Linguistic style and crowdfunding success among social and commercial entrepreneurs

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Journal of Business Venturing, ISSN: 0883-9026, Vol: 32, Issue: 2, Page: 215-236

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Annaleena Parhankangas; Maija Renko
Elsevier BV
Business, Management and Accounting
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article description
Many entrepreneurs are struggling with the question of how to deliver a successful fund-raising pitch on crowdfunding platforms. In this study, we focus on the linguistic style of crowdfunding pitches and how such a style relates to the success in raising funds. Based on the language expectancy theory, we hypothesize that the importance of linguistic style depends on whether an entrepreneur belongs to an emergent category of new ventures (social entrepreneurs) or to an established category (commercial entrepreneurs). In particular, social entrepreneurs need to compensate for their incomplete social categorization and the related ill-formed expectations by relying more extensively on linguistic style to attract funding. Empirical analyses of 656 Kickstarter campaigns demonstrate that linguistic styles that make the campaigns and their founders more understandable and relatable to the crowd boost the success of social campaigns, but hardly matter for commercial campaigns.