Authors: Mark Stone & Julie Brava
Professional Crowdfunding Coach's, Former CEO & Owner/Operator Of IAmCrowdFunding.com
Background: We are the former CEO, owner/operators of one of the top 10 online crowdfunding platforms, IAmCrowdFunding.com. We have over 5 years experience helping people gain the funding results they need. Time and time again we see individuals, families, non profits, and start up's in need start their crowdfunding campaign only to make the same mistakes over and over again. I am going to share with you all the tips and secrets on how to get your campaign funded and how to do it quickly. Our only goal is to see you succeed and get the funding that you desire.
Follow each one of these steps and you to will drastically improve your crowdfunding efforts and gain incredible results. Lets get you started on the path to running a successful crowdfunding campaign.
Here I will discuss how to properly build your campaign page from top to bottom. Believe it or not there is a formula for crowdfunding and it works! So let's get started...
STEP 1: Your Campaign Title
Your campaign pages title needs to be bold and straight to the point. Avoid vague or non descriptive elements that are not related to the campaign page. If you were raising money for your cancer treatment you would post a title like this: "Help Me Beat Cancer! I Want To Live!". In 2 bold statements the potential donor knows exactly what you are raising money for and will be compelled to continue reading. In the example title shown above, the potential donor see's an urgency in your needs and has already started contemplating donating to your cause. Now you need to convince and encourage the potential donor to donate to your cause which we will get into in the next steps. Continue reading below...
STEP 2: Your Main Photo
Your main or top photo is very important, this is the first thing a potential donor will see. Your main photo needs to be captivating, high quality, and relevant to the crowdfunding campaign.
STEP 3: Your first Paragraph (1 of 3)
Your first paragraph is used to introduce yourself, tell people who you are, where you are from, and how you came to need funding. It is extremely important to be honest, transparent, and sincere. Your goal is to have the potential donor(s) create a connection with you and your situation.
STEP 4: Your Second Paragraph (2 of 3)
In your second paragraph this is where you will describe exactly why you need the funds, how it will benefit you, and how it can change your life or the life of others around you. Itemize exactly what the money will be used for. For example, if you were raising money for cancer treatment you may need it for any of the following things:
1. Medical bills - $6.000
2. Medicine - $4,500
3. Caregivers - $1,300 Weekly
4. Housing - $1,200 Monthly
5. Food - $400 Monthly
Whatever the reasons may be you must itemize and explain why you need the funding. Potential donor's want to know exactly how their money will be used to better your life.
STEP 5: Your Third and Final Paragraph (3 of 3)
In this final paragraph you want to be bold and impactful, make your last message to the potential donor(s) a strong and loud one. Here you need to place what is called a "Call To Action" which strongly encourages the potential donor to donate to your cause. For example you could say something similar to this: "Please help me now! I am a single mother and I do not want my daughter to be without me! I NEED your help to battle cancer! Please donate today!"
STEP 6: Final Photographs
In this final step of constructing your campaign page feel free to post 2-3 more high quality photographs. Here you can post more photos of yourself, your family, or your surroundings at your time of need (hospital room). Keep in mind to not post more than 3 photos, the bottom of the page is where your friends, family, and past donors have posted encouraging and uplifting comments that you want your future potential donors to read as well.
STEP 7: Campaign Updates
GoFundMe.com and many other crowdfunding platforms allow you to post updates on your campaign. Again, here you want to be honest, transparent, and sincere. Update your followers and potential donors on your wellbeing and status of your situation. Also place another "Call To Action" within your update. At all times you want to be directing potential donors in the direction of donating to your cause. Very Important: Avoid a "Wall of Text" or a huge write up. Try to limit your updates to 1 paragraph but load it with valuable and relevant information.
Try to post updates only once a week, avoid posting daily as this will exacerbate your current followers.
Your fundraising campaign will not succeed without this step. Social media marketing is absolutely crucial to your success. Now that you have constructed the PERFECT fundraising campaign page you need to have people see it. GoFundMe.com and many other crowdfunding platforms will not promote your campaign page for you on their social media outlets like Facebook & Twitter. They will only promote your crowdfunding campaign if yours has become successful and is then self serving for them to promote it, "Look at this successful campaign!". So what we need to do next is make your campaign successful and get the attention of GoFundMe and other crowdfunding platforms. I will lay it out to you in a way that will make it very easy for you to get the exposure you need. Let me explain to you first what it is that you are looking for...
