Once you’ve decided that crowdfunding is right for you, it’s time to get to work.
Crowdfunding might seem like a daunting task when only 30% of projects succeed. However, after working with entrepreneurs to raise over $7 million on Kickstarter and Indiegogo, I can tell you for certain that there is a way to succeed with crowdfunding.
I call it the Launch Success Formula.
Personally, I find that it’s much easier to tackle a project if it’s broken down into smaller, tangible parts.
Rather than “create an educational blog,” I took it day-by-day with Crush Crowdfunding and published article after article.
When it comes to crowdfunding, rather than “raise $500,000”, think about it as a step-by-step process. It will help you break down the campaign into digestible steps rather than loom over you as a large, overwhelming task. Each step is a milestone that you hit that takes you to that success.
Let’s go through the Launch Success Formula below.
1. Define your goal.
Every single project is different. Your goal won’t even be the same as another similar project you’ve been eyeing and taking pointers from.
What are you looking to raise? Are you trying to hit a certain number of backers to meet manufacturing minimums? Are you trying to get preliminary feedback before you go to mass production? Are you trying to determine if your product has staying power? Are you trying to build a business off of your one product or launching a project as a creative side endeavor? Are you trying to gather enough people to strength-test your entire production and distribution system post-campaign?
I really can’t emphasize this enough – every single project is different. Define your goal so that you know how to measure “success”. Always refer back to your goal to determine if you’re on the right path to get there.
2. Do the research.
Research is critical to your success. By doing the research, you’ll learn more about the market and your competitors. That’s the foundation for making any well-informed market decisions and developing effective strategies.
What other similar projects are out there in the world? How have they priced? What types of images have they used? What has worked for them that I should iterate on? What hasn’t worked for them that I should sidestep?
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”Sun Tzu
3. Find an audience.
Not just any audience, but one that absolutely loves your product and wants to spend money on it even before it becomes available on the market.
The audience will be unique to your project, so never limit yourself to how others have done it before. Get creative and think like someone who would want to buy your product: where will they hang out? Where will they gather? What are they looking for? How do they want to consume content? Where will they converse? Get in on those conversations, make an impact, and capture them as your own.
4. Conduct a pre-launch.
People need to know where and when they can contribute to your project. Make sure they know (starting one week before you launch) what platform you’ll be on and how they can contribute.
Take this time to remind people why you’ve set out to do what you’re doing. By extension, remind them why they should support your project. A crowdfunding project is an exchange of value (your product) for value (their contribution), so make sure people see the value in what you’re offering.
5. Create a converting project page.
You’ll need some proof that your product is awesome (so people want it), that it works (so people believe in it), and that so many other people out there also want it (so people don’t want to be left out – FOMO effect).
No matter if you have a designer on hand or if you’re forging ahead yourself, it’s quite simple to create an effective crowdfunding page.
Remember that your page is an evolving piece throughout your campaign. The more you learn about your audience and backers, the better content you can create to convert more people.
6. Bring more visitors to your page.
Once you’ve launched, the weight will have been lifted off your shoulders but there’s still a lot to do. Campaigns are 30–60 days long so you’ll continuously have to find ways to get more visitors to your page. No visitors means no chance to convert anyone into a backer.
7. Keep your backers invested.
People who have contributed to your project can refund their money at any time. Be sure to send out frequent updates (I’d recommend a weekly cadence) in order to keep them invested in your project and its success.
Take it up a notch and get them involved in a referral program. Backers want to stay engaged with the journey of bringing the project to life. Make sure they have ways to continue to stay engaged with your project, either through stretch goals or referral programs.
So there it is; that’s how to succeed with crowdfunding. Now get out there and do one thing today to push your project forward, no matter what stage you’re at!
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