Social media has been awash with calls for crowdfunding donations to a local start-up’s quest to raise an Australian record-setting $250,000 to commercialise the vtalk business phone, billed as a desk phone with smartphone capabilities.
Founder Jeremy Bogan and start-up mentor and investor Alan Jones are several sleepless days into the campaign. Jones spoke to StartupSmart about his top tips for getting a crowdfunding campaign discussed and shared online.
Momentum is the most powerful asset in a crowdfunding campaign
Jones says activating the vtalk team’s combined network of friends, family and start-up leaders was key to the strategy, and they’ve been focused on creating a sense of momentum to sweep everyone they can into backing the campaign.
“Marketing a crowdfunding campaign is similar to marketing an iOS app in iTunes Store: it’s all about momentum. The people who fund crowfunding campaigns (“backers”) are highly influenced by momentum. If they see a campaign getting lots of backers in the first few days of its campaign, they’re much more likely to back it themselves,” Jones says.
Jones adds momentum isn’t easy to build and takes dedication and considerable grunt work.
“Momentum is all about rapid response, so you need to try and set aside all your other responsibilities for at least the first week of your campaign. Take a sabbatical from work, ask your partner to increase their share of the homework and child-minding for the near future, promise them you’ll repay them a thousandfold from the massive global success of your new venture!”
Leverage the platform’s network: Connect to the teams behind crowdfunding platforms
The vtalk team reached out to their networks via email, LinkedIn and Twitter. Jones adds they also sought out connections to the teams working at crowdfunding platforms
“It’s a bit like a music producer being constantly pitched to by wannabe recording artists. They develop a pretty thick skin and some effective avoidance strategies,” Jones says.
“You just need a day or two of homepage love on the crowdfunding platform of your choice to get that early momentum. You’ll also need to maintain the momentum, but nothing happens without a big kick-off.”
Jones says once you’re showing signs of momentum, the crowfunding platform will be more than happy to feature you on their homepage, blog and tweet about you, so gunning for that early momentum is key.
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