Before you launch your Kickstarter campaign for your gluten-free doughnut delivery startup or try to raise funds on Facebook for your cousin’s best friend’s rabbit to get much-needed ear implants, you may want to rethink how you write your pitch. Scientists at the University of Illinois at Chicago may have cracked the code for crowdfunding success and it all starts with how the campaign is written.
The researchers examined 656 Kickstarter campaigns from 2013 and 2014 and found that campaigns written to make the founders and their products seem relatable boosted the success of socially driven campaigns. Their research revealed that social entrepreneurs “need to build personal rapport with the audience, by sharing personal experiences and using a highly interactive style.” They suggest things like “asking a series of questions rather than presenting statements” to engage audiences and telling personal, relatable stories. In short, channel Uncle Rico selling Nupont fiber-woven bowls in Napoleon Dynamite.
The only time this laid-back linguistic style doesn’t effect sales is for commercial entrepreneurs, whose product and content basically sells itself to the buttoned-up business market.