Guest blog: Nobody wants to be the first person on the dance floor
This week we feature a guest post from Alysia Wanczyk, Marketing Director for the major European Equity-Crowdfunding platform Seedrs.com
Most successful equity crowdfunding campaigns have a few things in common. They have engaging videos with a clear pitch, fair valuations that reflect the stage and traction they’ve made to date, and really passionate, well-connected teams. This is, arguably, one of the most important factors – not only because people want to invest in strong teams, but also because having a well-connected team helps increase the reach of the campaign itself.
Crowdfunding platforms are marketplaces and to be able to compete against other campaigns it is important that businesses have an addressable crowd of people who are, or who are likely to be, interested in what they’re doing. When sharing his own crowdfunding advice, best-selling author Seth Godin agrees, saying “campaigns fail when the tribe of people who believe in the idea is too small…[it] ‘appears’ to be a great way for fans to find your work. You put up a great video clip and a story and wait for people who will love it to find you. But that’s not what happens. What happens is that people who ALREADY have a tribe…use Kickstarter to organize and activate that tribe. [It’s] the last step, not the first one.” Whilst Godin was referring to Kickstarter specifically, the advice pertains to any crowdfunding platform. It’s not about sticking up a pitch and crossing your fingers – it’s about engaging with your tribe and getting them excited about being a part of your business.
Before looking at equity crowdfunding, it’s important to consider who your intended investor audience is so that you can plan out how you’ll reach them before and during your campaign. No one wants to be the first person on the dance floor at a party, so you need to think about the people who won’t mind getting in first to really help create the buzz. This is most likely to be the people you already know well and who are enthusiastic about being a part of the business, like: customers, friends, family, partners, suppliers, co-working colleagues, angels you’ve spoken to, and others.
The next audience of potential investors to look at are influencers in the space – this will help snowball the momentum you gained by reaching out to your direct network first. These people likely don’t know much about your business specifically, but they understand the space and, hopefully, the value you’re creating. Reach out to influencers like bloggers, popular social profiles, niche forums and industry thought leaders to tell them the angles that are most relevant to them and their followers. If you can create the right appeals for them, they’ll likely be happy to share your business and crowdfunding campaign with their network because you’re adding value to them. You’ve now gone from engaging with your own network to the wider tribe of people who could get excited about what you’re working on and becoming an investor.
Part of what makes a great team is your ability to connect with the right people and build excitement about your company. Building your network is arguably one of the most difficult aspects of growing a company, especially when you’re busy with so many other things, but it’ll pay off big time when it comes to crowdfunding and beyond.
Guest blog from Alysia Wanczyk of Seedrs.com.
Seedrs is one of Europe’s top equity-crowdfunding platforms. Seedrs make it easy for you to buy into businesses you believe in and share in their success.