Wednesday, May 4, 2016

When Is It Too Early To Talk About Your Project? Crowdfunding Advice

Hang around a crowdfunder Facebook group, you'll hear a lot of new members asking when the perfect time to start talking about their upcoming project is. Some ask if they should wait until after their campaign is in full swing, others question if a month is enough time, or if six months is long enough. As usual for creative types, it seems talking about your art, pitching your creations, getting the word out about your stuff, just isn't something we excel at.

The truth is that it's almost never to early to start talking about a crowdfunding project and what creators should worry about is not getting the word out soon enough! That's not to say they should be pitching their project with full gusto from the first spark, but that they need to get the ball rolling, starting conversations with the right parties, well before they come asking for support and pledges. No one likes a cold call asking you for money and that includes family and friends.

So when should someone realistically start building up hype for their crowdfunding project? I've seen projects go from zero followers to thousands of hungry fans in one years time. At a minimum I would tell a creator to start conversations three months before you plan to launch. You should have the foresight to plan according as you do not want to rush into a crowdfunding project. As I've told clients before, you only get to launch once, so better to wait and be properly prepared than to rush and fumble it.

If you can hold off on launching your crowdfunding project for six months, take the time and build up your following on social media sites using slow, but time proven methods. No, buying "followers" by the thousands off some shady site isn't a method I recommend. You are looking to connect with real people about something they really care about, and it's not going to happen overnight. Conversations with potential supporters will be less about your project and more about what you're about. You'll be fighting an uphill battle if your opening is, "We have a project coming up in a few months, follow us and support!" compared to "A fan of X? So are we! Our favorite thing about it is Y." (note: That's a very quick and direct example, but that's the basics of it)

To begin you should make accounts for yourself, your company, or your project on social media. Then, seek out relevant media online related to what you're doing and share that. Find other accounts of people interested in similar topics and connect with them through polls, questions, discussion, contests, and sharing based on those. Eventually ease in, lightly at first, the fact that you are planning launch a crowdfunding project down the road. It does not even have to be the main focus when you first mention it. Too many project creators want to try to "surprise" people with a project, when really they should be building up the anticipation all the way to launch!

So tell someone that you are thinking of starting a project! Ask your current followers what they would want to see! Set a Facebook event for an online party people can attend the day you launch! Start talking now and build up the hype for your supporters!


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