“Don’t be afraid to throw your PledgeMe page out there…at anyone. You have nothing to lose by telling people about it and you’d be surprised at the amount and variety of people that are interested and will contribute.” says Ryan from Motions and Memories.
This blog articles sounds sort of obvious, but… getting your project out there is really half the battle. You need to let your family, friends, and fans know what you’re up to so they can help. And, you need to make your comms as engaging, personal, and quirky as possible! It’s not you asking for money, it’s you giving them a chance to participate in your rocking project (be it by pledging, sharing, or just generally cheerleading you on).
We’ve compiled a bit of a promo plan outline, so you can think of all the channels to get the word out there.
- Individual emails – Go to close family/friends. Focus on 20-30 close friends to ask for support, and to share the project on.
- Group email – Contact your entire gmail contact list (ever). Richard from Loomio told us “ I sent a spam out to everyone in my entire email history (“Dear friend/former employer/person who bought something off me on TradeMe…”) and got a few hundred dollars that way” This is just to let people know what you’re up to, to send through any updates (new rewards!) and just generally tell them why you rock.
- Facebook – Go out individually and in your status updates to ask for support (pledging and sharing). Try to focus on specific people/audiences, and make it fun.
- Twitter – 140 character updates / tweets on what you’re up to. Thank your pledgers, tweet some famous people, and try to be as engaging as possible.
- Blog – This should be personal and interesting, keeping people updated on the process.
- Media – Try for media coverage catering to specific audiences, eg. NZ Musicians Magazine for a musical project, local newspapers where the team are based, etc.
“The best advice I read was that people are only going to give money if they think they’re getting something in return. Whether it’s giving your audience the option to preorder your product, or creating generous/thoughtful/kooky rewards for them, or simply giving your audience a sense of worth -that they’re integral to how successful your project becomes. Everything should be focused on what your audience wants. Plus most of your audience will be friends/family/people with a similar vibe to you, so they’ll want to see YOU in your element… a great video pitch is crucial for this”. says St. Rupertsberg
“Be clear about what the project is and what the money will be used for. I found sending out personal emails was the best way to get the word out.” says Julie from Broke But Sexy.
“Use as many avenues as you can to raise awareness about your project – through friends, family, colleagues, social media, radio. It also takes time to build up awareness so factor that into your project time on Pledge Me.” says Rebecca from Pink Ribbon Calendar Girls.
“Use your networks. I email, blog, facebook and Tweet. This is a platform for social media- the pledges I got were all from people who read about it on Facebook. If you set up a project and then hope someone will see it without putting the word out there via social media you’d have less chance of people getting with it I think” says Fifi from the Burlesque Art Exhibition.
It probably doesn’t come naturally to a lot of people to stick their hand out and ask for support, but I found it an interesting experience – viewing the project from the point of view of potential supporters is useful, and the sense of moral support / encouragement that I got from people being prepared to stump-up any amount of money (large or small) was priceless. The usefulness of the money was one thing (and this enabled me to see the project through without massive stress), but I found the fact of people being willing to get behind what I was doing provided me with motivational fuel.” says Andrew from Safe Little World.