Every other week, On Small Business reaches out to a panel of young entrepreneurs for answers to some of the most pressing social media questions facing small business owners. The following responses are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of young entrepreneurs.
Q: How do you spread the word about Kickstarter campaigns and other fundraising promotions?
Derek Shanahan, co-founder of Foodtree in Vancouver, B.C.:
Spreading the word about Kickstarter campaigns (or those like it) is a matter of doing the legwork beforehand. Reach out to parties you think may be interested in your campaign before it launches, and see if they’ll support the launch. Give them all the details and copy that they’ll need, so they can quickly and easily show their support.
Additionally, getting the word out is also about being present when the campaign launches. During the campaign itself, get loud through your social channels. Keep up the backchannel outreach, looking for influential connectors who can introduce your message to wider audiences in an authentic way.
Brenton Gieser, co-founder of JoynIn in San Francisco:
Kickstarter and other crowdfunding social platforms have stimulated a massive boom in helping creative projects and products get off the ground. Creativity and ingenuity only start when the concept is developed and comes to life during the campaign promotion itself.
With any promotion you must start by planting seeds and allowing the roots to take hold. It all starts with your personal contacts and social networks. This could be your friends and family, your social network or even your blog’s mailing list that are eager to own a piece of your vision. Get their opt-in by making them emotional stakeholders.
One very important aspect of gaining traction and awareness outside your own circles is creating constant creative updates. One extreme example of this is the “I Am” Kickstarter campaign that attracted tens of thousands of dollars in the final days — the founder of “I Am” refused to get off the treadmill until the campaign was fully funded! Find creative ways to use massive amounts of leverage to get your campaign out there. Target bloggers and influencers that you believe will be interested in your creation. One tweet can set the entire Internet ablaze.
Kevin Tighe II, co-founder and CEO of INFLITE in Los Angeles:
Creating a successful crowdfunding campaign begins with the presentation on your funding page. Your goal should be to turn every visitor into a brand advocate that will take the time to share the campaign. To do this, you must appeal to the backers’ senses and demonstrate your passion for the project. Most backers want to help you accomplish your dreams and care less about the items offered as the donation gifts. A great video and project synopsis are key.
The most successful Kickstarter campaigns have been the ones with the largest social reach. Utilize your networks and those closest to you to kick off your funding. Share your campaign on all of your social media profiles and ask your friends to share the campaign as well. On Facebook, create an Event page in which you will invite your Friends and update them on the funding process. On Twitter, run a Retweet campaign which offers prizes for those who share your campaign, and garner some publicity through blogger outreach. Identify a list of blogs that may be interested in your project and send them a polite e-mail explaining your campaign and asking for support.