Crowdfunding a Dream: Evaluating Progress

Crowdfunding TipsI was looking over the progress the campaign has made last night and thinking up strategies to help us plan a path forward that will help make it more successful, because writers don’t quit, when I decided to look at the numbers and see what I could learn from them. The results tell me a lot about what’s really happening with the campaign, and where there’s room for improvement.

Social Engagement

7 out of 10 of our posts have received between 1 and 4% of people who see it engaging with it. Considering that big brands usually achieve .07% (you are reading that right. 7 out of every 1000 people engage with the tweets of the big brands), our campaign tweets are hitting it out of the park. People are interested and they are listening. That’s really good news for our campaign. Our marketing strategy is actually working very well, despite the donation levels.

Impressions Versus Visits

2,718 people have seen the campaign information. 34 have actively engaged with the information. But out of those 2,718 people, 113 have visited the campaign. That means we are getting 4 out of every 100 people who see the information about the campaign to visit. Keep that number in mind, because we’ll see how that’s going to work out for us later.

Visits versus Donations

Right now we have 2 people donating for every 113 who visit, or roughly 2%.

Average Donations

Based on this sample size, we are averaging $15 per donation.

What the Numbers Mean

With an average donation of $15, we need to find 81,333 more people willing to donate that much or more in order to hit our target goal of $1,250,000. With a donation rate of roughly 2%, we need to draw roughly 4.5 million people to the campaign in order to get that many donations. And in order to find that many people willing to view the site, we need to receive about 20 million impressions.

The Strategy

Getting 20 million impressions sounds really hard, but it isn’t. That’s the beauty of social media. There are 307 million active Twitter users. We don’t have to worry about being able to reach the 20 million impressions mark. We just have to worry about finding, and attracting to our campaign, users with far larger followings than our own. It’s called amplification, and it allows us to expand our reach exponentially beyond what we can achieve alone.

Joining Forces to Turn Up the Volume

If you or I were to stand on the middle of a New York sidewalk, speaking about our campaign, our chances of being heard would be very low. There’s just too much noise surrounding us for our voices to be heard clearly.

However, if you and I and several of our friends get together and begin speaking that same message, we can each reach more of the people in the crowd. The more appealing the message, the more people begin to join in spreading it, and suddenly our message is being heard by more people in more places than we could ever reach on our own.

Attracting Followers

One of the easiest ways to increase impressions is to build up the number of followers. Easier said than done, sometimes. I spent two years just below 700 followers, and couldn’t seem to get past that hurdle. Publishers tell you that you need a small city’s population worth of followers before they seriously consider picking you up as a writer, something we’ll talk about in the next post.

What changed? I did. I decided to engage in conversation with people, to respond to relevant trending hashtags, and to provide useful content that the people following me would be interested in receiving. The result? The addition of almost 100 new followers.

I’ve also employed a strategy I hadn’t been using before: thanking the people who follow me by following them in return. If I want to understand the people who follow me better and anticipate what they will respond to, it only makes sense to do this. I get to see their thoughts, their ideas, and the things that matter to them. If I’m smart, I capitalize on that information to formulate messages that target their needs. It’s a win-win for both of us.

A Long Way to Go, But Hope on the Horizon

We have a lot of work to do if this campaign is going to be a success. There’s no doubt about that. However, we now know for sure that what we want to do is achievable, it’s merely a matter of reaching the right people by amplifying the message.

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