Today I had an insightful interview with Eric van Heesen. He is the founder of crowdfundy, a crowdfunding advisory platform. I met him on the Campus Party, check my post on this. At this event there were a couple of very interesting workshops and lectures. Most of them about the subject entrepreneurship and what the most important considerations should be when you’re starting your own company. At this event Eric gave a free workshop on crowdfunding. Of course I was very much interested and took the course. Just before the course started I had a chat with Eric and explained a bit about DL and with that why I took this workshop on crowdfunding. During the workshop there was a small problem. The workshop was on the basics of crowdfunding. During the workshop I came to realise that I already knew quite a lot about the subject. Immediately after the workshop I thanked Eric and asked him if I could come by sometime for a cup of coffee to go over a few things on the subject of crowdfunding. This led to the interview I conducted today, 5 July 2016.
- What is a suitable crowdfunding platform for Delitelabs?
- Which social media are mostly used in crowdfunding campaigns
- Do you have some ideas on the rewards we can give away, or some examples out of the NGO crowdfunding campaigns you’ve seen so far?
- Do you know social initiatives that were very successful on the crowdfunding market that you could name?
- What would you recommend us to set our goal amount for the campaign?
- Is LinkedIn a good social media to use during a crowdfunding campaign?
- How I could find out what the conversion rate on average is with the crowdfunding campaigns done by NGO’s?
- Do you have any tips on the usage of Social media usage, but also making calls and doing direct mailing?
Start with what you do
I started the interview by some chitchat, which led to a small summary of what we do as a company and what we stand for. I thought this would be essential for him else he could place the crowdfunding campaign into context. After this I could fire a few questions and the learning began.
I got a lot of answers back, also things I didn’t prepare to ask. This was pretty interesting to me and I got a lot of follow ups that needs to get examined. One of the things is a platform he recommended me to do an inquiry on which is One Planet Crowd. This is a crowdfunding platform which is based in western Europe and is available for Belgium, German and Dutch users. In another post I will examine a few potential crowdfunding platforms, which include One Planet Crowd. Another finding during this interview, although pretty foreseeable, was that the starting entrepreneur would pay for the courses we will offer in the future. Eric gave me also inspiration on what kind of Rewards I should think of, in this case maybe in line with the projects the participants are doing, but that needs to be negotiated. On social media Eric advised me to work with twitter instead of LinkedIn, because the network and the awareness created by twitter is bigger than LinkedIn. Also is Instagram something to start thinking about, but then we have to have pretty good pictures that we can use on a very frequent usage. Posts on Facebook should be no more frequent than one post a day. Another pretty interesting remark Eric made about Facebook is that the further you are in the week (Mon-Sun) and the later it is on a day, the more awareness a post will get. Concrete numbers on effectiveness in frequency of Facebook posts on this will be looked for and displayed as soon as they are found. Another thing on Facebook is that we could work with promotions and analytics, this cost a bit of money but could boost our awareness immensely. With this promotion tool we could target people very precisely, so another thing we need to have a follow up for is start defining our target group. Tips for Twitter use were especially sharing interesting news messages on the subject that is your core, with us that would be entrepreneurship and refugees.
Conclusion: The learnings of the interview
Although I had prepared a few questions for the interview, seen above, it was a very informal interview. At the time this type of interview was very nice to have, but now while I’ve to write it, I come to the conclusion that it is not always that productive at the end. This because I could have done a better job interviewing Eric if I had more concrete questions I could ask him. Although this is the first real interview that I do on crowdfunding, these are some of the points I really have to look out for next time. Next time I even could ask if I could record the whole interview. Now I had to read the notes I’d made, which two of them I had to decipher. So two learnings from this first interview.
- Be very prepared in the sense that you exactly know what you want to know at the end of the interview.
- Ask if you can record the conversation so you can also use quotes and know exactly what has been said during the interview.
So thank you Eric van Heesen for the interview and the insights and followups you provided me with! Visit crowdfundy to see how Eric can help with a crowdfunding campaign.