I remember my first introduction to crowdfunding when someone told me that if you shot a really cool video on this platform called Kickstarter that people would send money to fund your business. This statement has some level of truth, but not nearly enough to raise any funds. Crowd investing seems to follow the one simple rule of crowdfunding that I learned many years ago. “If you don’t build and excited and engaged crowd of investors, you won’t get the funding.”
Building an excited and engaged crowd will require unique messaging that will engage investors at the emotional level and then resonate with them enough to elicit an emotional response. Remember in today’s online world that moves at the speed of internet grabbing information is like taking a drink out of a fire hydrant, your campaign must quickly establish a unique brand voice that can cut through all of the fast paced noise and connect at an emotional level. Once this unique messaging voice is found your campaign will achieve its two major objectives increasing brand awareness and raising the capital for the campaign. If the emotional connection is not made the campaign may be dead on arrival.
Understand Your Target Audience
Like any other marketing endeavor you must do your research to garner an in-depth understanding of these two vital questions: Who is your audience? What are their needs or reasons to support you? A deep researched back answer to these two questions are the initial steps to creating the emotional connection spoken of earlier. The in-depth understanding of your potential supporters and catering to their needs, both with a quality product and impact storytelling will begin the journey to a successful capital raise.
Building this mystic emotional connection happens when you understand your audience, many time entrepreneurs, are not skilled at this, but must get it done to move their audience. You must have messaging that will have weight and depth. The message must provide something your audience can believe in, and build the level of emotional connection that inspires them to action.
It’s in the Message
Your branded message must be unique, it must stand out from every other piece of content that is streaming out of the fire hydrant of the internet spewing tons of noise that mostly means nothing and is going nowhere fast. So what does this messaging look like and how do we get to this unique messaging that will resonate at the emotional level of our target audience? I always ask the question when trying to generate a unique message the will resonate:
- Why is my product different than the competition?
- How does it answer a need or desire for their lifestyle?
- Is it user friendly?
- What value does it provide to the end user to improve their life?
Providing high-quality images and videos that allow your target audience to visualize themselves as a satisfied customer. Providing them as deep of an understanding the product brings customer of always of value and provides a visual emotional connection. A picture paints a thousand words.
A Simple Concise Message
Keep your message simple. Never overwhelming audiences with too much information! Remember the goal is to create a unique and emotionally engaging message. The more concise that message the better. If that concise messaging is in the from a cool hook even better your audience will repeat a catchy hook until it become a part of them. Try to create a simple, distilled description of your product always remember there are lots of other competing products, so you need to keep it very, very simple.
Remember as your target audience move further down the investment funnel you will add more in-depth information. Next, you must align your unique brand messaging with where your target audience is located You want to be careful and deliberate about picking your alignment, from the platform you choose, to the way you approach it, to the methods you use always building your email list. The email address invites you into their life like nothing else.
Build a Powerful Online Brand
When building your online brand remember to begin this process long before you get to your platform of choice or you have failed before you have started the process. You will need to build a clear brand and associated message for your campaign early. A strong brand clearly and succinctly expresses what your company is all about. Strong brands cut through the noise to grab the audience and immediately shed light on the character of the product. Once hooked, the audience will naturally gravitate toward learning more. It’s not enough to have an idea in a huge market. The key to what gets funded is how you connect this market to the idea that satisfies it.
The equity crowdfunding industry is changing fast, so being able to pivot and adapt as the marketplace shifts is imperative. Remember Equity crowdfunding was meant to spur innovation and growth, while providing Main Street investors with a means to access high growth companies. It is certainly not an untapped source where everyday web users are patiently waiting to visit an online investment opportunity. Be prepared, be proactive, and remain top of mind, and maybe the idea hatched in your own home will one day be listed on a major U.S. stock exchange.
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