Crowdfunding Tips for App Developers

Posted: Wed, 06 February 2013 by

Guest blogger Vishal Gumber, founder of Appsquare, an Australian app development company, shares his tips for app developers planning to launch a crowdfunding campaign.


If you are planning to receive financial support through crowdfunding for developing an app, be sure that you know the tricks of the trade beforehand. In today’s world, crowdfunding platforms have become the epicenter of novel ideas, intelligent entrepreneurs and much competition.

To survive you have to be forearmed with information and strategies to help you and your venture stand out. Wondering how to do so? Here are the 5 key things you need to know:

1. How it Works

Crowdfunding platforms are forums where ‘backers’ come in contact with app developers looking for financial help.  However, before you decide to put up your project for funding, you must first identify who your key backers would be. This way you will be able to create a pitch and rewards that will appeal to their interests.

Take Bodbot, for example. It is the fastest crowdfunded fitness app and they got backers by promising access to their fitness app for life at a low fee.

2. How to Set Funding Goals

Most crowdfunding platforms have an all-or-nothing policy. This means that funds will be taken from the backers only when the funding goals are realized before the campaign ends.

If the goals are not realized, the backers keep their money while the project owner has to try and find another means to raise the money. Therefore, setting up funding goals is tricky business – they must be realistic so they can be realized but not so low that they would be ignored by big backers. You may find the following tips useful for setting up your funding goals:

1)    Your crowdfunding goal will most likely be influenced by the prices quoted to you by programmers, developers and designers. If you can get one of these groups to back you or provide part funding, you’ll have a lower amount to raise.

2)    Factor in the cost of rewards before you set a funding goal.  For example, if you would be giving away your app at a discounted price to backers, you need add the cost of the discount to your expenses.

3)    Base your funding goal on achievable milestones that can be quantified in financial terms.

 3. How to Prepare Yourself

 If you want to get someone to put money on your app, you have to be 200% convincing. In order to do that, it’s important you are articulate and clear in your communication and that you say the right thing at the right time. More importantly, you should be able to convince your backerss that your app solves real problems and demonstrates how.

Key strategies;

a)      Draft a clear communication plan outlining what you will be saying to your backers at each stage.

b)     Create all communication material including videos, graphs, charts and presentations outlining your app’s USP in advance.

c)      Create a clear plan about what methods you would be using to communicate with your backers and what services you will be using. If you plan to do video calls, for instance, decide if you will use Facetime, Skype, or Google Hangout.

d)      Play Devil’s Advocate with yourself, and prepare a list of the questions that could make you feel uncomfortable and unsure. Prepare rock solid answers and arguments.

4. How to Find Backers Quickly

1)    Create a buzz about your app by connecting with potential backers through social media platforms.  Linkedin can be a great medium for this. You can start participating in group chats and discussion at least a month before floating your app idea. Once you become a regular contributor in groups related to your app’s niche, you have a good chance of attracting attention to your funding campaign and idea. And don't forget about other social networks, such as Twitter and Facebook.

2)    Identify people in your personal network, who are either well-connected socially, or maybe interested in your app. Request help with finding backers. You could promise them rewards in return.

3)    Write debate inducing or thought provoking posts related to your app idea as guest blogs on high authority blog sites and make sure you reply to all comments. It will help you build an involved community of like-minded people and fans.

For example, let’s say you plan to create an app that would help bloggers and social media marketers get content creation ideas by letting them keep track of the most interesting developments in their niche. You could write an informative guest post on a subject like, ‘Why Some Facebook Pages Do Not Get Any Likes’ (citing poor content as one of the key reasons). How will this help?

a)     It can help you be seen as an authority figure in the content marketing niche (your target audience).

b)    The post can help you connect with your niche audience through blog comments.

c)     Sharing the published post in your social media networks can further add to your personal brand value.

d)    The owner of the blog would also share your guest post with his/her subscribers, thus helping you reach out to a bigger market.

4)    Clean up your social media profiles and make sure you don’t have any controversial or risqué pictures/posts anywhere. Potential backers will be checking up your profiles and you must put your best foot forward.

5)    Look up case studies of apps that were developed through crowdfunding. Identify key aspects of their funding strategy that you can adopt.

5. How to Interact with Backers

From reading this you've probably already gathered that interacting with backers is not an easy task. They are inquisitive and probing, and you will have to ensure that their queries are satisfied.

So, work on your patience levels and make sure you are prepared to answer every conceivable question with calm confidence.

About The Author: Vishal is the founder of Appsquare, an Australian app development firm that creates innovative apps, provides part funding for selected app ideas and also helps app developers get funding through its network of Venture Capitalists and Angel Investors.

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