Crowdfunding is fast becoming the most popular way to bring innovative ideas to life. Apart from raising funds, crowdfunding can be used for marketing validation, research and development and connecting with your target audience. Here are some of my tips on how to successfully launch a crowdfunding campaign:
1. Plan, plan, plan
Before you look into crowdfunding, make sure that the product or service that you’re trying to fund is innovative and has a USP (unique selling point) to attract your target market.
Give yourself at least two months for preparation before you launch your campaign. This time should be focused on building a solid community around your idea by collecting a big email list, which will help your campaign succeed early.
2. Divide and conquer
There are a lot of moving parts in running a crowdfunding campaign, such as creating your pitch video and images, managing social media, and ultimately shipping your perks. To handle all of these, I recommend pulling together a group of talented people to split up the tasks. After all, campaigns with a team raise 94% more than solo campaigners. Not only will your team bring a variety of perspectives to your project, they’ll help you spread the word of your campaign to a different crowd and provides different perspectives and ideas to help you succeed.
3. Develop a strong database
As mentioned previously, it’s vital to have an audience that’s excited about your project before your campaign page goes live. Hitting 30% of your funding goal before you launch makes people who will visit your campaign page feel comfortable and encourage them to contribute even further to your project, and an extensive email list is crucial for building this early momentum before your official launch.
Start with sharing your campaign with your colleagues, friends and family. Then expand your network by using a variety of tools such as landing pages, events and social media. Make sure you are collecting email addresses at every chance you get.
4. Be active on social media
Social media is one of the best ways to tell the world about your campaign. Successful campaigns raise 21% of their funds from people who learned about the campaign through social media. Start with platforms that are relevant to your target audience and ones that your team is comfortable with. Social media helps you understand your target audience and attracts potential supporters your campaign might need. Ensure that add fresh content every 2-3 days. Scheduling your posts ahead of time will help you streamline your workload.
5. Create appealing perks
Perks encourage people around the world to support your campaign by giving them something in exchange. We’ve found that campaigns offering perks raise 143% more than those that don’t, as it helps people feel more valued. When designing your campaign perk structure, ensure timely fulfilment is possible regardless of the number of perks claimed. You should also decide which special perks you’ll introduce after launch to keep the momentum going.
6. Create a great campaign page
Once a potential backer comes to your campaign page, you have less than 5 seconds to grab their attention and keep it. Make sure it’s concise, compelling and has high-quality images to draw in your backers.
It’s important to make sure that your message is conveyed in a simple and clear way. To keep your readers’ attention, split up your text with infographics, pictures or sub-headings so that it’s easier to read. It’s important to use high-quality visuals to help paint a picture of who you are and what you want to achieve.
Another incredibly important part of your campaign page is your pitch video. Campaigns with pitch videos raise four times more than those without them. A video is an effective way to engage and communicate with your target audience. Make sure you use the first 30 seconds to grab your audience’s attention, and don’t make it too longer. We’ve found that the sweet spot is three minutes or less. Your video should answer questions about what are you building, why it’s special, who you are, and exactly what you will be using the money for. End the video with a strong call to action to get the viewer excited to be a part of your project.
7. Maintaining momentum
Communication is key. Keep your contributors updated via email, social media and newsletters from start to finish. You can let them know about new perks, campaign milestones, or shipping updates. Backers want to be involved in the process, and they want to know what you’re doing with their money. Once your campaign closes, thank your backers for their support, and continue updating them as often as possible.
Crowdfunding is a great way to fund your most innovative ideas, but it requires a lot of preparation. To pave the way for a successful campaign, take your time in putting together a great team, building buzz for your project, and creating a spectacular campaign page. And remember to keep your backers update once your campaign is over – you couldn’t have done it without them.