Crowdfunding is really just getting its feet on the ground and has already grown into a multi-billion dollar industry.
With platforms like Kickstarter and GoFundMe making crowdfunding seem simple, it can be tempting to walk blindly into starting a campaign.
However, running a successful crowdfunding campaign is no easy feat.
If you’re looking to fund your newest idea through crowdfunding, here are some helpful tips to get you started:
1. Tell Your Story
One of the biggest key parts of running a successful crowdfunding campaign is to tell your story in a way that is clear.
One of the most effective ways to tell this story is a video. Every good crowdfunding video has a few things in common. You want this video to show the personality of your ideas while giving your plan credibility.
When you communicate who you are, what you’re about, and how you plan to reach your goals in a way that is clear and creative you’re more likely to have people who are willing to back you.
Make sure that when you’re creating your pitch you’re focusing on the product or service and making it the star of the pitch. Using storytelling in a way that allows people to connect emotionally with your idea will help tremendously in your achieving your goals.
Another good rule of thumb is to highlight why your particular product is different than the hundreds of others out there. Even if your product isn’t necessarily revolutionary, spin it in a way that makes it seem like it is.
2. Offer Worthwhile Incentives
In a perfect world, people would donate to causes and ideas they believe in with no hopes of getting something in return, but that’s an unrealistic expectation when crowdfunding.
To run a successful crowdsourcing campaign you need to offer your backers worthwhile incentives that will make them want to give you their money.
Break down these incentives by different price points and offer incrementally more as the monetary backing increases. The more someone pledges to your campaign, the bigger the incentive they will receive.
For instance, if someone were to pledge between $5 and $20 to your campaign a simple shoutout on social media or an email thank you is a great reward. For bigger pledges of $500 or more incentives that include one-on-one chats with the creators of the campaign or first dibs on the product once it’s produced make this kind of donation worthwhile.
3. Set Realistic Goals
For platforms such as Kickstarter, you don’t get to keep any of the money your raise via backers unless your campaign hits its goal. Because of this, beginning with realistic expectations will be advantageous in the long-run.
Sit down and calculate realistically how much you have to have to make your ideas a reality and start from there. Most crowdfunding campaigns will profit most from people that already know who you are and what you’re about, so keep that in mind.
4. Promote, Promote, Promote
As mentioned above, most of the backing for your campaign is going to come from people who already know you and your ideas, especially at the beginning.
To reach beyond your circle of friends and acquaintances you’ll have to have a few promotional tricks up your sleeve. When you start promo for your campaign get on social media and spread the world. You should also try reaching out to micro-influencers and others with sizable audiences to help you with this.
Another promo idea that can drive success if live events that stir up a conversation and get your target audience more engaged.
5. Update Your Contributors Regularly
If people are backing your idea with their hard-earned cash they’re going to want to hear about your progress throughout the process.
By neglecting to maintain regular updates you will hurt your chances of attracting more backers and those who have already pledged will be less likely to contribute to any future endeavors.
Even if things aren’t going 100% to plan all the time, being open and honest with your updates is the best rule of thumb.
6. Do What You Say You Will
Don’t give into the temptation of feeling like the hardest part is over once you’ve reached your monetary goals. At this point, the hardest work will have just begun.
Make sure that when you begin using the funds from your crowdsourcing campaign that you are quickly making strides to fulfilling the mission you set out to. Your backers want to see results and will be expecting you to deliver on the promises you made.
Being transparent with your backers and valuing them and their contribution will likely help you bring in more backers and further your purpose.
7. Figure Out a Monetization Plan
The purpose of crowdsourcing is just to get your idea off the ground and isn’t a viable option for sustained income.
Eventually, in the process of making your product a reality, you’ll have to start working on ways to monetize your creation in a way that is a longterm option.
8. Find a Manufacturer or Brand to Work With
Finding a monetization plan goes hand in hand with finding a brand or manufacturer to work with.
At the point that you’re ready to launch your idea or product, you’ll have to find someone to produce it for you. Start seeking out these relationships early in your process for the best chances of success.
9. Accept and Implement Feedback
Putting your ideas out there and asking other people to understand and support it can be terrifying, and it can be easy to close yourself off to any criticism but you can’t do that.
Listen to what your backers have to say, take the feedback you receive, and use it to make your campaign the best it can be.
Start Your Crowdfunding Campaign the Right Way
Use these 9 tips to put yourself on the path to success during your next crowdfunding campaign.
It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to run a campaign to fund a startup or other big idea, but if you’re willing to roll your sleeves up and dive in the results can be better than you could hope.