As the crowdfunding industry continues to explode around the world we still find too many campaigns failing and people desperately seeking help once they see no funds appear in their coffers after launching.
People need to know that it’s hard work to be successful at crowdfunding, but if you’re willing to learn (and get prepared ahead of time), you can make incredible things happen with the right knowledge and tools, some of which are found here:
“Win the crowd and you’ll win your freedom.” – Gladiator.
You and your business will need to attract followers, fans and positive awareness. This is not “If you build it they will come” scenario, but more like “If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, did it make a sound?” In this sense, you’ll need to make a lot of carefully calibrated noises in the presence of many receptive people
Get a Crowdfunding Education
Don’t even think of starting to crowdfund if you have no idea about what it takes to succeed. Talk to experts and ask questions. Read everything you can find on how to run a successful crowdfunding campaign and then do those tasks. Take classes especially if you want to sell securities. Take trusted courses such as Crowdfunding College and attend educational crowdfunding conferences (which are also great places to network and build your crowd from like minded people) such as http://crowdfundingroadmap.com/bootcamp.
Build a Team of Committed People for the Duration of Your Campaign
Make sure your crowdfunding campaign thoroughly explains your business to all potential backers. This will help spread the word further, increase your marketing reach and is an effective way to engage with current and potential contributors or investors.
Campaigns run by 4 or more people increase their chances for success by 70%.
Hone Your Elevator Pitch
It’s essential that you’re able to explain who you are, what you do, and why someone should invest in you – in 15 seconds or less. Be honest, concise, interesting, share it with people everywhere you go, and remember to ask for money & support. In some cases people get so excited about their own ideas that they forget to ask for the money. It also helps to frequently call into live radio shows such as Crowdfunding Radio Live and get interviewed as much as possible.
Create a Task Schedule & Calendar
Compile a list of necessary tasks and organize them by date on your calendar. Keep track of everything you will need to do before, during and after your campaign and assign tasks to your team. Make sure time is focused everyday on your campaign and on building a crowd.
Do Your Homework
Before launching your crowdfunding campaign, establish your costs for the entire campaign. This way you’ll be able to adjust your goals to know how much you really need to raise in order to finance all expenses including the cost of running your campaign, distributing rewards or selling equity in your company.
Do the Crowdfunding Math: How many contributors or investors do you need to land on your profile and review your campaign in order to reach your funding goal.
Figure out how many people you will need to contribute or invest to complete and raise your total desired amount. For example if you want to raise $10,000 that is 200 people at $50.00, 100 people at $100.00, 500 people at $20.00 or basically some combination of this. Whatever that number is you will need thousands of eyeballs to see your campaign for that smaller combination of investors or donors to take action and put their money in your deal.
Build Up Your Social Status and Social Capital
Make sure you have developed a strong presence on the Internet via social media networks as an expert in your field. Become an expert and authority in your field and blog about it, promiscuously.
Historically 80% of crowdfunding dollars will come from one friend away from you.
Send out press releases on the exciting things you and your company are doing. Get testimonials and put them on your website.
Comment on articles, other related blogs and articles in major magazines that get lots of traffic. Provide invaluable information that will demonstrate your skills and talent to build confidence in your potential investors or donors. Remember that your crowd will become your community, your advocates and promoters. Give them something of value to identify with.
Share, Share, Share
Make sure that your Twitter, Facebook and other social media links are clear and present on everything you do so you can constantly build those numbers up as people read all of this great material you are creating. Write a series of emails that tell a story that you and your team can send out every few days before and during your campaign that draws people into feeling connected to your vision and mission.
Promote It and They Will Come
Build personal connections. Get out and meet people; think of it like a political campaign. Target your core constituencies, make new (often real) friends, and kiss any babies on offer.
Use practical tactics, but remember you’re also playing long ball and building an actual business.
Look for Influencers
Influence people and keep influencing them. Seek strategic or affiliate partners with complimentary or related customer (crowd) bases – promote each other. Keep expanding to build your crowd as well as your business.
Be Prepared for Competition
Remember you are crowdfunding on a public platform with thousands of other campaigns. If your campaign does not grab people’s attention the moment they land on it, guess what? They will leave and check out your competition instead. Now you’ve just spent all of this time driving traffic to someone else’s crowdfunding campaign.
Have non-biased outsiders review your video and campaign page and help fix your mistakes before you make it public.
Is Your Campaign Really Ready for Prime Time?
If you were going to pitch on television in front of millions of people would your campaign really sell it? Do you have all of the components beautifully written and fully flushed out along with photos and a killer video? Review other campaigns that are similar to yours that really nailed it and were fully funded. Then, create components for your campaign that showcase what you are offering in the same way.
Pre-Funding a 30% Commitment Can Make or Break Your Fundraising Efforts
It’s key to have 30% of your total campaign dollars committed ahead of time from people you know. If you’re offering isn’t compelling enough for your real friends and family who love you and want to support your vision or company then why should complete strangers?
Learn How to Ask for the Money
Monitor the comment section of your campaign page and respond to calls and emails quickly during your campaign, in real time, as people will have lots of questions. If you’re not prompt in answering those questions they will quickly loose interest and this could cost you lot’s of potential funding.
Have a Crowdfunding Task and Action plan™
What Happens if After All of This Effort You Still Miss Your Goal?
Whether you reach your funding goal or not, none of this effort will have been wasted. You’ll reflect on what worked and what didn’t work and build upon what you’ve already done. Your existing fans will still be your fans, your visibility will put you on the map and may even bring conventional funding and support once they see how prepared you are for long term success.
And… you can always relaunch your crowdfunding campaign – this time more educated & prepared for more rewarding results…
Ruth Hedges is the Co-founder and CEO of Crowdfunding College and the creator and key architect of Crowdfundingroadmap.com. She has been responsible for pioneering a new and innovative virtual system for business planning, crowdfund compliance and due diligence reporting on the cloud. Ms Hedges also taught the first course on equity based crowdfunding at UNLV, the first university in the United States to teach this very important information. The JOBS act was signed into law on 5 April 2012 and supported by overwhelming bipartisan support. Ms. Hedges has been active in pioneering this new industry and from the beginning of 2010 helping the Startup Exemption team to move the bills passage through Congress. She has since been building awareness through her flagship global event for the industry in Las Vegas http://www.crowdfundingroadmap.com/bootcamp and development of best practices, compliant technology and educational material. As a leader and industry expert Ms hedges has been interviewed or quoted in over 40 major publications.
– Learn more in person at The 3rd Annual Global Crowdfunding Convention and Bootcamp: http://www.crowdfundingroadmap.com/bootcamp