Traffic: What is "Traffic"? Traffic is the volume of people visiting your campaign page. Just like a website, you can spend a million dollars creating and designing the most beautiful website on earth, but if you do not have "Traffic" or a steady stream of people visiting your website then you really have nothing except a million dollar website.
Twitter: Twitter is the most effective and underutilized form of gaining exposure to your fundraising campaign. Here I will layout the steps to succeed and master your fundraising campaign on Twitter.
Now, if you do not have very many followers on Twitter do not be discouraged, there is solutions which I will get into a little later. For now let's fine tune your twitter profile. What you want to do now is "Edit Profile" (right hand side underneath your large cover photo). Next you want to update your cover photo, your profile photo, and your bio. Update your cover photo & profile photo to show 2 different photos of you. Keep in mind that your main goal is to have potential donor's create a connection with you as a person. Be sure to have your photos be a proper representation of yourself.
In your "Bio" section directly under your profile photo be sure to include what it is that you are raising money for and provide a link to your fundraising campaign. Keep it short and simple, post the title of your campaign and the link. If you have room then add a quick "Call To Action" similar to what I discussed earlier. See photo below..
Now that you have your Twitter page all dialed in lets post your first post. Twitter has a 140 character limit, this means you can only post 140 letters/characters in each post you do so you need to optimize your tweets perfectly. Follow this formula to post a perfect Tweet:
1. Description: A short but powerful description that explains exactly what you need.
2. Link/Url: The link to your fundraising page
3. Hashtags: Optional, but must be relevant to your fundraiser ie. #BattleCancer #HelpSingleMother
4. Photo: Relevant and current photo of you.
When you click "Tweet" to construct your fundraising tweet the first thing you do is click "media" (bottom left corner) and upload the image that you will use. Once you have the image within the body of the tweet you will see how many characters you have left to work with. Now post the captivating "description", the link to your campaign, and any hashtags that you may have if there is room. See the image below to fully understand what I mean.
Frequently Asked Question: "What if I do not have very many Twitter followers?"
You may have noticed that once you created your GoFundMe.com campaign that you received many offers from several companies offering to promote your fundraising campaign. But how do you sift through and find which one is right for you? I have tested and experimented with many (so many) of the advertising companies out there and found that MonsterFunder.com is the ONLY quality service that will get you the results you need. MonsterFunder has incredible customer service, speedy delivery, easily affordable packages, and boasts an impressive following of over 1650,000+ followers who all have an interest in crowd funding. Every experience I have ever had with MonsterFunder has been an absolute delight. I strongly suggest seeking their service, especially if your campaign has stalled or has not gained any donations. Visit them today to see for yourself.
Facebook: Facebook is a fantastic way to spread your story to your friends and family. Follow these steps to maximize your campaigns exposure.
Step 1: On your campaign page you are provided with a "Share" to facebook link. Click the share button to post your crowd funding campaign for all of your friends to see.
Step 2: Once you have posted and shared your crowd funding campaign to your Facebook wall you can do one or all of the following steps:
1. Encourage and gently ask your Facebook friends to also share your crowd funding campaign on their wall.
2. Post your crowd funding campaign direct to your friends wall.
3. Private message your Facebook friends and personally ask that they share your crowd funding campaign.
4. Post your crowd funding campaign link on celebrity pages, political pages, support groups, and other relevant pages.
Step 3: Tag your Facebook friends , this is also a great way to include your friends and family in your campaign and broaden your reach for your crowd funding campaign.
Step 4: When a friend or family member shares or includes them self in your crowd funding campaign be sure to show your appreciation and "like" their interest.
Step 5: Update! Update! Update! Keep your crowd funding campaign alive by updating your Facebook wall with positive reminders and updates about how the campaign is going.
Step 6: "Create A Page" and invite your friends and family to join. Update the page regularly and showcase the campaigns progress. Encourage your friends and family to share your story or cause.
Telling your story is the most important part of a crowdfunding campaign & finding people to tell it is the second-most important.
Crowdfunding is a team . effort. Whether you already have a dedicated staff of
fundraisers ready to roll or you’re planning to run a solo project, there’s one
thing you need to realize: You cannot do this alone. Success in crowdfunding
requires a crowd. And the best way to start building this crowd is
by gathering your team.
