Crowdsourcing For Funds
I've talked about this before but over the past 2 weeks, I've received 9 requests to promote someones crowdsourcing page. In the past I've shared links and some have had great success, but if I was to list everyone I received:
1. You'd get annoyed
2. The effectiveness of the LearnHotDogs.com bump would be lessened with each post
Crowdsourcing can be hugely successful if done correctly, but I've seen vendors or future vendors go to GoFundMe.com, Indiegogo.com, Kickstarter.com or the several others and post up some mediocre bit about needing money to get started. They spend little time and effort in making the request.
Bottom Line: If you aren't invested then no one else will be either.
The Wrong Way
There are tricks to crowdsourcing. Anyone with internet access can host their plea for money on a crowdsourcing page. In less than 4 minutes you can create a page asking for funds. There are some 20,000 new pages being created daily and to think that you can post one up real quick and make some fast cash is wishful thinking.
Most of the listings are horrid. They say very little and are just a modern form of begging. You'd have better success with a cardboard sign at an exit ramp. The wrong way is to post up a picture a bit of text and then sit back with your fingers crossed.
The Right Way To Crowdsource
If you expect strangers to give you money, you MUST give them reason. You must appeal to their humanity, you must show them that you are equally invested and you must spend more than 4 minutes creating some pathetic diatribe.
EQUALLY INVESTED? This doesn't mean that you have to spend any money, it means that you need to take the time and effort to create a real message, a powerful message. I explained this on a video here, but to save you time I will list the important bits again.
1. Video – use video, people hate to read and when you're attempting to get them to help you, you must make it easy for them. Funny videos work best, be honest, sincere and funny.
2. Make your message clear and concise. YOUR VIEWERS SHOULD HAVE NO UNANSWERED QUESTIONS! Sit down and write it all out first and then have someone look over it to see if they have questions. Then re-write it over and over until its perfect, flows smoothly and leaves no potential question unanswered.
3. Make it short and sweet (AND FUNNY!) Keep it short and sweet. No one wants to sit through a long drawn out spiel. The shorter it is, the more likely they will watch it through till the end.
4. Tell your “crowd” how the process works. Let them know exactly how their contribution will be used.
5. Have great rewards. Too many vendors reward with things like a free meal, yet they are promoting this project worldwide. We can safely assume I won't be taking a $3,000 trip to get my 5 free hot dogs. Give them 2 types of rewards for each level, one local donor award and a long distance award. Consider getting a bumper sticker or something prepared to send out to your far off donors. For ideas on crowdsourcing awards, check out what others have done by doing a google search for “top performing crowdsourcing campaigns”. Name a menu item after your big donors or let them design a hot dog recipe, etc…
Another great way to reward people is to have some novelty item made in bulk. You can go to websites like, NationalPen.com and have a short thank you message or your new company logo put on a pen, keychain, hat or about anything. It doesn't cost very much and will be something tangible that your will love.
6. Most crowdsourcing platforms require a deadline but if they don't, you do. Make a deadline which calls them to action. You want to create urgency.
7. Give credit where credit is due. Promote your donors gifts by telling them thanks on Twitter and Facebook. People love to have recognition and attention. No matter how much they donate, tell the world about it and just how much it means to you!
8. Manage the page. Update the page often, answer questions, give thanks and updates about the progress throughout the campaign.
9. Encourage them to share your page with others. Some people simply won't be able to donate but may still want to help. Give them the same respect and attention for telling their friends and sharing your page on Facebook and Twitter. Let them know just how much it means to you that they support you and were willing to promote your efforts.
10. The final step: Grab that money and come over to HotDogCartStore.com and get a brand new hot dog cart that rocks!
Out Of Nine – This Is The Only One
Surely I'll piss some folks off because I shared this one but didn't share theirs. Here's a promise; take the info above and re-create a fantastic page for crowdsourcing and I'll share it.
Todd Graham is already a vendor but has run into a huge snag. He's created a very nice crowdsourcing page. Although it doesn't have a video, it does have pictures and you can tell a lot of time was invested in making sure the donors know what they are getting, who they are helping and how they are helping.
There are a few things that Todd may want to update based on my steps above, but overall, I like it. See Todd's page here.