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Tips on How to Manage Backer Expectations

You’ve launched your crowdfunding campaign and you’re getting a great response from backers. There are several great questions in your comments tab from your community, and you can feel that they are totally behind you, and your project.

But you’re wondering, what do they expect from me? How can I meet or exceed the community’s expectations for the campaign?

We’ve already talked about the Do’s and Don’ts of managing your campaign community. Let’s go a little deeper and talk about what your community’s expectations are for your campaign and how you can manage those expectations. 

1. Communication

The first and primary expectation is that you need to communicate with your backers throughout the campaign. The people who have contributed to your campaign are excited about your project and about helping to bring it to the market. They are excited about being part of that process, giving their feedback, and receiving your updates throughout the process. They believe that the least they can ask of you is to be kept updated on how things are going, and what challenges you face along the way.

Rather than thinking of communicating with your community as something you should do after problems are resolved, or just something to do every few weeks, consider moving it up your priority list and focusing on keeping them up to date, and well informed throughout the campaign.

“Sharing the challenges, not just the exciting news, with your community keeps them engaged and informed throughout your campaign.”

2. Responsiveness

Your backers know that responding to questions isn’t your primary goal but they have an expectation to have their questions and concerns addressed in a timely manner. Backers tell us one of their favorite aspects of participating in campaigns on Indiegogo is the ability to share ideas and feedback with the entrepreneurs and see those ideas embraced and incorporated into the final product. Don’t think of the comments tab as just somewhere your backers can go to complain, because it’s so much more than that. Your backers are excited to interact with you, share their thoughts and excitement with you, and to see you acknowledge their comments and ideas will go a long way toward keeping them engaged and on board throughout your campaign.

The time you spend answering questions on your comment tab is time well-spent, dedicate a little time each day to responding to questions and concerns from your community.”

3. Transparency

Crowdfunding communities are smart and savvy about how crowdfunding works, but they also feel vulnerable between their contribution being made and their perk arriving at their door. They expect delays to happen during your campaign but they want you to be open and transparent throughout the process so they know about delays as soon as they happen. 

Your community wants to be part of the entire process and they’re not going to abandon the campaign when you hit a bump in the road or encounter delays along the way. In fact, the best way to keep them excited through the process is to keep them engaged with frequent updates, transparent communication, and sharing the process with them from beginning to end.

The temptation to only share the great news or only share a problem when it’s resolved is understandable, but your community is savvy about crowdfunding and knows that delays and course changes are part of the process.”

4. Receiving the Perk

This may seem obvious, but it never hurts to repeat it anyway. Your backers have selected a perk when they contribute to your campaign and they expect to receive that perk in exchange for their contribution. They understand that crowdfunding is not e-commerce and they’re aware of all of the risks and complexities involved in crowdfunding. However, they consider receiving their perk in the mail at the end of your campaign to be their reward for sticking with the campaign throughout the inevitable bumps in the road and unexpected challenges you have faced. By ensuring they receive the perk they selected you can keep them excited about your company for your next crowdfunding campaign.

Backers understand the difference between crowdfunding and e-commerce, this is why they are prepared for changes, delays, and bumps in the road, but they consider receiving the perk to be their reward for sticking through the process from beginning to end.”

Do you want to get more tips on how to manage your community? Check out more guidance here.

Download the Crowdfunding Field Guide

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