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How to Keep your Crowdfunding Community Motivated

Follow a simple strategy and smart crowdfunding rewards to keep your crowdfunding community motivated and reach your crowdfunding goal.

If you’ve ever launched a crowdfunding campaign, you know of the mid-campaign curse. This is that period usually after the first two weeks but before the last week where crowdfunding pledges and community motivation drops off a cliff.

Even shorter crowdfunding campaigns of 30 days go through this period where people just don’t seem to be interested. The community around your campaign has lost its motivation and the drop in daily pledging is absolutely disheartening. It’s here that a lot of crowdfunders give up all hope and cancel the campaign.

Check out the Kicktraq graph of daily pledging on Rennick Soholt’s Forced Change campaign on Kickstarter. The campaign got off to a strong start with $5,288 pledged over the first two days, nearly 20% of the goal. Then things fell apart and the campaign raised an average of just $247 a day over the next three weeks, not counting three days in which Rennick used one of the strategies below.

Crowdfunding Daily Pledges

Fortunately, the campaign really got energized towards the end and managed to beat its funding goal by four thousand dollars. Check out how Rennick was able to make his crowdfunding campaign a success in our review.

But most campaigns are not so fortunate. Most campaigns fail to build enough support at the end of the campaign and end up missing their funding goal.

So how do you keep your crowdfunding network motivated throughout the campaign?

Keeping your network motivated means understanding the reasons for the mid-campaign curse. Most of these reasons are fairly common across all campaigns so building the solutions into your crowdfunding campaign can help prevent them before they even occur.

The crowdfunding campaign goes silent

If you’ve reviewed enough campaigns, you’ve seen your share of campaigns that have no comments and no updates. You’ve got to hope that the campaigns are communicating across email and other means but it’s probably not the case.

Not only do backers need to know that you are still there, working hard on the campaign, but visitors to the crowdfunding page want to see that you will keep them updated. No one is going to support your campaign if you are going to keep them in the dark.

The solution, update your campaign frequently. Potential updates are:

  • Percentages of your goal achieved (20%, 50%, 75%)
  • Any news or developments related to your product or service
  • Feedback and testimonials on your product or service
  • Social network support from influencers or bloggers

One of the biggest problems in crowdfunding campaigns is that people feel there is really nothing new. People get excited around a campaign but can quickly lose that enthusiasm if they don’t see progress or new developments.

Don’t assume that your community will be checking in on your crowdfunding page regularly. Send your updates through emails, social media and your blog to make sure everyone hears the good news. Make sure you are constantly updating your crowd through social media with a social media management tool like Hootsuite Pro. The site allows you to link all your social media profiles together and schedule updates. It’s a great way to keep a constant stream of communication going out without being glued to Facebook or Twitter all day.

Keep your Crowdfunding Community Motivated

Keep your Crowdfunding Community Motivated

I’ve already given money to the crowdfunding campaign, what else is there?

Another hurdle, especially if you haven’t built that emotional attachment to your campaign, is that people lose interest after their financial pledge. Backers in it simply for the rewards have gotten what they want and lose interest. Even your close personal network might think their job is over after that initial pledge.

For this, you really need to tap into the other reasons people support crowdfunding campaigns.

  • Be a part of something bigger – Make sure supporters know how important they are, not just to you but to the bigger picture. Even if your campaign is for a product or business idea, it serves a need and makes an impact.
  • Pride – Make sure to recognize your backers regularly through social media and on your blog. Point out the biggest backers and recognize non-monetary support. Regularly announce largest backers of the day or week. Work it right and you could get a few backers competing for the recognition.
  • Fun – Create mini goals for the week and promise to do something embarrassing or wacky if the goal is reached. Involve backers in the events and make a game of it.

No reason to give more

Even without hitting on those emotional reasons to keep the campaign alive, there are a few ways to keep your crowdfunding network motivated.

The Forced Change crowdfunding campaign featured above was able to increase daily pledges by 10 times over the average during three days by finding backers for pledge matches. Find a backer or a group of backers that is willing to match pledges received during a 24-hour period. Update your community at least a few days ahead of the big day and several times throughout the match pledge day.

Stretch goals and rewards are the single best way I have seen to keep a community motivated and can help blow away your crowdfunding goal. I talked about the strategy in our post about crafting a rewards strategy to beat your crowdfunding goal. The idea is to set your initial funding goal low enough to be fairly easily reached. Then each stretch goal is set well within reach of the previous goal and includes extra rewards. Build a story around each goal and a reason for your community to reach for it. Use regular updates and outreach to motivate backers to get to the next goal.

With a little planning and active communication on your part, you can avoid the mid-campaign crowdfunding curse and beat your funding goal many times over. Use updates to keep your network involved and motivate them to reach for higher funding goals.

About Joseph Hogue

An investment analyst by profession, I run two blogs (Crowd101 and PeerFinance101) in personal finance, peer lending and crowdfunding. I've been on both sides of the table as a lender and a borrower and am excited to be a part of the peer movement. With the power of the internet, people are helping other people manage debt and raise money in ways never before possible.

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