It’s a universal truth that doing stuff is dumb, especially when that stuff conflicts with nap time.
Unfortunately, Super Crowdfunding requires a whole mountain of work, which as we just established, is dumb.
How do we get our backers to not only fund our campaign, but also do the marketing for us as well?
In a magical fantasy best-case world, you’d only have to find one backer, who would then tell two people, who tell two people, and so on for infinity until you’ve absorbed the entire world’s money supply. Unfortunately, this hasn’t happened to any project yet, but some projects do still grow much faster than expected. People will call this “going viral”, but you know my thoughts on that word, so I prefer thinking in terms of Backer Velocity.
Your campaign's Backer Velocity is how likely a new backer is to attract another backer.
Do most of your backers click “pledge” and do nothing, or do they start spinning a sign on a street corner, telling people to back your project?
The most successful campaigns our there are able to convince backers to do a massive amount of marketing for them by focusing on improving their Backer Velocity.
How do we boost our Backer Velocity?
Two things influence your Backer Velocity:
- The emotional Impact your campaign has on them, and
Since we previously talked about effective emotional impact for your campaign, let’s talk about friction.
How difficult do you make it for your backers to market for you? Can a backer promote your campaign in a single click, or would it take actual effort (gross) for them to spread the message of your campaign? Remember, doing stuff is dumb.
The more obstacles, time, clicks, and backflips backers have to go through to share your campaign, the less likely they are to help you.
Think about how much you care about changing the channel when the remote is resting on your belly versus when it’s in another room and you have to get new batteries. In the former case, sure I’ll change the channel for no reason, but in the latter case, I’ll watch pretty much near anything because laziness prevails.
Noticing a theme to effective marketing? Laziness is king.
How do I reduce friction on my campaign?
Here’s a few ideas to get you started on reducing the friction that’s holding your backer velocity down.
Click-to-share social media buttons
They may take a while to code / put together, but having buttons on your campaign that automatically generate a ‘share this campaign” post for backers means there’s almost no effort required to get your campaign in front of their friends.
Some of your backers will be press or influencers. Journalism is hard as hell, and with how crunched for time journalists are, they don’t always have the time to put together a thoughtful, in-depth review of your campaign.
The best thing you can do to make it easier on them to promote your campaign is having a link to a ready-made press kit, with images, info, specifications, and story ideas to write about your campaign. An effective press kit means it’s eaaaaaaaaasy to write and promote your campaign. And easy means more people will be willing to do something. Awwww yeah.
Get 100% of your goal
It’s an unfortunate truth, but some people won’t promote your campaign until it’s funded and looks like it’s actually happening. Not too much you can do about this one by itself.
Once you’re funded, however, having stretch goal incentives are a great help to encourage your backers to talk to their network. If more people sign up, everyone gets more / better stuff, so this is a great way to keep backer velocity up. (Just don’t kill yourself with stretch goals)
It’s often overlooked because it’s so simple, but remember to ask your backers to talk about your campaign. Sometimes that’s all they need.
One thing that really helped our Joking Hazard campaign was creating ready-made social media avatars for our backers. Think of it like a press kit for non-press people. If someone’s interested enough in you to throw money at you, make it easy for them to show off the cool thing they found to their friends. This generally works better for art / creative projects, but that’s not to say it won’t work for other campaign categories.
Improve the clarity of your message
If you didn’t take the time to refine your entire campaign’s message into one sentence, I guarantee that your backers won’t be willing to put in more effort. Your message needs to be clear and concise enough that anyone is able to talk intelligently about your project, otherwise no one will. (For a more indepth discussion on building your message, pre-order my book which features advice on messaging from the best creators in the game).
It’s all about being lazy
The easier you make it for backers to promote your campaign (friction), the more likely they are to do it (backer velocity).
Any effort you put into making it easy for passionate people to share your message is effort well spent.
Simple, but not easy.