The copywriter’s guide to successful crowdfunding

If you haven’t already heard of social entrepreneur Simon Griffiths, you will soon.

I had the good fortune to interview him for my online video series “Secrets of Aussie Online Entrepreneurs”, and he shared with me his gems of copywriting wisdom for how he raised $50,000 in 50 hours on crowdfunding platform IndieGoGo.com.

A Quick Definition:

IndieGoGo.com is an awesome crowd-funding platform that helps all sorts of creative souls raise money for their endeavour – a film, a CD, a book etc. – but if you’re not a celebrity, if you don’t have an altruistic product, if you don’t have a massive database to start with, and most importantly (especially if you don’t have any of the above), if you don’t have a shareable video that will attract the media and the masses, it’s going to be an uphill battle. Go for it, by all means, but don’t say you haven’t be warned.

Who Gives A Crap?

No, I’m not being belligerent. “Who Gives A Crap” is Simon’s company, a toilet paper production company that sends part-profits to the developing world to fund the building of sanitation services. He and his team ran a crowdfunding campaign to raise money to fund the production of the first batch of toilet paper. They knew they had to do something outrageous to garner attention. So they spent days brainstorming the best way to get cut-through to ensure their video was found, watched and shared.

Would You Sit On A Toilet, In Public, On Film, For 50 Hours To Raise $50,000? Simon Did.

So here’s what Simon did.

He sat on a real toilet in a drafty warehouse, with his pants down, with a camera trained on him, and had the video feed beamed live to the world for everyone to see. Simon did not get off that toilet until the final pledge was in, despite experiencing hallucinations from sleep-deprivation, aching muscles for sitting so long, and a very sore bottom.

The video went viral and attracted worldwide media attention. They reached their target of $50,000 in 50 hours. Talk about commitment. Watch it here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdWZ8WVv6qk

Without great copywriting, this video would have gone nowhere.

So, here’s Simon’s top 7 copywriting tips for making a crowdfunding video go viral:

  • Be different. Be shocking. Surprise people.
  • Focus on the benefits and why your product will help solve a problem.
  • Find a USP – give people a good reason to choose you over them.
  • Keep it short, sharp and shiny.
  • Edit, edit and then edit again.
  • Have an authentic voice.
  • Get feedback before you launch it.

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