Arguers rather than Storytellers

I have rarely found something more effective than the following to explain what crowdfunding is all about: “Crowdfunding campaigns, not very different from other fundraising or non-financial campaigns (e.g., political campaigns), constitute a genre of strategic communication, particularly when the latter is understood as communication-related to the very existence and survival of a corporate entity. Indeed, the business project for which funding is sought can be set up only if it gains legitimacy from funders, which in turn depends on the founders’ ability to communicate their project in a persuasive way.”

As such Rudi Palmieri, Chiara Mercuri, and Sabrina Mazzali-Lurati, argue in their “Persuasive Reasons in Crowdfunding Campaigns: Comparing Argumentative Strategies in Successful and Unsuccessful Projects on Kickstarter” campaign success is related to a compelling narrative more than to the characteristics of a platform.

In other words, the entrepreneur should provide sounding arguments to foster the legitimacy and distinctiveness of the project. In that, it is not only the dialectical capacity of the entrepreneur to transform a campaign into a success, but also its “rhetorical effectiveness by favouring the understanding and eventual acceptance of arguments as well as compliance with cultural, cognitive, institutional and other situational constraints.” Indeed, it is the combination of the entrepreneur’s trustworthiness, the clarity of the message and the perspective of the audience to make the difference.

But also, entrepreneurs should be able to connect those micro-dimensions with macro themes, that is, societal problem-solution, personal problem-solution and desire-project. Such a holistic perspective suggests that successful entrepreneurs create arguments more than stories in pitching their projects in a reward-based context.

Simply put, it is the ability to “recognise and anticipate the issues raised by the crowd and respond to them with justified claims regarding the societal necessity, technical efficacy and practical desirability of the proposed project,” that helps make the difference.

In practical terms, more than just talking about your story, starting from critical questions would pave the ground for that identification mechanism pivotal to gathering backers around your project.