Build An Epic Community of Supporters in 4 Effective Ways
Posted on 15 June, 2015 by Team Wishberry
At the risk of stating the obvious, the real magic of crowdfunding is experienced when you have all the right crowd either backing you or endlessly talking about you. When it comes to the creative sector, the one thing that makes a crowdfunding campaign work is the sense of community. And if you haven’t already fixed this into place, worry not. Here’s how you can get started.
Step 1: Identify your audienceWelcome to Marketing: 101. If you already have a strong fan-base, great! That’s half your job done. If you don’t, well it’s not too late. Either way, it never hurts to expand your fan-base; you can’t keep talking to the same people you did 2 years ago. Thanks to the internet, it has become ridiculously easy to find who your potential fans are- all you need is nifty search skills or someone who has said skills. How to start?
Grab a pen and paper, or just sit back and think- who would be interested in the kind of work you do.
Identify their marked traits, habits, behavior, likes and dislikes in general, the kinds of thing they’d share on social media or hop onto the internet for. A simple trick is to search within your own niche. Look up works that are similar to yours. Find the people who are loyal to this line of work. You may narrow it down based on geographical proximity as well. Also look at similar projects that have been crowdfunded successfully. The ones who have backed this project or are following it, are the ones you should be looking at.
Step 2: Set a target number of audience you want to reachThis will set the tone and pace for how you go about building and expanding your community. Set a specific number for each week and work towards achieving that. Otherwise you’ll find yourself wandering aimlessly through the interwebs like a drunken headless chicken. You’ll either end up adding/following/reaching out to too many people or too little or just the wrong lot. Remember this is more than just a massive number of page likes or Twitter followers. You need a buzzing, conversing community- so you need to get real in life and set a goal that achieves online validation as well as is genuinely interested in what you do or your genre.
Step 3: Find out where this lot hangs out onlineOnce you’ve figured how many people you need to create the right buzz or get noticed or gather enough traction for your campaign promotion, find out where they are online and where you need them to be. You should actually document this- either on an excel sheet or a physical DIY chart, whatever you’re into. Go platform by platform: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, YouTube and/or Blogs. Using tools like Analytics you can find which platform has the most traffic, and plan your presence accordingly.
Step 4: Talk to themNow here’s the most important, trickiest and fate-deciding part. This is the step that’s going to do it all for you or plunge your efforts so far into oblivion. Okay, relax, it’s not so difficult really. Figure what communication works best on what platform. If your community is thriving on Facebook, then share a lot of blogs, albums, videos to spark a conversation. If Twitter is where it’s at, then focus mainly on conversations. Say, you find someone who’s an exact fit of how you’d define your fan.
How do you get their attention? Time to be what social media has secretly turned us all into - STALKERS.
Find out what they’ve been talking about recently; is it relevant to what you’ve been doing? If yes, then add your two cents to the conversation (go beyond generic replies like “cool”, “great stuff” and so on), if they’re looking for advise or help, dive right in- whether it’s finding a blog for them or connecting them with a contact who may be able to solve their problem. This way they’ll remember you and actually take interest in who you are and what you do. If they’re a blogger and you are one too, you may post an insightful comment (but, don’t get into an argument). When you talk to potential follower, treat them as human, show an actual interest in the conversation you’ve started. The key is to be: genuine as a person, true to your craft and very passionate about what you’re doing. Once they’ve noticed, your work will pretty much speak for itself.