There are many ways entrepreneurs can launch a project to the world and crowdfunding is a popular choice. But how do you know if crowdfunding is the right fit for you? It’s certainly not for every single entrepreneur (if it was, everyone would be doing it).
See, I’m a crowdfunding consultant, who works with product creators who launch through crowdfunding. I get approached by a lot of people who want help launching their product and have considered the crowdfunding route. Nevertheless, I don’t work with everyone or anyone. Because crowdfunding is not for every product launch approach and is not for every entrepreneur. Heck, I don’t even work with every niche in crowdfunding. And so do other consultants and agencies.
If you want to see how I coach people into getting fully funded, let’s talk! Check my crowdfunding coaching program here.
Why is crowdfunding special
The main difference between launching through crowdfunding and launching with your own funds is that in the latter you have to invest in having a product stock. Not everyone can do this. And the consumers are also very different: not everyone will pre-buy something.
So in order to consider crowdfunding, you have to understand this special mindset that leads people to buy something that doesn’t even exist yet. It’s not your typical e-commerce set up.
1. You need to be invested in crowdfunding
Crowdfunding is personal. You are going to be trying to earn people’s trust, to build an actual community of passionate people. That’s very personal. If you’re not really interested in getting to know your audience personally, and rally them to be excited about what you’re creating (enough to get them to support you), it’s not going to work.
When creators come to me and say I just want to see this idea funded, I don’t care how it happens… It’s a bit offensive. I, as much of the crowdfunding community, are very passionate about the ideals behind the process, and about the messy middle of bringing a product to life.
If you’re not a backer, if you don’t like crowdfunding, if you’re a eceptic and are not personally invested in this process, then crowdfunding is not for you.
But all creators have to build audiences…
Yes. All entrepreneurs should be passionate about what they’re doing in order to create a community of people who will convert into clients. But it is not the same as trying to sell something that already exists, as something that doesn’t. It takes a different set of skills and excitement building.
Backers are dreamers, are invested in the new things and ideas that come out of crowdfunding. If you don’t understand their mindset, you won’t be able to convince them to back you.
2. Coaches or agencies?
They’re not the same thing.
A coach will help you create your campaign, will coach you into the strategies you should put in place to succeed. They won’t do the work for you, but rather with you. You have to do the hard work.
The best crowdfunding agencies on the other hand can range between doing absolutely everything for you, to only helping you with some parts of the process. Different agencies work in different ways, have different approaches and goals whilst working with a creator.
It’s really up to you to know what you’re willing to pay for and work for.
- If you have the money, and don’t want to get too involved in your launch, then by all means pick a do-it-all-for-you agency.
- If you’re passionate about the whole process, want to learn as much as you can, then look for a coach that focuses on what you’re trying to accomplish.
There’s no cookie cutter solution. You need to choose what works best for you and your project.
3. Creators are passionate people
All successful entrepreneurs are passionate people. And so are crowdfunding creators. They’re willing to put in the hours, the work, the resources, on learning the skills necessary, to make their project happen.
If you’re not interested, or don’t have the time, in working your behind off, then crowdfunding is not for you.
4. You need to understand what it means to be a backer
If you’re never backed a crowdfunding campaign, you should totally do it! How else will you absolutely understand the excitement and anticipation they go through?
Backers have an early adopter mindset. In order to sell your idea to them, you’ll want to understand them. To know how to pitch them the excitement of having something that doesn’t exist yet. You want to understand their passion in order to meet their expectations.
If you haven’t read anything about crowdfunding, if you haven’t backed another project, if you don’t know the amount of work put on before a campaign goes even live, then crowdfunding is not the right fit for you.
Every creator follows the same steps to launch a campaign, so if you learn the process once, you’re set for every launch in the future. But if you don’t personally follow other creators, are not active in the crowdfunding community, don’t want to take the time to build a community, and just want to sell a product you’re not all that invested in, then crowdfunding is not for you.
And in case you’re thinking “what I want is to build a business, so perhaps crowdfunding isn’t the way anyways”, let me say that many successful crowdfunding campaigns have transitioned into retail and eCommerce successful businesses. It has been the first step for many entrepreneurs. If it wasn’t, no one would be doing it and it wouldn’t be a multi-million dollar industry.