I assume that everyone reading this is familiar with the concept of a crowd funded project. Just in case though it is this.
- You come up with a brilliant idea for a project
- You show people your idea on a site like Kickstarter
- People donate money to help you reach the target funds you need, and they receive an appropriate return.
- You get (or sometimes don’t get) the amount you need and off you go… or don’t go.
- It is very simple, and it works for many projects. For the sake of this blog, I am assuming a technology based project but the general rules apply to everything.
There are all sorts of things you need to adhere to if you want to use a crowd fund platform I want to look at a particular part of the process, communication.
Communication is vital to any project but in relation to a crowd funding journey it is not just vital, it is key, because your only connection to the potential backer is your message. You have a one shot chance of convincing someone that they should invest in your product.
Unfortunately, the message you also send needs to be slightly different to the usual approach to market. Here’s why…
If you think of the message as a supporting wall then, Kickstarter is based on several cumulative ‘bricks’ of incitement. All of these done correctly will entice the potential investor to make a donation. Additionally these are not all of equal importance. I won’t insult your intelligence by listing the obvious one of having a suitable project in the first place but here are what I see as the 3 of additional key factors.
A written description of the product.
o This should be exciting and most importantly about benefit not technical jargon. The technology, while not exactly irrelevant, is secondary to the attraction of the function of the device or app.
The pledge return.
o Your pledgees should be able to see a stepped return to tempt them to go a little higher on the pledge. Also make sure you have a lot of small £1 – £10 type of pledge levels. They will add up.
o Not all crowd fund projects on Kickstarter have a video and not all projects fund. See if you can guess what the correlation is between those two things.
The first two factors on my list are pretty easy to get a grip on. Where it gets complex is the video production. You can prop your iphone on a box and go with
“Hello, I just unvented this right smart device what does some right good stuff.”
Or you can have a slick, well filmed and appropriately edited video where the scripted message is clear, and your project is presented well.
Again here, guess which one works better. Without a decent video, you are unlikely to reach your funding level. The reason video is so important is that the product is not the whole story, in fact, it is just a small part. A good crowd fund video presents the business, the people and the lifestyle surrounding the product.
One final thought about the crowd fund video – they are almost a new genre of filmmaking. If you don’t believe, me spend an hour looking at them. They have an individual style and approach and the projects that fund regularly repeat this format. Unfortunately, this style requires equipment and filmmaking knowledge which is sadly likely to be beyond the range of most people. Of course there are exceptions, the odd curve ball sneaks through and funds with a bad video or no video at all but you are going to market with your idea so do you really want to gamble on the curve ball getting through? In this instance, I suggest against D.I.Y. for your film. Hand it over to someone who knows the genre because while there is still no guarantee your project will fund, there is a much better chance it will.
This is an awesome idea and I can’t wait to use it myself. It is called Thunderclap.
Thunderclap is the first-ever crowd speaking platform that helps people be heard by saying something together. It allows a single message to be mass-shared, flash mob-style, so it rises above the noise of your social networks.
It works in a similar way to a crowd funding project. Your friends and networking colleagues will donate their social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin etc and the Thunderclap will only launch on your nominated date if you have achieved the set number of donations.
Check out the video on their website, it explains it much better that I have! Just visit thunderclap.it for more information.