Community building is a very important aspect of a crowdfunding campaign. Or as we like to say, ‘Step zero of crowdfunding is community building’. At its very core, the success of a crowdfunding campaign depends totally on the crowd that the fundraisers can reach. (Of course, the name itself begins with crowd!)
The more the number of people who know about your campaign, the higher is the possibility of it being funded. There are some sure shot ways of ensuring that the word about your campaign reaches the right audiences. Here, we have compiled a few of them.
- Start building before launching: Like most of the important tasks, building a community to support your cause requires preparation. This has to begin right at the time that you decide to launch a crowdfunding campaign. Start with people close to you – family, friends, co-workers and other acquaintances. Send them mails or talk to them and explain the importance of the campaign. Make sure you have have some committed backers before the campaign goes live.
- Build a mailing list: Compile a list of all the email addresses you have (belonging to people you know). This will be your initial mailing list whom you can start engaging before the actual campaign. Reaching out to people using emails has found to be more effective than putting information about a campaign on social media. This makes the communication more personal.
- Invite suggestions: When sending the initial mail to inform your crowd about your decision to crowdfund, involve them in the process. Start with asking for their suggestions. Ask them their opinion about the decision, whether they would like to help in any way or even for any improvements in the content, perks or other important aspects of your campaign.
- Let your story talk: The story that introduces your campaign to the world, so tell it well. This content is where the ‘new crowd’ or people you don’t know and who were not on your initial mailing list will first learn about you and your cause. Therefore, it is advisable and important that you take some time to work on a story that aligns with your vision and mission.
- Get help of influencers: Some members in every community hold more weight than the others. Whenever you can, take the help of such people, also called influencers. They will bring in a crowd of their supporters who will support your campaign just because the influencer does or asks them to. Even as much as an endorsement or shout out over social media from such a supporter can be a tremendous fillip to your campaign. Influencers also include media persons and bloggers who can help spread the word about your campaign.
- Schedule and plan: Plan every communication made to the backers, supporters and others in your crowd beforehand. If possible, schedule each of them to be delivered to the intended recipients at a pre-decided time.
- Engage regularly: While making the communications calendar, be sure that you have a dialogue with the crowd on a regular basis. Keep them updated about every small detail related to the campaign. If you engage people through social networking platforms, answer any and every query that people may raise as quickly as you can. Tag people who may be interested in the updates that you put.
- Communicate after success: Even after your campaign has ended, your communication with the backers should not. Tell them how well you are using their contributions. Give them a virtual pat on the back for their help. Think of ways that you can reward the backers.
Remember, your crowd is the most important resource in crowdfunding. Community building techniques ensure that you use it wisely and your campaign succeeds even before the deadline.
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