. On the subject of channels your choice of communication channel and having messaging appropriate for that is important. At its most basic, consider that if twitter is a key tool in your campaign can you craft a good call to action that converts to 140 characters?

Whilst social media are powerful and commonly used tools for a crowdfund they are by no means universally applicable. a social lending campaign for example is less likely to draw on twitter as say a reward campaign, and it is important that you understand what are the best channels for your initial outreach. But, don’t forget the power and importance of weak links and make it easy for connections of your connections to reach out through their channels too.

Messaging is conveyed in the copy of any communications you produce be it written, video or otherwise. It is not uncommon for successful crowdfunders to test their messaging on focus groups and samples of their intended audiences prior to launching a campaign. If you do this ensure you use appropriate non disclosure agreements. This type of thorough preparation will significantly help your campaign.

If you would like to attend one of our Preparing to Crowdfund workshops or some individual advice on your campaign then get in touch

Components of a Good Crowdfunding Campaign 2 – Preparation

bubbleThe second post in our series looking at best practice in running a crowdfunding campaign and today we look at a key component – preparation.

Preparation

It is impossible to emphasize enough the importance of thorough preparation for a crowdfunding campaign. As a rule of thumb you need as much preparation time as campaign time. So if its a 30 day campaign you will spend a minimum of 30 days preparing. Those 30 days might be spread over a longer period and may be shared across a group of people but it will most certainly take that time. However the benefits of doing so are enormous. So many projects fail because they encounter difficulties that could, and should, have been identified and ironed out prior to launch. Once a poorly prepared project is failing in the live campaign time, its very very hard to turn it around.

twintangibles developed what we refer to as the TAMP process and this has been used by many successful campaigns. It is a four stage process that helps someone considering a crowdfunding campaign properly asses their options and, once a commitment to proceed is made, prepare an effective and comprehensive plan for success. The TAMP process includes an assessments of Targets including sums, time frames and intentions. This ensures that a rounded and thorough examination of the motivations, constraints, intentions and fit of the crowdfunding project are well understood. An Audit follows examining what assets, skills and resources are available to run a campaign. This helps us understand what we have to use in a campaign but importantly highlights what we have not and how these gaps might be closed. The Method step follows where the type and nature of the crowdfunding you wish to pursue is defined, along with platform selection. Then we Plan, developing a thorough publishing plan, build our monitoring process, identify our communications channels, tribes, targets and influencers that we wish to reach. Develop and our messaging, prepare our media and allocate resources and responsibilities.

We will look at some of the things in much more detail in the coming weeks but from this brief over view of the process you should see that preparation is a demanding and time consuming thing. But if you do it well you will significantly increase your chances of success.

If you would like to talk to us about the TAMP process, our workshops, coaching and training services then don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Components of a Good Crowdfunding Campaign 1- Run Your Own Campaign

graphAlmost every day we are asked what is the best way to run a crowdfunding campaign, or how to resurrect a failing one. Truth is there is no secret sauce or universally successful approach to running a crowdfunding campaign but there are some good principles that are found in most successful campaigns that you would do well to follow .  Starting today we will begin to publish a series of blogs called “Components of a Good Crowdfunding Campaign”. Each will look at a key aspects of running a good crowdfunding campaign.

Whilst none of these in isolation will guarantee success  they will be good for your campaign and we recommend that  you follow them.

1. Run Your Own Campaign
Don’t let anyone else run your campaign. You will find that there are people who will offer to run your campaign for you – generally marketeers who will pretend that a professionally run marketing campaign is the solution to a successful crowdfunding campaign. Don’t be fooled. Of course marketing your campaign effectively, choosing channels and having the right messaging and copy are certainly key, and a good marketing consultant can help you put that together.

But you must have very direct management and engagement with your campaign. In crowdfunding one of your strongest assets and most potent currency is authenticity. People on the whole invest in people. If your campaign is run by a third party then inevitably an element of that authenticity is lost. Your ability to respond with transparency, clarity and honesty will be slowed and compromised by the mediation of a third party.

But perhaps the most important reason for not using a third party is that if the campaign is managed thoroughly and properly such a service would simply cost too much!

Crowdfunding is incredibly intensive and demanding. It usually requires the full time commitment of at the least one person and probably more depending on the dynamics and scale of the campaign. A full time professional is expensive and would eat up a good deal of your budget or target funding. So, if you are offered these type of services on the basis of a tiny quote or a small success fee percentage of your target then you calculate just how long you will get of that third parties time. The answer is – not enough. If you are offered 24/7 cover for the duration of the campaign you can guarantee that you are not getting a professional – maybe an intern!
So – be hands on. Ask for help? Most certainly. Employ specialist services where you need them to provide expertise that you don’t have? An emphatic yes.

But, if its your campaign, your project, and your company so lead it yourself.

If you would like to attend one of our Preparing to Crowdfund workshops or some individual advice on your campaign then get in touch

Watch out for our next post in this series. Why not sign up for our newsletter or follow us on twitter to ensure you dont miss a post.

 

What is a Social Media failure?

I had an interesting chat with Michael Stelzner of Social Media Examiner the other day on what constitutes a “failure” in Social Media. Mike makes a stack of really good information available through the site and is a good guy to have an exchange of view with.

I said to Mike that, in my view, the term “failure” is problematic. If we were to look at it from, say, an Erik Qualman point of view we might reasonably ask “What’s the success or failure of a phone?” For me the adoption of Social Media, in a business context, is not a binary failure/success issue. This is because the approach to becoming a social business is actually a change of mode and mindset therefore it is more a matter of degree. So in that context an organisation can either do it well or do it badly or somewhere in between.

Doing it badly does not necessarily constitute failure. The concept of success or failure is often associated, in my experience, with a single application of Social Media for, say, marketing and not as a more holistic and changed mode of engagement and operation across a business. Taking the somewhat constrained view of a single application for adopting Social Media is looking at Social Media as a one-legged stool whereas, I believe, it is much more of a multi-legged stool. If we take the misguided “one-legged” view of the application of Social Media then if that application doesn’t deliver against our targets it can feel like failure.

As it happens Mike and I agree but Mike made the important point that lots of organisations haven’t even a single leg to their stool as they haven’t recognised or embraced the adoption of Social Media and that this is most certainly a failure, and he is, of course, spot on.

The other matter it raised was the issue of setting targets and monitoring progress. Again we agreed that many organisations had insufficient monitoring mechanisms to establish their progress anyway as this is a common error. It is important to set out some measures that you are to apply as you set out on the journey to becoming a social business. However the choice of yardstick and scale is a complex one if we are judging the progress holistically and should include both qualitative and quantitative measure. But without these measures it makes it hard to monitor progress and review and adjust to improve along the way. Note I said improve not succeed or fail!

So a quick chat around some commonly used terminology acted as a reminder of a few key points:

  •  Social Media has profound implication and opportunity for how you do business, all of your business,
  • You need to get to grips with this and soon,
  • You should set out some indicators to help guide your progress to a social business.

So, do it now and do it well.

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