Been There, Done That & Promoted My Project
Creating your project is just the beginning. Getting the word there is when your campaign really starts, and it’s not something that can be done in just one day; you need to promote your campaign on a daily basis for its entire duration.
We’ve already written various tips on how to promote your project on Facebook and Twitter, but keeping your followers and backers updated is equally as crucial, for you must keep your project ALIVE at all times. You’ve heard it all before from us though. Similar to the last two blogs it’s all about hearing how some of the PleaseFund.Us successes did it.
Promoting Your Project
As Patrick and Natasha found out with their project, it’s worth reaching out to whomever you can. They were amazed at the source of some of the donations: People they hadn’t spoken to in years, Facebook friends who never they “never really knew in the first place.” We asked some of our successful project owners how they went about promoting their projects, and whether they had any tips for anyone about to embark on their own campaign. These are the words from people who have been there, done that, & PROMOTED their projects (so listen good).
Every single day was spent either promoting it, checking it or updating it in one way or another. It was our major focus for that period which is the only way to do it. The key is getting it off to the right start. You need to start preparing your donors for the campaign before it actually starts – let them know what you’re about to do (in our case we said ‘£5K in 55 Days – can you help?’ etc and started the ball rolling). Then on the launch day we had a glut of donations. The Arts Barge Project
I emailed everyone I knew, cajoling them to join in. I had a good following on Twitter, so used that. Although I must say, I think you have to be sensible about how much you tweet and what you tweet about your campaign. I think I lost a few followers early on because I kept talking about the same thing. So my trick was to get creative with my tweets. Rather than repeatedly shouting 'please fund me!' I would say, 'we're perching precariously close to the precipice of the £500 mark. Want to shove us off it?' Or something silly like that. Create Your Own Food Adventure
Facebook, twitter and simple emails were my way of telling people about my campaign. If you have time to plan, it might be a good idea to get people in the same field to blog/write an article about your project. Hatastic!
Contact some popular bloggers in your niche area and find a way to get them on board with your idea. A single tweet from someone with 1000+ followers can make all the difference if you don’t have existing networks outside of friends and family. Alakazam
We prompted it in every way we could! Through media sources, online/social networking sources, talking to people about it, right through to printing out flyers and posters and handing them out to people at gigs. My advice to other bands willing to give this a try is to not rely too heavily on your social networking sites- get flyers and posters printed (with QR codes on) and go and talk to people about it at shows! Get people to talk about you and they'll check you out online too. Blue Origin
I sent out personal emails to everyone in my address book who I though might be interested, as well as organisations who worked with the group my project is aimed at. I also did a massive facebook and twitter campaign, and changed my picture to the poster for Being a Londoner, and also possibly slightly annoyingly thanked people on facebook and twitter when the made a pledge. Lots of people forwarded emails, retweeted and shared on FB. Being A Londoner
We promoted through Facebook hard. Daily updates on the fundraising total. Daily updates on the number of days remaining. The big thing for us is that due to these regular messages our donors really got behind us, could easily track our progress, and we're willing for us to raise the cash. Towards the end of the project lots of our donors were posting about it as if it were their project. This really helped. Facebook made it for us 100%, and I can't recommend enough daily updates on how everything is going both with the fundraising effort and the project itself. I totally underestimated the amount of time I needed to spend promoting the project. Its a huge undertaking and potential project owners should know that the number of hours spent promoting a successful project is significant. Laughter Lines Leeds Comedy Festival 2012
Crucial to the success of the New Designers was the projects promotion via social networking. But, in my opinion, this method of promotion benefitted heavily from the fact we were a reasonably large group - it meant that there were seven people constantly sharing the link across seven different sets of friends from seven different places. (This is of course excluding the "friends of friends" that were also sharing the link!) Therefore the audience we were targeting was very wide spread, and very broad and I would advise that anyone else taking up the project and using social networking as the primary means of promotion ensured that they too had people lined up from different part of the country, with different friendship circles to share the link also. Whilst the mains means of promotion for the project was social networking, two of the girls from up north were able to secure an article about the project in their local paper, which drew new interest to our cause from people out with the social networking arena. Help Us Grow Into New Designers
I think you mustn't beg people, it's the kind of thing that will make them relunctant. The Terrorist
Also, really importantly, don’t focus everything just on donations – make sure you fully include people who may not be able to give money but have other ways of helping you. Blogs, reviews, write-ups, gigs where they can hand round a hat for you etc etc. Otherwise people who can’t afford to give will not feel part of what you’re doing and may be turned off your project.
Make sure photographs are integral to your campaign – we found that people responded to photos more than anything – including in your updates. The Arts Barge Project
A Final Thought
Well there you have it. Emails (make sure their personal), Facebook, Twitter, blogs, articles, press releases,; the options are endless. Just remember that when you're not promoting your project to new audiences, you should be updating what followers you do have and be sure to keep them constantly updated with your progress. One of the easiest ways to do this is to use the 'updates' tab on your project page, for these get sent out as direct emails to either your followers, your backers, or both (simples)!
As for our successful project owners, this isn't quite the last you'll be hearing from them. Next week is the fourth and final instalment where we'll be aksing some of our succcess stories if there's anything they would have done differently, if they were to embark on their campaigns again, and what insights they now have into crowdfunding.
About the author:
Ben Hamilton is a Community Manager for PleaseFund.Us. If you need any help or advice about crowdfunding (or perhaps you'd just like a chat), drop him a line at: email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @Ben_Hamilton_