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In the last blog, I wrote about the four types of rewards, and now, I’d like to drill down a little deeper into each one—starting with Pre-Sale Rewards.

 

Pre-Sale Rewards are products and services offered by the campaign creator in exchange for contributions. These items are normally sold by the campaign creator’s company and are bundled in different ways to be distributed over time. For example, a bakery might offer a loaf of bread each month, a specialty food company could provide a yearlong subscription to culinary delights, or a meat producer might offer a membership in a sausage club.

 

Pre-Sales can also refer to advance sales of products that are not yet fully developed or produced—giving the contributor the opportunity to be the first to own something new, while also supporting a company’s product development. Authors, artists, musicians may use this form of reward to support their creative work—pre-sales of books, CDs, works of art, and attendance at performances.

 

Services can also be pre-sold — a pass for yoga classes, massages, a weekend at B&B, or home delivery service.

 

When it comes to pre-sale rewards, the opportunities are endless. Get your creative juices flowing and brainstorm ideas with your team for a fun, original and irresistible rewards!


headshot of Katelyn Heller customer service for The Local Crowd

Katelyn Heller

Author | TLC Success Coach

Adventure-seeking success coach who loves exploring Wyoming’s landscapes with my two fur babies.

There are five basic types of crowdfunding —donation-based, rewards-based, lending, equity and royalty. The Local Crowd platform fits into two categories —rewards and donations—because our contributors can receive rewards in exchange for contributing to a business project, or they can make a simple donation to a cause they support.

The “rewards” space offers tons of opportunities for creativity and fun! So much fun, in fact, that I want to dedicate my next few blogs to digging into some different campaigns and the amazing rewards the creators have dreamed up and offered.

I’ll be covering four types of rewards. First, Pre-Sale rewards are a great way for businesses to get people to try out their products and services. Next, “Experience” rewards include activities like tours, receptions, classes, special events and parties. Naming rewards give contributors the opportunity to have their name or picture on something (like a menu item, or brick in a wall) and Sponsored Rewards are donated by other businesses or individuals who support the project. Stay tuned — these real-life stories will inspire you and stimulate your creative juices!

 

 


headshot of Katelyn Heller customer service for The Local Crowd

Katelyn Heller

Author | TLC Success Coach

Adventure-seeking success coach who loves exploring Wyoming’s landscapes with my two fur babies.

One important strategy for crowdfunding success is building a good team—as crowdfunding studies have shown us that teams of four or more people raise more money. Yet, this also seems to be a huge stumbling block—capsulized in the frequent refrain, “But, Katelyn, I don’t have anyone to be on my team!”

As a success coach, I always want to respond with a big hug and reassurance, “Just look around you and it will be easier than you think!”

The first person on your team is, of course, you! (One down, three to go!)  Now take a look around you at the people in your life—your Mom, Dad, siblings, extended family, friends, coworkers, contacts from school, church, clubs and social media. Do you have a cousin who enjoys creating videos, or a best friend who knows all the ins and outs of every social media platform?

The members of your expert team may be hidden in plain sight—right there amidst the things you participate in every day. All you need to do is recognize this and ask!

 


headshot of Katelyn Heller customer service for The Local Crowd

Katelyn Heller

Author | TLC Success Coach

Adventure-seeking success coach who loves exploring Wyoming’s landscapes with my two fur babies.

Part of The Local Crowd’s foundational purpose is to facilitate an economic system that is in harmony with environmental sustainability. This has inspired me to examine my own life, my impact on the environment, and ways I can make a difference. In the process, I have discovered some amazing products and companies, and I want to share this information will all of you!

 

Reducing waste: I recently started purchasing cleaning products from Grove Collaborative which has allowed me to reduce the amount of waste that I was previously producing.

 

Reusing: There are some incredible reusable items on the market that extend far beyond water bottles and shopping tote bags. Some of the items I often rave about are reusable sandwich bags from Stasher, as well as reusable q-tips, cotton rounds, and tissues from LastObject.

