Crowdfunding is one of the most efficient ways to get funding, whether it be for a business or for a project you are passionate about. While it is an efficient way to source funds, it can also be pretty challenging. It is not unusual for most campaigns to fail. Failure, in this context, means not reaching their financial targets. Kickstarter, for one, has a 37% success rate – about one out of three campaigns actually succeed.
If you want to run a successful crowdfunding campaign, here are some must-knows:
It involves a lot of work.
When you run a campaign, you must give your full commitment to it. You cannot do it half-heartedly. You need to set at least six to eight months at a minimum to put it together. Some of the work you have to do includes pre-committing donors, choosing a platform, building email lists, creating a video and building content.
Your choice of platform matters.
There are tons of crowdfunding platforms available today. You have to do your research on which platforms will suit your fundraising needs. If you want to know more information about the platform, talk to individuals or teams who have run their campaigns using the platform. This way, you will know what pitfalls to avoid. When you choose a platform, start by ranking them depending on the traffic their getting and the percentage of promotion they will give your campaign. The right platform should help you connect to your target audience and potential investors.
Stories and promotion are essential.
Your campaign is best presented as a story. It would be best if you could give enticing stories that would set your campaign apart.
Build hype on Twitter and promote using Facebook.
Social media has a significant role in crowdfunding campaigns. Posting your campaign on Twitter will create the much-needed hype. However, if you want your campaign to translate into actual donations, promote it on Facebook.
Tips for Running a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign
Doing research is necessary and mandatory for crowdfunding campaigns. Do not forget to know more about successful campaigns in the past. Know what made their campaign successful.
Aside from this, it would also do you good if you have information about the rules and regulations about business funding. Don’t let all your work go to waste just because of technicality issues.
Offer something concrete.
While some projects don’t necessarily involve a concrete product, it would be best to have something more than just an idea. Have at least a working prototype that you can present to potential backers. Take, for example, the Star Citizen video game, it did not have any code yet, but it was able to show something to its investors – enough to break crowdfunding records.
Set your target audience.
One of the mistakes of crowdfunding campaigns is producing content and marketing materials without a defined target audience. This is one of the reasons why they fail. Get out of this trap and set your target audience. Know what they want and give them that. Don’t assume, research about trends. When you know and deliver what they want, they will return it to you by supporting your project.
Spend time creating useful marketing materials.
Some fund seekers tend to become lax on this part and just hope that they would become successful only by doing a word-of-mouth campaign. While word-of-mouth is effective, it also involves a lot of work on your part.
Once you have defined your target audience, it is time to craft marketing materials that suits their preferences. The trend nowadays is personalisation. So make you sure personalise your materials. Your message should be your voice. Do away with tacky pieces unless they fit with your campaign. Again, don’t copy what is on the market. Make it your own.
Identify your goals.
Crowdfunding campaigns must have goals. Set the total fundraising goal and the timeline of the goal attainment. Afterwards, don’t forget to include production goals. Investors are more likely to support a project if they know when they can expect outcomes and results.
Offer worthwhile rewards.
When you ask for something, you have to give something in return. In some types of crowdfunding campaign, rewarding investors is not necessary. However, if you plan to run a second campaign, it would be wise to create that impression on your first project. Offering rewards is also crucial for making your crowdfunding campaign successful. While a thank you card is lovely, it is not enough to motivate people to invest.
As mentioned earlier, people appreciate everything personalised. When you get personal to investors, it creates a feeling of connection. When your investors feel this connection, it would be easier for them to become more comfortable with you. Thus, trusting you that you could achieve your goals. While getting personal is advised, you have to prevent oversharing.
Market your campaign.
Once your crowdfunding campaign is live, do your part in marketing it. Start by sharing it with your friends, family, work colleagues, blogs, and other social media platforms. Spreading the word wider will allow more investors to see your campaign.
Maintain open communication.
Once you have investors on board, don’t forget to communicate with them throughout the whole process openly. This shows transparency that would help build trust and rapport. You don’t have to tell them every detail, but they must know the essential aspects of the project. Don’t be afraid to inform them if you are encountering problems. Sometimes, they would even offer more help.
Be Open for Feedback.
When you engage in a crowdfunding campaign, you open your idea or product to feedback. Take it constructively and use it to your advantage. Feedbacks will allow you to see various points for improvement that you haven’t noticed before. Use this feedback as a bank of knowledge that would help you refine your product or concept before it hits production.
Be true to your promise.
One thing investors hate is people defaulting on their promise. Whatever promise you made during the campaign, make sure to keep them. It helps build your credibility that would be crucial for future projects you may have.