Starting your Crowdfunding Campaign
So you’re twisting and turning in bed at night, your head buzzing with ideas…then, finally, one of them slaps against the wall like a raw steak, and it sticks! You’re convinced your business idea or product is gonna be awesome and your mom will be so proud!
But there’s one itty bitty problem….you’re broke. Or least you ain’t got the disposable funds to fuel your totally awesome idea. But hey, don’t be sad. I mean, we live in the age of crowdfunding!
Yep, there’s people out there willing to fund your project or product, if you can get them to see your vision and just how awesome it is.
Now you’re probably already familiar with stuff like Kickstarter, but that’s not your only option. In fact, there are benefits in ditching those popular platforms and hosting a crowdfunding campaign solo on your site. What are those benefits? There’s 2 main ones:
- Avoid Extra Fees
Yep, with popular platforms, you have to fork over an additional percentage of your earnings to the site. Take Kickstarter for example; they charge a fee for their services — 5% of the collected funds, as well as a 3–5% fee for payment processing. Same with Indiegogo. Why share your hard-earned cash with a platform? Keep the funds (as much as 10% more!) by bypassing the popular sites and running your own campaign.
- Retain Full Control
Normal crowdfunding platforms set the ground rules for your fundraising campaigns, often leaving you with rigid parameters that restrict your campaign length, payment processing methods, branding, and more.
In short: why not have your cake and eat it too?
But now let’s take a look at some ways in which you can get people behind you and your vision, all while retaining control of the ship.
1. Think about your total investment goal
When setting your investment goal, try to make it as low as possible. Calculate how much money you need to cover your campaign goal and any extra expenses. Do not look at crowdfunding as a way to make profit at this stage. A target of £800 that is exceeded is much better than a target of £5,000 which is unsuccessful.
2. Market your crowdfunding campaign
Marketing your crowdfunding campaign is probably the most important step. People won’t give you money if they don’t know about your project, or don’t know enough about it. Set aside time before your campaign launch to use social media, press, networking, exhibitions, local radio and promotional materials to create a buzz around your project. Aim to have a number of interested investors ready to back your project on day one of your campaign.
It is also very important to plan promotion of your crowdfunding campaign during the campaign as you may experience a lull after the initial launch. And with stuff like instagram, twitter and Facebook, marketing is easier than ever, it just requires persistence.
3. Gain social proof for your project
Talk to your friends and family about your project – are they willing to invest in your project? If the answer is no, it is unlikely that investors with visibility of thousands of competitive projects would want to back you. Ask your family and friends for feedback and learn from it.
If your family and friends are interested in investing, this can be a great sign that you have a good idea – make sure that all these people are ready to start funding your project on the first day of the crowdfunding campaign. This will help to create a buzz around your project and can encourage other potential backers to invest.
4. Research similar projects for inspiration and tips
Some crowdfunding platforms don’t take down campaigns once they have finished (whether successful or unsuccessful), this is a great opportunity to research similar projects to your own and see what works well and what doesn’t.
5. Create a video that captures your audience and promotes your project clearly
Most people are visual creatures. Slap them with a wall of text, they’ll probably zone out. Show them a cool and concise video, and you have a better chance at getting them on board. So set aside a video budget to make sure that it is interesting and clearly presents the benefits of your project. When planning the content, create a video that can be used for future marketing opportunities to get the most for your money.
6. Communicate effectively and honestly with all your backers and potential backers
Make sure you communicate clearly about what your project is, what it is trying to achieve, how much money is needed to make it a reality and what you will deliver and when. Answer all questions that are directed at you. When possible answer the questions publicly but in some cases you may prefer to reply privately.
When you do have backers, make sure that you keep them up to date with your product and always let them know if you do not think you will make a deadline you had previously set. Transparency will win you the trust of your backers.
7. Be creative if you are offering rewards
If you decide to go for reward crowdfunding, let your potential backers know what’s in it for them and make your rewards interesting if you can. One option is to offer different rewards for different levels of investment – this can encourage a potential backer to add more to their investment.
8. Make changes based on feedback
One of the most important things you can do before you try to crowdfund your product is make sure you’ve taken the time to have people test and review your product. You may have an amazing product, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be even better with a little extra work.
It’s no secret that crowdfunding campaigns can be a lot of work. And yeah, it can all seem very intimidating. But crowdfunding allows you to sell your idea directly to the people without corporate BS, and with the right structure in place, you can meet and even exceed your funding goals.
And to help you start your Crowdfunding journey, take advantage of the Skywarriors theme FundingPress! Designed to give entrepreneurs the most control over their campaigns and avoid the restrictions and fees associated with other crowdfunding platforms out there, FundingPress has all the features you need to reach your target audience and bring your ideas to life!