Christopher Charlesworth, CEO and Co-founder of HiveWire, Joins National Crowdfunding Association of Canada’s Advisory Board
March 24th, 2017
For localized startups, nonprofits, and innovators, finding and connecting with individuals in the immediate community is essential to a campaign’s sustained health. Since not every project intends to turnaround and set-up an eCommerce platform, building a physical audience will ensure continued success after a campaign ends. As well, offline crowdfunding can be a great testing ground, ultimately helping projects refine their strategies long before hitting the web. Most importantly, however, those that comprise a project’s initial 30% are often closest to the creator, so establishing real-life relationships can help amass first-round investments.
Think old-school because most of these techniques apply to offline crowdfunding. So design some business cards, flyers, pamphlets, and posters and spread-the-word around town. These advertisements should offer all of the essentials, including URLs to your various online profiles so that interested locals can follow-up. With a bigger budget, also consider ad space in newspapers, radio, and/or billboards. In doing so, you not only promote your campaign, but build-up your brand in the process. Should your campaign go successfully, it then becomes a huge story among the local community, which will translate into future support.
When marketing offline, give away freebies at events and conventions. Think small, though – conserve your funds for the campaign. Consider promotional gifts like pens, key chains, and fridge magnets, all of which should show your logo. Every time a person goes to use these items, he or she will remember your platform and check-out your progress online. This can really help in the final days of a campaign should activity slow-down.
By visiting crowdfunding workshops, seminars, conventions, and meetups, you gain a valuable opportunity to network with other influential industry professionals. Often, this is a great place to connect with like-minded people, later using online as a way to further these relationships. By participating in such events, you stand to learn a lot about the crowdfunding climate as well as your own project. Coming up with a “quick-pitch” for these events may help you refine your objectives.