This is the last part of a three-part series on ‘how to use crowdfunding to launch your projects’ where we learn from two journalists, Peter Jukes and Martin Hickman, how they have successfully crowdfunded their journalism projects and how you can do the same.
In this final episode, Peter and Martin provide answers to some of the most asked questions to build credibility and trust with the funders. They tell us about the multiple benefits to appeal to the public to fund a journalism project and introduce a new online platform, Byline.com that connects journalists directly to their audience.
The site created by young Oxford graduate Seung Yoon Lee is set to revolutionise British journalism and cut the middlemen. Watch the video now.
Key takeaways-crowdfunding tips
- Quick and flexible way to appeal directly to the public for funds.
- Understand your market better. People ask questions and you have the opportunity to pinpoint their interests.
- Get buy-in. People buy what they support. If they help you to get your project off the ground, they are likely to buy your product when it’s ready.
- It’s based on trust. The crowd trust you to deliver what you’ve promised. To increase trust you need to showcase who you are, what you do, your past experience, and any relevant information you have that indicate you can deliver.
- Get additional help. People love to help. They will help you to check and double check your stuff.
- Establish relationship between you and the funders; there is no middleman between you and the audience so it’s easier to build a relationship.
- Solidarity with peers. The observations show that people often get support from their peers. Artists backing artists, journalists funding other journalists, etc. Perhaps because they know the reality and how difficult it could be to get a project up and running without extra help.
But to successfully get crowdfunded you need to:
- Get your over pride. Be comfortable of ‘selling’ yourself and move beyond that initial embarrassment!
- Have a specific niche. You have to know exactly who you are targeting. The more obscure and specialised your niche, the greater your chance to be funded by people equally passionate about that subject. Why? They feel like if they don’t do something about it they won’t have the chance to see it happened. Also there is no real need to have a massive following. What you want is an engaged and responsive one to back you massively.
- Find where your niche is. Where do they gather? Which networks, forums do they congregate to? Reach them across all channels.
Final advice for crowdfunding
- Get a website where you can showcase all the relevant materials for your potential backers.
- Create a video, which is usually the best medium to build rapport between you and your potential backers.
- Pitch your proposition in a compelling way. Tell them why you want to do the project, how you will do it and what they will get in exchange of supporting you.
- Approach your crowdfunding efforts like a marketing campaign and spread the word across your personal network, social media, and other channels that you most often use. The more proactive you are, the greater the chances to succeed.
Other Crowdfunding sites include:
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