7 tips for running a successful crowdfunding campaign

If done correctly, crowdfunding can be a great way to raise money and prime the market for your product.
15 May 2018

When done right, crowdfunding campaigns can propel your business to success. Source: Shutterstock

Almost all startups today consider crowdfunding to be a potential means of funding, to further develop their business.

Perhaps you are very quickly burning through your savings you have put aside, you’re bank loans aren’t stretching as far as you would’ve liked, and you can’t bring yourself to ask your family to spot you again.

If this sounds all too familiar, then you may want to consider crowdfunding. By definition, crowdfunding is “the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet.”

There are numerous platforms available from which to choose to crowdfund on including Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and CircleUp. Each comes with its pros and cons, and so spending time deciding which is best for your particular idea, service, or product is vital.

Crowdfunding your business is no easy task. It involves a lot of patience, planning, and perseverance. Yet, when done correctly, it can bring a whole lot of benefits. Follow these seven tips to maximize your crowdfunding results.

1. Keep a lookout for inspiring fellow campaigns

A good tip is to check out what some of the most innovative small businesses around the globe are doing with their crowdfunding campaigns. What are they doing that seems to be resonating well with their audience? Take note of their campaign strategy and add your own twist to it. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

2. Self-promote

Unfortunately, your crowdfunding platform isn’t going to do all the marketing and PR for you. As such, it is vital to make sure you make the effort to showcase your business, idea, and campaign.

It is a good idea to start spreading the word well before you launch the campaign. This will not only build anticipation but will also give you a strong head start and drive lots of traffic to your site on day one.

Reach out to journalists and publications, as well as seeking out guest blog opportunities. Additionally, ensure you build your social media following well ahead of the campaign launch so you’re ready to reach a large number of people through compelling content promoting your campaign.

As well as getting your campaign heard far and wide, when it comes to marketing, you should go hard and go home. Get everyone you know involved by telling them your story and explaining why they should back you. Email friends, family, work pals, even your local cafe owner!

3. Keep your campaign short and sweet

Though the majority of crowdfunding platforms offer up to 60 days to campaign, according to Kickstarter, shorter projects experience the highest success rates. This may be attributed to the fact that projects with a short window of time increase pressure on supports to donate sooner, and encourages other backers to donate based on recent contributions.

4. Leverage the power of video

The importance of creating compelling content is vital in increasing engagement.  Blogs, social media posts, and emails are all successful marketing techniques. But numerous studies have shown that people (including potential investors) are increasingly showing a preference for short but engaging video content over text. So, it’s time to get the camera rolling and tell your business story in a compelling manner.

Source: Shutterstock

5. Consider hiring a professional SEO writer

With marketing being such a vital part of your crowdfunding success, the need for someone who knows how to create compelling content which is sure to grab the attention of potential investors is crucial. Better still, someone who has experience with SEO would be even better.

With many of the crowdfunding platforms available having seriously strong SEO, it would be wise to take advantage of this opportunity. Working with an SEO expert will help you to increase the visibility of your campaign through the right keywords.

6. Be transparent with your budget plans

Outline a detailed account of the costs. Why is it you need US$3000 and not US$2000? Sharing the details will show potential investors that a lot of planning has gone into the campaign and that you will be putting their funds to good use to deliver your product/service on time.

7. Have a solid POA after the campaign

Whether you reach your goal or not, you need an action plan for after the campaign ends. After people have invested in your project, they’re going to want to know that you’re spending their money wisely.

A clear POA for after the campaign has ended is necessary. Source: Shutterstock

If the campaign was a success then how are you going to deliver on the promises you made during the campaign? And what’s the next stage of your business?

If unsuccessful, then figure out what didn’t go so well from the experience, and then use this information to inform your next moves.

When planned and executed successfully, a crowdfunding campaign can really help in your journey to growth- not only in regards to funding but also exposure. The vital thing to remember is that this is not something that happens overnight. It takes a lot of planning, perfecting, and patience.