In crowdfunding, momentum is key, and it often depends on those very first “votes of confidence.” Most successful campaigns start strong; If you start with a sputter and a shrug, chances are you will fail. Take a look at the 30 day graph of the Kickstarter campaign for “DropCatch,” which raised $48,000:
Without that first, powerful push, the outcome would have been much different. An interesting study published in the journal Science describes how we are unconsciously influenced by the early reactions of our peers in social media platforms:
Researchers’ data show that a reddit user is more likely to “upvote” another user’s comment if that comment already has an upvote, suggesting a subconscious “sheep” mentality.
Well, no one likes to be called a sheep, but lets put aside our wooly indignation for a moment and examine how this applies to crowdfunding projects. To me, this research reinforces the importance of the launch. You hit the “publish” button, the campaign goes live. What do your visitors see? A big fat “$0.00 raised,” until some brave, individualist, renegade sheep decides to donate. $0.00 means that you are an unknown quantity. No one has yet given you a stamp of approval. And this makes our sheep-brain nervous, this new study suggests.
Some food for thought: How will you orchestrate your launch to ensure that cash will start flowing right away? You need to do a lot of legwork. Identify likely donors (close friends, family), and let them know about your launch in advance. Ideally, you should have your “for-sures” in the bank within the first few hours. Why? To convince the “maybes” and the latecomers that your campaign has promise.
And what about media buzz? Do you think a blog is going to write-up your Great Project Idea with an empty $$ ticker? Remember, when someone promotes you, they are putting their own credibility on the line. If you stay at or near $0, it makes them look bad. Create the sense of success by banking early.
What do you think? What are some strategies for promoting your campaign before it’s officially launched? Share your thoughts down below and we’ll open up a discussion!
Kc Daugirdas is a composer for media in Los Angeles, CA. Find out more at www.daugirdasmusic.com.