Funding a Startup Company

Crowdfunding 101

We now live in a time where anyone’s vision (Whether it be pocket drones or a potato salad fundraiser) can be made into a reality, often times through the magic of crowdfunding. What a wonderful thing! I recently went to an event to listen to a panel of some of the most successful Kickstarter campaign coordinators to date give their top advice on how to run a successful crowdfunding campaign. What I learned from the panel was absolutely invaluable for anybody interested in crowdfunding, or even just run of the mill fundraising. Here’s my top tips for a stellar campaign according to the Kickstarter rockstars:

 

Have a compelling and substantial explanation of your “how and why”

People need to know how you are going to use their money and why it needs to be used in that manner. They may love your idea, but if you say you “just need money”, it diminishes their trust in you and leaves them in the dark. Just like any fundraising campaign, people are most excited to give when they are engaged in the “what’s next” of your project.

 

Thoroughly consider your budget

As soon as you have specific goals set in stone, talk to your manufacturers, insurers, lawyers suppliers and distributors about what those goals are going to translate to financially. Obviously with this estimation, the more accurate the better, so make sure those quotes are legit.

 

Construct your product pitch to be simple and intriguing

The panel couldn’t emphasize enough that your pitch is THE most important part of your campaign. Put more time and effort into your pitch than anything else because this is the only sense of the project your crowdfunders are going to get. Make sure your campaign is full of images, and the only wordy content answers the questions: “why should we care?” and “what are you going to do with our money?” (Which you will have created from the earlier tip in this article). Every panelist agreed that the splurge on photography/ graphic design pays off in dividends. Having the best images and promotional video possible is priceless. Again, these images are the closest interaction with the project your crowdfunders have, so why not make that interaction as realistic and engaging as possible?

 

Get friends/ family to promote product when crowdfunding opens

About two months before your launch date, contact your network. Ask them to be ambassadors for your project, and for them to enlist others to be ambassadors so word of your project spreads as far as possible. Try to get as many pledges for donations as possible before the launch, that way you have already locked in a certain percentage of your crowdfunding goal before the launch even begins and you can reach for the stars! Then, the minute your campaign is launched, send out an email to your newly enlarged network to let them know that it is go time.

 

Get out there with the media

This part of the campaign prep- work can often be put on the backburner with all of the other important tasks that crowdfunding requires, but it could mean the difference between a $3,000 crowdfunding project and a $30,000 crowdfunding project. Start off with a fantastic press release to send out to media outlets that you actually believe will be interested in your crowdfunding campaign, then tap into your network once again to get connected with a journalist or two who can get your story out there before launch time

 

Don’t take my word that these tips really help, if you are seriously considering starting a crowdfunding campaign, take a look at Kickstarter or Indiegogo and I promise you will see the most successful campaigns have got all of these covered. I hope these tips help you to create the best crowdfunding campaign possible!

 

Best of luck!

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Posted in Tara's Tactics: What I've Learned as an intern.

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