How to create a community before launching your crowdfunding campaign
Crowdfunding is a popular way for entrepreneurs and creators to bring their ideas to life! Although it’s a great way to raise funds without acquiring debt, it’s not guaranteed that it will be a success. According to data prepared by The Crowdfunding Centre, 22.4% of campaigns will hit their goals.
You’re probably thinking ‘how can I raise my chances of reaching my goal and be part of the 22.4%?’
We launched our crowdfunding platform in November 2022 and have had both successful and non-successful campaigns. One key trend that we’ve noticed between the two is what kind of community they have in place before launching their campaign and what they’re trying to do to build it during the campaign.
When it comes to crowdfunding, where there are no supporters, there is no success. Which is why we think building a strong community who believe in your business BEFORE launching a campaign, will help you be a part of that 22.4%!
And it’s not just our opinion, there are many great examples of how a community can boost your crowdfund. For example, The Veronica Mars movie, based on the cult-favorite TV show, raised over $5.7 million on Kickstarter from 91,585 backers in 2013. The campaign tapped into the show’s dedicated fanbase and provided exclusive rewards, such as a chance to attend the premiere and meet the cast.
Another example is from The Exploding Kittens card game, which raised over $8 million on Kickstarter in 2015, thanks to a community of fans of the webcomic The Oatmeal, which created the game. The campaign offered exclusive rewards and stretch goals that were designed to engage and excite the community, and The Oatmeal provided regular updates and behind-the-scenes content.
Here are some ways in which you can build a community before your crowdfund and hold on to them beyond launch…
Define your audience
The first step in building a community is to define your audience. If you’re at the stage of being ready to launch a crowdfunding campaign, you’ve probably already identified your key audience as part of your business plan/strategy. It’s important to identify who your business is aimed at so that you can really tune into this audience and tailor your approach around them.
Engage on social media
Social media is a powerful tool for building a community. Start by identifying which social media platforms your audience is most active on, and create a presence there. Share updates about your project, engage with your followers and build relationships with influencers in your niche. The more you interact with others, the more likely they will notice you and engage with you in return.
You can also tap into online communities on these social platforms where there will be a gathering of like-minded people, all who might be interested in your business. Look for forums, groups etc that are relevant to you and get involved in their discussions. Be sure to offer value and avoid spamming or self-promotion (unless someone has asked for recommendations that you could fulfil).
Top tip — People are often more interested in the person behind a business than the business itself, so keep this in mind when interacting.
Create valuable content
Creating valuable content is a great way to attract and engage potential supporters. This could be blog posts, videos, podcasts, or any other type of content that is relevant to your audience. By providing value, you can establish yourself as an expert in your niche and build trust with your community. Plus, if you’re giving them good quality content, they are more likely to stick around.
Hosting events is a great way to connect with your audience in person or online and build relationships. This could be anything from a meetup to a webinar or even a Twitter Space. By providing value and a space for your community to connect, you can strengthen relationships and build momentum for your crowdfunding campaign.
Top tip — If you’re hosting an online event, ask to collect users’ email addresses and you can then start building your contact list.
Provide exclusive perks and rewards for early adopters
Before launching your crowdfunding campaign, offer exclusive perks and rewards to the people already following you/supporting you. By offering early access, limited edition items, or other unique benefits, you can incentivize your community to support your campaign when it’s launched and help spread the word. Loyal supporters are so important to every single business so make sure to reward them!
Top tip — think about how this is already carried out e.g. an online store might set up a refer-a-friend discount code, or a coffee shop might give out stamp cards to get a free coffee.
Building a community before launching a crowdfunding campaign can also provide valuable feedback and insights. By engaging with your audience and listening to their feedback, you can refine your project and messaging to better resonate with your target audience.
In conclusion, building a community before launching a crowdfunding campaign is crucial for success. By following this guide, you can establish a strong foundation of support that will help you achieve your crowdfunding goals. Not only this, you will gain some insights into your audience, and from them, which can help you develop your business into something they will want to continue supporting in the long run.
If you’ve read this guide and would like some further assistance with setting up a crowdfunding campaign, you can set up a 1–1 meeting with our Founder, who will talk you through what you need to know in order to launch on JumpStart.