So you’ve finally decided to take the leap into the wicked, wonderful world of business. First of all, congrats!
You’ve got a great idea that’s making it difficult to go to sleep. You’ve done the research, talked it over with your confidantes. You may even have a prototype.
But I’m sure you quickly realized that an idea is worthless without the means to execute. And today there are more ways than ever to get funding. You’ve probably already talked to friends about helping you out so why not do the next logical thing: ask your internet friends? But why stop there?
Many successful entrepreneurs and companies have increasingly turned to the Internet to fund their next great ideas. In an age of increasingly competitive venture funding it’s important to consider other channels to ensure your project can get the financing it needs. And there is something distinctly satisfying about relying on the enthusiasm and support of the people to make your dream into a reality.
Like everything else however, the reality of successful crowdfunding is a lot more complicated than the idea of it. However with a good plan (and a bit of luck), you can avoid having a dud on your hands.
1. Pick your platform: Certain platforms require you to raise the entire amount of the pledge for you to keep your money: this ensures people have an incentive to actually donate as opposed to waiting for others to donate. You either raise all of the money you’ve pledged to raise or nothing at all. Indiegogo works differently: you keep all the money you’ve raised.
2. Nothing captures attention and gets people IMMEDIATELY pumped like a video. Your story is unique. So use your passion and conviction to tell it in a way that gets people immediately engaged and invested in your vision. Get your friends to pitch in as extras as people love to see someone who is personally engaging enough to get others on board.
3. If you have testimonials or clients, ask them for feedback. Some will give you valuable insight into how you can make your product or service better, others will love the chance to say good things about the work you’ve done. Use these words and claims on your page to further sell your story as someone else’s words hold a lot of weight to establish your credibility.
4. Make some awesome perks. The core of a successful crowdfunding campaign is figuring out why people would donate their hard-earned money. What’s in it for them? How can you provide value sufficient for them to give money for something that may not even exist yet? These can be as simple as a shout-out on social media, a personalized gift or even early, exclusive access to your product or service. Find something that makes your product or service unique and come up with ways you can get people excited about buying into it. If you can do this, then people will be more than willing to contribute to your cause.
5. Finally, make sure you nurture your followers by keeping them engaged throughout the length of your campaign and beyond. Once they’ve pledged, you’re not done. Your donors are invaluable assets. They can share your story, tell their friends about you and bring more people in as the campaign goes on. Make sure you’re making the most of them. Remember to keep them engaged by updating them on your progress, revealing new and exciting developments and making them feel like they’re an active part of their success. People love a winner but they love the experience of being part of the Winner’s Circle even more. By nurturing these relationships, you can make powerful advocates out of your backers for very little cost on your end and cement a positive social and media presence from the get-go.
If you take these 5 tactics into consideration and see where they fit into your campaign BEFORE you put things into motion, you’re already ahead of the pack. And the fact that you’ve read up until now, already shows that you have the patience and conviction necessary to create a winning fundraising strategy.