I was intrigued to read co-founder experience from one of the myriad crowd-funding sites. James Beshara reckons there’s a trio of reasons projects secure the funds they seek. That, in his language, is when you “tilt”. Here’s his triple-headings;
Build Momentum – Three Key Days – Involve Supporters
I was struck by how neatly many of his observations transfer onto a b2b product campaign.
I was further aware of how many of these actions are too important to be left to anyone else but Sales to make happen. They are clearly our responsibility. So we must act. Don’t leave them to Marketing departments alone. They are plainly not their domain.
In crowdfunding it appears the first four hours are critical. Whilst our ‘golden hours’ may well stretch much longer, the point remains that early movement is crucial. His word “jumpstart” has merit. (I’ve always liked the sales phrase “hit the deck running”. You’d never go into, say, a new sales year with a bare cupboard so why is a new product treated differently?) How are you going to provide essential traction and social proof? Who is already lined up before the launch to buy? Right down to having a written out signed order upfront to “jump onboard”..? And have you forgotten your “best friends”, those you can mobilise for vital “initial support”?
Three Key Days
These are your first day, the day you hit your goal (“tilt”) and your last day. Each apparently gives you plenty of scope to boost interest, enthusiasm and ‘donations’. In our b2b terms, what are we doing on these milestones as a sales effort? When our first day falls should be fairly obvious. So should our last day. It’ll hopefully be the day our product switches from being labelled ‘new’. What though, of our “tilt” day? This for instance, could be when our costs are covered, a specific market penetration is met, or an accumulated coverage is reached.
So in crowdfunding the single biggest driver is the community you’re building. What about yours? Where are potential customers talking to each other? How are those committing already spreading your word? Which successes are helping them to help you too? I also totally agree that “they want to be a part of your story”. I find this myself too. Most people that buy something ‘new’ want to see it succeed. After all, if for no other reason than it justifies how wonderful their early decision was. Another line I like is, “inspire them with exclusive updates that they can’t get anywhere else”. I instantly realised how rarely anyone buying a new b2b product is informed who else may also be buying and how happily they’re getting on with it. Not every client is a sworn enemy of each other, surely. And don’t think that potential buyers are passed on this great news all that often, either.