5 Ways To Gain Trust For Your Crowdfunding Campaign
Posted on July 17 2015 Guest post by David Schneider
When you're launching a crowdfunding campaign you have to remember that you're essentially asking people for money. In order to get people to give you money, you have to build trust. But how can you build trust with people who don't know you?
Certainly, it is difficult, but at the same time there are a few components that seem to always be part of the most successful crowdfunding campaigns. It's as if the people have nailed exactly how to convey their need for funds. On the other hand, campaigns that don't get funded often seem to be lacking these fine details. So what are they?
Here are five trust-building components that should always be a part of your crowdfunding campaign.
Tell A Story Filled With Credibility
It's easy for us to forget that not everyone is as passionate and informed about our ideas as we are. So when you launch a campaign remember to start from the beginning. Start with a story.
If you take a look at Buffer's article explaining how to get greater authority in your niche or industry, you'll see a mention about:
"If people believe you're credible, they're more likely to believe your message"
A perfect example is a recently funded campaign Water For Wildlife.
Sure, the concept seems simple, producing a book about conservationism. But I believe it's the compelling back story that helps this campaign stand out. For example, the author writes:
"Since 2007, I've been documenting how these floods are being used to restore the Macquarie Marshes - one of Australia's most important wetlands."
As well as:
"I spent three years and hundreds of days in the Marshes shooting the images for this book."
From this we get the sense that the author has already invested a considerable amount of time and effort to get them to the stage they are at. The hard work has been done.
He has one hurdle and that is the need for money to publish the book. That project was funded.
Tell How The Funds Will Be Used
People want to know how their money is going to be used. They want to see that you have a plan. Let's face it, a lot of people don't know what to do with money, and very few people budget at all. It's one thing if that's how you are with your own money, but it certainly doesn't build trust to not have a plan with other people's money.
For example, this project breaks down the full allocation of the funds:
Recording & Mixing
Printing + Duplicating CDs
Any extra funds will be used to purchase vinyl!
Therefore, we get a sense of where our money is going to go, and can judge for ourselves if we feel it is reasonable in that the person is not asking for more than they need.
Share Your Expected Timelines
Time is just as valuable as money, if not more so. Yet I rarely see project discussed actual timelines. In fact I had to look through over a dozen until I found one that had a true project timeline. I found it in the GEAK watch, which was one of the most successful campaigns ever raising over $800,000.
Here was their breakdown.
Brainstorm and initial conceptualisation
Product concept plan
Plan of basic functions
GEAK OS software development began
Electronic Design began
Mould verification, color palette
Trial production and testing
Product to ship
First and foremost, this is necessary for those who are pledging to understand when they can actually expect a product. But in general, it is just a sound way for people to see that you are properly budgeting your time and that you have thought months or even years ahead.
Show Some Of Your Other Work
One thing people often overlook is to answer the question, why you? Again, it is not always about proving the worth of the project itself, but about proving that we are the right person to get the job done. In our minds this almost doesn't have to be shown because of course we believe in ourselves. But this is a mistake. Not believing in ourselves of course but assuming that everyone else will as well. And the best way to show that you are the man or woman for the job is to show off some of your other work that hopefully is related to this project.
For example, consider this project which is trying to build a Waterever Smart Cup.
Sure, the idea is cool, why not? But it is also very technically challenging and therefore requires an experienced team, which is why the team ends with the following:
The team members of iPinto come from top Chinese internet and hardware companies. Our core developers have more than 10 years of experience in hardware and software development. We focus on people's health, to helping users understand and take care of themselves."
Which brings me to my major point, don't ever forget the include the basics, things like:
- Who's involved in the project and what work experience they have (with photos)
- Relate their experience back to the campaign itself. People like to fund things that make sense.
Include Media Such As Videos And Images
The more people can visualize the story, the more attached to it they will become, the more trust they will have. I'm particularly drawn to campaigns that have strong visual cues such as images and videos. High production quality of course goes without saying.
I love this campaign for new headphones because they have fantastic visual imagery. They showcase not just the headphones but also people wearing them as well as diagrams which highlight the different aspects of the headphones and why they are unique.
I also always watch the video, and I love when the founder puts himself in the video, speaking passionately about the project. It helps them build a relationship with the viewers and inevitably trust.
The next time you start a crowdfunding campaign, don't forget to include any of these five elements. It is not a matter of having one or two of them, but in making sure that your page covers all of them and with great detail. Often people's gut reaction to reading a pitch ultimately decides whether or not they're going to fund it. When they read about the campaign, they come up with questions and anticipate problems, which they are expecting to be addressed.
It's difficult as the owner to think objectively about the campaign, and thus it's usually a good idea to send a draft to a friend/third party and get their criticism. Take that criticism and build it into the pitch, because people are not going to take time to ask you about it later on.