One of the most effective ways to boost your crowdfunding campaign is to secure the support of a celebrity or an influencer. Not only can they help you reach a larger audience, but their support will also add credibility to your campaign.
Choosing the right celebrity or influencer
If you have access to someone with a large number of followers, the first thing to ask yourself is whether they are the right person to support your project. Ideally, you would work with someone whose vision aligns with your own. That’s particularly important when the person you’re considering is a social influencer, rather than a TV celebrity, for example. While celebrities often have more followers, social content creators with niche audiences have access to dedicated and engaged groups of followers, who are more likely to respond, if your project is relevant to their common interest.
How can a celebrity or an influencer help?
Say you’ve found the right person, now the question is what should you ask them to do for you.
Here are the top four valuable contributions celebrities can make to a campaign, starting from the most impactful.
By far the best and most impactful way for a celebrity or an influencer to help your project is to pledge money. If someone whose opinion people trust is ready to contribute their own funds, this is a massive social proof for your campaign, and others are likely to follow suit.
Case Study: Alive and Kicking – Louis Theroux
Give a Ball in Ghana. Get a Ball for Christmas. (Dec 2018)
The amount of money doesn’t have to be huge! The simple act of Louis Theroux donating £100 to Alive and Kicking’s ‘Give a ball’ initiative gave an instant boost of credibility and interest. The campaign was shared around the world, which led to a massive boost in the number of donations.
Top Tip: Ask your celebrity to share a short video to explain why they contributed to your project. The video will be seen and shared, which will bring in an influx of new visitors to the project page.
Give a reward
If they can’t give directly to the campaign, ask them if they can offer something else to support you. If they can donate their time, an exclusive experience, such as meeting the celebrity, would make a fantastic high-priced reward and generate interest in your project. When this is not possible, merchandise like albums, signed books, t-shirts, etc are also fantastic options that can boost your crowdfunding campaign.
Case Study: AudioActive – Rag n’ Bone Man
A Space for Young People to Create Their Futures (Dec 2018)
As an example, Rag n’ Bone Man donated a range of merchandise to a charity supporting young people through music and rap. Not only did the merchandise contribute a substantial amount to the £38,000 raised, but it also helped boost the profile and visibility of the campaign around the Internet.
Top Tip: Do some research before asking for merchandise contribution. The more relevant it is to what the celebrity is doing now, the more popular the reward will be.
Record and share a video on their social media channels
Recording a short video for their social media that mentions the campaign can be an excellent driver for donations. Not only will there be an instant boost in traffic to the campaign, but it’s also a lasting source of credibility for the project owners, too.
Case Study: Dignity In Dying – Sir Patrick Stewart
Help fix our broken assisted dying law (August 2015)
Sir Patrick Stewart, a patron of Dignity In Dying, was willing to be a central figure in the campaign by appearing in their main video and also recording a few short social media videos, explaining why he believed in the initiative. This was an incredibly valuable contribution, especially because it concerns a topic that is often controversial and difficult to talk about.
Top Tip: If you’re able to get this kind of contribution from a celebrity, it’s a good idea to post the video in the body of your campaign, too. Just make sure that you have their permission to do so.
Retweet or share your project
Although not as effective as the other ways to support your project, a simple retweet or share on social media can really help spread the word of your campaign beyond your existing supporters and regular networks. When a celebrity or a social influencer shares your project it can sometimes create a rather large ripple effect and drive a new wave of visitors and donations to your campaign.
Top Tip: If this is the best that your celebrity is able to do, ask them to add some text to their post when they share your project. A simple line like, “Please support this project” can actually result in more direct pledges.