After three and a half years running Crowdfund Buzz I’ve come to one inescapable conclusion; crowdfunders fall into two categories. The serious business professional intent on success and the amateur who has no idea what they’re doing. What’s accelerated my own aging process and amplified my stress levels is that the first category of crowdfunder represents roughly 10% of the people we deal while the other 90% do nothing but waste our time one way or another through their ignorance and their naivete.
I’ve agonized over this for years as me and every member of my team has done our level best to educate first-time crowdfunders as to best practices and proven methods of success, especially with people interested in crowdfunding and our services. By and large we’ve been the very model of professionalism throughout. A dark trend descended on the crowdfunding world sometime during 2016 and continues into 2017; complete fucking morons and nonsensical neophytes launching crowdfunding campaigns.
You’re starting to see the Gordon Ramsay style coming out, right?
In the past month I’ve become aware of two finance professionals who quit crowdfunding through burnout and no clear path to delivering profitable services that sincere crowdfunders would or could use. It didn’t escape my attention that in roughly the same time frame three crowdfunding marketing firms are essentially out of business.
The autopsies I’ve conducted on these dead careers and businesses led me to one inescapable conclusion: morons and menials seeking fame and fortune through crowdfunding are metastasizing the entire industry.
Proof enough of this is one of my own crowdfunding consulting clients seeking to launch a multi-million dollar real estate equity crowdfunding campaign. We contacted multiple equity crowdfunding platforms over the span of several weeks and waited many more weeks for a response. Why? They’re so clogged with crowdfunding inquiries from the sincere as well as the stupid as to make faster response time impossible.
Nowadays the entire Crowdfund Buzz team is inundated with daily requests for free articles, free social media promotion or — worst of all – a free hour of our time on the phone answering any and every possible question on crowdfunding campaign strategy, crowdfunding promotion techniques, our crowdfunding PR methodology and every other crowdfunding topic under the sun.
These daily requests for free crowdfunding promotion– in keeping with the Gordon Ramsay analogy — are no different than a bum stumbling into a restaurant asking for a free meal.
How do you think Chef Ramsay would respond to such a request for free stuff? Just imagine the F Bombs that would follow….
Nearly as bad as the beggar looking for a free handout is the amateur crowdfunder (amateur chef?) who thinks they have something sensational and try to push it on to the public in totally unprofessional ways.
The single most asked question we get from people who have the slightest intention of paying to promote a crowdfunding campaign revolves around the general topic of assurances. Subsets of this general question include.
- Will you accept a percentage of what we raise at the end OR can we pay your fees after we’re successfully funded?
- What kind of return on investment can you promise me if I do crowdfunding promotion with Crowdfund Buzz?
Either of these questions makes it clear to us we’re talking to an idiot. Anyone with even one or two molecules of business sense would never even dream of asking such stupid questions.
And over the years we’ve maintained a professional, patient posture. But no longer.
Collectively we’ve wasted hundreds of hours of our time explaining why their requests for assurances are utterly impossible. And each and every time we made the most valiant attempts at educating crowdfunders it became clear we wasted our time. The crowdfunder didn’t hire us for crowdfunding public relations – or any other company offering crowdfunding advertising services – and guess what? The crowdfunding campaign failed. Every. Single. Time. What happens next? Crowdfunding statistics take a hit yet again.
The Gordon Ramsay view I’m adopting is that if you think your crowdfunding project is ready for prime time then stand behind your work and actually invest your own money in crowdfunding advertising. Stop begging for free handouts and don’t look for shortcuts to avoid risk.
As I made clear on my crowdfunding success podcast — When you launch a crowdfunding campaign you’re starting a new business. And with every business comes risk as well as reward. You can’t be successful in business – any business – if you don’t take risks. Before you embark on a new business venture you must get educated if you’re serious. Business professionals do their research and make sure they’re educated so they are empowered to succeed.