Want to get your crowdfunding campaign fully funded?
Learn these 6 tips and you’ll be fully funded in no time.
To summarize: to get a fully funded crowdfunding campaign you’ll need the following 6 things:
- Lot’s of time
- A minimum viable product
- A budget
- A great story
- The right platform
The internet is full of crowdfunding success stories (we could fill up this entire article with them). This is making more people interested in fully funding for their campaigns through online crowdfunding platforms.
The ideology of entrepreneurism is focused on encouraging everyone to take a chance on their idea (because it could be the next Oculus, Segway, or even OnePlus phone) and is resulting in tens of thousands of entrepreneurs launching their own projects. Unfortunately for them (and fortunately for you) most never get past the application stage, the approval stage, or even the publishing stage. And if they do, their ideas never get funded.
Those who decide to launch campaigns have so many obstacles to cross before their crowdfunding efforts can begin. So, it’s best if you prepare yourself, because it will help your idea survive in this hyper-competitive and niche market.
If you’re interested in surviving, and thriving, then read on, because we’ve written a short list of tips to prepare you for the launch of a crowdfunding campaign.
1) Say goodbye to your free time
Yes, we do mean it. Crowdfunding requires all of your attention and time. You’ll constantly need to be poking around your project and doing everything from:
- Keeping an eye on backer’s needs
- Responding to comments
- Keeping up to date on what backers are saying on forums about your idea
- Managing email inquiries
- Tracking and optimizing your ads
- Praying to whatever god is listening to bestow wealth upon you
If your plan is to have your crowdfunding project be a side gig, something to do for “fun” (who thinks asking people for money is fun?) because you have a full-time job, then you will need to have exceptionally good time management skills (we’re talking like, god creating the universe in 7 days exceptional), and you’ll have to be ready to not only put in the work, but work hard and smart.
Every single step of the crowdfunding process is difficult, whether you are building your prototype, testing ads, or looking into how to deliver your product to every backer (and not all of them will be in your country, you’ll always have one backer in a remote part of the world, like Jim in Qatar).
So to get your crowdfunding campaign fully funded, you’ll need to give up your free time.
2) Offer the Most Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
You probably have big hopes for your project, and you’re already on your way to making them a reality (you’re reading this, so even if you think you aren’t, you are). However, it’s possible your final product, with all the features that make it unique, might have a high cost. And potential backers are less likely to pay for high cost items.
You can sell your idea to your audience, but if it is going to take months or years to deliver the product (or your promised time frame is very long) it will likely fail. There are endless stories of campaigners who failed miserably at the campaign or manufacturing stages.
So, what does this mean? It means that it’s best to get rid of the fancy features and concentrate on designing and building a minimum viable product which will deliver enough value to attract backers to your campaign that they will vouch for it. This will allow you to collect important insights while being less expensive than developing a feature-full product; which you might have guessed has increased costs and risks, especially if the product fails due to an incorrect assumption.
3) Find out how much you actually need
If you have a prototype that works, you then likely have a good estimate of just how much your production cost will be. But do you know how much shipping will cost? How about your advertising fees? Do you have a marketing budget? How about the platform costs? If you know all this, then we just wasted your time. If you don’t, then the best practice is to keep a very healthy margin on the anticipated costs (over budget) so you can factor the unexpected expenses which WILL appear.
It’s best to budget everything in so you when your crowdfunding campaign is fully funded, you don’t end up having to give up any profits for unexpected expenses.
4) Your story is more important than you product, so make sure it’s great. And tell it well.
Your campaign page is the ultimate marketing tool you have to gain support from your audience.
People may like your ads, or your press releases, but if they arrive at your campaign page and see a roughly put-together story (one that their children could come up with) then they are likely to not support you.
Some things to keep in mind for your campaign page are:
- Your campaign must be compelling and answer the most obvious questions backers will have
- Presentation: The images, video and copy you use should be engaging, impactful and punchy
- Your rewards need to represent the value of what you are asking for your audience to pay for
- Increase credibility: put a face to your project – introduce your team, talk about their skills and expertise, and what made you want to bring your idea to life.
5) Choosing the right platform is really important
Sit down. No, we mean it. Sit down, you’re reading an article online. But you’ll need to sit down and spend some time doing research on every crowdfunding platform.
Your research should look into things like:
- The biggest platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo
- Look into smaller platforms to see if your product/story could appeal to niche audiences more (e.g. woomentum which is geared to female entrepreneurs)
- Research projects in your niche, or on your platform of choice to see if there are other successful projects and backers to best gauge if your idea has merit to succeed
- Look into the rules of the platform you decide on, as some may disqualify your project before you even have a chance to star
6) You will get nowhere without marketing.
If your campaign page is the ultimate marketing tool, then proper marketing is the oil and engine your project will need to run. Without it, your idea will die a quick and lonely death, with no one showing up to the funeral, no matter how unique or useful it is.
You need to drive your backer’s eyeballs to your page, because without that traffic no one will know your project exists. There is a lot of ways to accomplish this:
- Make a pre-launch landing page and start gathering leads
- Create social media accounts and post to your newsfeed frequently
- Get PR coverage by reaching out to bloggers, big media, or YouTubers
- Find ways to interact with your potential audience across different channels, like Kickstarter forums, Reddit, or Facebook.
- Send our product samples to bloggers or influencers to boost credibility
- Look into secondary platforms to expand your reach like BackerLand or BackerKit.
Because if your backers don’t know you exist, they can’t help you bring your project to life.