Be Credible – How to Build a Crowd

As developers or investors who want to utilise crowdfunding, lets face it- credibility is essential. It is not enough to just have a presence online. In order to have a ‘crowd’, which is defined by ‘any group or set of persons with something in common’; everyone needs to feel like they have something that brings them together- i.e. your vision for the project. You want advocates, not just followers. You want lovers of your lifework, not just speculators. You want to be contagious.

What is exciting right now is that many people in the property space are starting to create a presence, by doing tactical steps such as upload this, write that and produce stuff. But creating credibility to attract a dedicated crowd is different. Once you start to do this, the people and opportunities flow to you just like it continues to do with East Eight.

So…here are 5 ways to make yourself more credible today.

1). Identify the pain

It’s no news that many investors are earning next to nothing in the banks. But more than that, and what we have experienced at East Eight is that investors are looking for something creative and intriguing to be part of. They want to earn a more than competitive return, and be part of building something really special. Many have funds but don’t realise how much better it would be if they placed them with you.

Many of East Eight’s investors are themselves interested developers, and want to be part of something which really stands out in a portfolio. With an exciting project, and a better than average return, you can offer something not found elsewhere in the investment markets.

Speak to investors before putting out the offering – find out what their pains are, and their hopes. They will likely have a vision for their own portfolio that goes beyond the return; and you can start to connect with this.

2. Be a lighthouse

Now that you have illuminated the pain, your crowd will start to naturally trust you because you understand what they need. Your audience also want to see you as an authority – because you are. As humans, there’s emotional security in seeing other people who ‘have it together’ and can show the way. This is heightened when it comes to parting with our cash. Without authority, you cannot lead. Just as the lighthouse is essential in the night – you have to be essential too. Since you have created value in your market, you are already an authority. This authority just needs to be heard.

3. Be relevant

What you have to deal with is that there are many offerings apart from yours that individuals can choose from, including the option of doing nothing. If they are not yet taking action, this could be an issue of relevancy. You have to show them that you are aligned with their vision. Make sure that your message is broad enough to be relevant and heard by a number of different investors, all sharing the same problem.

4. Build intimacy and connection

Remember to add yourself to the equation. The real authentic you. The you who enjoys sports on a Saturday morning or the you that takes their family time seriously, or the you that marvels at the next thriller coming out. People are buying into your projects because of you.

As Nicole has experienced, the ‘day-in-the-life’ style of communication around projects really helps to show her as a real and credible person. And a real result of this is being approached by investors online through social media (Snapchat), with one investor wanting to pledge £300K.

Don’t assume everyone will connect with you straight away, in fact expect to be alien to your crowd at first. Start with content that works up slowly to the idea of getting to know you. Building a crowd is a long game.

5. Be viral

Some think that having a crowd is just about getting your name in front of your audience as often as you can so they remember to invest in your project when the time is right.

This is partly true. Research suggests that we take action only after several points of contact with a brand.

But there’s more.

Being omnipresent shows a serious commitment to your audience to serve their needs. Why? Because you are always showing up for them and will be there to continue to guide them and meet their interests.

It’s not to be taken lightly.

But the results? We have broken a property crowdfunding world record – raising £1.65m in 17 minutes from launch. And what could that do for your project?

Elizabeth Ibeh

If you want to find out more about building a crowd, or the crowdfunding process, join us on our next workshops in 2018 – (events).