Synopsis: There are many things to prepare before launching an equity crowdfunding campaign – but what do you need to do while the offer is live? This article explains everything you should be doing to keep up your launch momentum. Read it NOW to know what to do to keep the money pouring in!
How To Support Your Crowdfunding Campaign Post-Launch
Besides the crowdfunding promotion tactics that I’ve already written about elsewhere, there are two main things you will need to do during the offer period of your crowdfunding campaign:
- Provide frequent campaign updates and,
- Answer the questions posed to you in the forum.
Doing these two things well will help keep your momentum going and help steer you towards crowdfunding success.
1. Frequent Updates
Investing is often more emotional than analytic, and the best emotions to inspire are urgency and scarcity. One way to do this is to provide frequent crowdfunding campaign updates that show your rapid progress towards your target. When your campaign hits 25% complete, 50% complete, 75% complete and heads into overfunding are all good points at which to update your crowd to show off how well your offer is going.
Of course, the only way to make this believable is to actually have rapid progress towards your target. People aren’t stupid. A message saying “Our offer is going fast! Come quickly or you might miss out!” is not going to work if your offer has been stuck on 5% for two weeks. It could even work against you, as people will lose trust and stop paying attention if you are saying something patently untrue. Don’t be like the boy who cried wolf.
Another great way to update your crowd is to release positive news related to your business, which builds on your pitch. Announce new clients, new hires, new stores – anything to show that your company is not sitting still during the offer. It also gives you something to say when you’re blasting out all these messages, beyond the banal “check out our company and invest!” You can get these news releases ready before your crowdfunding campaign launches.
Guusto did their updates through video. This is more relatable, as people can see you and hear you. Because video is more shareable, it can also get you more exposure through Facebook, YouTube, and Vimeo.
CropLogic sent a media release part way through their offer in relation to the appointment of advisors in relation to an initial public offering. Their crowdfunding pitch had said they were going to take steps towards an initial public offering – so when partway through the offer people could see that they weren’t even going to wait for the offer to close in order to fulfil this promise, it was well-received. Very smart campaigning.
2. Answering Questions
One founder I spoke to woke up on the morning after his campaign launched to an inbox of 135 new emails of people requesting business plans and financial forecasts. So you ought to plan for some disruption to the ordinary course of business – there will be a lot of people who want to talk to the founders of the company, and you will have to make time to do it. Best will be to assign this task to one person within the team, so that the responsibility of answering incoming questions is clear.
The question and answer forum is underestimated by many. This is the part of your campaign where anyone can ask the founders a question, and where everyone can view both the question and the founder’s reply. Platforms all emphasize how crucial it is to answer questions as quickly as possible. If the founders aren’t on top of the forum, it can damage the offer. Investors will be wondering why their questions are taking so long to be answered. Is the company hiding something? Or are those in charge just too lazy to bother replying? Both are bad.
goHenry set an internal goal that their crowdfunding campaign would answer every question within 6 hours. Alex Zivoder explains why: “We think a lot of campaigns make a mistake by not giving immediate and effective attention to the questions raised on the forum. Because we answered every question quickly, and in full, the entire atmosphere of the forum became supportive of goHenry.”
So make sure that you actually ANSWER the questions. Some campaigns have a tendency to deflect difficult questions by citing commercial sensitivity – but if an investor asks a question, it’s because they want an answer! A non-answer is just as bad as no answer, even if it is a hard question, or if it is one that you would prefer didn’t come up.
You may also get questions that have already been addressed elsewhere, revealing that the questioner has not read everything you spent so long putting together before coming to the forum. You might feel like curtly saying “See page 12 of our business plan for the answer to this.” But don’t.
Even if the questioner seems like a hostile and unfair interrogator, you still need to answer their questions politely, with utmost professionalism, and in full – even if you clench your teeth as you do so. Remember, everyone on the forum gets to read your reply, not just the one who posed the question.
I have prepared a list of common questions you might get in the forum, so that you can start preparing answers, even before your campaign goes live. That way, you will be as prepared as you can possibly be for what your potential investors could ask. This list can be downloaded at citizensoftheworld.io/equity-crowdfunding.