It can be tough to be a writer who wants to crowdfund. Very few resources out there give you an accurate idea of how to promote your crowdfunding campaign. Most resources tend to be nothing or everything: either build a good campaign page and just wait for the dollars to roll in or try every possible strategy to make your campaign successful. The second one can leave most first-time crowdfunders hyperventilating in a corner.
So how to properly promote your crowdfunding campaign? Be realistic about what you can do.
Social media: If Sally spammed all her followers would you do it too?
The most common crowdfunding advice you’ll see will tell you to get on Instagram, Twitter, and any other social media site you can think of and shout your story from the rooftops. Throw in a Facebook campaign and some blog posts while you’re at it. We’ve even seen articles that recommend starting a podcast, doing blog exchanges, and pitching the media.
While these are not bad ideas (in fact, it would be great if you could manage all of these), they’re hardly realistic (unless you’re a full-time marketing specialist). Plus, more often than not, this much information tends to it leave your friends feeling bombarded.
So what should you do?
First, take a look at what you already have. Social media is great, but if you’re planning to crowdfund in a few months and you’ve hardly made a post on Facebook in the last two years, it won’t do you much good. Building a good network of online followers and fans can take a long time (for example, we started in October and have about 500 followers on Facebook and Twitter each – we’re making slow but steady progress). If you really want to do some online promotion, you’re better off sharing your story in a targeted online community that specifically reads the kind of book you’re writing.
The same thing applies to any other platform. Blogs and podcasts can be great for your author platform, but they take a lot of work to promote on their own. For example, a blog requires constant and regular updates and its own social media promotion. It’s a long-term plan that won’t work for a short-term project like crowdfunding.
Be smart about how you promote your project and use what you already have:
A blog, podcast, or active social media profile? Fantastic! Use it!
Long list of devoted friends? Get them involved. Plus, the more friends you have, the higher the chances that some of them will share your campaign on their own blogs.
Big family? People love to help out their siblings, cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Friends in high places? Ask them for a favor. Approval by an influencer can go a long way.
Involved in a club, association, or religious congregation? Let them know you’re crowdfunding.
The bottom line:
Use every means you have. But don’t invent new ones just because some blog told you that’s what you should be doing (irony fully intended).