Once your campaign goes live, you’ll spend lots of time reaching out to press, potential backers, anyone who will listen, to be honest. You’ll also be fielding questions from all directions. It’s vital to have your story straight, so you and your team can speak about your product with a consistent and compelling voice. A little planning ahead of time can solidify your messaging plan, giving you one less thing to worry about during your campaign.

A List of Contacts

All the messaging in the world isn’t worth much if you don’t have anyone to share it with. Over the course of the development of your project, you’ll hopefully amass a decent community of people interested in your idea. It’s good to start organizing these lists early, segmenting your audience into different groups based on how they discovered your project. Obviously, friends and family are easy to categorize, but you’ll also meet industry contacts, VIPs and other influencers that can really amplify your campaign.

How you speak about your idea will be different depending on the audience, and keeping these categories straight can make sure the right message lands in the right inbox. Keep a Google Doc of contacts, or if you live primarily on social media, a tool like Hootsuite can help you keep your followers straight.

Talking Points

Now that you have your different audiences, it’s time to craft how you speak to them. Start simple. No matter how complicated your idea may be, you’ll need to find a way to speak about it in the most easy-to-understand terms. Kickstarter has a good worksheet to help you pitch your idea to different key audiences, and it’s a good place to start, but bullet points alone won’t translate into pledges.

Though your elevator pitch will get people onto your page, you’ll need to be prepared to dive deeper to satiate their appetite for details. These longer, more detailed pieces can work both as backer updates during your campaign as well as good material to pitch as exclusive content for bloggers and journalists. Think about your different audience buckets, and decide what they find most interesting. Some people love falling down the rabbit hole of the nitty-gritty prototyping process. If you’ve been diligent in tracking your product’s progress over its iterations, you’ll likely have a library of sketches, photos and physical prototypes to show off. Take these and walk us through the different iterations, showing how your idea arrived at its current state.

Other audiences might be more interested in you. So, tell us your story! What’s your background? What about your experience has made you the perfect person to make this idea a reality. Knowing how to sell yourself will help make your pitch video much more compelling by serving as a counterweight to the details of your product. Having this messaging crafted ahead of time can help you pitch a creator profile to a receptive outlet or blog. Giving them that info ahead of time lets them know if there’s something compelling to share, rather than finding out in the middle of an interview.

An Editorial Calendar

We’ll go deeper into the contents of a strong editorial calendar in another post, but for now know that having your entire month-long campaign’s push notifications, backer updates, emails and tweets planned out ahead of time is crucial. Planning out how you’ll celebrate backer/funding milestones, share stories or engage your fans ahead of time will give you a clear picture of the “story” of your campaign.

A Close-Knit Team of Collaborators

If you are part of a larger team undertaking a crowdfunding campaign, you’ll have multiple people speaking about the project. It’s important that they are all on the same page. Having all the above written down in a shareable document is a good start, but it’s valuable to take time just before your campaign goes live and interview each other about your project, trading roles so everyone can get practice for when it comes time to do it for real.

Similarly, delegate roles so everyone is clear on what is expected of them. Have one person in charge of blogger/journalist outreach (there’s nothing less professional than getting the same pitch from two different people at the same company), have someone focus on social media etc. Have everyone keep track of what progress they’ve made with different audiences so you can better understand what message is resonating the most.

If you are going solo and enlisting friends, or using an outside vendor to help with managing your communications plan, the above still applies. Anyone that represents your product needs to speak with the same voice, plain and simple.

How you talk about your idea is oftentimes as important as the idea itself. Getting it all out of your head and onto the page will help develop the most compelling pieces of your story, making your campaign all the stronger for it.