Two years ago, I was naive and thought crowdfunding was easy. How hard is it to share on Facebook, produce a fun video, and send a few emails to friends? It sounded like the easy life. Get the page up and a few weeks later, you get $5000 or even $20k in the bank from MAKEACHAMP.
I got burnt, had my shares of complete failures and sheer disappointments after months of *hard* work. It was even more discouraging when seeing friends relying on you to fund their dreams. A friend even retired for 4 months in a far-away farm after experiencing the social failure.
However I also had the joy of helping dozens of people's dream come true, and crowdfund successfully more than $1.4 million.
I would like you to succeed in crowdfunding your athletic journey so I wanted to share the insights gained in the past years helping athletes fundraise, after dozens of crowdfunding projects (too many too count), thousands of emails sent, countless facbook and twitter shares, PR pitches and more. Here are the principles that I find common in ALL successful crowdfunding campaigns :
* Present an inspiring goal : your supporters and their friends need to be wowed when you share the campaign. Perhaps it's new, clever or courageous. Funding a winter camp is to most supporters uninspiring. However if you can frame as a key milestone towards world championships, then it's more interesting! Here is a simple test : if your friends feel compelled to share others about your project, then you are in the right direction.
* Bring emotion : too often, athlete present a collection of competitions or technical and science data. Supporters however care about the human aspects of the campaign. They relate to setbacks, injuries, love, excitement and broken relationships. What do you have?
* A community's objective : it is important to frame the journey as a community ambition. You can represent your dojo, club or your country. Or maybe you represent a minority. A campaign becomes truly successful when it's not anymore about "me" but about "us"
* Good social media and email : Crowdfunding is powered by crowd media, and as such it's important to have an active community on social media, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and also a permission-based email-list. If you haven't had a look recently, it's time to share your latest athletic pictures, results, as well as connect with the friends and let them know you are now active on social media. Don't like everyone's pictures though : it's much more important to post a few meaningful community pictures, or post meaningful words engaging the community than just repeating what everyone is already doing.
* Niche blogs are your friends : many athletes like big media such as ESPN or Sports Illustrated. However, niche bloggers are much effective in getting crowdfunding dollars, they are more excited (dare I say authentic?) and will share your athletic goal with more passion to their followers. It can be the local community journalist, or an online blogger covering your martial arts style. I'm sure you know a few who have covered you and your athletes colleagues recently!
* Do it yourself : We have developed powerful tools to help promote your campaign. You might also have friends or even professionals who have proposed to promote for you so you don't have to do anything. It's tempting but think about it twice! You are the athlete, you have the passion and the belief you can make it happen! Friends or PR consultants will not communicate with the same passion and will miss the emotion. Crowdfunding is truly the era of empowerment and self-determination for athletes so it's important that you spend due time getting supporters, one after the anohter. Of course, it's also important to have help but make sure you do it yourself!
I have not mentioned hard work, and having high standards but it goes without saying that you need to spend time to best present the project.
What is your athletic objective now? Share below your story and we can discuss how we can present it as a successful MAKEACHAMP campaign.
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