Crowdfunding a Dream: Facing Down Discouragement

Writers Don't QuitThree days ago, it’s hard to believe, we launched the most ambitious crowdfunding campaign of our lives. It wasn’t just the project – to bring a reality tv show based on writing to the airwaves. It was also the amount of money needed to do it – $1.5 million dollars. Today, with just $5 in donations amassed in that 3 days, I find myself looking at just how ambitious the project really is.

The Hurdles

For this campaign to have its best chance of success, we should be bringing in $406,000 a day. That’s $20,000 an hour. It’s more money than I’ve ever made in an hour in my entire life. Yet it’s possible. People have done it. And if they can do it, I know we can, too.

$20,000 an hour means that we must find 4,000 people an hour who are willing to contribute at the $5 level or higher. It is also possible if we can find 800 people an hour who are willing to contribute at the $25 level. It is also possible if we can find 200 people an hour willing to contribute at the $125 level. The bigger the contribution, obviously, the less we have to work to get to our target.

Facing Down Discouragement

Last night, I found myself battling a very bad case of discouragement. I wondered if maybe we were wrong. Maybe there weren’t enough writers out there who wanted this as badly as we did. As I thought things over, I realized that we are facing the same thing every writer faces when they put themselves out into the market and don’t get the results they hoped to receive.

Seeing the Opportunity

And looked in that light, I realized that our struggle is our opportunity to help the budding author who has just launched their first book to less-than-stellar results figure out what they need to do to get their book the attention it deserves, to help others catch hold of and adopt their dream. To build a following that will help them spread their unique message all over the world.

I initially planned to document the crowdfunding journey as a way of thanking those who contributed to making it happen, but what kind of story would it be if victory came in the first chapter? How much more compelling is our story – the story of relatively unknown authors with nothing more than a dream and a lot of moxy coming together to do what industry experts didn’t dare to try – if we face what seems to be impossible odds?

The Key to Our Success

Yes, in the struggle to succeed is the key to our future success. It is in our refusal to quit and to give up on that dream that we will build a story worth reading. The harder the journey is to the top, the more that it will be worth reading because the more hope that it will bring to those who are sitting there, right now, wondering if they can ever make their dreams a reality.

In realizing all of this, I realized that we can’t quit. We can’t give up. We can’t surrender our hopes for this because this project isn’t about money or a TV show. It is about helping authors. If we quit, we can’t do that. We never give them the opportunity to see that they are not alone in their discouragement and they are not alone in their struggle. We don’t get to give them a message of hope against the odds, of finding the pathway to success in spite of the odds.

The Hidden Roots

I wrote about this in my other blog, Everyday Catholic, but our campaign is in the early stages of its growth. Like a seed planted deep in the soil, there’s a lot going on that’s unseen to the naked eye. It’s easy to doubt, easy to believe that this isn’t going to happen, because the rational mind sees nothing happening.

Yet it is in the darkness that tiny roots are shooting out far more rapidly than we realize. Thin threads of matter are taking hold of the soil and are gripping it tightly. It may take days before the first sprout really begins to show itself, but that growth will come as long as we keep tending the soil, weeding and watering, and trusting in the dreams we have.

In fact, good things are already happening behind the scenes. I am personally getting ready to launch a program to teach writers how to transform their books into a full-fledged business. In the process of preparing that program, I realized that the campaign to get awareness for this TV show has the power to help bring together the creative entrepreneurial community. Writers need other creative people in order to help them make the most of their dreams, and those creative individuals need writers to help them find a steady source of demand for their work.

Checking the Metrics

As I pondered what I could do to begin fixing the problems with the campaign, I realized that one thing I had been forgetting to do, which I should have remembered to do, is to check the metrics. Look at what tweets are getting the most likes and shares. Refine my approach based on what people are responding to.

The metrics are the main reason to use social media outlets. It’s easier to see exactly what gets people to respond, what gets them excited to see more. And that’s priceless information for building a successful campaign.

So far, the 5 tweets I’ve shared about the campaign on Twitter have received 2,365 impressions. That means 2,365 times that people have been exposed to the idea. It doesn’t necessarily mean that 2,365 separate people have seen it, but it is possible.

They have been liked 12 times and retweeted 6. The most successful post was the first, generating 1,843 impressions. The second most successful post was the post right after receiving the first donation. It received 259 impressions, but 11 different engagements including 3 detail expands, 2 retweets, and 1 link follow.

What this tells us is that we need to be using the first tweet more often, and that tweeting after a donation is guaranteed to get more action than tweeting about it for any other reason. More people will believe the dream is possible when they see the evidence that the campaign is working, and donations are that proof.

Doing Some Research

Another thing we can do is to research what we can do to improve our campaign results, starting with a Google search like, “how do I increase my Twitter followers” or “how do I get more contributions to my crowdfunding campaign”. Then, we read what we find and we glean every ounce of wisdom we can from it.

The information is out there. If we aren’t getting the results we would like to see, the good news is we can change that.

Thank you!

We have, since starting this campaign, amassed an additional 23 followers. It’s a modest growth, but it expands our potential reach considerably. We have had likes, shares, and retweets. Every like and retweet and share expands the number of people who are exposed to, and know about, the dream we share.


If you’ve liked, shared, retweeted, or in any way helped out in the promotion of this campaign, please comment below and let me know. Not only will this help me by allowing me to include you in the next post, but it gains us exposure on Facebook, as well.

If the size of your dream doesn’t scare you on some level, you aren’t dreaming big enough. We’ve got a huge dream, and we’re going to use it to change the world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *