Just do it just doesn’t always work
I once engaging on LinkedIn with a fellow consultant and friend Matthew Beck from Park East Group and we were discussing the value of doing market research and business planning before stepping into a crowdfunding campaign more or less blind. I had spoken to some leads over the last week and I had to turn them down for working on their campaigns because I have a hard and fast rule not to work with crowdfunding campaigns that has not done its homework.
Doing your homework means digging into the market research. Do I have a good idea? Has anyone else tried a similar idea, and if so how successful was it? One of the great advantages of business in the digital age is that not only are you able to measure much of your social interactions, but the old campaigns are there for your inspection. Researching old failed and successful crowdfunding campaigns is a great way to gather intelligence for your campaign.
Matthew wrote a very powerful blog post about the value of business planning and I agree 100% with his main point. Crowdfunding has so many moving parts that once the market research is completed the next step must be the writing of a comprehensive crowdfunding plan based on the research and best practice of the crowdfunding industry. I will only mention this step and provide more in-depth coverage of the steps in the plan in later post.
Engage with the Audience
If you run a successful, the whole community wants to talk to you, and if you fail to respond to the audience throughout the duration of your campaign, you are going to have a really rough time growing and exciting your crowd. You must view the crowd as your partner in this effort and not just some people to get money. You must engage with your crowd in order to excite and engage them. The most important thing is to actively engage with your campaign audience. Engaging with people not only prevents public backlash, but it also rewards you with people who can really advocate on your behalf and further your campaign.
If you were going out for the weekend to do some base jumping would you just pick up a parachute from anywhere strap it on and jump. Of course you would not you would make sure you were prepared for this event. Why would you launch a crowdfunding campaign without being prepared. If you are not going to apply the time and effort needed to prepare for this event who do you think is going listen. The answer is going to be not many people, because first of all not many people will even know about your project if you just make the leap.