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Don’t forget the crowd in crowdfunding

We keep on reading articles that don’t seem to get the importance of your crowd in crowdfunding – so we thought we’d give you the top 5 reasons we think your crowd is the most important part of your campaign. Maybe even more important than you….

1. Your first follower is what turns a lone nut into a leader

That first person that pledges might be your mother, but they’ll also be the person that everyone emulates. They’re the first person to show that they believed in you. We think Derek Siver’s put it best, when he said that the first follower is an underestimated form of leadership in itself.

2. They’ll give more than money

If your crowd believes in what you’re doing enough to pledge – they might have even more to give. They’ll give advice, share your project, maybe even help you out with the skills that they have, or provide you with rewards to offer with your campaign. Some people seem to think that this money isn’t as smart as traditional investors – we’d like to counter that and say it might not just be smarter and more diverse, but also immensley more practical.

3. They’ll ask the right questions

Some research has recently been completed in Germany to show that consumer investors ask good questions because they actually use your product. So while they might not all be financial experts, they’ll know if your product sounds like something they’d use. And some accountants might be in that mix asking questions about your financials as well. You never know who will come out of the woodwork in your crowd.

“As is true with markets, transparency produces fairness.” Michael Bloomberg wrote in his 1997 book “Bloomberg by Bloomberg.”

4. They’ll love you – and if you’re sticky enough – that’ll spread (not like an STD)

This is a chance for you to rally your crowd around you. It’s your chance for Great Uncle Jim, Aunty Margaret and your best friend from high school to all give you some help, and get something in return. It’s also the chance for your engaged customers who tell all their friends about what you make to get involved. They’ll be along for the ride, and maybe even bring some of their crowd along too. The social cohesion around crowdfunding is often under-estimated, but it’s the secret sauce that makes this different from pure financial plays or simply buying a CD.

5. They’ll keep you real

There’s nothing like your bestie or your mum to keep you real. They’ll push you to greater things, but also question your plans and expectations with real honesty. And that transparency and honesty will keep people engaged even when things aren’t going well. But what you need to remember is that communication is key – just keep people updated folks.

The importance of your crowd resonates across all types of crowdfunding. Without a crowd, you won’t get your funding. And that crowd always starts really close to home.

anna
About

Co-founder of PledgeMe (aka Chief Bubble Blower). Loves how crowdfunding can change the world, and thinks that creative projects will make us all better people :) right? Lives in Wellington, drinks too much coffee, and wrote a masters thesis on crowdfunding. Give me an email - anna at pledgeme.co.nz. I'd love to talk to you about PledgeMe!

1 Comments

  1. Helen T Filisi

    Hi Anna,
    thanks for this article, I found it informative and very encouraging. I’ve had a dream of publishing books for teens/adults over a number of years since (that’s a another long, long story) but my career took a different turn into teaching and not into Creative arts.

    A couple of years ago, I came upon this website and occasionally followed it but today, after reading your article, I’ve decided to ‘put it out there’ for the very reasons that you wrote about. I have already begun finalising my book(s) for self publishing but in not having ready cash for a printer – (ie. paying off mortgage, family needs come first and not enough pocket money left over) your website gives me hope that maybe there is another way of funding this project (if I can get it ‘sticky’ enough that people will be interested in helping to fund it.

    Thank you for sharing these ideas. And even if it doesn’t get funded, at least I put it out there.

    Thanks
    Helen

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