Last week's Monday Marketing Mix focused on the initial steps to fund your next project via "crowdfunding" (the ability to get others to come on board to help finance your project. (If you missed it you can read it here.)
We all understand that projects take money. And it is there that sometimes dreams die. When the price tag to move forward with a dream seems insurmountable it's easy to give up and hang it up. We've all faced the challenge where the money available isn't equal to the budget. So what can you do? What if you could get others to come on board and be part of our dream?
Getting people to give toward your vision might be hard, but it's not impossible. Where there is value or the feeling of personal return or personal fulfillment, the money issue usually takes a back seat. Consider the following examples:
1. Medical- When people face a health crisis, priorities change. If a book, treatment, or medicine can assist them in reclaiming health (their goal), then money is not the same issue.
2. Emotional - When there is a feel good element, a shared hobby or interest, or on another side, a project that touches an area of pain and offers healing, then you have a shared point of attention.
3. Financial - If you can help someone meet their financial goals, then parting with some money to help them reach their financial need, giving is less prohibitive.
4. Social Awareness - This is an important area. I believe basic human nature desires to help those less fortunate. In times of crisis, people--even in their own need--are willing to assist those who are in peril and crisis.
What do these four areas have in common? Crisis or an emotional connection. On this note, it is important to stress that it is important to stay in a place of integrity and avoid manipulation when it comes to the opportunity to cast vision to others. Don't play with people's emotions. Don't stretch the truth. But you can share your heart, share your project and dream, and ask for assistance. Just keep it honest.
These are just four examples how to cast vision so that others can determine their interest and whether to give. Remember whatever your project, while some will give because of their faith or belief in you, the majority will give because of the value they perceive or receive for themselves. You have to hit a personal chord.
It's not about what you want to achieve. It's about how your product, film, book, etc can help them achieve what THEIR goals. It's all about your presentation. Rather than being you focused. "I want you to help me...." Be others focused. "Through this project we are able to help..."
Cast the vision of the big picture.
Rewards - The Thank You
The heart felt thank you is almost a forgotten art. The hand-written note, the phone call, the expression of thanks. In a crowdfunding project, the thank you is a critical element and it should be expressed in part based on the amount given toward the project.
For example, individuals who contribute in the following amount you could consider the following:
$1-$99 - A heart-felt thank you and personal note.
$100-$249 - $10 card to Starbucks
$250-$999 - a $25 shopping card to Amazon
$1000 - a free 2 hour consultation for your area of expertise...or someone you know that is of true value.
$5000 - a free ipad
These are just examples, but you get the picture. They are incentive markers which offer back thanks and value to the donor.
Also, reserve one or two rewards for the end to add a final "last minute" boost to the project. Or if you find one of your rewards is not creating momentum, you can switch it out for another that you have held in reserve.
(Note: It's important when creating your project budget that you include any out-of-pocket thank you gifts into the total amount needed for the project, along with the service fees. You don't want to raise exactly enough for the project and reach your project goal only to remember that part of your overall donations must go to other part of the project and find yourself still short of the funds needed.)
Gather Friends Who Will Help
The key to getting starting is finding close friends and family who will help. This is critical. Once you launch a funding program, the first day or two is critical.Often people are in a "wait and see" mode to determine if there are others who are getting behind the project. If they see no movement, they may decide they don't want to give to a project that appears it will not achieve its goal.
That's where friends can help build excitement. Find several close family or friend who are willing to help give toward the project in the first four days.
(Tip: Consider giving a bonus for early contributors.)
Position Your Project for Success.
Before you start, ask key friends and family members if they are willing to assist you. Once you pull the trigger to launch you will need some of these key individuals to begin to show their partnership and help fund within the first four days to help you build momentum.
Ask those closest to you if they will agree to fund whatever amount they desire to give in their first four days. Let me repeat...in the first four days.
Remember, statistics show that projects that do not reach at least 27-33% of their goal amount within the first four days usually will not reach their funding amount.
Remember, you CAN do this. Even though you are asking help for your project, remember it should also be about helping others achieve their goals and bring value to their dreams in order to help you reach your dream.
Make it a win/win.