There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it: the community that you build around your crowdfunding campaign is the most important resource that you have.
In order for your crowdfunding campaign to be a success, you need to build and nurture a community. Community is the backbone of crowdfunding. Your backers know that they’re making an investment, not a cut-and-dried purchase. They’re backing your campaign for the experience as much as they are for the product. They want to share in your enthusiasm when things go well. They expect to be kept up-to-date about the process even when things go awry. Your backers expect frequent communication from you, and the way you choose to interact with and nurture them will be the difference between whether your campaign helps you launch a company with a group of dedicated followers… or whether you fail.
It’s important to understand that crowdfunding isn’t ecommerce, and that backers are not traditional buyers. The audience that finds crowdfunding attractive is made up of people excited about being an early adopter. They like being the first people to have new things, and they’re willing to put their money behind worthwhile ideas. They’re taking a risk by supporting campaigns that they like, knowing that it’s an investment that doesn’t always pay off.
You should be building your community through email and on Facebook before you launch. Part of that community will back your campaign and be active in the comments on your campaign page. This gives you a great chance to interact with your backers and with people who haven’t yet become backers. It also gives you the chance to control the narrative if something negative comes up in a public space.
Most of the comments and questions you get will be positive or neutral; occasionally, though, you may have a negative interaction with a backer. You can’t control what other people say, but a savvy campaigner can steer the conversation when something goes wrong. This means being present and staying active in the comments on your campaign page and in your Facebook group; you also need to respond quickly when someone posts. Offer solutions when you can, and make sure the rest of your community can see you remaining calm, friendly, and approachable throughout the process. It’s important for your backers to see this! Being respectful and open to conversation will make them feel more involved in the process and convert them into devoted fans of your brand.
In a recent webinar, Indiegogo revealed that as many as 75% of backers want to communicate with the campaigns that they back. While campaigns have traditionally only been open to comments from people who already backed the project, Indiegogo is rolling out a new comment feature that lets people ask questions before they purchase as well. This is a great tool that will help convince more people to back your campaign. Not only will the people you’re directly talking to be more willing to back, but others who read through the comments will see how responsive you are and will be more likely to back because of that.
Your community is the make-or-break resource for your crowdfunding campaign. Growing and nurturing it will make the difference between success and failure. If you want help growing your community and launching your product, apply to work with us today!