Ok, so you probably have heard about crowdfunding. You’ve also probably heard that it can help you raise funds for your idea. There are countless ways entrepreneurs, inventors and founders like yourself go about setting up a crowdfunding campaign. Here is a basic checklist of how to set up a crowdfunding campaign.
1. Have a good idea
To get the attention of potential investors, have an idea that is new and exciting. Don’t run a new take on a fidget spinner if this doesn’t solve a new problem. Don’t start a project for another gadget or gizmo that doesn’t actually meet a need.
2. Choose a platform
There are a lot of different crowdfunding sites to choose from, with the most notable being Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Each platform has their own pros and cons so be sure to research each one thoroughly. Get to know those who will be helping you with your campaign and then choose the platform that is right for you. The great thing about whichever platform you decide on is that they all have very detailed steps on how to set up a crowdfunding campaign on their site.
3. Offer good rewards
We can’t stress this one enough. Founders put projects up on crowdfunding sites that expect it to automatically sell like hotcakes. Hate to break it to you but that’s not how it works. The strategy behind rewards and pricing can make or break a campaign. No, people don’t want a t-shirt with your logo on it for $5. No, people also do not want a keychain with your product logo on it (nobody knows you just yet). Consider things like early access to the product or service, entrance into an elite beta tester group or discounts that will show people they will actually get something back for their money.
4. Let people know about it
Crowdfunding projects that do not succeed usually launch into the void. What does this mean? It means that they have not adequately prepared people for their product. They operate under the old adage “build it and they will come”. Yes back then when you wanted to start a new business you bought a storefront, put up a sign to advertise what you were selling and people would just walk into your business. However, no matter how good your idea is, if you don’t tell anyone, how can they invest?
Be sure to start off by building and growing your community. In crowdfunding terms, be sure that you have a “crowd” so that you will actually get to the “funding”.
As the founder, you also need to be sure to have a plan about how you are going to get the word out. Are you using an ad-led strategy? Are you leveraging social media? How about influencers?
5. Make it easy to share your project
People trust their friends. Use this to your advantage. For example, when a guitar is recommended to me by a friend, I’d be more likely to get that same guitar rather than another un-tested one because it came highly recommended. Successful crowdfunding projects often do so well because backers are excited about the idea they have contributed to and end up telling other people. Make sure there is a strategy in place for them to share their love and passion for your product. With this in mind, definitely keep your backers updated on the progress of your campaign. Did you reach a new milestone? Is the PCB finally working? Let them know and there’s a good chance they’ll share the news.
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