The ABCs of Crowdfunding: U is for Updates

Ongoing communication via updates throughout the course of a crowdfunding campaign is work, but updates are proven to be a major factor in campaign success, so don’t scrimp on them.

Here are just a few of the reasons why:

  • They encourage contribution by new people, and re-contribution by existing people.
  • Each one may be shared out to and reach different audiences (especially if you use vary  media choice – links, audio, text, video and photo).
  • The more frequent they are, the more credible and transparent is your campaign.

When, and how often?

The most common resistance I get to doing frequent updates is the idea that you might turn contributors off by “bugging” them. Well, of course you don’t want to keep sending out repetitive messages begging for money.  But that is IN NO WAY the same as regular, meaningful and various communication to contributors, and all your stakeholders.

Your goal through these ongoing communiqués is to show responsibility and responsiveness; to inform and to educate, and yes, to remind. The Rule of 7, developed in the 1930s, is well known in communication, marketing, persuasion and sales. It says that a marketing message takes on average 7 impressions before a person acts. With digital marketing it’s more like 7 times a day, rather than 7 total times that a marketing message may need to reach your audience. There’s so much information available and being presented to us now via social media that the Rule of 7 from the 1930s is being multiplied!

All content creates more interest, and the more you do in a variety of media, the more and different audiences you’re likely to attract.

Keep this in mind: An update a day keeps campaign stagnation away!

(Or at the VERY least, if you’re still queasy, every two days.)

Also, make sure your entire team shares these updates via all their channels, and you ask your contributors and others on the list to share them as well.

Even if they don’t buy a perk, stakeholders can help by sharing campaign news, and should be encouraged to do so!

But…what to say?

Coming up with content is easier than you might think. Here are some ideas for content that can make great campaign updates:

  1. When you reach a milestone…financial, or otherwise. “We just hit $5,000 and we’re halfway there!” is a great way to show a campaign that’s having success. We know from research that contributors back winning campaigns at a far greater rate than unsuccessful ones.  An example of a non-financial milestone might be getting to halfway through the campaign, selling out of a perk, etc.) Stretch goals are another kind of milestone, and you should obviously make update announcements when you reach these, unlocking a new goal level and set of perks.
  2. When you have more of your story to share. Especially if you share these in short video updates, these can help to make the passion and purpose behind your project more visible to your stakeholders, motivating them to support you.
    John Early shares a behind-the-scenes experience with his campaign contributors & stakeholders.

    John Early shares a behind-the-scenes experience with his campaign contributors & stakeholders. Click on the photo to go to his campaign page, then click the Updates tab to see all his creative updates.

    In the photo right, an example of a recent FreshVoice author who did a great job with video updates in his campaign to raise $10,000 to help cover his book production costs.

  3. When you add a new perk. Adding new perks through the campaign is a great way to encourage re-contributions and get attention from new audiences. Doing an update when you add a perk is valuable content for you and the stakeholder!
  4. When you have a large or otherwise interesting/unusual contribution (if you have permission to promote it). (One client of mine had an Aboriginal tribal council purchase one of every perk to show their commitment to the campaign. An update on that is a great way to say thank you to that special contributor,  it’s a great story, and it gives others ideas.
  5. When you get any media coverage. It’s important here to ensure there’s a link in the update to the online version of the news report, whether it’s a text, audio or video file.
  6. To introduce a team member.  Especially if the team members is doing a specific function, like acting as the contact person for any issues with contributions. It’s informational, and it shows the people behind the campaign, increasing credibility and accountability.
  7. When you’re going to have an event.  You may have a contest for a period of days, or a time-limited special on a perk package, or an actual offline event. Your launch event probably happens before the campaign is launched, but that doesn’t mean you can’t report on it with a photo and a caption after the fact; especially if you have a successful contribution event and you can report this in your update.
  8. Any other campaign-related news.  If you suddenly win an award, or get a new testimonial quote for your book, or something happens in the news related to the subject of your book–all these can be ideas for updates.

I hope these ideas for why, when and how to use updates in your campaign will help you reach your goal.


For more ideas on how to prepare for your first non-fiction book writing experience, check out our new courses at the FreshVoice Academy! Big pre-holiday discounts available until December 19!



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