Networks and Crowd-funding

Look around. Who do you see?

If the answer is nobody, look down at your phone, or up into your computer screen. You see, even if you’re not physically around anyone right now, you most likely have the ability to call, text, or even email those you care about, and it’s these connections that matter.

The truth is, people like people, and as humans we tend to favour the individuals that we care about and are close too, rather than those that we don’t, and we favour the people that we might not know very well over those we don’t know at all. So, if we take the six degrees of separation theory (that potentially everyone in this world is no more than six connections away via introduction) then technically you’re only six introductions away from meeting Taylor Swift and Beyoncé, and six steps away from them funding your next crowdfunder!

Whilst unlikely, in theory it could happen – but how?

Ashli Blaubaum from wrote a fantastic article on crowdfunding metrics and the 30% rule.

Ashli’s 30% rule is as follows. If you have 30% of the money before you launch your crowdfunding campaign then you are likely to reach your goal 90% of the time. However, if you start with 0% of the funds then you are only likely to reach your goal 15% of the time.

Therefore, if to reach your goal you need 30% of the money (or pre-pledged money) before even launching your campaign, you need to really tap into your existing network and make them care about what you are doing. If you can convince your family, friends and the people in your existing network that you’re doing something awesome and that it’s something that they should care about too, you gain the ability to help them convince their friends that they should care about it, and so on.

And this mostly comes down to trust. You trust that your friends are being honest with you when they recommend something or express that they care about an issue that’s personal to them. So, if you share a link, the people that are most connected with you and your beliefs will be more likely to click on that link. If your friends share your beliefs and share this link, they are expressing that they care about this issue too – which will give those who care about them something to click – at least online. But nothing beats personal interaction.

If you can have that 1-1 interaction with someone that really engages them and makes them care, and they go onto have a 1-1 interaction with someone else, it’s a lot more powerful. You want people to talk, and you want people to engage so much with your crowdfunder that they tell everyone they meet! It’s true what they say; 30% of your crowdfunder really is 100% of the work, it’s what makes it look credible and exciting. Everything else is just sharing.

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