It’s been an incredible couple of weeks for newsworthy crowdsourced fundraising campaigns over on Kickstarter and Indiegogo:
- Adam Baker and team are very close to having the most individual backers ever for a documentary
- Seth Godin raised a buhjillion dollars in 24 hours for his newest book
- Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal has raised over $200k for two charitable causes in a hilarious symbolic middle finger to a website who stole a bunch of his comics
Great for these guys, you might be saying, they each already have big followings. But what if you’re just “joe creative” off the street?
Crowdfunding is like social media. If you already have a huge following, it’s easy to get your message out. If you don’t have a following already, good luck standing out from the thousands of other projects out there.
Without an audience of your own, you shouldn’t expect miracles to happen. If your content and your story is outstanding, you might get lucky and have a viral campaign on your hands.
But wouldn’t it be better if you knew there was an army of true fans waiting to support whatever you came out with next?
That’s how Adam Baker was able to raise over 100k for a first-time film. He spent the past three years building a following as a blogger and making relationships with other people who have followings. His supporters were there for him even as he made the big leap from blogging to filmmaking.
It’s always best to build an audience long before you need it.
If your creative project is ready to share with the world and you’re just now wondering how social media or crowdfunding might help, it’s too late.
It doesn’t have to take a decade or more to build a following that will make a difference when it matters most. Adam Baker started Man Vs. Debt just over 3 years ago. Matthew Inman started The Oatmeal incredibly less than 3 years ago.
If your reaction to hearing about the success of these fundraising efforts was “it must be easy when you have all your big-name blogger friends promote for you,” I want you to think about it again.
You could be only a year away from sitting in that privileged position yourself. Most of the “big name” bloggers and social media people you know now were nobodies not that long ago.
This is still the wild west. It’s time to stake your claim.
Start building your audience now, long before you need it.