The 3 steps to crowdfunding Pre-Launch success
If you are a campaign owner you should know that you can’t just launch” your crowdfunding campaign and then expect the funding to come in without any other work. You need a pre-launch campaign before you launch your crowdfunding project.
People need to be driven to your campaign, and the success of a crowdfunding campaign comes more from consumers seeking a personal connection with their choice of products and seeing the problems in the lives solved.
Regardless of your backer’s intent, project owners are finding that raising money isn’t an easy job – if it was, everyone would be doing it!
There is a lot to consider regarding which sites to use, which rewards to offer, how to ship goods across the world and even more.
But before any that comes into play, planning on a successful pre-launch for your crowdfunding campaign is just as important.
Many crowdfunding campaign owners focus on running a successful campaign run and getting funded, but the pre-launch stage is often overlooked and plays an important role in the life of most campaigns.
This is a critical period where you can create support and build the initial momentum you need to get your campaign noticed and funded quickly. Because once your campaign launches you won’t have much time to do this.
Especially since less than 40% of all projects are funded fully on all platforms. That’s a 60% chance to fail and even lose money.
The best advice then is for campaign owners to prepare a thought out pre-launch phase, usually up to 60 days before launching their crowdfunding campaign; consider the following 3 steps below for a successful pre-launch:
Step 1: Crowdfunding Pre-Launch Research
There is a high chance someone else has already had an idea similar to yours (if not exactly like yours) and has already launched a campaign for it on your platform of choice.
Now this can be discouraging, but it’s actually a good thing. It gives you access to super vital data. By studying data on the success (or failure) of these campaigns, you can evaluate everything from how to approach your marketing strategy, choice of rewards, fulfillment options, to who your backers will be. The results could be surprising.
To recap, research during the pre-launch phase on previous campaigns allow you to:
- Narrow down your target market
- Find out how much projects were trying to raise
- The types of rewards they offered
- How many backers they gathered
- Increase compatibility with backer’s mindset
- Backers comments, reviews, or paintpoints
On Kickstarter and Indiegogo, you can investigate crowdfunding campaigns simply by searching the site for your topic. You’ll be presented immediately with a list of projects that were listed in that category, regardless of whether they were funded fully or not.
Your end goal with the research is to further understand your customers’ mindset, and help you better position your project. So don’t neglect research during your pre-launch phase.
Step 2: Pre-Launch Outreach
The second step during your pre-launch phase is where you can start connecting with people who will be interested in funding your project. This is where you’ll be building your future audience.
Start with your family, friends, and colleagues; when you launch, their initial donations will help you get the ball rolling and help convert secondary backers.
By this stage, you’ll have hopefully have begun to regularly update your landing page and have started collecting emails through stable traffic, driven mostly through paid advertising across social media.
After this you should start building a list of influencers and media publications who can help spread the word to their networks. This is integral during pre-launch, because when your campaign is live you want to have everything in place
- Set up campaign profiles on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
- Look at online blogs and publications in your category and build a list of authors, editors, etc
- Look across social media for influencers in your niche
Step 3: Pre-Launch Community Building
This is the part of the pre-launch campaign that many project owners think should be done after their campaign is already live.
Having an active community helps your campaign reach its funding quicker than any marketing efforts could, and should be done during the pre-launch phase instead of when the crowdfunding campaign is live.
Don’t rely solely on Kickstarter or Indiegogo for traffic as it will not help you become fully funded.
- Your backers hang out in forums to discuss things they are passionate about. Find two or three forums related to your cause and join them. On most forums, you can include a link to your site in your signature. Spend a few weeks interacting with other forum users and aim to be helpful
- Finding an engaged group of people and offering them a product that they can be passionate about, can help your campaign reach–and exceed–its goals
- Crowdfunding data shows that campaigns that start with no funding have only a 15% chance at reaching their goal. On the other hand, those with up to 5% in pre-funds, have a 50% chance at meeting their goal
- When you find a passionate group you should offer them a discounted pre-launch offer to create an engaged community who have a higher chance to be converted. This is because they will feel as if they are special and will be invested in seeing your project succeed.
This may sound like a lot of work for a pre-launch, but if you get this right, you’ll increase your chances of reaching your goals while doing less work during the campaign.