The ABCs of Crowdfunding: A is for Ambassadors

The strength of your body is your core: a group of muscles in the center of your body that keep you healthy and moving forward. Your campaign’s “core” is your inner circle: Your family, friends, colleagues/co-workers, and anyone else to whom you are close enough to ask them to help advocate for you and your campaign (in addition to contributing, of course!)

 Here are some ways to engage your core, turning them into social media and marketing ambassadors:

Have a launch event. A launch even is a great way to collect, inspire and activate your core group for the course of the campaign. Invite your inner circle of 50 or so folks who you believe will not only want to support your crowdfunding campaign with perk purchases but will also be able to help you promote the campaign. Asking this core group to be marketing ambassadors for the campaign is your responsibility, but so is making it as easy for them to help you as possible:

  • Give them assignments. At the event, suggest some ways that they can become part of your tribe, and help you over the period of the campaign (4-6 weeks)
  • Make their tasks simple and varied (nothing that takes more than a few minutes each).
  • Put the tasks on a checklist and hand them out at the event, but also tell them they’ll each get an email version, or maybe tell them you’ll email them a task each day that will take only a few minutes. (You can do this through the platform updates tool, for example, after you’ve added them to your campaign email list.)
  • Treena Wynes offered a membership and created a tribe based on her food theme. (Indie Ink Publishing, 2013).

    Treena Wynes offered a membership and created a tribe based on her food theme. (Indie Ink Publishing, 2013).

    Give your allies a tribe name. This allows you to build a membership or subscription around a brand or entity. (We named our Eating Myself Crazy author’s tribe The Moody Foodys. Their checklist looked like a grocery shopping list. The whole event was based on healthy food. A local radio talk show host who was a friend of the author came and together they made some recipes and talked like they were on air. It was a blast and people got to eat the food. The host was hilarious.) This led to the idea of a perk that was a membership/subscription to the author’s newsletter with healthy eating tips and recipes.

  • Sharing. Tasks should include ways in which the tribe can share news of the campaign and ways others in their network can become involved. Example: “Share the campaign on FB, with a header note that says “I contributed to Joe’s awesome crowdfunding project for Mayerthorpe’s new community park project. It’s really important to him. He’s a great guy, and I hope my friends will consider contributing to it too.” This type of word-of-mouth testimonial is solid gold. Create branded content in the form of tweets and Facebook posts that you can send them on a daily basis to make it easy for them to share.
  • Reward for work. Maybe there are 10 tasks spread over the 4 weeks and those who provide evidence of doing all the tasks get some kind of special reward at the end of the campaign.
  • Incentives are GOOD. If you can offer your tribe something that nobody else gets and that doesn’t cost you much to provide, you might get even more enthusiasm.

ABCs of Crowdfunding: O is for Outreach

Soooo…You’ve launched your campaign and now have 30 days or more to reach your goal. How well you use social media and, most importantly, your email list, during the campaign will correlate directly to your results: The better you use your communication tools, the higher your contribution total will be.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind for fueling campaign interest (and contributions) through the campaign:

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Malapropriate: The Delicate Dilemma of Correction

In Sheridan’s 18th Century play, The Rivals, a character named Mrs. Malaprop constantly used similar-sounding  but incorrect words, often with humorous results: “I must crash a check”; “It’s my term to make them play,” and that sort of thing. Words misused in this way have become known as malapropisms after this hilarious character.

Eggcorn? Well it sounded like that…

Malapropisms, along with other kinds of misuses of words, like the recently-named eggcorns, mondegreens (mis-heard lyrics), mixed metaphors and the like are found everywhere–especially in the verbiage of politicians, celebrities, and the sports world. I don’t think this is because they’re more prone to it; they’re just more likely to have their utterances taped and re-broadcast for the world to see than are you or me. And, they’re often put on the spot and asked to respond to questions suddenly, or make their living talking a lot in public places. Continue reading