14 Jul Tips for Sharing Your Crowdfunding Project Online
Here are a few quick and effective tips for sharing your project online.
Videos Attract Investors:
Videos are a very powerful way to get people interested in your project. A project with a video typically results in about 115% more funding than those that don’t.
Use Your Personal Contact Base:
Typically, the first 10-30% of the funding you receive will come from your own personal network (social groups, email lists, clients, family and friends).
Take an Active Role:
Make sure you are using every resource available to attract new contributors.
- Email lists and social media groups, clients, friends, family, etc.
- Participate in online forums
- Join organizations that share a common goal
- Share it with the local newspapers, trade publications and colleagues
- Contact friends and the friends of your friends
Once you start receiving contributions, it is important to keep in contact with your donors by regularly sending short updates explaining your progress.
Sharing Your Project via Social Media
Start your campaign by posting a status update on your business or personal Facebook page. Make sure to explain your project, what it offers, why you created it and why you need funding, as well as a link to your actual project.
To get better results, repost the project multiple times a week at various times of day. Late night hours tend to get more views, but don’t limit it to only the peak hours between 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. The key is to switch it up, so as many people as possible have the opportunity to see it.
- Create a fan page specifically for your funding project
- Post updates regularly that encourage fan participation
- Sunday is your best chance of being seen, followed by Saturday, Monday and Tuesday
- Keep an eye out for replies or “Likes” from other users
- Always reply to comments
- Link your Facebook profile to your business website
- Use striking images and compelling videos in your posts
- Ask your fans to caption a picture to inspire more interaction
- Tag any photos you can with your followers, so their friends and family can also see your fan page
- Use emoticons whenever they make sense, since they improve the chance of your status being noticed
- Include calls-to-action encouraging users to “Like” or “Share” your content
- Ask questions that inspire people to respond
You should also send a private message to Facebook friends and family about your new project.
Send them a personal message to tell them about your project and just ask if they are interested in investing in it. Be honest, be passionate, and keep it informal.
Post in Facebook Groups:
Find Facebook groups that are relevant to your project and actively participate in them. Don’t just sell your campaign, but provide meaningful content as well. Comment on other people’s posts, answer questions, and submit your own posts. Using the right keywords to search for groups can really help gain exposure. Provide a short, personable explanation of your project and how it pertains to that group. Always make sure to provide your link so they can visit your crowdfunding project.
Tweet to your followers as often as possible. Unlike Facebook, the best times to post to Twitter are weekdays between 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Since traffic is lighter in the morning, it may also be beneficial to Tweet between 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Make sure to post at various times throughout the day, so you can reach a broader audience.
- The most Twitter activity happens on Tuesdays and Wednesdays
- Try to tweet at least a few times a day
- Make sure that content is interesting and engaging
- Though there are peak hours for tweeting, tweet at different hours of the day because there will be a different audience on Twitter at different times
- If you want to tweet to a specific person, use the (@) symbol. For example, “@twitteruser Check out my page”
Use hasthtags (#) before specific words to place your tweet into that specific topic. For example, you can say #garden to put your tweet into the garden topic. This means that when someone searches for “garden,” your tweet will show up. You can use multiple hashtags in the same tweet such as “#Purple #Teapot in #Mediabuzz.”
Make sure to post a link to the project in your tweets. Twitter only allows 140 characters, so you can shorten the link to your page using www.bit.ly.com. Simply copy and paste the URL into the box, and paste the shorter version into the tweet box. Tweet fun or creative photos that will keep your followers engaged. Some websites that will shorten the URL are Twitpic.com, instagram.com, and tweetphoto.com.
Keep Followers Engaged:
If you have a video on YouTube for your project, you can paste the video into your Tweet. Connect others and keep them engaged. Once you start engaging in what others have to say, you become more credible. Answer questions, re-tweet interesting stories, reply to others’ tweets and stay relevant. Be provocative!
Develop a New Network
Make sure to promote other people’s projects. An easy way to accomplish this is to be the first to re-tweet and “favorite” others’ tweets. This will most likely get their attention and in most cases, they will promote you in return. Don’t be too shy to ask followers to re-tweet you. You should finish every post with the following ten characters “Please RTH.”
Every Friday, figure out who your most faithful followers are and mention them in a #FF tweet. #FF stands for Follow Friday and gives you the opportunity to do a shout-out to your community.
LinkedIn is unlike other social media networks. You will need to be personable and informative. Do not engage in sales pitches or behave as if you’re pitching an advertisement. Maintain a conversation by answering questions, asking your own questions and providing (or linking to) various content that pertains to you and/or your project.
LinkedIn can be seen as a more professional social media platform than Facebook and Twitter. You might want to spend more time working on posts and discussions due to its different demographic of users.
Build a Business Profile
This will differentiate your business from your regular user profile. LinkedIn has many company profiles and a large list of professionals who can help cater to specific business needs. Make sure that you have rich content if you are describing your business, your project and yourself. LinkedIn has a search engine which scans the website to bring users the most relevant information.
Join in any relevant conversations and be an expert in your field. Make sure to participate in discussion forums and include links to your website and your project. LinkedIn makes it easy through their networking system to connect to friends, as well as friends of friends. Although some websites may limit you with their searches, LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to grow your network to people outside of your typical social network.
YouTube is the second largest social media platform and has over 800 million users. You should start your own YouTube Channel to promote your project. Make sure to think long term when you are naming it, so it’s not limited to just one project. Think about a vision, brand or theme that will be the umbrella to your future initiatives. Post any videos that you or your organization has made on YouTube. Many people would be more inclined to watch your video pitch than read your pitch.
When making a video for your project, you do not need to use a professional service; however, that does not mean that you shouldn’t try to make it look professional.
- Be personable and natural
- The quality of your video should be clear
- Use good lighting
- Clear audio is essential
- Test your volume for sound, static and background noise
- Use humor if it suits your project
- Keep the message simple
- Multiple short videos are better than one long one
When uploading the videos, be sure to label them as clearly as possible and include keywords that will help enhance your SEO (search engine optimization) efforts. Make sure to title your video, thumbnail it, and add a description with relevant information about your project.
Promote your video on all other social media networks, as well as your website. Pressing the play button on a video link is a quick and simple option for users that are interested in your project. You can also embed your video on your website.
Newsletter or Email
Sign up for a newsletter source like MailChimp.com to market directly to investors. It’s terrific for keeping your lists and mailings organized and consistent. It will also spell out your campaign success rate to see if your newsletters are being opened, read or ignored.
Make sure to mention the project in a visible section of your newsletter or dedicate a portion of the content to specifically explain your project. Tell your followers what it offers, why you created it and where the money will be spent. You can also personally email users who you feel comfortable approaching directly. Always be sure to provide a link to your website and your crowdfunding project.
Spread the Word!
Your personal network is perhaps the most effective marketing tool of all!
Talk to people at your favorite coffee shop, hair salon, yoga class and church about your project. Ask them to tell their own friends and family. Make sure to first share the project with own your family, friends and colleagues, since they are generally the first to contribute to projects.
Additional Social Media Platforms:
- Google+ has approximately 500 million users
- Flickr has approximately 51million users
- Tumblr has approximately 45 million users
- Pinterest has approximately 32 million users
- Vimeo has approximately 65 million users
- Reddit has approximately 1 billion page views every month