Working the Crowd: Know the Fundamentals
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This course is designed to provide each student with the professional and personal knowledge they will need in order to successfully bring your idea, project or product to fruition by harnessing the power of crowdfunding, a revolutionary method for raising small amounts of capital online.
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A brief description of my crowdfunding lecture series, appropriately recorded from my hotel room in Las Vegas where I participated in the 2nd Annual Crowdfunding Convention and Bootcamp.
|Section 1: Crowdfunding: An Overview of the Fundamentals|
This session can be considered an A-Z on how to crowdfund. You will learn about it from historical context and then we will touch on all the necessary elements any good crowdfunding campaign should address. These elements are then broken down in the subsequent workshops.
This session was filmed in front of a live audience of social impact organizations. You will notice some references being made to individuals and organizations that were relevant in the context of the workshop, but not necessarily to you. These moments are minor; please do not let them throw you off.
Additionally, I make a specific reference to “perks” and how they are not necessarily important. Please be aware that while this may true in the social impact and nonprofit space, because the concern is for the larger good of some cause, it is not generally true about crowdfunding.
What is crowdfunding?
Crowdfunding looks so easy!
What crowdfunding can do for you.
Are you suited to crowdfunding?
Understanding the crowdfunding space
Benefits of crowdfunding
Know the risks!
Types of funding models
How Kickstarter works
How Indiegogo works
RocketHub and beyond
How to choose? Breaking it down.
The importance of social media
Steps to good execution
Your pitch and the importance of all communications
|Section 2: Effective Storytelling that Inspires Backers|
Compelling others to want to share your project is crucial to crowdfunding success. This workshop will help you identify the elements of good storytelling in crowdfunding projects through case studies and how-to instruction.
Upon completion you will have the facts, examples and insights you need in order to design a story that will inspire your followers and encourage them to share it with their followers.
Project page messaging elements
Perceived obstacles to good storytelling
Your story, your branding. Some case studies
|Section 3: Perfecting the Pitch Video|
An effective crowdfunding video is an essential component to your crowdfunding campaign. In this workshop we will demystify the process of creating your own crowdfunding pitch video and debunk some myths about costs, technology and what constitutes acceptable production values.
It’s easier than you think to create a highly effective crowdfunding pitch video. Through case studies and how-to instruction, upon completion of this workshop you will be fully prepared to create an inspiring pitch video.
Pitch video case studies
Here's a fun and easy video that shows you exactly all you need to know to make a basic pitch video. Remember, pitch videos aren't meant to be works of art—unless your project is the actual work of art, such as a film. What counts is good production values and a clear message.
|Section 4: Secrets to Gaining Media Attention|
Finding and securing media attention for your crowdfunding campaign will dramatically improve your chances for success. Once you know the steps you can build meaningful relationships that could garner you press. In this workshop a clear strategy is outlined on how to find media outlets, vet them, and then write winning correspondences that will make you stand out from the crowd. We’ll explore best practices for approaching the media, describe what works, what doesn’t, and why.
Upon completion of this workshop you will have the facts, examples and insights to create an effective media campaign for your crowdfunding project.
Create a plan for securing press
"Building and Preparing Your Network for a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign" is a BrightTalk Webinar in which I participated. It provides more information on "working the press." (To see the entire webinar with two other industry professionals, please see the Resources section and you can access via a link and sign up.)
|Section 5: Creating an Effective Social Media Strategy|
Crowdfunding would not be possible without the power of social media. In this workshop you will learn about all the most popular platforms and the importance of identifying and targeting which ones your audience uses. You will then learn tips and best practices on how to build your online presence to create a strategy that will inspire your target audience to action.
Upon completion you will be well on your way to building a robust social media network in preparation for your crowdfunding campaign.
Strategically choosing platforms
It starts by clarifying your goals
Tips on effective messaging to develop a following
Breaking down the social media channels
|Section 6: A Strategy and Management for Success|
This session offers a step-by-step path to creating a dynamic campaign, from pre-launch to fulfillment. We’ll put the microscope on strategy by naming and organizing your team, determining a funding goal, how to choose perks, and targeting your audience. Then we’ll learn about keeping communication and momentum going during your campaign, and managing post-campaign responsibilities.
Upon completion you will have a blueprint to follow with a step-by-step checklist. Through case studies you will learn best practices, and you will be provided with resources to the best productivity tools to utilize.
The psychology behind deciding on a funding goal
Everything you need to know about determining good perks
Sample perks--what works, what doesn't
How to keep your audience engaged
Rose Spinelli is a crowdfunding consultant and trainer at The Crowdfundamentals where she offers one-on-one coaching and crowdfunding analysis.
In January, 2014, she was named among the "Top 100 Thought Leaders in Crowdfunding Today."
Rose writes a "Rose Recommends" column for Crowdsourcing dot org and has been a panelist and/or moderator at multiple crowdfunding conferences.
As a veteran journalist, she worked both as an editor (Time Out Chicago) and as a freelancer for multiple national publications, And as a former development director for Inspiration Cafe, a nonprofit, Rose understands traditional fundraising, too. More recently she taught Storytelling Strategies and Writing for the Media Professional at Tribeca Flashpoint Academy in Chicago.
Rose is a documentary filmmaker ("Baking Bread"), a memoir shot in Sicily); a dog lover, volunteer and advocate; and yoga practitioner.