 

Recycling: Most of us throw cardboard boxes, newspapers, and plastics into those blue-lidded recycling bins; but did you know you can recycle clothing?! The brand For Days has a unique recycling program for used clothes! Communitywide composting provides a solution to food waste that is gaining traction in many areas—including White River Junction, VT, that conducted a TLC campaign to help make it happen—“Closing the Food Waste Loop.”

 


headshot of Katelyn Heller customer service for The Local Crowd

Katelyn Heller

Author | TLC Success Coach

Adventure-seeking success coach who loves exploring Wyoming’s landscapes with my two fur babies.

It’s from here, your concrete foundation— your why —that you’ll make plans for your business or organization’s work ahead. 

In his texts and record-breaking presentations, author and inspirational speaker Simon Sinek introduces an approach to leadership built on a clear vision and purposeful action that, as his best-selling book states in its title, Starts with Why.

He explains a Golden Rule, drawn in three concentric circles marked and centered around why, followed by How, and lastly What. The concept, rooted in neuroscience, asks us to lead with heart, even before wordsa practice The Local Crowd has adopted with Tender Loving arms.

In a podcast with a research professor, best-selling author, and inspiring leader, Dr. Brené Brown digs into why-centered work alongside Sinek. Here Sinek compares the importance of knowing the true origin story of your work—why am I doing the work I’m doing in the world?to the structure and process of constructing a home. 

Your why is the foundation—poured concrete marking the permanent shape of what will become a house—built up with choices in how to move forward and with what tools and fixtures. Your vision for what’s built on top or placed inside may change with time, much like the shutter’s paint or the fixture’s finish is altered over the years, but the foundation won’t change. It’s from here, your concrete foundationyour unique whythat you’ll make plans for your business or organization’s work ahead. 

We believe, as Sinek tells, each launch, project, pivot, or move within the walls of your business is no different; at The Local Crowd we start every campaign with you at your unique why.

Your Why is the Foundation

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Use this time to rally around the next circle of supporters and continue implementing your marketing plan.

 

Mid-campaign is the time to rally around the next supporters referred by previous funders, or to methodically continue implementing your marketing plan. Most crowdfunding campaigns follow a predictable trajectory of initial success followed by a Valley of Death–the period of time immediately following the initial surge of interest that can feel a lot like a lull. Here are some ideas to keep your mid-campaign marketing moving forward:

  • Now is the time to reach out to a wider audience. Brainstorm with your team on where you can go next for support and the media channels to use to reach them.
  • Launch new rewards to build excitement around a different offering that your growing audience will be delighted to share.  
  • Update your early contributors about your campaign progress, new rewards and other news and ask them to share the campaign with their friends, workplace and connections on social media
  • Emphasize sharing on social media and direct emails with incentives like giveaways, discounts, or even unveiling a new reward
  • Create updated press releases and digital content for social media and newsletter lists featuring campaign updates, celebrating wins, and sharing what’s needed to move forward to reach your goals. 
  • Think about the affinity groups that may be interested in your work or who your team is connected with and reach out with information about your campaign.
Mid-Campaign Marketing: Keep Reaching!

We know that most crowdfunding campaigns experience a Valley of Death after the first week, and that continued focus on marketing and outreach allows for a steady climb up from that lull, making for an overall trajectory of crowdfunded success that looks a lot like a familiar zoo favorite!

 

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Did you know a successful crowdfunding campaign can reap many benefits beyond capital for your business, professional networks, and community?

 

Did you know that a successful crowdfunding campaign can reap benefits for your business, professional networks, and community?

While a need for capital is what brings many to the innovative tool, the power of crowdfunding extends far beyond raising funds.

As you begin to set your campaign goals, collect resources, and make a plan, consider these ways your successful crowdfunding campaign can make an impact. 

