What makes your project different? The internet is a wonderful place to share stuff. You can reach so many people. Sometimes amazingly quickly. But it’s also a place where the stuff you want people to see can get incredibly easily ignored. Not least stuff which asks for money!
With so many projects posted on crowdfunding sites, you need to make your project really stand out from the crowd. Here are some ways to do this:
If your project is to breed a bunch of baby terrapins, your rewards could include things like photos of the terrapins, footprints on paper and, for higher donations, maybe even naming rights. Be creative. And just as importantly, think about what kinds of things you might want were you to be sponsoring the same project. Whatever is a little bit different about your project has the potential to attract extra attention.
Remember: Every time somebody sponsors you and receives your exciting rewards, they’re likely to take pictures, post and tweet about to their friends and followers. This will spread awareness of (and excitement around) your project!
Plenty of people will sponsor your project philanthropically. Maybe because they know you, it looks interesting to them or they’d really like to see it work. But there are those who will be swayed by the attractiveness of the rewards on offer. You should aim to cater to these types of people too. Especially if you’re chasing a large funding target.
OK, so what do we mean by a “good picture”…?
Below are some examples of the best pictures on Sponsorcraft so far.
This is an image with warmth and charm. It blends the classic image of the boy in the hat with the colour and logo of the comedy club. The boy looks like the kind of loveable urchin you might like to sponsor. The hope being that you might feel the same way about the club.
This image is full of life – a group of girls singing their hearts out and seemingly having a fantastic time. It not only tells you what the Oxford Belles are but gives you some adjectives from reviewers describing their performances. It looks like the cover of a film or a poster from an upcoming show.
“What on earth are a load of bright underpants doing on my screen?!” This image is colourful and fun. Just like the campaign – it doesn’t dwell on the image of a homeless person in order that you might donate out of guilt but rather accentuates the positives of getting involved and doing good.
This is an impressive photo. It shows an Olympic athlete bursting out of the blocks at the start of a race. This could be seen to represent someone at the start of their crowdfunding journey. Or in her case, the road to London 2012.
This is a heartwarming image of the kids of a small village in Kenya celebrating their relationship with a university charity. The hope being that by sponsoring the project, you can keep them smiling.
This is a dramatic shot of blokes in full armour gearing up for battle. Ideal stuff for a medieval recreation society then. It shows what can be recreated with a little funding. What it lacks in terms of vibrancy of colour it more than makes up for in terms of atmospheric tension.
People in the heat of performance is always exciting. It shows what the culmination of funding could be. But, if you can, try to find a higher resolution image.
Amazing what those cheerleading folk can do, isn’t it! This shows the girls in action and in a national competition but, sadly, is a little bit blurry. The crisper the better. Spend a few more minutes digging for the perfect shot.
If you have a graphic artist on board, you can have a crack at coming up with your own logo. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend using these as your project image, however, as they can come across as a little bland, lifeless and corporate. Aim to include the logo as part of your project image as opposed to the whole thing.
Here are one or two we had on the website early on:
The tagline is the first bit of information someone sees about your project. Yet none of the taglines above tell you anything about their projects. Eek. If you assume people are going to click on your project card and read a bit more, they make sense. But sadly, you can’t really assume a lot online. Unless the tagline grabs you, your project risks being ignored.
So a tagline is not meant to be a witty one-liner… Neither is it something that’s designed to help your project spring to the top of a project search based on particular keywords.
Project D at least tells you who’s responsible for creating it. But does that make you want to click the link?
What are effective taglines then? Here are some of the more descriptive/’grabbing’ taglines we’ve had on the website so far:
Vive la difference! No doubt you have your own ideas for how to improve each of these taglines but all of them neatly sum up the gist of the project. And in a way that makes me want to hear more. This is the point of taglines – to give someone a taste of your project which might tempt them into reading a little deeper, watching the video and, with any luck, even making a donation!
Crowdfunding sites can’t include your entire project on the project card so your goal is to think of the most exciting and unique things about your ideas and highlight them in your taglines.
Before you start, why not cruise by somewhere like Kickstarter and have a look at some of the taglines on their featured page. See which of the project cards you’re tempted to click and have a think about why. This may provide you with some inspiration in creating your own.
Even after you’ve put together a great project, the internet being the internet, you’re going to need a big effort to make yourself visible.
This is where promotion comes in. We’ll talk a lot more about that in the coming weeks.
In the meantime though, please feel free to share your thoughts on how to make projects stand out below.