Our customers often ask us, “What is the most important aspect of a successful campaign? “ Well, social sharing, use of graphics, perks all play a part in making a campaign successful, so it’s difficult to pinpoint a single aspect that predicts campaign success. However, if we have to identify something, it would be story telling.
Story telling has existed since the beginning of mankind. Traditionally, stories were told orally by village shamans and chiefs, but eventually the stories were written down and organized as books. Today, we call those stories “history”.
People are inherently drawn to stories and can become heavily invested in the story as the story progresses. This concept can be applied to your crowdfunding campaigns. Instead of thinking “pitch your audience”, try to tell the story behind the campaign. To better engage your audience, we suggest you tell the story based on 1 or more of Aristotle’s principles.
Logos means logic, so if applied to storytelling; the concept can be understood as reasoning by logic. It is a very pragmatic approach often supported by facts and numbers. It is commonly used to support a claim and regularly used in the telling of entrepreneurial stories. An example of logos can be found in the JusTea campaign, where the campaigner uses facts to persuade the crowd why his Tea business model is superior to the one in place. His use of numbers supported his claim; therefore, he was able to raise nearly $18,000. Logos can also be applied to personal campaigns through stating where the funding is going to be used. For example, if you are raising money for someone in need of surgery, tell the crowd what the money is going to be used towards. This allows the crowd to attribute the money towards a purpose instead of just a general fund.
Pathos means emotion, so if applied to storytelling; it’s basically persuasion through emotion. It basically draws on people’s empathy in order to convince them about a certain cause. It is mostly present in personal campaigns and can be very powerful if used correctly. An example of the use of pathos can be found in every Ride to Give campaigns as the campaigners tells the story of each individual child. It’s important to note that the stories have to give enough details to inspire emotion, but not too much so that it overwhelms the audience. Although more commonly found in personal campaigns, pathos can also be used in creative and personal campaigns. Take Jalanan for example, they used Pathos to tell the story of 3 street musicians and their daily struggles. The emotional appeal connected with their audience and they were able to raise over $20,000.
Ethos is an appeal to the authority or credibility of the presenter, so if applied to storytelling; it’s basically convincing your audience about the credibility of your story. Often, an authority figure would expert in their field is used to provide the validity in your story. News reports and awards are also great sources of Ethos. For example, Jalanan used their nomination of the Mecenat Award to inform their audience that their movie is very credible and on some level successful. Ethos can also be used in personal campaigns through quoting doctors or other figures in authority.
All three principles are very effective tools of storytelling. We hope that you are able to incorporate some or maybe even all the principles into you stories. We know you all have amazing stories and we can’t wait to read them.