Your crowdfunding campaign’s message guides and shapes the tone, feeling, language, and imaging of your campaign. Creating a clear message early on will help you make consistent choices when you’re creating your campaign page and materials. You should plan to work on your campaign’s message after you’ve established your crowdfunding goal, your audience, and your rewards but before you create your campaign page.
What does it mean to have a campaign message?
A well thought out and consistently applied campaign message means you’ve got a crowdfunding campaign page that clearly communicates what your project is about, why it’s being crowdfunded, and why contributors should care. Your language and visuals that go along with it will reinforce your overall theme.
Personally, I love to point to this example as a great use of clear, concise, and consistent messaging: Save Crinkling News
A quick tour of their campaign page reveals that the images and text are kept to a minimum, and yet it takes less than 2 minutes of scanning the page to come away with a very clear idea of what the campaign’s all about: that is, Australia’s only newspaper for kids needs help to stay in operation.
Step 1 – Brainstorm your campaign’s messaging.
Start by asking yourself the following question: “What makes my book or project unique?” Keep in mind that the fact that you’re crowdfunding your book isn’t especially unique, since everyone else on PubLaunch is doing the same thing. Focus specifically on what your project is about, who you are, and why you’re seeking funding.
Some follow-up questions to ask yourself (and this can overlap nicely with developing your campaign’s tagline):
- What genre is my story?
- How is my story/project different from similar projects out there?
- Why should anyone contribute money to it?
- Who is this project for? (Is my audience younger or older, male or female (or both), professionals or hobbyists? Are they friends and family?)
- What visual style will help re-inforce my message?
Sum up your answers with a statement that describes as many answers to these questions as possible.
Example for a campaign titled “Mail: The Story of Radley County’s First Postwoman”:
- What is my genre?
- How is my story different?
- the life and experiences of a pioneering woman in her field, gives insight into major historical events from a unique and rarely seen personal perspective.
- Why should people contribute?
- book is an intimate portrayal of what it was like growing up in a certain period of history, and I need help to get it widely distributed
- Who is this project for?
- local history buffs, members of my family, and young people interested in feminist history
- What visual style will help re-inforce my message?
- real photographs, vintage style
Step 2 – Apply your message to your campaign.
Now that you’ve identified your message, this is the important bit.
A campaign will have multiple elements that all need to be cohesive, clear, and consistent. Refer to your answers from your brainstorming session to keep yourself on track.
On your campaign page, you’ll need to apply your message to the following: campaign title, tagline, campaign description, rewards, and images. You’ll also want to apply your messaging to any emails you send out and any posts, pictures, tweets, or articles you put up online.
For details on how to put these elements together, read the blog post “How to Use PubLaunch’s Crowdfunding Platform”. Here, I’m going to talk about how to optimize these elements so that they suit your message.
First things first, make sure that the language you’re using is consistent with your message. In my biography of my great-grandmother, I’m going to pick a writing style that matches the historical topic. I've chosen to write my description in a fairly informal tone to match the style of the biography. Since the book itself is written in first person and is structured similarly to a novel, I chose a tone that matches the book's voice. In addition, I'm trying to appeal to both history and non-history buffs, and therefore chose to write my description in a voice I thought would appeal to both. Now, if I was running a crowdfunding campaign for a humor book, I’d want to make sure what I write on my campaign page is funny.
I also want to consider visuals. For my campaign, I’ve chosen something that I think fits the theme of the book. The first image is my banner, and the others will be in my campaign summary and attached to my rewards, in order to add visual interest and lend more authority to my book’s historical accuracy.
I’ve also chosen to apply my messaging to my rewards as well as by writing reward titles that fit the theme of my campaign.
Title – Mail: The Story of Radley County’s First Postwoman
Tagline – A major historical moment for women’s rights told to you through the eyes of my great-grandmother May, Radley County’s first postwoman
Genre – Biography/memoir
Campaign description –
I grew up hearing stories about my great-grandmother May and her time as the first postwoman of Radley County. A few years ago, while going through some family heirlooms, I discovered a box of old, forgotten photos. They were all of Great-Grandma May! I’d heard the stories, but I’d never seen the images. And there May was, posed as she gave mail on her first delivery route and, years later, standing with the society of postwomen she founded.
Something about these photos piqued my curiosity and I ended up diving into the hidden and forgotten history of Radley County women joining the workforce during the dawn the feminist movement in America.
I discovered so many fascinating stories, some about May herself and others about what it was like to be a young, ambitious woman who was (unwittingly) becoming a part of one of the most influential political and social movements of our time.
I chose to write this memoir in what I imagine would be May’s voice. I wanted to emphasize, as much as possible, what it would have been like to watch history unfold from a personal perspective. In this book, you’ll find not only unique and personal insight into a major historical moment but also interesting and often unheard tidbits about local history.
I’ve also included copies of my family’s historical photos, some of which you can see right here on this campaign page.
I’m crowdfunding this book because without your help this book won’t get published. I'm looking for funding in order to properly edit and format the book and then get it properly distributed. I want everyone to get a chance to read about May and her story!
Domestic postage: Receive the ebook edition of my book for a contribution of $10
Postal order: Receive the paperback edition of my book for a contribution of $25
Telegram: Receive the hardcover edition of my book for a contribution of $50
Notice how all these elements together communicate very clearly what the project is about: historical book, major point in history, woman as main character, biography.
More questions about figuring out your messaging, audience, and marketing techniques? Check out our Learning Center.
Disclaimer: These aren’t actually photos of my great-grandmother. This story was invented for use as an example in this blog post. The first two photos are sourced from the website postalheritage.wordpress.com and the reward images were found on Google images, labelled for noncommercial reuse with modification.