Editor’s note: This is the second installment of a 3-part blog series on tips for executing a successful equity crowdfunding campaign. Check out the first post on 3 fundamental elements when launching your equity crowdfunding raise.
What does it take to communicate an equity crowdfunding campaign successfully? How to best rally your own crowd of fans to action as well as grab the attention of new potential investors? Here are the top communications takeaways we gained during Crowdsourcing Week’s equity crowdfunding campaign.
#1) Build systematic internal and external communication channels
Communication is your lifeline when launching a crowdfunding campaign. If you already have your set of rules on internal communication, you must also take into considerations the external communication system to your community – which is typically segmented among potential investors, media and supporting partners, and also your closest friends and relatives who might like to invest. During the pre-launch of our campaign, we found the most interest was generated among our community and potential investors when we informed them in advance exactly when the launch would take place and how they could be the first to participate.
Also be aware that equity crowdfunding platforms will require investors to sign up and create a profile, and will also assess their level of knowledge in investing, before allowing them to contribute funds. It helps if you can communicate the necessary steps to your crowd so they’re prepared for what to expect. There are also strict legal rules about communicating your equity crowdfunding campaign to the public that you’ll need to abide by (whichever platform you use will provide you with the necessary communications guidelines to follow). We had to educate everyone to our team about these rules so they were prepared when sharing links and updates on their personal social networks.
Key takeaway: Double your communication efforts prior to the launch. Communicating is a full-time job of each team member; be sure to educate them on the legal communications guidelines for equity crowdfunding. We also suggest:
- If you get a question or inquiry, respond within the hour
- If you get exciting press, share it the same day
- You only have 30 days to meet your goal, so remember every minute counts
- Build a system with your team to maximize your response time (We even have a Whatsapp group to make sure everyone’s getting the notifications on our progress.)
#2) Hunt down and eliminate barriers ASAP
Listen closely to feedback from your crowd and act quickly if you notice a common barrier to participation that is preventing investments. For example, we were alerted that many people were having trouble using the payment system on the equity crowdfunding platform when they tried to submit a pledge, stopping them from investing. There is an alternative method to pledge when we encounter that issue, but most of the community didn’t know – so we had to communicate with them and let them know there’s another way.
Key takeaway: Always Be in Communication (ABC) along the way. Listen to your crowd and remain highly alert of any hurdles your community may run into, and be prepared to take quick action to resolve them.
#3) Diversify promotional materials
Creativity is as important as communication, especially when promoting an equity crowdfunding campaign. Use visuals with a creative flare to tell your company’s compelling story. When considering your digital and print promotional materials, think outside the box.
Key takeaway: Aside from the main fundraising video, try other promotional materials such as digital advertisements and creative images, as well as short snippets of videos that you can roll out in-between the campaign.
#4) Intentional outreach and strong media relationships
Media partners and supporting organizations can help amplify your message to their audiences. But the key to good public relations is about quality, not quantity. Outreach should be done intentionally to the right media outlets and communities, offering newsworthy stories with unique angles.
Key takeaway: Strong media and press relationships are indispensable. At the end of the day, your equity crowdfunding campaign is about relationships. Always be intentional, genuine, open, and share value.
What do you think of the above-mentioned strategies? Let us know and share your own communications tips in the comments!
Coming up next in this series, the next and last post will be about selecting the right equity crowdfunding rewards, platform and timing, so stay tuned!