Some tasks are easier to do than others when running a crowdfunding campaign. Being thankful comes naturally to most people when they’re sincere and proactive. Weaving in good humor will help but can be difficult to pull off if you’re not a comedian.
At the core, crowdfunding results are achieved when many people are emotionally connected to a product, cause or creative project; connections that set in motion financial contributions and sharing with others. Throw in some entertainment value that appeals to a large audience and you’ll likely have a crowdfunding winner if realistic goals are set.
Steve Gadlin is a web developer, writer, and comedian living in Chicago, Illinois. He is the proud founder of Blewt!, creators of comedy to delight and confuse. Steve also wants to draw a cat for you – and nearly 10,000 people have taken him up on his offer so far after a successful appearance on ABC Shark Tank last year. Mark Cuban funded Steve and the duo teamed up on the Shark Tank set for their now infamous cat dance.
Hey, what about crowdfunding?
Oh, yeah… got carried away with the cat humor. Steve and his team understand well the powerful combination of gratitude and humor with a number of successful projects under management. In particular, Steve’s first Kickstarter initiative, "Don't Spit the Water", was a crowdfunding success and the results appeared on local TV months before Steve appeared on Shark Tank.
For the Blewt team, creating laughter is what their projects are all about so it’s not difficult for them to package it for a crowdfunding campaign. But not all of us are born comedians and crowdfunding can be a stressful experience for those working behind the scenes. It’s not always easy to be funny or thankful.
Five related tips for crowdfunding success:
- Remember that family, friends and strangers are not obligated to help with financial contributions and sharing just because it’s really important to you. Be truly grateful for any support and make this part of your go-to-market plan and content development.
- Video is the best way to convey a meaningful crowdfunding story including gratitude and humor. The “Don’t Spit the Water” crowdfunding video was brief, professional, sincere and funny. Minimum, take the time to create one compelling video to appeal to and inspire your audience to act.
- Respond immediately with a “thank you” for every contribution. The faster and more sincere the better. Anyone who contributes for something that doesn’t exist yet is a superstar – treat them like one. These advocates may also help you down the road if issues arise or another crowdfunding phase is needed.
- Deliver what you promised and communicate along the way to keep people on the same page. In crowdfunding, unlike traditional marketing, communicating progress often is better than keeping people guessing. If updates are not so positive, be transparent about the issues and take responsibility for solving problems. Humor can help to convey key messages but don’t use humor to hide unpleasant news. Use video to provide brief updates; tools like Socialcam help.
- Care consistently during and after the campaign. Contributors appreciate extra attention to details and quality. This is another way to express gratitude.
Humor in the context of crowdfunding is not easy and some efforts will fall short. Start with authenticity as a foundation and if you can manage humor, great. If not, there are other ways to strike an emotional cord with your audience. Don’t try to be too slick with humor if it’s a stretch for the team – but always be grateful with every touch.