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Hardware Talks: Crowdfunding PR Dos And Don’ts

posted Jun 17, 2014, 10:46 PM by Siamak Ebarhimi

(Welcome to the second of two posts adapted from a talk given at Highway1 by Kate Drane and Ben Bateman of Indiegogo about the finer points of crowdfunding. Part one here.)

You’ve got a video, a reward structure, and exhaustively-edited descriptions and FAQs for your crowdfunding campaign. Are you ready for launch? Not until you’ve thought about a few more things!crowdfunding marketing

gDoes your network know? Get your entire team together, and make sure everyone’s friends and family know what’s coming — don’t take anybody by surprise! They should all know when your campaign is launching, and be ready to spread the word. Entice them with a special reward for early backers; having 30% of your goal ready to lock in before you’ve even hit the launch button is a good target to aim for.crowdfunding advertising

Have your PR lined up. Your product doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and every space gets coverage somewhere, whether it’s automotive, phones, household goods — you get the idea. Find a prominent tech blog or journalist who covers your particular beat and introduce yourself before the campaign starts; don’t be afraid to offer product in exchange for coverage. That’s how this works.indiegogo marketing

How are you spreading the word? Twitter, Facebook, email? Your mileage may vary, obviously, and there’s no one right way to do any of them, but pay special attention to your email campaign. Email works particularly well: while some people can’t look at Facebook or Twitter at work, they can usually read their email. Hint, hint. Consider including a chain letter that campaign recipients can modify and pass along with a minimum of work.kickstarter marketing

Now you’re ready to launch.

Just one more word of advice: once your campaign’s finished and you’ve got the money in hand, donot drop the ball on fulfillment. The crowdfunding field is littered with the lifeless, dried-up husks of well-meaning companies who not only failed to ship something, but failed to communicate clearly and effectively why, and were abandoned by the communities they’d created. Don’t be those guys. Be proactive: if shipping is delayed, for instance, don’t just apologize, keep everyone informed. You’d be surprised at not only how understanding people can be, but the goodwill honesty can generate. Good luck!kickstarter project

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