So you did it! You launched an investment crowdfunding campaign and you’re going all-in on a local legion of microinvestors and brand ambassadors. Now what?
As wild and new as it might feel to pull in capital from your fans, customers, and community, promoting your crowdfunding campaign isn’t all the different than promoting your business. The best ways to attract local investors are fairly similar to the ways you attract customers to your business.
Before you dive right in though, take a little time to plan your strategy. You’ll want to identify a list of your target investors, marketing channels, and cadence for your messaging. You’ll want to think through a plan for each and then what parts of that plan are going to give you the best bang for your buck, aka ROI.
Let’s drill down on a few of these.
1. Target investors. This is where you’ll leverage the strength-of-network assessment you completed in the discovery and research phase of your campaign. The SON is a tool that helps you identify where to find your investors and what groups or associations they might come from. Go through your groupings and pull out the folks you feel most confident about getting an investment from.
From there, put them in a spreadsheet (your personal CRM) along with your planned method of contact (zoom, email, coffee). Now set this aside and we’ll come back to it.
2. Marketing channels – think about this as go-go gadget arms reaching the far ends of your network. You want to think about all the possible ways to get in front of investors both through your business and personal networks. Some of the most obvious channels might be your social media accounts.
List out all the possible accounts & platforms you could use (including the ones you’re not currently on) then pick your potential top performers. Don’t get hung up on follow counts or reach, while you want to get in front of as many potential investors as possible, asking folks to buy into your business is a quality over quantity message.
One of the top methods for reaching potential investors is in-person connections. (yes, even pandemic-era, masked-up, socially-distant style) For hospitality businesses, this is easy to execute on. It may be as simple as throwing up a table tent or putting a link on the menu. Other businesses may have to get more creative with this channel. Think about where your fans go and where you might come across them.
Depending on your product, you could set up a booth at a farmers market or ask the coffee shop you frequent about hanging up a flyer. If you don’t see much foot traffic, chances are, one of your vendors, customers, or partners do. Don’t hesitate to ask them for a little tag-along promotion since holding a successful raise will likely benefit them as well!
Lastly, an email newsletter can be a secret weapon in keeping your most loyal followers engaged on your raise. Whether it’s a list of emails from customer purchases or a combination of your various networks, (after your make sure they’ve agreed to receive your updates) this is a great way to put the most up-to-date info about your raise in front of future investors and remind current investors to continue getting the word out about the campaign.
3. Cadence. After you’ve identified your best investor targets and laid out your top channels, you’ll want to outline a sequence and cadence for the messaging you use to connect with your audience. The key here is to balance what feels natural for you and your brand with what information you need to get out.
The first group you’ll want to hit are those target investors. These will be your most direct interactions and you want to stack these at the beginning of your campaign to give you a solid boost out of the gate. Once your Form C is filed (and not a moment before) you can start having these conversations so your campaign has investors waiting to invest when it goes live. From there you can turn your attention to your list of channels.
Alternating messaging that goes out on specific channels can help keep you from overloading your fans with too much information. Think through your vision for the raise and what it’s going to help you accomplish. From there, write up the common themes and goals you want to communicate. That will give you a set of copy that you can tweak between platforms to avoid redundancy, but also spread out over a timeline so you’re going back to the drawing board each week for new content.
Finally, within your cadence, leave room for the unknown. If you suddenly secure a key partnership or land a big client, you’ll want to add those updates in without throwing off your communication flow or detailing your messaging strategy. Think about how these updates will fit into your flow and use them to punctuate your fundraising efforts rather than distract from them.
Promoting your campaign is hard work, but it doesn’t have to feel like a chore. If you focus in on your biggest supporters, think through where to engage them, and set up a plan to communicate, your campaign can not only be a lot of fun, it can create revenue-generating facetime with your community.
Whether you’re new to raising capital or you’ve been around the block a few times, Vicinity takes a hands-on approach to all our campaigns, putting your success as our #1 goal. We’re here to help you tap into the amazing support, pride, and capital in your community. It may take a village to raise a child but it takes a community to fund a business.