One of the crucial tasks when running a crowdfunding campaign is to reach a siginificant audience and more important to turn a big percentage of this audience into backers of your project.
To my knowledge there’s hasn’t been an analysis on crowdfunding audiences yet. Interestingly, Kickstarter reached 1 million backers this week and shared some data on the behaviour of their backers. But the question remains:
What are the motivations to disperse a project and more importantly what are the motivations to back a project?
I have knocked down four categories of backers which I think of are the most important ones for your campaign:
Family & close friends are probably going to support your project, no matter how good it is. But most project initiators probably w’ont ask their friends directly for money, it’s always akward being asked by friends for money. So think about how they can help you in a different way! Your sister in law might now somebody important who can spread the word or your cousin can draw a poster for your campaign.
Which people do you know directly or through a friend who have a massive social network? One team member of your soccer club works for a big newspaper or tv station? Your wife’s best friend is in a band and who has 30000 twitter followers? Ask them if they would spread the word about your project, multiplicators can get the ball rolling on your campaign. If you work in the arts you probably know at least someone who allready made it!
Fan Cultures are BIG on the web. If it’s cute cats, strange sports or your personal Bauchnabelflusen-Collection, you will always find others, who are interested in the same things. Meeting similar people forms strong communities and you should think about if your idea matches a particular fan culture. Fan cultures are very passionate, so if you can touch one of those communities with your idea, your campaign will most likely spread! Get in touch with fan-blogs, they probably will feature your story, if you can encourage hin to get more involved.
The german project Saber Rider anf the Sherrifs is a good example. Saber Rider is an old tv series, and the creator of the cf-campaign had the dream to make a computer game about the series. Being a fan himself he knew other Saber Rider enthusiasts, the big amount of pledges for 250€ and 500€ levels show the high involvement of the backers.
Sometimes backers become so excited about an idea that they become almost like a campaign manager for your project. You should always communicate a lot with your backers but if you sense a higher level of involvement you should even intensify that communication. Not only can it be very encouraging to get feedback on your idea, but maybe this stranger open ups completely new audiences that do not overlap with your social network.
…and some general attributes of backers:
On interesting number i found was that the average age of backers is 42 years. I don’t know where that number comes from but it’s most likely true, because older people have higher incomes. So while having younger contacts to spread the word on the net you should also think about how to reach older audience segments.
What do you think about my categorization? Did I fogert another important group of pontential backers?
Share your thought in the comments!