So here you are, only a few days left to your campaign, fingernails long bitten away, hair clutched firmly in your fingers, so close to the edge of your seat you’re about to fall off….
Don’t worry! It’s not over ’til the fat lady sings!
Many projects use the very last few days of a campaign to bring it over the line, and in some cases, even most of the way! You’ve done all the research, you’ve kept your social media updated and interesting, you’ve notified everyone and their Granny about your project, and made a really compelling case for support, so what’s left? We’ve put together a few tips for how to maximise those all-important last few days.
1. The Personal Touch
While your social media is still really important, you should put most of your efforts into one-to-one contacts from now on. Focus on the few key people whose name you’re surprised still hasn’t appeared on the list, and contact them personally. Make an upbeat, personal appeal, and sell your rewards. Don’t beg, and don’t just ask for general support. Think of the reward that person would like, or the price-range you think they’d like to support at, and sell the relevant reward to them.
E.g. ” Hey Jim, how’s Molly? Just letting you know our Fund it campaign ends on Tuesday, and the limited edition print I’m offering in the €50 reward would look absolutely perfect in that little space beside the door in your hall, above the table with the picture of Billy on it. I’d hate if you missed the opportunity to get it!” (Ok maybe not, but you get the picture).
2. Don’t Beg
You’ve heard it at every turn, but now it’s more important than ever. It’s so very tempting to spiral into a frenzied panic and just plead for help, but no matter how much this project means to you, you’re only likely to put people off with that tone. Your social media should be full of reminders of why getting involved in this project will be the best thing people have ever done, and of the amazingness that your project will bring to the world once it’s complete. You should definitely remind people of the looming deadline, but tip: “Tick Tock, Tick Tock” is not an appropriate tweet – they’re not on the clock, you are.
3. Use Your Network Effectively
You should separate your contacts into those who have supported and those who haven’t. Check the list of those ‘who haven’t’ from your closest friends and family. If they’re on it, ask yourself why they haven’t pledged yet? Are they broke? Do they hate your work? Did you just tap them for money 3 months ago? If you can confidently answer no to all, then it’s just a matter of pinning them down. Those who can’t support can still help by spreading the news, so don’t write them off if they’ve told you “thanks, but no thanks” previously. Ensure when they’re helping you out that they get across the All-Or-Nothing nature and the project deadline.
4. The Large Investor
Depending on your target, you may have been hoping for a significant contribution from one or more funders. If you’re down to the wire and relying on this support, it’s time to pick up the phone. This can be a very difficult thing to do, but it’s absolutely necessary. You need to ensure the funder knows just how important their contribution is, and the nature of the deadline that’s looming. Even if you have a sponsor who has agreed to bring you over the line by making up any shortcomings, don’t wait until the last day. Let them know that by putting in their support before the end, it encourages others to do the same, and will therefore be worth much more than just the money they put in.
It may seem late in the game for this, but if you have any media contacts – bloggers, radio DJs, journalists – who can do you a favour with a short turn around, it’s worth it for the final push. Any media coverage you may have had earlier in the campaign will have reached plenty of people who loved your idea but just never got around to funding. By hitting that audience again, you can remind them before it’s too late.
It’s in our nature to leave things to the last minute, so don’t despair if your friends and network are doing the same. The hardest part of crowdfunding isn’t convincing people to part with their money, it’s mobilising the crowd, so keep up the good work ’til the timer gets to 0!
– Written by: Claire FitzGerald