what I learned from crowdfunding
Crowdfunding my book has been one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do. It’s no fun asking people for money!
As many people have asked me about my experiences with the process, I thought I’d summarize them here and hope it will generate some good discussion about crowdfunding campaigns.
Tips I’ve learned about crowdfunding campaigns
1) The crowdfunding platform is not going to bring you a lot of donations. You’ve got to do the work yourself.
There are days when no donations will come in. There are days when they’ll flow in quite nicely. Mondays are traditionally the worst days as most people are pre-occupied with other things. Would I do it again? I’m not sure. It’s really hard work. It drains your energy. But it’s short-term, and if you pick a 30-day campaign as I did, it’s easier to survive than a long campaign that just goes on … and on …
5) Some people don’t like to give online.
I had several people insist that they don’t do any financial transactions online and that they preferred to send me a personal cheque via the postal service. Of course, all donations are most welcome, but having a significant portion of my campaign donations not showing up in the running total is not good for optics. It looks as though fewer people are donating than is the reality.
6) Indiegogo must have high rankings in the search engines, as the Indiegogo link to my campaign showed up in many of the free li papers that so many people have.
At least that gets your message out to more eyes that you may not otherwise have reached and it didn’t cost you any time or effort. If you are unfamiliar with special interest li papers, here is the link to my paper, Chocolatour News: http://paper.li/wizardofwords/1310439305.
7) Kickstarter is the largest crowdfunding platform in the world but when I did my campaign, they did not accept Canadian participants. They do now.
In today’s world of online global monetary transactions, I cannot imagine why Kickstarter was prejudiced against non-US residents. I’m glad that has now changed. I found Indiegogo to be relatively easy to work with, but didn’t see them publicize my campaign once during the time that it ran. And I had a bit of trouble figuring out some of the details regarding transfer of funds as you can’t just call them and get a human on the other end. Communications are always done by e-mail and it’s sometimes difficult to get the answer you are seeking.
8) Your membership in professional associations will likely garner you the largest number of donations.
I was an active member of PWAC, TWUC, TMAC, Toastmasters International and some online groups such as Bloggers Helping Bloggers on LinkedIn at the time of my campaign. Members from each of these groups were generous with their donations to my campaign and I don’t think I would have been nearly as successful in raising the funds that I have had it not been for the networks I am a part of.
In summary, I raised $8,000 towards the $15,000 goal I set for my 30-day campaign on Indiegogo. That was enough for me to cover the major expenses involved in getting my first print run of Chocolatour, volume I.
I hope you will help support my continuing research for Chocolatour by purchasing a copy of the book if you haven’t already done so. And I thank everyone who has joined the Chocolatour community by subscribing to this site. Please do, by offering your information in the box to the right if you haven’t already done so. Many thanks, and may every one of your days be sweetened with chocolate.