So you’ve got a grand game-changing idea that will make the world a better place, and all you need is the money to make it happen? I’m going to share how I created my best crowdfunding campaign and key copywriting tips.
The advice I am going to share applies whether you launch on Indiegogo, Kickstarter or any other donation or crowdfunding platform.
So my grand idea was to create a project around relocation. After two major international moves in as many years, I learned a lot and figured I could help others through the process. Given the increasing number of people moving for work and the rise of digital nomads, I wanted to create a fresh resource for modern (and mindful) relocation. This would include a guidebook, a workbook and additional online components to support and inspire #bigmoves.
Fast forward, through two Kickstarter campaigns, I am now the proud author of a guidebook called How To Make Big Moves: Relocate Without Losing Your Mind.
But let’s rewind back to why and how I put myself through the crowdfunding grind not once, but twice. The first time (20-day campaign, September 2015) I really did not know what the hell I was doing and, as such, was unsuccessful. However, I quickly learned from my mistakes and re-worked the project and re-launched a 30-day campaign in late December 2015.
Here are 8 key copywriting tips for a successful crowdfunding campaign:
#1 The Why: The Raison d’être of Your Campaign
Why are you creating [insert project here]? Really dig deep on this and write down your core motivations. The language you use has to stir up emotions so come up with 5-10 phrases and choose one as your tagline. Keep the others to sprinkle into your campaign description.
You might also want to write these motivations on Post-its and put the notes in a place where you can see them. When times get tough, it will be nice to have reminders of why you’re in it to win it.
#2 Stating The Benefits Of Being A Part Of Your Crowdfunding Campaign
The next important question is: WHO needs your product?
Hone in on your ideal customer and create a persona for her or him. How are you going to solve their problems and make their days better? To answer this question, you need to know exactly what this person is struggling with.
Going back to those emotional phrases you created in step #1, now you can add some depth to them with your product’s problem-solving attributes. Start thinking about a short and sweet hashtag to use on social media!
#3 The What: Your Product
This is your vision in tangible form. It goes without saying that it must be well researched and fill a gap in the marketplace. All components of your product must be clearly presented in a relatable way to instil confidence and generate interest. First, from investors, and second from your target market. Now that you’ve created that perfect investor/customer persona in step #2, now you can start thinking like them and writing for them!
#4 About Your Amazing Support System
Who is going to help you through the campaign? You might need a graphic designer, a marketing assistant and/or a PR consultant… These people are your team and should be brought into the picture. Writing about them can really bolster the optics of the project and build confidence in the eyes of prospective investors.
In my own crowdfunding campaign, I profiled the key people who would be involved in making the project happen. Doing this in a relatable way – mentioning their own big moves – showed they were more than just worker bees.
#5 The Rewards
Backer rewards must be two things: (1) very appealing to potential backers and (2) produced at a reasonable cost to you.
For my best crowdfunding campaign, I chose to work with friends who already had great products that I could use. One was a naturopathic doctor who made essential oil blends that were perfect for travel. The other, her sister actually, had a beautiful collection of inspirational jewellery that fit perfectly with my whole “big moves” theme. Highly appealing, check. Cost effective, check.
With that sorted, I made sure to use key words to hype the benefits of these backer rewards within the campaign description, and also in the side bar where backers select their pledge amount.
#6 The Marketing
Think about your ideal customer and the different ways to reach them. If you don’t already have a built-in following on social media like, for example, Rachel Brathen (aka @yoga_girl) did for her oneOeight campaign, then you will need to get creative. Take a look at the crowdfunding campaigns from other successful innovators which can help you get inspired.
- Email Marketing
Start with the emails you do have and focus on different pockets of people and create targeting emails and promotions with the intention of inspiring them to engage in your campaign.
Now, please don’t think you need to send out some big press release. There are many so-called PR pros that will, as soon as you launch your campaign, email you and offer to create buzz and traffic and blah. Some are legit, and most are absolutely not worth your money.
- Media & PR
Personally, I don’t think it’s worth the time and effort to reach out to the press during your campaign. Because of the volume of crowdfunding campaigns, journalists are quite skeptical and some publications have even refused coverage because successfully funded products have missed delivery deadlines and/or not reached the market at all. Better to save your PR pennies for after the campaign – when you can lead with “successfully funded on Kickstarter”.
However, this is not to say you should do zero PR. Put your energy into connecting with influencers. Do you have product samples or a prototype? If so, provide a select group with a demo package in exchange for them talking about it on social. If you are a member of groups like Fresh Presse, make sure to share your campaign as well as look for other Facebook groups that match your product’s target market. Abide by group rules and regs and share the key benefits of your product and the amazing rewards for backing the campaign.
And don’t forget to use your HASHTAG!
#7 The Campaign Setup
Graphic design is important here. Lay the information out in sections; use lots of images to show the product and the people involved. A short video is crucial as potential backers want to see your authentic passion for the project and sense your excitement. Plus, a video is a great tool to have for effectively promoting the campaign on Facebook.
I know, I know, video is scary…It took me a thousand takes the first time. Write out a script as if you’re talking to a close friend, pour yourself a glass of water and take a few deep breaths. You will get through it!
#8 The Updates
If you are running a month-long campaign you should plan to write and send at least one update, via the fundraising platform, per week. All the best crowdfunding campaigns include regular updates to keep backers happy, and to give potential funders more reason to participate. The goal of your updates is to get current backers to share your campaign so write with that top of mind. These people are your biggest cheerleaders after all, so do everything you can to engage, motivate and inspire them to share, share, share!
If you look at my campaign you will see only three updates, which were done in the last two weeks. This is because I was sending a lot of personal emails to make people aware of my second campaign; roping people back who had contributed before.
However, for Rachel Brathen’s oneOeight campaign you can see that updates were done almost daily. Take some inspiration from her methods for continuously connecting with the yoga community.
Did this get you buzzed? For more tips grab some great advice that will help you refresh your brand and online presence in a flash! Totally free.
Originally written for and published on yessupply.co.