I want to explain how I was able to raise 33% of my crowdfunding goal within its first 24 hours. I will focus on three areas: Key Connectors, team network, and pre-campaign pledges
If you have not read my previous post on Key Connectors, please do, so that you know what they are. In this section I will merely explain how I utilized them.
40 days prior to the launch of my campaign I sent a personalized email to the few people in my network that I felt could be a Key Connector. It was on a Sunday, and I asked them to confirm or decline within one week, which would inform me of who was on board, with just over one month to go before launch.
In the email I included several key points:
When I received confirmation emails from the Key Connectors, I sent them specifics with timelines and dates when I needed their help. I especially focused on the following three key areas:
A team is incredibly important in crowdfunding. Yes, you can go it alone, but why not amplify your efforts across multiple networks? Within our core team we had a variety representation. To start we had Australians, South Africans, Vietnamese and Americans. So each of our personal networks targeted a different continent. Also, either directly or through a spouse, our group included a small business owner, a CEO of a nickel mine, and a doctor in the World Health Organization (WHO).
As you can see, the core team (9 in total) was varied and diverse. This is important as it allowed us to break into different socio-economic circles and in our case different geographies around the globe. Not only this, but we each sought after Key Connectors of our own. All of this in turn amplifies our reach exponentially, starting on day one.
As they say with crowdfunding, it takes a crowd to bring the crowd, meaning that people outside of your network (who you do not know) will only donate or back your project if they see that many others have already done so. This is a sign of validation and trust. The opposite is also true. If potential backers happen upon your project and see that the backers are lacking in count and dollars donated, they will feel less inclined to donate themselves.
There are two reasons why you should gather pre-campaign pledges. This is one of the first steps in determining how much money you can raise from your own network(s), so that you can properly set your campaign's goal. If you find that your pre-campaign pledges amount to $5,000 you may need to reassess a goal of $100,000. Indiegogo recommends 20-30% of the funds that you intend to raise should come from family and friends alone.
Secondly, pre-campaign pledges get people thinking and talking about your campaign before it is live. This is important because you will need as many people to donate to your campaign as possible on day one. Platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo use algorithms to highlight campaigns from the thousands contained on their sites. It is believed that the four main criteria used to determine this are count of backers, dollars raised, percent of goal reached, and time elapsed.
Here are some highlights from my campaign:
If you can funnel your pre-campaign pledges (family, friends and Key Connectors) to make a donation within the first 24 hours of your campaign, then you will have the right metrics for being featured on the crowdfunding platforms homepage or category landing page. And this is where the crowd joins the crowd.