The 4Fs rule is one of the 20 golden rules of crowdfunding. You might have heard of the 3Fs. It is used in many contexts, such as trying to raise seed capital rounds or even when you want to start a YouTube channel. The 3Fs are your Friends, Family and Fools, that will back you up in any endeavour just because they like you and want you to succeed. In crowdfunding, it’s good to consider a fourth F.
So, you might be wondering, who is behind this 4F? It’s completely related to the community, that we discussed in the 4C rule. It’s the Fans or people in the community around your project.
Let’s see them one by one.
This is the first circle that’s going to support you. Some potential backers will be wondering: if the creators’ families cannot even bother to back this project, why should I?
You should focus your efforts to get the backing from this first circle (the closest one), gaining the trust from the other circles to follow up with their money.
As we’ve discussed in the 30-90-100 rule, getting to the 30% of your goal in the first week will be crucial for the success of the campaign. You should be aiming to get to at least this 30% with these first two circles, family and friends.
Think about the most powerful marketing tool at your disposal: word of mouth. What hook could you use so people are willing to share your story with their own circles. You’ll see how many people you can reach with a well-designed story.
Once you have reached 30% of your goal, you’ll have some speed in your project. It’s then when people outside your first two circles start to notice your campaign and will make a move. This will likely come from an emotional place, rather than a rational one, so make sure you provide plenty of emotional messages and benefits in your campaign to attract this profile of backers. ‘Fools’ might be a bit of a misnomer. Yes, they might act on impulse, but only when they’ve seen some traction in the project.
The fourth circle. These are the ones that will take you to 100% of your goal and, hopefully, well beyond thanks to the power of 100. This is the community you have built during your pre-campaign. Perhaps it’s your own community (your followers if you create content for example) or based on pre-existing communities (if you’re launching a yoga-related product these would be the forums, other creators YouTube following, etc.). The earlier you engage with them, the more support you’ll be able to rally.
How do we meet the 4Fs rule?
- Basing the campaign on the friends and family circles to meet the 30-90-100 rule
- Getting the support from the ‘fools’ by appealing to their emotional side.
- Creating and nurturing a ‘fans’ community before and during the campaign to go over 100% of your goal.
Wrapping it up
The 4Fs rule encourages us to think about your potential backers as different circles, all of them conveniently starting with an F. Start with the closest ones, friends and family, to cement your support. After attracting the support of the more impulsive ‘fools’, center your efforts on your fans.
If you have any questions or need support for your project, don’t hesitate to contact me.