  • It builds a community of supportive followers who rally around your project thanks to shared interest and investment in their neighborhood.
  • It attracts new collaborative partnerships and opens doors for conversation around your mission with individuals and organizations who are intrigued by the work you’re doing. 
  • It allows you to crowdsource ideas and feedback on your project or offering and creates a space to market test an idea or product with presales. 
  • It creates a centralized platform for you to formulate and tell your unique and compelling story with the use of multimedia like video, social media, and email campaigns.
  • It broadens your audience and potential customer base with shareable content, cultivating a more robust brand awareness within your community.
  • Last but not least, it allows you to reach toward your network of cheerleaders within your community and exchange your irresistible rewards for funds in support of your future success!

The Possibilities of Crowdfunding

 

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Gratitude is learned in adolescence as our brains begin to build muscles around the expression at the heart of community support.

Early in adolescence, our brains begin to conceptualize and build muscles around the experience and expression of a cornerstone of community support: growing gratitude. 

In The Gratitude Project, Maryam Abdullah, Giacamo Bono, Jeffrey Froh, Andrea Hussong and Kira Newman write of their global studies on the roots and evolution of gratitude, exploring how the experience moves beyond a social custom and toward a deep moral value, and they define the process of learning gratitude in four components:

  1. What do we notice for which we are grateful–a gift, a moment, a simple joy?
  2. How do we think about what’s been given to us and why it was given? Was it an unexpected act of kindness, a gesture of support, an extension of love?
  3. How do we feel about what we’ve been given–happy, joyful, appreciative?
  4. What do we do to express appreciation in return? Do we give a hug or thank you note or are we inspired to pay it forward and offer the gift of giving to others?

Just as children learn to grow their gratitude muscles with cognitive development and the support of their environments and caretakers, we can stretch ourselves to dig deeper toward gratitude with practice of this process of notice-think-feel and do.

Growing Gratitude in Four Steps

 

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Because asking for support can feel uncomfortable, here are a few concepts to consider when reaching to your neighbors to ask for a hand.

 

One of The Local Crowd’s unique features is the opportunity for local businesses to contribute rewards in support of a campaign’s goal. 

For example, imagine a neighborhood bakery raising funds to purchase a display case for additional baked goods with help from their peers at the coffee roastery next door. The roastery can donate a few pounds of coffee for their friends to offer for sale on their campaign, and benefit from the exposure and potential for gaining a new customer in a mutually beneficial exchange that Michael H. Shuman calls “the gateway for challenging economic behavior.”

Because asking for support can feel uncomfortable, here are a few concepts to consider when reaching to your neighbors to ask for a hand:

Keep it Conversational: Explore your potential collaboration with an open mind and approach your neighbors with a conversational tone, as opposed to rigidly asking in a way that could appear demanding or harsh.

Transparency is Key: Avoid any illusions of smoke in mirrors by remaining open about the goals of your campaign and the intention of your request for support. You may be surprised who is willing to offer support when it’s clear that their contribution will go to something they genuinely want to see succeed.

Focus on the Mutual Exchange: In the end, everyone wants to win, and fortunately, they can! As you brainstorm with your neighbors, explore how you can highlight their endeavors, products, or goals for their business in exchange for their support toward yours. 

 

 

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Create a dynamic and compelling campaign video by avoiding these four common pitfalls in videos that leave audiences scrolling past.

In online communication, video is king.

Your campaign video could be the first and only content your audience consumes on your campaign page, making it arguably the most important element of your marketing. Create a dynamic and compelling video by avoiding these four common pitfalls in videos that leave audiences scrolling on to the next thing:

  • Keep it short: The longer we spend on the internet the shorter our attention span becomes. Stick to 90 seconds or less to keep your viewers engaged through the video’s entire message. 
  • Get to the point: Hook your audience with beautiful imagery, an interesting fact, the reason they need to stick around and listen right away to keep them from losing interest before they’ve even begun. 
  • Show your face + use your voice: People connect to people, not slideshows. Recognize that feeling uncomfortable recording yourself is nearly universal; however, it is a fundamental part of creating a genuine connection between the person behind the screen and you, the person behind your mission.
  • Double-check the small stuff: With today’s smartphones, DIY video can be equally as successful in a crowdfunding campaign as high-production quality with careful attention to your lighting, any distracting background sounds, and avoiding overpowering music or sound effects.

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