Crowdfunding isn’t just an easy way to make some money. The campaigns that are successful all have certain things in common with each other. Although success is never 100% guaranteed, if you take note of these commonalities and implement them in your upcoming campaign, you’ll have a better chance to cash-in on your great idea. Here’s what you need to be doing.
1. Get Your Administrative Tasks Completed.
Having a great idea is one thing. Putting a business plan into place that helps you implement that great idea and help it to grow is a whole different scenario. It lets you see what you really need for financing and allows you to communicate this to backers. There are also tax laws which need to be taken into consideration. Don’t forget to open up your business accounts, research which platform will treat you the best, and develop rewards that backers are going to want.
2. Don’t Be Afraid To Let Your Creative Side Out.
The crowdfunding campaigns that tend to do the best are the ones that are able to tell their story to the mass market. You need to decide how you’re going to tell your story, what message your brand sends when it is seen, and what problems you intend to solve. Your idea must change the world in some way.
Videos are an integral component of the storytelling process. It’s the one dynamic tool you have to show off a prototype or put your face on camera so that people can get to know you. Quality matters here. If it isn’t professionally produced or is more than 3 minutes long, then there’s a good chance you’ll drive people away with your video instead of attracting them.
Then put everything together with your marketing content and your rewards to have a campaign that makes a positive first impression.
3. You Need To Create a Community.
Crowdfunding campaigns see a better level of success when people get excited about what they’re doing. How you create a community depends on the product that you’re trying to market. For Reading Rainbow, the nostalgia of supporting a program that many people grew up watching naturally brought backers together to create a community of over 100,000 people. The potato salad Kickstarter brought together a community of people who appreciated the whimsy and creativity of such an idea.
The lesson learned here is this: look at what attracts people to your business or idea in the first place. Develop the community around that so like-minded backers can get excited about sharing and supporting your cause. Engage with your community on a regular basis to make sure the dialogue keeps pushing forward. In doing so, you might just find your crowdfunding efforts can begin to go viral.
4. Make Sure You’Ve Got Your Timing Down.
Crowdfunding campaigns are developing a bad reputation when it comes to the implementation of the rewards that have been offered. It isn’t unusual for it to take 1 year or more for rewards to begin shipping. In some cases, like the Kreyos watch, the rewards don’t ever really ship out at all except to a lucky random few.
Having a solid timeline for your rewards is important, but over-delivering on the quality of the rewards is just as important. This is your one chance to deliver on your promise of value. The first impression of the backer receiving their product is the one that will be forever associated with your organization. If the product fails to impress, then you’re not going to receive any further help from them, their family, or their friends.
5. Keep It Going After The Crowdfunding Campaign.
People who invested in the Reading Rainbow campaign were still getting community updates 6 months after the campaign ended. There were always opportunities provided for backers to give their feedback. Your campaign doesn’t end when the timer finally counts down to 0. If anything, that’s when the even harder work of fulfilling your promises begins.
If you can stay in touch with your backers every step of the way so they know when to expect their rewards, then you’ll be able to maintain your list of prospects for another crowdfunding effort later on if need be.
Businesses are defined by the relationships that people form with them. Crowdfunding helps those relationships form in a 1-on-1 way. Follow these steps and you’ll be following in the footsteps of the successful campaigns that have come before you.
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