Lesson 3: Mapping Your Network
Watch Time: 18 minutes | Work Time: 5-7 hours
section 1: There are no magical money elves
You will hear us say this a lot: There are no magical money elves in crowdfunding, and in life. We wish there were, but there aren’t! And that’s OK. It’s better to know that now, then to think that those darned elves are waiting for you.
The majority of the people who contribute to your campaign are going to be people you know, so it’s important for you to evaluate your network ahead of launching your campaign.
Network mapping provides you with a realistic idea of how much money you can raise through your campaign. It ain’t easy, but it’s the best thing you can do to ensure you set yourself up for success.
Most importantly, it gives you control over your crowdfund, and takes the emotion out of wondering who is going to support you, and actually puts pen to paper to map it out for you.
TASK: Pull out your master iFundWomen Method Playbook, and go to the “Network Mapping” tab.
IFW RECOMMENDS: If you have a huge network and need lots of tabs to work with, use the multi-tab Network Map below.
THE MULTI-TAB IFUNDWOMEN NETWORK MAP
IFW RECOMMENDS: If you are comfortable using Google docs, and if you have co-founders or a contributing team, upload the Network Map into a sharable Google Sheet for you and your team to collaborate. More team mates = bigger network.
This lesson is a long one, so fuel up and get energized before you dive into network mapping. You got this!
section 2: How to properly map your network
Your campaign funders will fall into two macro groups of people:
Your FFFs (Friends, Family and Followers): These are people in your personal and professional network, who you know IRL. These amazing people will support your campaign because they know you, and they like you. It’s really that simple.
Your Customers: Either your current or prospective customers who you want to sell your product or service to. People who are actually within your target market and who are interested in using, testing, trying, being first “in” on your product, service, mission, or vision.
Network mapping is a tedious task. We highly recommend dedicating some time each day to completing your network map (ie. Netflix & Network Map each night). It should take a total of about 5-7 hours and it’s worth it!
TASK: Start filling out your Network Map.
Export your email contacts, into a CSV or excel file from your Gmail or Yahoo mail - whatever you use.
Export your contacts from your email marketing service, like Mailchimp.
Look at the texts in your phone. Make a list of people who you text with. These are your besties, and will convert at the highest rate.
Start talking to people about your campaign. Get a sense for what reward they will want to buy. Get people engaged in the process early.
section 3: How To Grow Your Network & Engage Your Community
Once your network map is underway, you should start to get a sense for how much money you can anticipate raising. If there is a large gap between the total sum on your network map, and your ideal campaign goal amount, the next step is to start growing your network.
Growing your network takes time. Just like friendships, people can tell when your efforts are authentic vs transactional. Before you start your campaign, spend 3-6 months building up a strong network virtually and IRL.
Put an email capture on the homepage of your website and ask people to sign up to “get notified when your iFundWomen campaign launches!”. As you're meeting people at events and sharing your info about your business, they’ll likely go to your website to check you out. Make sure you give them the opportunity as soon as they get there to sign up for your newsletter to stay in touch.
Go to events that are relevant to your target audience, and talk to people. Tell them about your upcoming campaign. Practice your pitch. Get people excited about your mission! Hand out business cards. Get as many email addresses as you can and add them to your list. Here are some examples of places you can meet people:
Take a group fitness class
Join a volunteer group or continuing education class
Sign up for your local chamber of commerce and meet other business leaders
Start advertising on social. Boost a Facebook “Lead Gen” ad to get email addresses of people who follow you. Email will convert better than social posting, so getting as many email addresses of people who follow you is key to building up your network map.
DM people who are engaged with you on Instagram and ask them if they would like to get notified about your campaign launching. Ge their email address if you can.
TASK: Download the My Communities Worksheet and write down 10 communities you can tap into for your campaign. Challenge yourself to make 10 new connections in each and you’ll end up with 100 new people in your network!
Also use the Audience Messaging & Content Marketing Worksheet to help you identify the goals for your audience and how best to reach them. Then, use the content section to determine how you will keep people engaged with your campaign by switching up your messaging throughout your campaign. You’ll see this worksheet again in Chapter 6!
MY COMMUNITIES WORKSHEET
AUDIENCE MESSAGING & CONTENT MARKETING WORKSHEET
Don’t go in with a sales approach. Use The 80/20 Rule instead! As you’re making new connections and engaging with your existing network, 80% of your outreach/content should be focused on adding value and 20% should be focused on sales. Refer back to your pitch and talk about the problem you’re solving, how your product or service solves this problem and why you’re crowdfunding.
Adopt The Give, Give, Get mentality. You’re tapping into these communities to broaden your network and, eventually, to make an ask. Look out for opportunities where you can offer your support. If you’re talking to someone who mentions that they need a social media expert and that’s what your BFF does, offer to make the connection. Or if someone mentions a business challenge that you’ve gone through, offer up a book recommendation that helped you figure it out. Be a giver!
SECTION 4: POP QUIZ!
Take a short quiz to test your knowledge and understanding!