Starting a new business venture is undoubtedly a satisfying experience, but it’s sure to be a costly, exhausting, and time-consuming one as well. After all, despite there being no ceiling to your creativity, chances are you won’t be as lucky when it comes to your funding.
That’s why more and more people nowadays are choosing to crowdfund their ideas in order to make their vision a reality instead of resorting to more traditional ways of financing, like taking out bank loans or seeking out angel investors. In this article, we’ll take a look at what crowdfunding really is and I’ll give you a few tips you should always keep in mind if you want to give your project the highest chance of success.
What exactly is Crowdfunding?
Crowdfunding is when you raise capital for your project through contributions from a huge number of supporters. They offer their funds in the form of pledges, receiving a sort of reward in return that usually depends on the amount pledged. As for what that reward is, that’s really up to you. Some projects offer up a product or some extra add-ons, while some rewards can be as simple as giving props to the backers on social media or the official website.
How to set up a Crowdfunding campaign
First off, you have to come up with a compelling story for your project and then choose which crowdfunding platform you want to upload it to. There are quite a few out there these days, with perhaps the most popular ones being Kickstarter and Indiegogo. You’ll also have to figure out the different tiers of rewards your supporters will be receiving depending on how much they pledge.
Next, you’ll need to think long and hard about the type of crowdfunding campaign you want to run. It can be either a “Receive Everything” kind of campaign that allows you to keep all the funds raised regardless of whether or not you hit your goal, or an “All or Nothing” project where you only get to retain the funding provided you reach the agreed upon target.
Once you’ve figured out your campaign type and set the time period you’d like it to run, all you have to do is publish the project and you’re good to go. Setting up the campaign is only the beginning, however, and there’s still a lot of work to do to ensure your project becomes a success, especially considering that over two-thirds of crowdfunding ventures actually end up failing, usually due to lack of proper preparation. Here are four tips you should consider to help execute successful Kickstarter marketing campaigns:
1. Sell Your Mission More Than You Sell Yourself
While it’s definitely important for supporters to learn more about the creator of the campaign they’re backing, you should never lose sight of the mission your project is trying to accomplish. The problem you’re trying to solve or the cause you want people to get behind should always take precedence over all else. Define that clearly and elaborately and you’re bound to have people flock in support.
2. It’s Not Over Till It’s Over
The mistake made by a lot of crowdfunding campaign creators is giving up once their funding hits a significant hiccup. It’s very common for campaign support to slow down to a crawl halfway through and the best thing to do is to stick it out right till the end. After all, in a lot of cases, the majority of pledges pour in close to the deadline, with some campaigns only hitting their targets during the last few minutes. In crowdfunding, always go the distance or you might end up regretting it.
3. Go Big or Go Home
Sure, going for the “Receive Everything” type of campaign is obviously the safer bet, but research shows that choosing the “All or Nothing” option, surprisingly, has the higher chance of success. Chances are, this is due to the fact that people are more likely to root for you knowing their rewards and all of the money raised thus far would be for nothing if the goal isn’t met.
On the flip side, the “Receive Everything” kind lacks the same gravity and pressure, since everyone knows you’ll still receive all the funding even if you fall short of the target, giving them less incentive to provide greater support.
4. Drive Traffic
While there’s no denying that some people do strike gold by miraculously attracting investors with deep pockets to back their projects, that’s not usually the case for the majority of projects on crowdfunding platforms. More often than not, it falls on you to create a plan to drive traffic towards your campaign.
Use all the networks and tools at your disposal (and pick up some new ones in the process) in order to promote your project and mission. Take to all kinds of social media, start a blog, send out a bunch of emails. Heck, if you can spare the funding, consider going for more conventional ads, like billboards or TV commercials. Perhaps you can even get big names to feature your project in their blogs, vlogs, or social media posts. Do whatever it takes to get your venture on the map.
There’s more to crowdfunding than just a bunch of strangers throwing money your way so you can achieve your goals. It can also help you gauge the public’s interest towards your mission and give you the confidence boost you need to keep going knowing that there are people out there who believe in what you’re doing and genuinely want to see you succeed.
Just make sure you always remember to repay their support by providing constant updates about your campaign and by making each and every backer feel seen and heard. Keep all these things in mind and you’ll have taken all the necessary steps to make your crowdfunding campaign a reality. Now all you need is a million dollar idea.