The power of free rule is the first one in the 4 golden rules on rewards. Here’s the main article on the 20 golden rules of crowdfunding.
Would you be keen to pay for something that was free? Your crowdfunding backers neither! And if what you offer to your backers in your crowdfunding campaign is the same you’re going to offer your customers after the campaign closes, then you have a problem.
What’s the power of free rule about?
Let’s start with a quote from Scott Steinberg’s book “The Crowdfunding Bible”.
“A number of historical campaigns have launched that have generated decent traffic and awareness, but ultimately secured little funding because consumers fundamentally failed to understand the service or opportunity being pitched, and/or its key benefits.”“The crowdfunding bible” – Scott Steinberg
The quote is a reflection about one of the main reasons why a campaign with a good volume of visits may have a low level of pledges. The reason is the lack of clarity on the benefits offered in the campaign.
Said lack of clarity can be for obvious reasons such as a bad explanation on the campaign video or in its copywriting, but also for reasons a bit more hidden like going against the power of free stuff. And that happens when the project creator offers the campaign’s product or service free for the general public.
When are we fighting against the power of free?
Some examples can be a free event or a piece of software (or mobile app) that is open source or has a freemium model. When that’s the case, it’s crucial to highlight that the backers will have a number of extra benefits in lieu of having helped bringing the project to life.
Some examples of what could be offered:
- Recognition (for example appearing on the credits of a documentary).
- Privileged or early access to information.
- Privileged or early access to an event or product.
If you establish a great relationship with your backers, they’ll be more engaged with the project and they’ll support you in endeavours beyond the crowdfunding campaign.
How do you meet the rule of the power of free?
- Communicating clear benefits to your backers
- Making a clear distinction between backers and free users (if they exist).
- With additional, limited, time-bound benefits exclusive to backers.
Wrapping it up
It’s important to communicate the benefits of your campaign to your potential backers, especially if they can access your product or service for free at any time.
If you have any questions about running your crowdfunding campaign, do not hesitate to leave a comment or contact me.