3 Top Tips for Crowdfunding Successfully
Build your community in advance of your campaign launch
Crowdfunding is not a Kevin Costner "Field of Dreams" scenario. Just because you build a crowdfunding campaign does not mean that people will flood to back you. You need to work hard building your social networks online; start to engage on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, reach out to influencers and start to build a relationship in advance of tweeting them and asking them to give you a tenner. Identify likeminded groups and individuals that share your interests and are likely to support your activity and begin a conversation.
And don't forget offline either. Make sure your friends and family are primed to back you as soon as your project goes live - seeing a groundswell of support from people that know you will give strangers some comfort and make the decision to back you a bit easier. And remember, there are still many people who either aren't using social networks regularly or haven't even joined them, so make sure you target offline publications as well as online publications, remember the humble email database, and consider attending events or exhibitions where you can share your story. It's hard work, and you need to continue the engagement right through your crowdfunding campaign.
But it's not a one-off exercise, the community you build during your campaign will remain with you as you launch and grow your business. Remember, these people are so keen to see you launch your business that they are prepared to pay you to do it - don't forget them once your campaign reaches target and your business is live. They are now your customers and brand ambassadors - love them!
Everyone has a story to tell, a dream ambition, but what will boost your chances of a successful crowdfunding campaign is how you tell that story. You need to be compelling, you need to share what it is you want to do, why it matters so much, and how people can be a part of that journey with you.
Be honest, be passionate and enthusiastic, use emotions and experiences to make your pitch the standout pitch, the one people are so keen to be a part of that they not only give you money but tell all their friends and family about you.
Use quality images and video to help illustrate your dream. It doesn't have to be a professionally shot and edited video, and it doesn't have to cost a lot of money, something shot on your smartphone will be ideal as long as it is short, to the point, engaging, humorous, empathetic, passionate and enthusiastic.
Offer unique rewards
Fabulous rewards are key. Getting the rewards right is make or break for your project; you might have the best pitch, the most compelling video, the most exciting product to launch, but if you don't get the rewards right people won't back you.
Get creative with your rewards, get inside the head of your backer - your customer - what would they want. and what would they pay for it? You need to offer a range of rewards that appeal to the widest possible audience, and you need to offer at least one unique reward, something that people couldn't ever have unless they backed your campaign. You need to create "must-have" rewards, so that people will share your project and encourage everyone they know to choose a reward also.