Norah Myers currently works on the editorial side of marketing. She assists with copywriting, proofreading, fact-checking and research. She also sources new clients for an independent publisher, edits narrative nonfiction, and interviews great publishing folk for BookMachine. She has created and managed crowdfunding campaigns for books and assistive technology. Below are her top crowdfunding tips.
1. Research the bloggers, journalists, social media specialists and publicists who you plan to promote your campaign to. Inform of them of the campaign before you launch it. This is the most important step because the biggest amount of funding comes through in the first and last two days of the campaign.
2. When describing your campaign and your product, be as specific as possible about your goals. Really stress what the campaign will do for you that wouldn’t otherwise be possible without it. Make it emotionally appealing to the people who will support you.
3. Continually update the campaign throughout its duration. Respond to comments, answer questions, add new pictures and videos, and post relevant articles and news stories. Stay active with the campaign every step of the way.
4. Use as much visual content as possible: personal videos, interviews, trailers and pictures. Campaigns with visual content get twice the support of those without similar content. When potential supporters see a video of you, they feel as though they’re really getting to know you, and investing in both you and your cause.
5. Update your supporters at least three or four times through the campaign. Email them and post across as many social media platforms as possible that you have raised a certain amount of money and only have a few days left to reach or exceed your funding goal.
6. Add realistic perks or rewards, like a signed hardback for $50 or a ticket to the launch party (plus other goodies) for $150. Another ideal reward is not just a single book, but a bundle of books or a carton of books for your book club. Your supporters will be put off if you expect them to pay $400 for perk that includes a goodie bag, a t-shirt, and a social media shout-out. That package of perks doesn’t equal a $400 donation (trust me — I’ve seen this happen).
7. Set realistic timing, delivery, and expectations for rewards if you offer them. If you can’t commit to offering a blue pencil session for a backer, offer a reward you can fulfill, like a signed book or a special dedication.
8. Do as much publicity as possible. Be available to the media to comment on relevant news that complements your campaign. Do interviews on television, the radio, in the paper, on blogs, and in trade publications. Continually work the media throughout your campaign. It won’t succeed unless you invest your own effort and time.
9. Promote the campaign the hardest in the last 48 hours. Angel investors tend to come through during that time.
10. Thank your contributors when the campaign finishes. Let them know how grateful you are for all of their support.
Remember to have fun with the campaign and see it as a part of publicity or development rather than just a request for financial support.