PHASE 3 – DURING THE CAMPAIGN

This is it. The big show. Go time. Using the tips from the last article, you’ve done your research, you’ve assembled your team and you’ve even gotten a jump start on creating your project. Now, it’s just time to pull the trigger and watch the money start flowing in, right? Wrong.

How you handle your campaign while it’s live is absolutely vital. Why spend all that time preparing your materials, establishing your reward tiers, etc. just to have your crowdfunding attempt come up short?

Find your evangelists

Whether you’re an established artist with decades of experience or a newbie with a dream, you likely have a network of people you can rely on. It’s an old adage, but who you knows actually pays off in this case. If your project involves another artist’s work, take advantage of their connections. A high profile artist sharing a post on social media outlets can give your project a huge boost in visibility.

Maintain a strong & sustained social media presence

Now, you can’t leave it all in the hands of your evangelists. Be unapologetic about getting the word out there about your project. Post regularly on Facebook. Create a Twitter account specially dedicated to your campaign. Exploit the interconnectivity of Tumblr reblogs. Use Instagram like your life depended on it. Your responsibility is to be as connected as possible for the duration of your campaign.

Don’t forget that the people who are supporting you are exactly that – people. Publicly and personally thanking them for their donation goes a long way in establishing a healthy fanbase. Likewise, be attentive to your backers’ questions and move quickly to promptly answer them. If it makes sense to make those questions public, tweet or post about them so that other potential backers with similar questions can see it.

The benefits go both ways. If you’re a fan of someone’s crowdfunding campaign, reach out to them and let them know! Artist are people too and they LOVE to hear from you – especially if it’s a positive comment. In turn, the moment you decide to start your own campaign, they will be your evangelist. It’s the circle of life!

Stretch goals

Also known as “the trickiest part of the whole crowdfunding equation.” The dangling carrot of stretch goals are fantastic motivators, but they are a balancing act between risk and rewards. For the uninitiated, stretch goals are extra bonus rewards for backers that are “unlocked” once your campaign passes a certain threshold of money donated. Hopefully, in your research phase you planned for stretch goals in the fortunate event that they were required.

The positive angle is that having to unlock stretch goals generally means that your campaign is a success. However, like those pesky and unavoidable shipping costs, the incentives can be a double edged sword. The more stretch goals you offer, the more rewards you have to produce. This equates to an increase in production costs which can eat into your margins. Make the right incentive and you will get a boost in contributors. Make the incentive too good, and you’ll be the one paying for it at the end of the day.

Pay attention to the first and last 24 hours

Crowdfunding campaigns are like marathons – you have to be strong out of the gate, but your biggest burst of energy has to come towards the finish line. A steady social media push throughout your campaign is also a must, but as time winds down, your potential backers will note how close you are to achieving your funding campaign. If it appears to have too far to go, they may be deterred from contributing altogether. The last stretch of your campaign will be the time when you really start to feel the importance of setting a realistic funding goal and having a strong social media presence.

Keep your fingers crossed

Remember, there’s no guarantee of success with these things. As with anything that involves a creative element, luck and timing play a role. No matter what happens, know that if you’re passionate about a project, you will find a way to make it a reality.
NEXT ARTICLE: Wrapping it up. Tips for what happens in the aftermath of your campaign.