Some rules for creators and backers of crowd funding campaigns…

As crowd funding continues to head on an upwards path there are some interesting phenomena occurring. First off let me say that less than 2% of all the projects I’ve backed have had poor or no communication.

I am debating right now if that would in fact qualify for poor customer service and free me from my no names blog rule. I will debate that internally for a couple more days.

Interestingly there are a number of communications templates that campaigns use. I am intrigued and have worked with several campaigns on that very problem. I think as many marketing professionals will tell you it’s a balancing act. Update too often and people will start to ignore it and then forget it. Don’t update enough and your backers will get frustrated.

Personally the least effective is communicating but starting off each time with we are sorry. I think I am going to do an informal poll amongst my friends that back projects and see what the fialure rate really is.

campaign Rule number 1: establish a communications rhythm and stick to it.

The next interesting style is overly technical. For these blasts the creators share everything that is going on. That style is much better as a short regular burst (see rule 1) and then a link to a blog so people can geek out. I like to geek out right before the item ships to see the design decisions and other concepts.

campaign Rule number 2: Your audience is wide and varied make sure you communication is concise and non-technical. Blog the technical details they are important, just don’t blast them out to everyone.

Adhering to these two simple rules will actually decrease your negative comments (where is it? Is this campaign a rip off). Keeping the backers informed in a consistent manner will ultimately make the campaign easier to run. You don’t have to go into crisis communication mode.

The other side of the rules needs to apply to backers. I am not sure how to implement the rules of social backing. If you back a project assume the timeline they present with the campaign is optimistic. Assume that there will be issues. In part because where once there were 100 open campaigns any 30 days now there are 2000 or more. As a backer read about the projects that have failed and in the end why they failed.

Backer Rule One: if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.

As a backer it behooves us to treat every single campaign like you would a traditional manufacturing company. If Sony announces a new TV for June 2015 and they end up not being able to ship it until July do we stand in front of their US offices protesting? Campaigns are the same way. The only difference being the distance between marketing and delivery isn’t as great. So they have to be optimistic in their timeline. If they said it’s a project that will take 5 years to deliver no one would back it.

Backer Rule Two: Everyone involved is doing there best. Backers are patiently waiting and innovators are happily innovating. Yelling at each other doesn’t do anyone any good.

There are many more campaign and backer rules that I have. I will share more backer rules. The campaign rules I share with campaigns that approach me for help. You can reach me for campaign help here.


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow!