Crowdfunding is a great way to bypass conventional finance and get a group to support your business. Here's how it's done.
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Crowdfunding has become an increasingly common way for people to raise funds for a variety of projects and products. Whilst there isn’t a set formula to guarantee success, here are the ten tips that will help you run a great crowdfunding campaign.
1. Research and plan
It takes months, and sometimes even years, to prepare for a successful campaign. We recommend starting at the very least two months before the your campaign launches.
You need this time to build a community that’s excited about your project and create a solid database of contacts, which are two key factors in your campaign’s success. For more pre-launch advice, take a look at Indiegogo’s checklist here.
2. Don’t Go Solo
A full-blown campaign consists of many different elements, including (but certainly not limited to) the pitch video, copy for your campaign page, perk shipping, posting regular campaign updates, and social media management. Don’t embark on this journey alone; think about who can help you maximize success.
After all, campaigns that are run by teams raise an average of three times more than those who try to do everything by themselves.
When it comes to a good crowdfunding campaign, there's no 'i' in team
3. Develop a strong community
Your friends and family will be the first people you share your crowdfunding campaign with; but they likely won’t contribute enough for you to reach your goal. You need to build up a database of customers and evangelists who are ready to contribute when your campaign goes live.
Use a variety of tools such as landing pages, events, and social media to collect emails to expand your network.
4. Be Social
Having a social media presence is one of the best ways to spread the word about your campaign and grow your aforementioned audience. Choose your main social media platforms according to your target audience and the type of campaign you’re running.
For example, if you have a fashion or food-themed project, make sure you’re on Instagram. LinkedIn, on the other hand, is best for companies that are more business-to-business focused because it is great for reaching out to other businesses and posting industry-related content to catch their eyes.
5. Rewards Matter
Perks are a great way to encourage people to contribute to your campaign. When brainstorming your perks, make sure they’re not only appealing to your contributors, but also achievable for you and your team to deliver perks in a timely fashion.
6. Keep it personal
Your campaign page is the one-stop shop where your contributors will go to learn everything about your campaign. Once a potential backer comes to your page, you have less than five seconds to grab their attention and then keep it.
Make sure your page gives insight into what your project is, how you’re doing it and why you’re doing it. Don’t be afraid to get up-close and personal. Break your text up into sections to make it easier to read, and make sure there are no grammatical or spelling mistakes! Most importantly: be clear and concise.
Video brings your idea to life and helps people understand your ambition
7. Use Visuals
Visuals are a must to connect with your audience on a personal and emotional level. Videos are a powerful and extremely effective way to tell your story; campaigns with videos raise four times more funds than those that don’t.
In addition to your video, high-quality images and graphics help to quickly paint a picture of what you want to achieve, and are much more shareable and engaging than blocks of text.
8. Ready To Launch
Divide your group of contacts in two: your core list and a more extensive one. First, focus on your core group, which usually consists of friends and family for your “soft launch” one to two days before the “official” launch date. If you launch publicly once you have hit 30% of your total goal, your strong start will encourage people to further contribute.
9. Keep the Pace Going
Once your campaign has launched, it’s important to keep your audience updated with any new perks, new videos and key milestones. It’s easily done through social media as well as by updating your campaign page, and ensures that your backers feel like an important part of your campaign.
10. Finish Strong
Once your campaign has come to a close, make sure you thank your backers for their support and keep your community updated in on your progress with product development, manufacturing, and shipping. Some crowdfunding platforms such as Indiegogo offer services like InDemand which allows you to continue taking pre-orders after your initial campaign ends.