Crowd funding is such a vulnerable experience. I have only ever done one to date and so I can only talk on that but I see that people go back for more and more projects to be funded. I would think that the initial vulnerability when you start your campaign, of feeling like you can’t succeed without people’s generosity and vision, never really goes away no matter how many campaigns you do.
It was a really exciting nerve wrenching time for me because I’d just finished Electro Girl, my autobiography, but I hadn’t anticipated things to cost so much before printing like getting a costume made for my character, a professional phot shoot done for the front cover and the initial editing. I still had the cover designer to pay, the proof reader and formatter and the first print run to pay for as well which I hadn’t anticipated to cost so much. The initial costs blew my budget out of the water so I thought, why not give crowdfunding a go.
My friends and family have been on this journey around my Epilepsy for so long that everyone was super excited for me and ready and willing to donate so I started it up and the first 48 hours I had raised nearly half of what my goal was.
After 4 days of the excitement waning and not wanting to harass my tribe too much, I thought I might look into one of these social media/marketing companies that relentlessly hound you on Kickstarter to “help spread your message to potential backers and hundreds of thousands of people on their database”. I was suss but I also thought it might be a good idea. The one I chose was CrowdFund Social. Why? Kickstarter had an article up at the time on their resources page stating that they were one of their top five choices for achieving success for your money.*
I spoke with a man called Nick – no last name even on their website, just Nick! Nick took my money and told me that even though my campaign had only 12 days to go, that was plenty of time to be fast tracked through the system and results would be seen immediately. When I asked if I would have a say in the wording and pics to use for these ads, he assured me yes. On their website it even states: We pride ourselves on helping you launch new ideas and getting the funding you need.
As soon as they took the money and I approved the first ad and spoke with Andrew, just Andrew, no last name given either, I never saw a report, a screen shot, another ad, any comments, likes or conversions. I asked every day to see the evidence of their work and kept getting delay tactics, even now 12 days after the campaign has ended and I was promised a report 12 days ago, I have still seen nothing. I have all this documented on email as well!
Here is just a snippet of the emails I got from Andrew to keep me dangling thinking that they were doing something. May I add here that it is the 26th October and I haven’t seen a thing!!
To top this off, they planted fake backers on my campaign to make it look like they had made some conversions from the ads but when the campaign ended and the backers were charged, these people and their fake accounts didn’t bring in the money and have now mysteriously disappeared from the backing list see below before and after shot – Erik Dall and James Witman (notice how Emily is still there and pending as she is not part of them, she is a friend of mine).
These mysterious deletions happened when I emailed CrowdFund Social confronting them about this (I have the email) and within 3 hours their names disappeared.
The campaign is over and I basically have no proof they did anything with the money they took from me as I received no reports, no conversions into money and no interest from them to allow me to assist with the wording and pics as I was promised by Nick initially. As I look further into this, it seems to be a big conspiring business that is under a few different names of which CrowdFund Social is one.
They are predators and prey on the passion of people wanting their projects to be funded. They go under the guise of being marketers but I believe, they are just opportunists making a hell of a lot of money and sitting back using a generic model that doesn’t work but won’t allow you to have input or even see the work they are doing.
It’s time justice came to play with CrowdFund Social and that these people get outed for their illegal scamming over the internet.
I still can’t work out if Kickstarter has anything to do with this but I know they are aware of it and seem to be turning a blind eye. It’s a shame as I thought Kickstarter were a great forum and they are….just don’t use the external social media predators that claim to want to do the best by you as they will take your money and run!!!
I hope this helps
*I can’t find this article as proof anywhere on the Kickstarter site now since many people have started complaining and neither can the many people I have spoken with that saw the same article and that’s why they chose CrowdFund Social