Behind-the-scenes, planning for LOW PROFILE’s upcoming crowdfunder, we’ve been mapping our crowdfunding crowd – asking Who is part of your crowdfunding ‘crowd’? and Who wants you (and your projects) to succeed?

Hannah Rose (nee Jones) & I, who go by the name LOW PROFILE, are currently planning our first crowdfunding campaign to produce a brand new limited edition art print, and support our arts practice over the coming year.

For those of you who are regularly involved in crowdfunding, or who have been following the posts I have written on how artists can make the most of crowdfunding to support their projects, you’ll know that preparation is key. This post is an attempt to share some of the work that is going on behind-the-scenes as we prepare to launch in Autumn 2017.

Who Are Your Crowd?

One important step in preparing your campaign is mapping out your existing ‘crowd’ and building this further to ensure you are in touch with, or can reach, as many people as possible who are interested in backing your campaign.

In this short training video Kickstarter expert Richard Bliss (from Funding the Dream on Kickstarter podcast) offers a useful reminder of who your crowdfunding crowd are likely to be:

“A crowd is really all about you. A crowd starts with you.
It’s built on your reputation and interests.
Your personal crowd usually consists of family and friends.

Your personal crowd reaches into areas where you are not as well known, but your reputation extends to those areas. The more distant the group, the more your reputation begins to represent you rather than personal contact.

In order to build up a crowd big enough to support your particular project on Kickstarter, you need to have touched multiple people within multiple groups.“

Mapping Your Crowd

When starting to map our crowd for our LOW PROFILE project, we wanted to make sure that we get the message about our campaign out to the people who are most likely to be interested in what we are offering as rewards:

- a brand new limited edition art print made in collaboration with artist Sarah Smalldon, based on our work “Never Give Up” installed at Exeter Phoenix
- a selection of gems from our artists' archive (including badges & publications)

We made the following headings:

Who wants LOW PROFILE to succeed?
Who wants to own a Never Give Up print?
Who are our potential project cheerleaders?

This was also a really useful exercise in working out whether our existing crowd (the people we know, the people who would possibly be interested in supporting our work & the people who know about what we do through our reputation as artists and as individuals) was big enough to fund our project. There is also a recent Kickstarter Lesson from Jamey Stegmaier on this topic –  Is Your Crowd Big Enough?

From this we also worked out:

  • where to pitch our initial funding goal & stretch goals
  • a list of people to contact at different points in the campaign
  • who we do / don’t already know in our potential crowd for this project
  • what actions we need to take to let our crowd know about our project
  • groups of people in our that we have less contact with (the pink notes below)

Mapping our crowd – example from LOW PROFILE’s crowd mapping exercise

Do You Know Your Crowd & Does Your Crowd Know You?

“You first give to the crowd before asking for something back.

Building a crowd takes time and significant personal investment. People give money to people they know and trust.

Your goal, is over time, to extend your reputation as strong as possible to those places your target crowd is gathered, whether in person or online.”

Richard Bliss – Funding the Dream on Kickstarter podcast

Luckily, LOW PROFILE has been going for quite a long time (about 14 years) and Hannah & I are both involved in lots of different personal and professional projects. This means that we have had a lot of time to establish a reputation and grow a crowd of people who may be interested in supporting our work. However, many of those people don’t have a huge amount of disposable income and it is still difficult to get the message out to people who we don’t know so well, or aren’t in regular contact with.

From this point, we’re going to need to work out creative ways to get in touch with everyone in our crowd – through email, social media, via other organisations and through personal recommendations. It’s hard work, but we are a very determined pair. After all, we have read the Book of Survival cover-to-cover more than once, and we know that the answer to the crucial question “Should You Ever Give Up?” is Never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never give up…

 


 

Make sure you don’t miss our Never Give Up campaign when it launches in Autumn 2017. You can click through on the link below to join the mailing list…

Should You Ever Give Up?

 


If you are new to fundraising, or preparing for your own crowdfunding campaign, you might also find this series of videos useful, especially around Identifying the Stakeholders for a project:


Rachel Dobbs is an artist and educator & one half of artist collaboration LOW PROFILE.

Based in Plymouth (UK) she works on a range of arts and education projects. Rachel fosters long term interests in radical pedagogy, self directed learning, creative community development and DIY arts practice. She lectures at Plymouth University and Plymouth College of Arts at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, and is the Coordinator for Visual Arts Plymouth. Rachel also provides strategy consultancy for digital & blended learning and the use of Open Education Resources.

 

We’re excited to be working with Sarah Smalldon to produce the illustration for our crowdfunder art print… For a sneak preview of Sarah’s work, take a look at her Instagram