A week ago I started my first crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, aiming to raise $9000 to finish, publish and promote my next book, “Being A Digital Nomad”. It’s, of course, more of an experiment than a prerequisite, this whole crowdfunding campaign, since I am writing the book anyway, and, as a self-published author (also translated in Korean) I will make sure the book will be out there as scheduled. This entire crowdfunding thing is more like a way to pay in advance if you know what I write and if you have any interest on the book topic. Being a digital nomad, that is.
At the moment of writing this, I raised $190, which is 2% of the goal. If the contributions will keep pouring in at the same pace, I think I’ll raise around 10% of the campaign goal, which will be around $900. In terms of potential buyers, that will be around 100 (more or less, based on the numbers I have so far).
But, beyond the financial outcome, I think much more important will be the knowledge I’ll be able to extract from this thing. 45 days of campaigning for an ebook that it’s written as we speak, well, it’s a nice challenge and quite a bit of an experience. Also, I think it would be useful to other people who are interested in crowdfunding, being it for their own projects, or just by bare curiosity.
Having your campaign live on Indiegogo seems to be insufficient. There are also a number of tools that one can use to enhance its online presence, to increase the buzz and to attract more funders. I just discovered these things after the campaign went live.
Apart from the core of your pitch, you can also add some pieces of information as the campaign moves ahead. These are called updates, and they are part of the “gogo factor”, which is Indiegogo algorithm for selecting featured campaigns to be displayed on the home page.
I posted 2 updates so far, one about a technical aspect (I added a new perk, for the digital version of the book, as one of my friends suggested) and one about the status of the book. Still have no information about the impact of these, other than generating some more traffic on the social networks.
I was surprised to discover that comments can be both public and private. Initially, I thought comments are a way to get feedback from your campaign followers (more on followers in the next section) but it looks like they can be used as a tool for intercommunication inside the Indiegogo ecosystem. I got two comments so far, one of them being about somebody offering to promote my campaign, if I would do the same for her campaign. Since it was something I could relate to, I did that and I can only hope she did the same for me.
Indiegogo gives some standard buttons to promote your campaign on various social networks (like Facebook, Twitter or G+), but it also includes two interesting options: email snippets and widgets for your blog or tumblr presence. What’s interesting about that? Well, it gives context. In other words, you can see from which media (email or blog) you drove more visitors. Which, from a marketing point of view, it’s very interesting. I added a widget on my blog a few days ago and the number of referrals grew dramatically.
So, how do I measure thins thing? How do I know if this campaign had any impact at all, or what went wrong or what went great. So, here are the metrics I identified so far:
Obviously, that’s the most important thing. How much money do you raise. I have 12 funders so far.
You can “follow” a campaign and get updates. This is important also, because it may be a metric of the potential virility of your capping. I also suspect that people who are interested in the campaign, but still have some reserves, are first choosing to follow the campaign, and the commit to funding it. I have 15 followers so far.
That’s the people you (or other funders) are referring to the campaign. An important metric, if you want to know which of your funders is the most influential. I have 799 referrals so far, which gives around 1% conversion.
In other words, book status. I’m writing on it, so to speak. The table of contents has been modified a number of times since I started the project and I suspect it will be modified again soon. I keep writing around 500 words per day, on average. It’s still not enough, but I can’t commit more to it for the time being.
But the mere fact that I’m working on this project is a big step forward. I will post another update on the blog sometimes next week. Meanwhile, go ahead and see for yourself what’s the thing with this book: