Crowdfunding: Day 21 - Tots Up

Crowdfunding: Day 21

Today came the realisation it’s been at least a month since I had a conversation, sent an email or text that didn’t include the word crowdfunding.

I had been warned this process was ‘intense’, ‘consuming’ and ‘a rollercoaster’ but in truth nothing could have prepared me for this exhilarating and exhausting journey!

I’ve already learned a huge amount and here are some thoughts and tips, which have helped me;

Attend a workshop.
I went to a crowdfunding workshop about 6 months prior to launch. The information, knowledge, experience and tools I came away with were invaluable and had I attempted to find all of this material myself it might have taken months. There is a wealth of online resources available to help build your crowd, identify a realistic target, increase social media presence and publicise your campaign. Being directed to these and knowing which were worthwhile, was really beneficial.

Be prepared to have to educate people about crowdfunding and how it works.
I have been very surprised at how many people I have spoken to who know little or nothing about crowdfunding. Being armed with a simple, clear explanation can save a lot of time. I wasn’t initially and quickly realised I needed a concise explanation of how it works.

The power of email.
Of all the channels I have used to reach out to people, email has been the most successful. On two separate occasions, within minutes of sending emails I received numerous pledges. Compile an exhaustive list of email addresses, categorise it in to sections and send pre-launch emails, updates and follow ups.

Planning…
…you can’t do enough!

Don’t under estimate the reach of your nearest and dearest.
I have received huge support from my family, friends and in turn their networks. It has been so encouraging to see how much they were prepared to get behind me and become ambassadors for my project. This support is crucial, particularly in the first 48 hours, so take the time to ‘phone family and friends and tell them about the project in advance. – but don’t underestimate the time this will take!

Get the press onboard… but not until there are pledges in place.
This was a great piece of advice I was given and as a result I didn’t send my press releases out until day 2 of my campaign. I then followed the emails up with (relentless!) phone calls and an update on how the campaign was going. This resulted in some great press coverage.

The campaign reach goes far beyond the pledges.
Since launching my campaign, I have had approaches from schools interested in ordering, potential retail stockists, been interviewed by my local radio station and on Blab and been featured in an article in a crowdfunding magazine due for release later this week. The likes and shares on social media has been astounding and the messages of support and encouragement incredible.

And finally… be prepared for the lulls.
Those quiet days when pledges are few and far between are a killer… expect them and have plenty of ideas to refresh the campaign, at the ready.

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