7 assumptions that will collapse shortly after your crowdfunding campaign goes live
I have talked with thousands of crowdfunders so far (I founded a platform and we provide customer service via phone as well), and sometime I feel a bit like a crowdfunding shrink. It is totally understandable. People are raising money for something they really care about, and crowdfunding is a lot of ups and downs. But what’s really hard for them is the collapse of some basic assumptions they had before the campaign went live. Here are the most common:
- “My friends and family will back my campaign when I’ll ask them”. In most cases, you need to nag even your closest friends and family to back your campaign when you most need it, immediately after it’s live (you need validation and they know you so it’s less risk for them). People live their lives, they have a job, family and are generally busy. The solution is to prepare them a while before the campaign goes live and stress how important it is that they’ll back you as fast as possible. Make a list of the relevant people and start contacting them before the campaign is live. Ask if you can count on their early support.
- “I’ll meet my goal amount easily, my page has lots of likes”. Likes ≠money. It’s easier to like something than to actually support it financially. Of course, if you have a page with many likes that’s a good start because a like is an indication that a person feel more connected to the cause than others. However, it’s only an indication. Remember that.
- “My goal amount is not high”. Crowdfunders tend to set a high goal amount, especially if they are not familiar with the process of crowdfunding. You should set the goal amount that will enable you to fulfill the campaign’s purpose, but be modest. Crowdfunders often regret they haven’t set a lower goal amount.
- “People will stop backing my campaign when I’ll meet my goal amount”. When we offer crowdfunders to set a lower goal amount, their biggest concern is that people will stop backing their campaign when it meets the goal amount. That’s wrong. If you give them a good reason to keep backing your campaign (you stretch the goal), they will. Think of it like that. You want to open a Hummus restaurant. You’ll rent a small place in the beginning and move to a bigger place if you are doing well (also, it’s more likely to see a line of people waiting to get in, and that’s exactly what you want).
- “How hard can it be?”. People are optimistic, me too. But when you are crowdfunding, you need to know that in most cases (99.9%) there are no miracles. Uploading the campaign to a crowdfunding platform and expecting the money will just flow because people browsed Kickstarter or Indiegogo and found your project is the biggest mistake you can make, the biggest!
- “The more time I have, the more money I’ll raise”. You set a deadline for your campaign. The ideal time is 30 days. You need to distribute the campaign on a daily basis, it’s time consuming and mentally challenging. Most people can’t do it for two or three months. Also, when potential backers visit your campaign and see there are 50 or 60 days left, they are less likely to support your campaign now, many of us tend to procrastinate.
- “People will share my campaign, I’m not worried about marketing”. You and your team are alone when it comes to sharing your campaign. Sure, some people will share your project, but don’t count on them as marketers. You can give them incentive to do so with a referral contest thought, I talk about it in my course.