Crowdfunding’s greatest asset: Our networks

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There is no greater asset to a crowdfunding campaign than the network of supporters we build.

Yet this invaluable asset is something some crowdfunding mega-sites like to keep to themselves or share only under their arbitrary conditions.

Through our own research, we estimate that the average campaign garners 302 subscribers.

When most campaigns end, those 302 people remain in the database of the mega-site, and depending on the site, inaccessible to us – the campaigns that built them into a network – but accessible to the mega-sites for whatever future marketing purposes they choose.

As we build our crowdfunding campaign, we are building a community, a network of backers and friends. We know a majority of campaigns fail to meet their goals. And if you fail in reaching your campaign goal, some crowdfunding mega-sites deny you access to the contact information of your backers. Therefore, despite the fact we did the work and expended the resources to attract users to our campaign, the crowdfunding mega-site retains the information for their own benefit – not ours.

We can only contact our crowdfunding community when and how the mega-sites decide. And when our campaign is finished, most of the time the mega-sites snatch our community to monetize in the future, and we don’t get to contact them for stretch goals or successive campaigns.

It’s a great deal for the crowdfunding platform, which gets to monetize the users we attracted to our site.

They’re our backers.

Let us keep them

These are backers who have supported our product and our campaign. We should be able to communicate with them.

We should have a system that lets our friends remain our friends. Our community is our community.

And if we do have access to our users, we need automated branding communication systems for contacting them.

When our campaign ends, we might want to launch another one. We might want to initiate stretch goals. Or we might want to send our network over to support another great campaign that we love. It should be our choice.

Individuals are looking for more customization to meet our personal goals, yet a model that still allows us to participate collectively. That means we want to be self-empowered, with the ability to control (and monetize) our own information or to use it to benefit others.

It may seem obvious, but our crowdfunding sites and the communities we build on them should stay in our hands.

And yet, in almost every case, the crowdfunding mega-sites maintain ownership over our site and the information about the people who come to it.

Worse still, the competition that is inherent on the crowdfunding mega-sites makes it a serious challenge to succeed.

We want a crowdfunding option where we are not always competing with everyone else on the site — because we own our own site. We want our own URL. Our own branding.

We want to make the rules. We don’t want people who come to our site to get drawn away by shiny objects in the right-hand column attracting them to other campaigns.

Why can’t we own our own site?

Why can’t it be branded like we want, designed like we want, with features and attributes that we choose?

Successive blog posts will explain how realistic changes to crowdfunding can have a huge impact on success rates.

When it’s time to start your crowdfunding campaign, don’t forget the essential part; a crowdfunding network from building a community.