People often talk about a campaign’s “soft launch” and “hard launch” as the two most important steps to master in Crowdfunding. Though these are two sensationally important processes, they only focus on the beginning. Crowdfunders commonly overlook the importance of a strong finish, and, as a result, fall short in their long-term goals. So, as your campaign gets ready to wrap up, know that there’s still time to reach your Crowdfunding goals before it’s all over.
Let’s take a step back for a moment and consider what a “soft launch” is. During this phase, you (and your team) should recruit supporters, which may include past colleagues, associates, clients, employers, volunteers, and friends and family. Assembling these key people is an essential first step to networking. Call it your “inner circle”.
Now, a “hard launch”, however, refers to what we spoke of in our last article. All tactics for raising awareness should be employed during this phase. Traffic on your website and social media pages should be booming right-off-the-bat for donations to come in during this time. But what if your first few strong weeks mellow out before reaching your goal? This question is what we are going to focus-in on today.
Wrangle Up Some Support
Planning ahead is a huge part of success. In terms of strategy, however, this may vary between projects. During the soft launch, try and categorize your supporters:
- Likely to Donate
- Unlikely to Donate
- Will Absolutely Donate
- Small Donors
- Big Donors
- Repeat Donors
In your hard launch, you want to see 80% of the people on this list come through for you, meaning those likely to donate, those who will donate, and all of your other small and repeat donors need to step up to the plate as an example for unknown supporters to follow. All the while, try and tab who in your network has been inactive. Furthermore, reserve some of your biggest donors for the end (we’ll explain why in a few moments)!
Save At Least One Ace Up Your Sleeve
In the final few weeks, really engage your inactive supporters. If you can, reach out to them directly by phone, email, or online connection. To truly encourage your inactive followers, let your big fundraisers come out to play. The size of these donations needs to be substantially higher than the average contribution for this effect to work to its fullest. It’s a matter of publicity — these large donations persuade others to get involved, ultimately helping you reach your crowdfunding goals in the end. Anything additional to revamp your presence online and in the media will only multiply the effects of your final efforts.
Within the last few days, reflect upon your campaign and draft a few thank you press releases for your loyal supporters. Try and customize this the best you can – send some emails privately to those that helped out the most. Not only is this a good way to show your appreciation, but it’s also a smart way of maintaining a connection with these people. If you have anyone in your network in the print or online publishing industry, the last week is an excellent time to roll-out the articles.
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