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Partnership Announcement: A&E + RocketHub = Crowdfunding Goes Big

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If trust is the catalyst that gets the funding ball rolling (see Phase 2), then passion for your project is what builds momentum.

You convey your passion and create emotional connection through how you set up your project (i.e., description, videos, audio, images) and how you communicate throughout your campaign (i.e., emails, blogs, social media, live events).

Here's your step-by-step path to successful RocketHub project promotion:

Step 1 - Commit to the dynamic campaign.
Uploading your project to RocketHub is just the first step. Take full ownership of your crowdfunding campaign. Commit to a plan built on what you learn here at the Success School, but allow for flexibility. Each crowdfunding project is different. Trial and error is a natural part of the process. Embrace it.

Step 2 - Reach out to your first funders.
If you haven't already, handpick 15 to 50 people in your network that love what you do, know what you are all about, and trust you. It is very important to have your first followers primed and ready to contribute right after you launch. This provides the public social proof of your credibility, and other funders will follow their lead.

Step 3 - Thank your first funders publicly and establish a dialogue.
Thank your funders publicly on your project page and via social media. Facebook is great place to say "Thanks for the contribution Ricky - can't wait to deliver your Goods!" This builds credibility for your project to spiral out to a wider network. Keep this up throughout your entire campaign and establish a consistent communication with your supporters.

Step 4 - Spiral out to your social network.
Announce your project on your email list, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and any other social media you use. The message should reflect your character or brand, and should offer value to your network. Don't make it too salesy or make your project feel like a donation, charity, or begging. You are simply offering your network a fun journey and real value. Test your messages and be prepared to adapt your tone.

Step 5 - Let the story unfold.
Update your project page on a daily basis by adding blog posts and comments - RocketHub allows you to change your current video or add new videos. This is a great way to keep your followers aware of how your project is doing. Your campaign is a virtual event that must be nourished. Publicize and celebrate accomplished and upcoming milestones - e.g. quantitative goals (percentage of funding, number of contributors, etc.) and qualitative (blog mentions, press, etc.).

Step 6 - Keep them talking.
Find fun ways to stay relevant and keep your followers coming back by adding new layers to the journey. This could come through new Goods, live events and fundraisers, or other imaginative short-term initiatives. The goal is to keep your network talking and coming back to the project page - remember, "Conversation is King!" Your network will see and reward your hard work.

Step 7 - Meet the press.
Once your project has momentum reach out to press and bloggers.

Step 8 - Bring it home and finish strong.
Messages during the last few days should be updated faster and delivered with more frequency. Build on your success and add a sense of urgency combined with gratitude. Be sure to thank everybody for coming along for the ride.

Those who have viral campaigns are often surprised at the level of emotional resonance they evoke. Viral campaigns are hard to plan. Yet, there are some consistent elements of projects that go viral:

  • Compelling video: Viral videos are tough to manufacture and predict. If you have an emotionally charged video, you have a better shot of the project breaking out of your primary network and into the Tier 3 crowd
  • Tapped Tier 3 network and beyond: Project Leaders who have a viral project are able to access new people by tapping into their networks' networks (i.e., their contacts become promoters and mine their own networks, etc.). Whether you do this by having a great video, leveraging people with social capital, or doing fantastic campaigning, it is a proved way to go viral.
  • Evangelizers: Gaining momentum gets easier when someone who is well connected vouches for your project. We call them people with social capital. This person can be a celebrity or an established connector. If you find him/her, there is nothing like it. Two or more is even better.
  • Complete quality: Viral projects rarely have an aspect of the project that isn't up to par. The project has strong value to the network. The Goods are great. The Project Leaders are giving their all, and have mobilized their network behind them. So, if you want to go viral, be thoughtful about every step and give yourself the best chance possible.
  • TV Viral: Through A&E PROJECT STARTUP, our partner A&E quietly roams RocketHub.com looking to feature entrepreneurial ideas. They look for exceptional stories, passionate leaders, and crowd validation. Some RocketHub project leaders will be supported by A&E PROJECT STARTUP – which means they'll receive funding from A&E and may be featured on TV, online at aetv.com or in A&E's magazine, The Idea Book for Educators.

    Learn more about this opportunity.

There's no way to perfectly plan or prepare for funding viral highs, but, there are lots of ways to prepare for every project's inevitable low. (Yes, even viral projects have dips).

Most crowdfunding campaigns are shaped like a U - spike, dip, spike. Even the best ones.

Why? Human nature.

People start off excited. Then, for some, attention fades. Others take longer to decide. Then, the deadline gets close. And funding spikes again.

Embrace the Dip

Not only can you experience a dip in activity mid-project, but many also experience an emotional dip.

Some project leaders think they have the one project that shouldn't have a dip. Or they get just one email from someone who isn't super excited about their project.

The project leaders continued passion is the key driver to success. So the most important thing you can do is: Keep the faith. Here's what you can do.

How to approach the dip:
  • Think of this time as the period in which many people in your network are deciding whether to fund you (chances are, they will wait until the deadline)
  • Re-energize yourself and your network
  • Remind yourself: It's typical that not everyone in your network will get behind your project
What to do during the dip:
  • Hold a live event
  • Update video and pictures
  • Watch the story unfold
  • Reach out to bloggers and press interested in your niche
  • Add new Goods
  • Create milestones (e.g., ´let´s reach 50% today´)