Guest Blog: Some Watertight Marketing tips for your crowdfunding project

Wednesday 21-Nov-12, 10:52am

Guest Blog: Some Watertight Marketing tips for your crowdfunding project

Inspirational marketing speaker and author Bryony Thomas shares her experience of crowdfunding.

In 2008, Bryony started the journey towards what is today the Watertight Marketing Methodology, working with ambitious growing businesses delivering 12-month marketing transformation programmes. Through her book, which she crowdfunded through ZEQUS, her speaking, her events and her hands-on support, Bryony Thomas now gives small business owners the clarity and the structure to step off the roller coaster.

She wrote this blog after just securing her 77th pledge, with four hours to go and £900 to raise… that’s an average 2.5 pledges per day, and 18% above the project average. Here are her top tips for marketing your crowdfunding project…

Craft your rewards

Take real care in the rewards you put together. The price point is really important as well as the wording. The £1 is great. But, it’s worth asking a few friends and trusted colleagues before you start what level of spend they’d go for without batting an eyelid or asking permission from anyone else. That’s the perfect price for your first few levels of reward. For my project this was £5.

Hold one back for the last day. I’ve just added a £15 reward that gives backers £200-worth of marketing expertise. This gives me the perfect material for my last day of communication.

Get your infrastructure in place

Get the following tools and systems set-up in advance of putting your project live:
- A website with a blog. A free Wordpress or Blogger one will do nicely. Mine is all my own handywork, done with a £90 upgrade on Wordpress.
- A Twitter account. Research #subject in your area, follow and engage people using the tag.
- Google+ profile (Google’s version of Facebook).
- A Facebook page for your business or project.
- A Pinterest board.
- If yours is a business project, you should also be active on LinkedIn.

There are lots more, but these are the basics that I’d recommend every project has in place.

Plan a campaign

Get a piece of paper and mark out the days that your project will run for. Map out what you are going to do on each day. Think about:
- Daily tweets – remember to use any relevant #subjects
- Regular blogs – between one and three times per week
- Updates on your PleaseFundus project page – at least one per week, if you have a new blog post, this makes a great update and gives your backers and followers something to share.
- Emails to people you can permission to contact – this is either people who’ve subscribed to hear from you or people you know. With the former, make sure you’re giving them something of value, not just asking for money. I’ve shared some of the book content, then pointed them at the crowdfunding alongside this.
- Press release – a press release to your regional and sector press is definitely a good idea. If you’re a member of your local Chamber of Commerce, or industry body you can often post a release on there too. Use the coverage as material to Tweet and share. And, make sure you go back to them to do a follow-up story.
- Phonecalls – draw up a list of people you might call in the last week to gain their support. Not just in backing the project, but getting the word out.
- Run a competition: I ran a Twitter competition last week. And, I’m also giving away the original drawing of the most popular cartoon from the book signed by the artist if I meet my target. This has given me something to talk about, blog about and put on my Facebook page as an album that people can ‘Like’.
- Guest posts: Identify influential bloggers in your space and offer them a useful blog post. I’ve done quite a bit of this. Here’s one for Valuable Content and Principled Selling. It gives you more material, reaches their audience, and encourages them to share your material.

Equip your advocates

Go through your LinkedIn contacts, Twitter followers, email lists, little black book or the dark recesses of your memory to draw up a list of well-connected people. Now, pick up the phone, tell them about your project and ask of they could possibly help you get the word out. If they’re happy to help, drop them a line with each of your new blog posts, etc. for them to share in their social networks. I’ve also offered a few local businesses some free lunchtime talks to their teams to garner support for the project.

The end is not the end

Whether you’re successful or not, there’s a story. Make sure you thank everyone who helped you. Blog about your experience!

If your project is successful:
- Do a press release.
- Film a thank you video.
- Keep backers updated on your progress.

If your project is unsuccessful:
- Do a press release, and blog post, on what this means to the project and how else people might help.
- Film a ‘what happened next’ video.

So, wish me luck with my last few hours. We’ll see at 3.12pm whether all this marketing has done the trick!


About the author:

Bryony Thomas is a proven marketing professional, with a passion for helping ambitious entrepreneurs make their marketing pay through her business speaking, writing and hands-on consultancy. She lives and works in Bristol in the UK.

She has a distinctive no-nonsense style that makes you sit up and take notice, and a real talent for unravelling how marketing delivers sales results.