Crowdfunding is becoming an increasingly popular method for people to fund any idea. Instead of focusing solely on more traditional types of investment, budding entrepreneurs have to use a different set of skills to impress ‘the crowd’ with their innovations.
Whilst there is no magic formula to guarantee crowdfunding success, there are some general guidelines to take you through the entire process, and ultimately help you reach your goals. If you’re thinking of starting your own campaign, here are some tips will help steer you to success:
Research & planning
The more research and planning you do, the more successful your campaign is likely to be. After seeing what works for most entrepreneurs, we recommend beginning the planning process at least two months before your launch date. In reality, it can actually take much longer to put together a well thought-out campaign.
There’s success in numbers
A campaign page may look simple, but don’t let that fool you. You’ll need an all-star team to create your pitch video and images, contact your audience, ship perks, help with social media, and a whole host of other crucial tasks. Don’t go it alone; campaigns run by teams raise an average of three times more than those who try to do everything themselves. By capitalizing on everyone’s skills, you’ll maximize your success.
Grow your social media presence
Social media is a great platform for building your community and spreading the word about your campaign. Use platforms your team feels comfortable with and update them regularly to keep the momentum going.
Develop a strong community
Having a strong community and audience is the most important part of running a campaign. Social media is a great stepping stone since it’s so accessible and quick, but you can and should also build your potential database of contributors through emails and events. –Keep in constant contact throughout your campaign to encourage people to contribute and share with their friends.
Create irresistible perks for your audience
Your perks must walk the fine line between being achievable for your team, whilst still being an exciting reward for your backers. Make them fun, and do your best to get them to contributors in a timely fashion.
Tell your story through the campaign
Be open and honest with your audience about who you are, what you want to achieve and most importantly, what you’ll be using the funds for. Use a combination of infographics, a pitch video and pitch text (spell checked of course) to tell the audience your story.
Launch your campaign in stages
Split your database of potential contributors into core supporters, which are usually family and friends, and the remaining supporters, who may be strangers. Reach out to your core supporters during your “soft launch” one to two days before the “official” launch date. If you can launch publicly once you have hit 30% of your total goal, your strong start will encourage trust and therefore further donations.
Keep the pace
While both your soft launch and public launch will create interest and excitement for your idea, it’s important to keep this going throughout the campaign. Ensure your team is keeping your community updated with new perks and amounts raised.
Consider the Press
It’s important to decide whether to draft a press release and contact the media yourself, or think about hiring a PR agency/freelancer. If budget is tight and your campaign has reached 40-50% of its goal, it’s worth contacting the media yourself. Look for media that’s covered a similar story to yours.
Follow up with your community
After your campaign is closed, don’t forget to send your community updates about where you are with product development, manufacturing, and shipping. They contributed to be part of your journey, and you never know when you might need them again!
Kelly is the UK Design, Technology and Hardware Manager at Indiegogo UK – the world’s largest crowdfunding platform. Kelly is passionate about product development and revolutionising the way products are made by giving creators and makers access to capital.
At Indiegogo she works closely with entrepreneurs and makers to bring their products to market and seamlessly transition from crowdfunding to commerce.