How do you turn your customers into investors?Sep 17, 2019
Crowdfunding is a great way to give your customers a stake in your business and turn them into fully-fledged brand ambassadors. But how do you get your customers to invest in your business?
Lay the groundwork
The process of turning your customers into investors starts well before you even begin to think about crowdfunding. Realistically, unhappy customers won’t be keen to invest in your business so the very first step is to ensure you provide excellent customer service. You want to build consumer trust and the best way to achieve that is to make them feel valued and excel at what you do.
You also want to build a community of engaged customers. It is human nature to seek the approval of our peers and to want to be part of a community. From a brand perspective, a good way to build a community is to define your values clearly and showcase these values through everything you do. This will act as a rallying cry for those who share the same values as you and will help create that sense of community among your customers.
Once you have built your community of happy customers, make an effort to learn everything there is to know about them. What makes them tick? What are their pain points? What are their aspirations? This should help you refine your key messages and your tone of voice and will give them the feeling that you are truly speaking their language.
Once you’ve made the decision to crowdfund, you need to start building anticipation for the campaign. This is particularly true for an equity raise as investing in a business is rarely an impulse buy.
To build anticipation, you can appeal to your customers’ curious nature by dropping hints and offering sneak peeks in the run-up to your campaign.
To convert them into investors, you’ll also need to start selling the investment proposition to them i.e. explain what’s in it for them.
They already know and love your product or service, and you are giving them an opportunity to earn from it rather than just spend on it. You need to explain clearly how investing in the business will benefit them. Of course, all going well, they should get a return on investment but money isn’t always the main motivator.
As they already enjoy and benefit from what you do, you should demonstrate how the extra capital will allow you to do more of the same or the same thing better, which will, in turn, improve their own personal experience.
Perks are a good idea
We all love a freebie, especially if it’s for a product or service that we really like. But we also like being made to feel special, to be part of an exclusive club.
When you’re planning your crowdfunding campaign, put some thought into your rewards schedule. Freebies are lovely but what else can you do for your investors? What can you offer them that they can’t just buy from you? How can you mark the fact that they aren’t just your customers any more, they are now part of the inner circle?
Exclusive events, a look behind the scenes, priority access, product trials, are all good ways to reward your customers turned investors.
Make it as easy as possible
If doing something feels like too much effort, we’re likely to procrastinate. So if you want your customers to invest in your crowdfunding campaign, you need to make the process as easy as possible for them.
Give them all the information they are likely to need upfront so they don’t have to look for it.
And bear in mind that not everyone is tech-savvy, much less familiar with how crowdfunding platforms work. So be prepared to provide your customers with a step-by-step guide on how to invest via your platform of choice and stand ready to help out if needed.
Beyond the campaign
Once your campaign is over, be sure to make the most of your newly acquired brand ambassadors! Update them regularly on your progress and get them involved in the business as much as you can. Brand loyalty is a precious commodity so make use of it!