Tuesday, 08 April 2014 00:00

9 Key Crowdfunding Tips For Starting Your Campaign

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1. Set Aside Enough Time

Campaigns can be very short (as short as a day!) or stretch out over two or three months, but fundedflow, Kickstarter and other crowdfunding platforms suggests that 30-90 days is the perfect length for a campaign.

That said, for a considerably-sized campaign of $30,000 and above, you might want to plan to spend at least one month ahead of time preparing. Then, once the campaign begins, set aside four to five hours a day to run and manage it. The biggest mistake you could make is to go live expecting money to pour in on its own. Fundraising takes time, and effort to make it work.


2. Do Your Research

There are many good crowdfunding guides out there, and Google is full of advice. But what’s more important than reading guides is spending time on the website you’ll be using, whether it’s Fundedflow, Kickstarter, indiegogo or another crowdfunding platform. Look at other successful campaigns in your category, and learn from them. Study their wording, their updates, their rewards, and their own business or product websites and social media. Don’t be shy about borrowing ideas and strategies, especially from big campaigns—if a project is aiming for $100,000 and is well on its way to getting there, chances are high that the campaign is run by a team of paid marketing pros who you can learn from!
3. Don’t Overestimate Your Crowdfunding Abilities
You can always get over-funded, fundedflow allows you to retain what you have reaised even if you do not reach your target, but unfortunately some other Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter is all-or-nothing, so if you don’t reach your goal, you won’t get anything from it. The best way to estimate how much you could raise is to count the people you know who are likely to donate. Go through your phone and email contacts, use Linkedin, and tally up an estimate of likely backers, guesstimate that they’ll give $25 each, and calculate your possible total. Then drop that total by 15-20%.

If that amount still sounds daunting, consider a different platform as said fundedflow and others like IndieGoGo, will let you keep what you raise, even if you don’t hit your goal.


4. Pick Great Rewards

People don’t necessarily give to your project just to get the givebacks or rewards, but having great givebacks and rewards might entice someone to give more than they were originally planning. Think of offering a range of things that appeal to different audiences, but most importantly, try to pick givebacks and rewards that you’d actually want.

Also keep in mind that these givebacks if physical might include shipping which will cost you in both time and money, so don’t forget to factor them into your budget. Keep givebacks and rewards digital as much as possible—it’s better for your budget and for the environment!


5. Make a Great (Short) Video

Your video is basically an audio-visual summary of your whole campaign, and you want it to be an introduction that incites viewers to pledge right away. Of course, you also want viewers to read the rest of the page and see how funny you are, what wonderful prizes you have to offer, and all that jazz—but people are busy. If you can sell your story in under a minute, you’ll be much better off. We recommend you take alook at James Wedmore's Video Traffic Academy which will help you find out how to create top videos for your crowdfunding campaign that will generate traffic to your page

To get started, write a script addressed to your audience (that’s your friends, family, and the internet) to explain who you are, what your project is, why it’s going to be amazing, why you’re fundraising, and how you’re going to use the funds. Then, read it out loud to a few people who don’t know much about your project. Does it make sense? Does it inspire them to get involved? Do you sound natural and convincing? Keep working on it until it’s perfect.
If you feel uncomfortable in front of the camera, you can always use voice-over with other footage or images from your project.


6. Plan Your Outreach

Before you even think about hitting the launch button, draft individual emails to everyone you think would like to hear from you. And make them personal: If you’re writing to an older, less tech-savvy crowd, explain what fundedflow and crowdfunding is and how to make an online donation; if you’re writing to a broke young friend’s just out of college, ask them to spread the word on Facebook and Twitter. Also reach out to anyone you know who writes for a blog, website, or magazine and might be interested in talking about your project.
Doing this prep work ahead of time will save you endless trouble and worry down the line. Plus, you’ll need every moment after you launch to send thank you notes, post updates, and reach out to people you don’t know!


7. Love the Internet

Telling your friends and family is the first step, but taking to the internet and all its social networks is the next one—in all, 20% of our pledges came from social networks, blogs, and websites.

Build a community around your project, starting with the websites you already use (most likely, Facebook and Twitter) and branching out to new ones: a blog, Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest, Linkedin and more. Look for people, blogs, and media in your industry, as well as your project’s area of interest, to connect with—and think broadly. And where possible, use photographs to tell your story—pictures are by far the content we like to share the most!

8. Say Thanks—and Not Just at the End

You’ll want to say thanks to everyone who invested or donated to your crowdfunding project, but don’t wait until the campaign is over—when you get new donations, thank them on Facebook or Twitter. Not only will your backers appreciate the timely recognition, a personalised and public “thanks” also spreads the word to all of that person’s connections.

You can also use fundedflow as a social network: Message thank you to your backers, encouraging them to check out your Facebook page, Twitter, and blog and spread the word both online and off. Then, see what other like-minded projects your backers support, and reach out to their creators. Offer to spread the word about their project, and have them do the same for you!


9. Keep in Touch

Once you’ve made it (we know you can!), celebrate! But also, remember to keep your backers and supporters posted on how your project is coming along. Fundraising is just the first step of your project, and chances are high that your backers are also your audience. They’ll be rooting for you to succeed, and if you do, they’ll likely follow you through all your future endeavors.

So, stay in touch, plan out how and when to send out rewards and givebacks, and stay organized to make sure you’ve thanked and rewarded everyone. You can keep sending fundedflow updates indefinitely, so remember to invite your biggest and earliest fans to come on board for your next project.

Read 713 times Last modified on Tuesday, 08 April 2014 22:23
Kerry Slater

Kerry is a Senoir writer at fundedflow