Crowdfunding backers: How to get strangers to support you

One question I often get is: “How do you get complete strangers on the internet to become crowdfunding backers for your project and give you money?”. And in fact, this is key. Without a crowd, there’s no funding.

It’s one thing to get people who know and love you to back your projects, but getting complete strangers from the internet? That’s a totally different thing altogether. What’s even stranger is that somehow it’s those people who we don’t even know that we want to win over more than those we are closest to. 

But it happens all the time. Successful campaigns don’t become fully funded only with family and friends’ support. They get fully funded because their project is good, they get it in front of strangers and show them why their project is for them. 

So here are four different reasons why internet strangers will choose to support your campaign. By knowing these four reasons you will be able to set yourself up with a campaign that will have people believing in you as a business and entrepreneur. Not only your friends and neighbors.

Why Strangers Are Better Than Family 

How is it that we get more satisfaction from complete strangers backing our projects then our own friends and family? If you have a good idea or a solution to a problem, you will be happy and feel accomplished when you can get that idea in front of more people, and when that people actually like it and back it. It makes creators feel validated, of course. 

So to get there, you need to show some proof in your campaign page. This is the best way to win over crowdfunding backers that you don’t personally know already. To get strangers to trust you and your project. Here are four ways to do it:

1. Social Proof

Let’s imagine you’re a usual backer (and if you’re a creator, you’ve probably backed other projects). And you come across a new campaign. It’s on its day 15th, doesn’t have a lot of updates, doesn’t have even 30% of its goal funded yet. What do you think? 

It’ll vary from person to person but you’d probably think:

What’s going on? Why is this project not funded more? It’s probably not that good of a project if no one is backing it… I don’t want to take 20 minutes to figure out what’s the good thing about it… I’ll just go ahead and check other projects in that time, that already have thousands of backers.

And this happens in a matter of seconds. 

You see, if for some reason your only 5% funded campaign on day 15th gets in front of an experienced backer on Indiegogo or Kickstarter, you won’t make an impression. People like social proof. We like to do what others have already taken a risk at doing.

You’re more likely to buy a new book from the Amazon Best Seller list than one that’s not on that list. 

2. Reach Your Goal Early

As a creator, the last point might sound illogical because “How do I get backers if I don’t have backers to convince other potential backers to back me!?”. It’s frustrating. I know. But let me explain.

You should NEVER LAUNCH WITHOUT AN AUDIENCE. You should never launch if you don’t have some indicators that when you do launch, some people on your email list will back you. You only launch when you have an email list so big and so engaged that you know you’ll get at least 30% of funding on DAY 1. To know how exactly many people you actually need in your email list check out this simple formula (it’s less than what you think).

Why? Because this percentage funded will show the algorithm of the platform that your project is good. And it’ll push it to new people. To crowdfunding backers that you don’t already have in your list, and that will see that you’re on a good track to be fully funded so they will be more likely to back you. 

3. Get Badges Of Honor 

Have you seen those cool visuals that say “As seen in…” and then include a lot of logos that you’re familiar with? Those are badges of honor. Visual representations of your trustworthiness and legitimacy will go a long way in your crowdfunding success. Wondering how to get these press logos? Check this DIY free guide here.

These badges tell people that your project has been through a third-party non-biased review of some sort. This is very different for each project and niche. Be sure to research into your category and check what crowdfunding backers take as a badge of honor. 

4. Testimonials

Who better to tell you about a product than someone you trust and whose opinion you value!? For example, if you’re a cook, and you come across this campaign for a new pepper mill, and you come across a review by the guy from Binging with Babish, you’ll think “this must be a great pepper mill, if this guy is approving it personally!”.

Same with your campaign. You want your potential crowdfunding backers to see testimonials from other people in the industry that have some kind of authority. It can be a small influencer or YouTuber, or a recognized reviewer. 

The important thing is that you show your project has been validated by other people in the same niche. 

Final thoughts

So you see, there are many ways in which you can convince total strangers to become your crowdfunding backers. But you have to put in the work first. Make sure you have an audience and a plan for reviews and badges BEFORE you launch. It’s not only creating a campaign and hitting the LIVE button. 

There’s so much that comes into play. To learn about everything else you need to do to get fully funded in 90 days check the Bootcamp out

Please share this article on LinkedIn if you liked it – would mean a lot to me. And since you’re already there, check the Facebook group for crowdfunding creators!