One common issue with crowd-funding projects is a lack of communication between project creators and backers. Backers are interested in the progress of the final product and creators are not always accessible or responsive. The ability of a project creator to communicate with their backers will result not only in happier backers, but a better final product as well.
A great way to communicate with backers is by creating a subreddit for the project. Here are a few ways a project creator can use their own subreddit to open up the lines of communication.
- Encourage backers to post ideas, concerns, and feedback.
By creating an open forum, backers are allowed to submit ideas freely. Reddit’s system of up and down votes will make the good ideas visible so the creator can see which ideas have broad support.
- Ask backers questions.
In the course of a project, many decisions must be made. The subreddit can be used to determine how backers feel about any decision. The best responses will be voted up, letting the creator know which responses should be taken into serious consideration.
It is easy to make decisions alone, but a diverse range of perspectives leads to better decision making.
- Crowd-source a solution.
Kickstarter projects are not always smooth sailing (here’s a list of failed projects). Backers are invested in the project and want to know if something has gone wrong. Using reddit, the creator can describe the problem and get a crowd-sourced list of possible solutions. The backers aren’t going to solve the problem for the creator, but they can be a excellent source of creativity.
- Post progress updates.
This can be done on the Kickstarter project page, but posting to the subreddit allows the backers to vote up each others’ comments. This reduces duplicate comments and increases the visibility of the most valued comments.
- Use the subreddit after the product is delivered.
The community that was created during product development will not disappear once the product is delivered. Continue to utilize the subreddit for product support and feedback.
Also, when the next project needs funding, drop a post in to let previous backers know about it.
By embracing the transparency, efficiency, and accessibility of reddit, creators will enjoy these benefits:
- Backers are more likely to trust a creator that is accessible and responsive.
- Reddit transforms the backers into a resource that can be used to make the final project better.
- Backers value their relationship with the creator and are more likely to fund projects that provide a quality relationship.
Every project creator should think about how they will interact with their backers as the product is developed. Creators that embrace transparency and accessibility will deliver better products to happier customers.