8 Key Steps to a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign

Indian businesswoman holding rupees with her busy colleagues

Crowdfunding is a way of raising money for a new venture by soliciting small donations from many people online.  The biggest platforms in the industry are Kickstarter and Indiegogo. In the last five years, crowdfunding has grown from a tool for off-beat bands to raise money from fans for an album they can’t afford to produce to a way for some really high tech inventors to get access to capital for their new, innovative startups.

Following is the checklist of 8 steps to prepare for your campaign.

  1. Develop your story. Crowdfunding is all about stories. Unlike traditional websites that focus on products, people on crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter or Indiegogo want to know how you turned your idea into a reality. Explaining why you need their support is just as important as the product you are pitching.
  2. Write your video script. Be sure to have the storyboard of your crowdfunding video dialed in before you plan to shoot. Plan your video ahead so you don’t waste time.
  3. Shoot your video. Almost anything works for a crowdfunding video but if you’re looking for a more professional video that doesn’t break the bank, reach out to the university in your area. Chances are you can find an experienced student willing to work for cheap in exchange for a chance to build their portfolio.
  4. Product photos. The presentation of your product is very important for crowdfunding. Taking the time to find professional photographers is completely worthwhile.. Utilize your network to find people who are willing to work for a discounted rate.
  5. Your website. Having your company’s website completed is a big plus and highly recommended. A website further validates you are a legitimate company, which crowdfunding supporters like to see. All you need is a landing page that gives some more information about your company.
  6. Crunch your numbers. It is essential to know how many units you need to sell and, at what price.
  7. PR outreach. An often overlook part of crowdfunding is to create a buzz. Many project creators assume their projects will somehow automatically get noticed.
    Reach out to media outlets that cover your type of campaign. An effective way to find the right media outlets is through a  Google Image search. Simply take a photo from a similar campaign and upload it to Google. Google will then display all blogs, newspapers and other media that have covered that campaign.
    Crowdfunding promotion sites like 40Billion.com have become very popular because they help spread the word without charging a commission. Crowdfunding promotion sites broadcast projects to their large networks of millions of users across online sites, including the most popular social networking sites – Twitter, LinkedIn, 40Billion, and even Facebook. Innovative services like tweet ads and promoted company listings were created for crowdfunding entrepreneurs of all types to tap into a growing, active “crowd” online without spending thousands on pay-per-click ads or traditional advertising.
  8. Submission. Sites like Kickstarter use their own guidelines to accept or deny a campaign. They don’t accept all crowdfunding projects. The approval process can take a few days and may require you to make some changes to your campaign. Be sure to submit your campaign at least two weeks prior to your launch.

Conclusion:

The crowdfunding is not all about raising money. Reality is that the majority of entrepreneurs need more than financial support to launch their ideas. They lack the experience needed to create and execute a business plan. And with a few exceptions, they seriously underestimate how much money is needed to get a business off the ground. Be sure you know before you launch how you will produce your product and how much each unit will cost.

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