The Secret Sauce

Clients of The Artist’s Partner succeed at crowdfunding 99% of the time, compared to the 36% average.

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This is the result of a proven recipe for success. There are 3 ingredients in the secret sauce.

Ingredient 1: Effective Frequency

Crowdfunding is subject to marketing’s tenet of Effective Frequency, also known as the Rule of 7. Simply put, most people need to hear a message 7 times to act on it. Our clients’ campaigns have succeeded because they told their prospective backers about their campaigns 7 times before launch (and again 7 times before deadline). So,

Tell your prospective backers—in 7 ways—the genre, title, crowdfunding platform and campaign-launch date of your project.

This is why a successful crowdfunding campaign requires 3-6 months or more of strategic planning. It takes time to think up 7 related but unique ways to tell your prospective backers about your campaign, and it takes time to share those 7 messages. Even if you need just one week to prep and one week to share each message, that is 14 weeks, or 3.5 months, before launch—and that’s before considering all the other tasks on your crowdfunding to-do list.

If you take nothing else away from this website, committing to this one practice will go a very long way toward getting your project crowdfunded: Tell your prospective backers—in 7 ways—the genre, title, crowdfunding platform and campaign-launch date of your project.

Ingredient 2: The Bandwagon Effect

Unlike the typical online retail-shopping experience, the first thing visitors to your campaign will see is the percent-funded meter. This meter creates a perception shift known as the Bandwagon Effect: your prospective backers stop asking themselves the rational question “Is this project interesting to me?” and instead ask the crowd-psychology question “Is this project a winner or a loser?”

Even though this is a subconscious shift, do not underestimate its power. Only 36% of crowdfunding campaigns succeed; one out of 6 campaigns never get a single backer. What makes it even worse is that your (and every) campaign begins looking like a total loser—0 backers, 0% funded, $0 raised—which in and of itself will scare visitors away, even if they would otherwise have been interested in your project. More damaging still, the longer your campaign wallows in zeroes, the more forcefully it will scare prospective backers away.

However, there is great news: The Bandwagon Effect can be converted to your ally. Among crowdfunding campaigns that raise at least 40% of their target, nearly all (97%) go on to fully fund. If a campaign can get up over the 40%-funded hurdle, the Bandwagon Effect reverses: it stops being a headwind and becomes a tailwind instead. Your campaign looks more and more like a “winner,” and that alone encourages people to back it. People get excited by momentum. So,

Plan so that your campaign is at least 40% funded by launch.

No statement knocks our clients off their feet like this one. This target feels radical, even ridiculous. But the best way to get over this wall is to obliterate it. So,

Plan so that your campaign is at least 40% funded by launch.

Ingredient 3: Design

We’re told not to judge a book by its cover because that is exactly what we do. For you to sell your project —on Kickstarter or anywhere—it needs a good cover, logo, poster etc. This key image becomes the “look” (in other words, the brand) of your crowdfunding campaign. The one area where I always recommend that clients spend their money before their crowdfunding campaign even starts is on a good designer for their key project image. Effective Frequency and the Bandwagon Effect are the essentials to crowdfunding success. Having good design ensures that all the work you do actually pays off, because your prospective backers are more likely to actually remember the 7 times they hear from you before launch if they have a united, on-point look. So,

Hire a good designer early and recoup the costs later.

This is another reason why campaign prep takes months, not days or weeks. Researching what will be a good key image for your prospective backers, hiring someone to make it, and working with them on the design requires time to do it well. So,

Hire a good designer early and recoup the costs later.

The Recipe

Combine Effective Frequency, the Bandwagon Effect, and Design to give your book a 97% (rather than typical 36%) chance of successfully funding. Just,

Commission a good key image design early to help tell your prospective backers—in 7 ways—the genre, title, platform and launch date of your project, and make sure it is 40% funded by launch.

That’s it. Now, how to do it. This website, our blog, our books and workshops are ultimately about how to do execute this recipe with style.

To learn more, sign up for our free crowdfunding course offered through Reedsy.com! The content is tailored for authors, but the principles apply to any campaign.

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