How many times have you seen a blog online, or an article in a newspaper or magazine, and when you realized how long it was, you simply stopped reading it? Online, people are especially intolerant of lengthy written pieces. If anything is long-winded or too wordy, chances are most people will not bother to read it.
Remember KISS. Keep It Simple, Stupid. Simple, short, but informational is crowdfunding gold.
Studies show that you have less than 5 seconds to grab someone’s attention with something in writing. If your first paragraph is not compelling, you have a 75% chance that most people will not read any further. If you do not have a video attached to your crowdfunding campaign, then the odds are even greater that you will lose attention with a poor first paragraph. In some cases, it may come down to your first line.
Your first paragraph needs to tell the who, what, when, where and why, but it also needs to grab attention. Unless you are a celebrity or have some form of notoriety, the “who” is not likely to grab attention. The “what” and “why” are your best bets. Give the reader a reason to keep reading.
Your initial paragraph is also not a place to give excessive details, or a long, drawn-out back story. Get to the point. Personalize your crowdfunding campaign and show your passion. Most importantly, tell the reader why they should be excited about your crowdfunding campaign, too.
Here is an example of a good initial paragraph:
“My name is Chef Leonardo Donatello and my new pasta sauce is so good my grandmother from Sicily pours it out of a bottle rather than making her sauce from scratch. I am ready to bring Donatello’s Marinara Sauce to the marketplace, so you can taste a sauce at your home that is so good, it will make you think you are in Italy. My goal in the next 60 days is to raise enough money to take what I have been doing in my home kitchen here in Brooklyn, and commercially package the mouth-watering sauce so it can be distributed to grocery stores around the world. I need your help to make my delicious sauce available so everyone, including you, can buy it within the next six months in your hometown.”
You have a great opening line. You get the “who” (Chef Donatello), the “what” (bottled pasta sauce) the “when” (next 60 days to raise money, 6 months to market), the “where” (Brooklyn) and the “why” (to get distribution of his product nationwide). You also get the reader engaged. Who doesn’t like a great spaghetti sauce?
After writing your opening paragraph, it is good to give further details to entice donors to support you. Talk about your background. Explain how the crowdfunding campaign came about. Tell them why you are the perfect person for the job. You have already grabbed their attention, now give them a reason to care about your crowdfunding campaign and to get involved.
After you have finished writing, proofread and spell check. Nobody wants to support a crowdfunding campaign that does not seem likely to succeed, and glaring grammatical errors as well as poor spelling do not promote a lot of confidence.
Finally, once you think it is finished, have a couple of close friends read it. Ask and be prepared for criticism. Listen to suggestions and implement them when it makes sense.
When writing your pitch, remember to cover the basics and keep it short, sweet, and to the point. You can delve into details later in your campaign, but the first paragraph should be concise.