We can talk about the small details for each part of the campaign – main video, rewards, page design, etc. – but from my experience raising millions on crowdfunding, success comes from taking a step back and looking at the big picture. The big picture will help get you in the mindset of the crowdfunding preparation you need to be successful.
When I work with startups looking to crowdfund their new products, they wonder:
What things they have to do to kick off their crowdfunding campaign?
At which point in their creation cycle they should kick off their crowdfunding campaign?
Let’s go through an analogy to explain this in more detail.
The only MAP you’ll need for your crowdfunding preparation
When hikers are ready to set off into the woods, they make sure they have a trail map.
Just like hikers won’t walk straight into the woods without a trail map, you’ll also need your MAP ready before embarking on your crowdfunding journey.
Money: Make sure you know how much your project really needs.
Ask yourself questions like:
- How much will it cost to cast actors?
- How much will it cost to secure a filming location?
- How much will post-production cost?
- How many days would I need to complete this entire film project?
Go down every single cost avenue you can and add up the costs. Read through the list again to ensure everything is accounted for. Reference budgets of other similar-sized projects (if possible) to gauge if you’re on the right track with costs.
I’ve seen too many great projects go awry because creators were not aware of all the funds it will take to bring the project to life.
One of the most extreme examples is. Although the campaign broke numerous records, the team was not aware of how much it would take to actually bring the product to life.
A few years later and their issues compounded so much so that they had to shut their doors. Boo.
Audience: Be sure that you already have an audience for your project.
Many creators think “build it and they will come”. Please don’t fall into this trap and skip the crowdfunding preparation.
Crowdfunding platforms have a non-verbal “funding threshold” that a campaign must meet before the platform starts putting support behind it. With both Indiegogo and Kickstarter, you’re looking to get 30% of total funds raised within the first 24 hours.
How do you find the audience ready to back your campaign right when it launches to hit the 30% goal?
Well, weeks and months before your campaign actually launches, start connecting with people and building your community. Put your idea out there and ask for feedback.
If people are interested, kindly ask for their email or ask them to join your online group so that you can let them know when you are ready to launch the project.
Rinse and repeat this everywhere – forums, Facebook groups, Meetups, a networking event, etc.
Plan: Create a comprehensive marketing plan.
We already know we can’t launch a project into the void aka have no community.
Now, there are other things you must also consider before pressing “launch”:
- How will you nurture that community so that they’ll contribute to your idea right at launch? These are the people who will help you get to that 30% and probably your biggest fans so make sure you know what to say to them. They need to know when you’re launching and how they can provide you money to fund your idea.
- How will you keep backers glued and dedicated to the success of your campaign? Excited backers tell their friends and family. Excited backers also don’t press the refund button.
- How will you get those new to the campaign excited enough to back your project? Make sure that your campaign page is clear, has beautiful visuals and makes a specific ask. By doing this, your campaign page will be appealing and have less friction for people to back your project.
In the end, just remember that you’ll be ready to embark on your crowdfunding journey once you have your MAP.
Best of luck, have fun and go out and crush it!
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