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6 Steps to a Massively Successful Crowdfunding Campaign
Crowdfunding continues to pick up momentum as an effective way to secure funding for small businesses, startups, and various other types of projects, ventures, causes, or ideas. Whether you’re still in the dream phase, have an established business and need a marketing push, or want to raise funds for a social cause, crowdfunding can help you accomplish your goals.
When launching a crowdfunding campaign, it’s important to have a game plan. Since we’ve decided to put together a campaign for eDetroit, Kim and I have been digging around on the Internet, soaking up as much knowledge on the subject as we possibly can. What we’ve learned is that there is a considerable amount of work leading up to the campaign, and once it’s launched the work doesn’t stop. For our mutual benefit, I’ve pieced together a quick and simple guide on how to launch a successful crowdsourcing campaign.
Here it is:
1) Set a realistic goal
Make sure the goal that you’re setting can be reasonably met through crowdfunding – don’t overbid. Know how much funding you need and be sure to build a convincing case for it to convey through your campaign content, especially the video.
Your goal, whether it’s funding a project, startup, cause, or idea will help you determine which people to reach out to, the right crowdfunding platform, your message, and your promotional strategy.
2) Build your network
If you already have a well established network, great. If not, don’t panic. There are plenty of things you can do to build awareness in a short period of time. Services such as Meetup are great for getting connected with communities of like-minded individuals – attend some events and let people know what your you’re doing. Utilize your existing social media presence, and continue to build on it throughout the entire process of your crowdsourcing campaign.
3) Choose the right crowdfunding platform
It seems like new crowdfunding websites are popping everyday, each of them addressing different needs, with different sets of rules. Indiegogo is a popular platform that supports a wide range of campaign categories, and they don’t require you to reach the entire goal amount to collect funds. Alternatively, Kickstarter is a project-based platform that requires the entire goal to be met, but only allows sourcing in specific categories.
There are also niche crowdfunding platforms that are designed for more specific projects. That being said, it’s a good idea to spend a little time doing research before making any decisions.
4) Develop the campaign: make a video, create incentives, set a timeframe
This is the meat and potatoes of any crowdfunding campaign. The most important thing at this stage is to create an amazing video. Make sure to give the video a personal touch – let people know who you are and why you’re doing what you’re doing. Creating an excellent video will greatly increase your odds of reaching your campaign goal. Here’s one that I like:
Many platforms allow you to create incentives for different tiers of ‘investment.’ Consider these carefully, and create interesting rewards that increase in value as the donation amount increases.
Choosing the right timeframe is also important. Psychologically, people are likely to procrastinate on donating to a campaign that has a 90-day timeframe, because they want to be sure that its a worthy cause that others will donate to. From research, I’ve found that 30-40 days is an optimal length for a campaign when combined with a solid promotional strategy.
Continually raise awareness throughout your campaign – the work doesn’t stop once it goes live. Let as many people know what you’re doing as possible: tell your friends and family, write blog posts, tweet, encourage others to share your campaign link, and keep attending networking events. People like to donate to ideas they believe in – engaging with those people will make them feel more inclined to be a part of your movement!
6) Celebrate, collect, and give thanks
Say thank you to all of the individuals who helped you reach your goal – they’ll want to know they made a good investment, and may want to stay involved with your initiative as it progresses. Finally, deliver your rewards and keep your supporters updated on your success.
This post was previously published on eDetroit.