In the last post on crowdfunding, I said you might need to do 100,000 impressions on social media to lead to the 1000 who’d actually contribute to your campaign.
So how the heck do you do that?
You have to create things that people gain social value by sharing.
Odds are, your page, email list, and social media accounts can’t do those number solo. But your combined audience might be able to. Add a couple other big pages, and you definitely could. So if you can create content that gets shared by other people with audiences, you can reach your goal.
So what makes people share?
Sharing Is About Them, Not You
In a TED talk, the founder of College Humor said, “People share content for one reason and one reason only – identity creation.” People share to socially signal who they are. If you share a funny video, you’re telling people that you’re fun. If you share a serious issue, you’re telling people that you care. Sharing is how most people socially signal what tribe they’re a part of.
When creating content, you have to think about not how good you can make yourself look, but how good you can make the person sharing your content look.
In my case, our film covers an important issue. People who wanted to signal they cared about this issue or agreed with the statement our meme was making would share our content.
Remember, in the digital world there is no limit to how much you can publish. If you buy a TV ad, you use up airtime they could be using to run something else. However, there is no limit to how many Facebook posts a page can run. So if you create great content for someone else’s audience, you can help each other out. You get attention for your campaign, and they give free value to their followers.
But we’re still talking about thousands of impressions. How do you reach that many?
Two ways – distribution and volume.
Find pages with huge audiences and offer your content for their audience.
Our film was shared by a number of really huge pages from wildly different groups. Everything from activist groups like The Whole Network and Intact America, to alternative media like Stefan Molyneux and Red Panels, to sex positive educators like Buck Angel and Sexplainations creator, Lindsey Doe. Some of these we reached out to directly. Others were a surprise.
The commonality is that all of these groups gained value by sharing our content, and were able to signal something who they are and what they support.
During our campaign, we were posting 3-5 times a day. So how do you create that much content?
You pyramid it (credit to GaryVee for this concept). Take one piece of content and see how much you can draw from it.
Say you have a video – or in our case a full feature length film you’re working on. How many ways can you use that? You could do a trailer. Multiple trailers. You can pull stills, and turn them into quote memes. You could use that content across platforms, if you format it right. You could even do some stuff we didn’t do. For example, you could pull audio and do podcasts and radio spots. You could make gifs.
We call this pyramiding, because from the peak of one piece of content you draw out something you can use on every platform. Plus if you document the process, you can turn that into even more behind the scenes content. I’m turning my crowdfunding process into a blog post now, right?
There are a million ways to do this. Get creative. If we’d had more time, we probably could have done even more. Our campaign had a month of planning, and we were still making things as we were launching. There was probably some audience left on the table.
By the way – this works on on live event as well. Protests, educational events, parties – just bring a camera and document. Now, doing live events during your crowdfunding campaign can scale.
Give Before You Ask
Audience building never stops. You can keep doing this process as much before or as much after a crowdfunding campaign as you’d like.
The best part about this approach is it’s built on offering value. It turns crowdfunding from an ask (“Please give me money!”) to a give (“I made you this cool thing. It’s free. If you want more, you can support me here.”).
Speaking of an ask, if you want to see the film I crowdfunded all this money for, check it out here. You can see a free preview clip from the film if you sign up for our email list here. Sign up for my email list here.
Read More: Kickstarting: The Math