Start by creating a list of your teammates. This list will include two groups of
people: your “Collaborators” and your “Influencers.”
Collaborators: Part of your core team. These are the folks that are running the show behind the curtain. They have a vested interest in your organization or your success.
Influencers: Key players that exist outside of your circle. These are the people that are engaged with your cause online. They’re already following, liking & sharing your content on a regular basis via social media. They can drive action and awareness to your campaign.
3. BUILD YOUR LISTS
Get every member of your team (Collaborators + Influencers) to send emails to their list before you launch. There are basically 2 different approaches for creating potential donor/contributor lists, and the method you should use depends on whether you’re part of a large organization or a solo crowdfunder.
Large organizations usually have a well developed constituency of employees that are exclusively dedicated to fundraising, and huge email lists to connect those two groups. The key for these Large Organizations is volunteers: this is where you need to begin. Identify the top Influencers (i.e. volunteers), rank them in order of importance, and divide them amongst the Collaborators on your team (25-50 each).
SMALL TEAMS OR SOLO INDIVIDUALS
Individuals may not have the luxuries of having an established audience, or existing email lists. Solo individuals usually have to build their email lists from scratch. Look into your circle of friends and family and handpick 10-25 people in your network that love what you do and know what you’re all about, and trust you. These should be people that you feel comfortable reaching out to personally. Between you and your team, you should be able to compile hundreds, if not thousands of emails.
4. PRIORITIZE YOUR DAY WHEN YOU LAUNCH
The key to crowdfunding in 24 hours is Pre-Seeding & setting up as many channels as possible BEFORE the campaign goes live. One of the most important elements of the Pre-Seeding strategy is email. Beyond email, the three primary goals of this Pre-Seeding phase are:
Coordinating your team
Draft as much copy as possible
Set up reminders/schedules ahead of time. Send Emails!
COORDINATING YOUR TEAM
Sitting down together to make sure you’re all on the same page is important. Create a timeline of action items leading up to the launch and an agenda for the actual campaign launch day. Making sure everybody knows what to do and when to do it is critical if you want to successfully execute an entire crowdfunding campaign in 24 hours.
Draft as much copy ahead of time so you can focus on personal one-on-one communication throughout the day. Email is going to be the most important thing to focus on when it comes to drafting copies. Have articulate responses set up ahead of time that you can instantly reply with, this will save you hours of time by not replying with long written emails that will eat up your day.
SEND YOUR EMAILS & PRE-SEED
Crucial! It is important to have your first followers primed and ready to contribute right when you launch to have a successful crowdfunding campaign. These are people you have spoken to before the launch and who have agreed to make a small contribution to your campaign. Pre-Seeding the launch to have people ready and waiting provides everyone else social proof of your credibility, and other funders will follow their lead. Nobody wants to be the first to contribute; you want to show other potential donors that it is ok to donate.
Send Email #1 one week before you launch your campaign, drum up awareness
Send Email #2 three days before you launch your campaign and ask potential donors to prepare to donate and share the campaign
Send Email #3 the day before the launch date, one last and quick reminder (optional)
Send Email #4 on the actual launch date and get the party started by hyping it and strongly encouraging people to donate and share your campaign page.
Be vigilant and answer all emails, social media mentions, and social media private messages. Do not leave any stone unturned. Today is your day to hustle and hustle hard. You can do this!
Shown below is just a few of the many hundreds of people who I have helped and who have followed my techniques. Each have gained crowdfunding success by following every step of my formula and techniques. Click on any of the images below to be taken to their page and see for yourself how well they are doing. If you would like to hire me as your personal crowdfunding coach please read below and contact me, I respond to all emails ASAP.
Listed below are the ONLY sites and services you need to make your fundraising campaign a success. Please review each one and begin utilizing them. Each service, resource, and site are excellent ways to get the funding you need and get it very quickly.
The MOST effective tool for users to crowdfund and gain much needed donations is to use Twitter. If you are not using Twitter you could be missing out on many donations.
Kickstarter is an American worldwide benefit corporation based in Brooklyn, New York which has built a global crowdfunding platform focused on creativity.
With 1.4 Billion people using Facebook today you need to start utilizing this website and add it to your toolkit to make a successful fundraising campaign happen.