Noah Dentzel of NOMAD has run two crowdfunding campaigns in two years on two different platforms. His first campaign, on Kickstarter, reached 322% of his funding goal. His second, on Indiegogo, reached even higher.
Noah learned a lot the second time around. “It took one-tenth of the effort of our first campaign, in part because of the software that we used,” he said in an interview with Shopify.
His favorite two tools that reduced the workload of his second campaign by 90%? BackerKit and Shipstation, featured below. In addition to crowdfunding tools related to fulfillment, we’ve included tools to manage press outreach, simplify social media engagement, and make your visual assets the very best that they can be.
Let’s go make your crowdfunding campaign a success.
BackerKit is a dashboard that helps you manage fulfilment and communication with funders after your campaign so that you don’t need to coordinate everything by email and spreadsheet.
Need a low-tier reward to offer funders? T-shirts are a great and easy way to raise funds. Check out Printful, which offers cheap prices on custom-printed, comfortable shirts.
Your video is the single most important part of your campaign’s landing page. You have to make it good and compelling. Though you don’t necessarily need professional help to create a good video, you should at least make sure that you have appropriate lighting and are shooting with a good camera. Just as importantly, you should have a good microphone; your video is of a much higher quality if there’s no mumbling or extraneous noise. We’ve selected this lapel microphone by Sony for its quality and very affordable price.
Every video needs to be edited to add new effects, to take away certain parts, and to string together difference scenes. If you have a Mac, use iMovie, which offers a great deal of functionalities. If you’re looking for a slightly more premium editor, consider using the Adobe Premiere Pro CC.
Social media engagement is critical to the success of a crowdfunding campaign. But it’s a lot more work to be reactive than it is to be pro-active. That’s why we recommend that you schedule out tweets in advance, before your campaign launches. For example, schedule a tweet a week before your campaign closes to let your Twitter followers know that they have only seven more days to contribute. One way to do that is with Buffer, which lets you schedule tweets and Facebook updates well ahead of time while giving you advanced analytics to track the metrics of each tweet.
If your products are small then you’re probably going to deal a lot with shipping. Shipstation makes it easier to ship products yourself. It integrates with major carriers, including USPS, FedEx, and UPS, so that you can easily create shipping labels and packing slips in bulk. It offers a great deal of other tools for shipping management as well.
If you’d like to totally outsource fulfilment, check out Shipwire. Send your inventory to one of its many fulfilment warehouses and it can handle your shipping automatically as orders come in. It will save you the the major hassle of fulfilment.
One of the best things that you can do to build an enduring business after the campaign is to make sure that you have a website before the campaign. Having a website gives you three important benefits: more interest on a platform that you control, better SEO as a result from links and traffic from Kickstarter and Indiegogo, and the ability to generate cashflow from pre-sales. So check out Kickstand, a theme developed by Shopify that closely mimics your campaign page. Best of all, this theme is free.
Digital Tutors is the largest creative and tech training library on the web. Take some of the lessons to make sure that you have the fundamentals for good design and for making your product work.
Press outreach is important. If you want to do hardcore reachout, then check out Cision. It’s a media database you can use to get the information of reporters. You can determine a reporter’s location, email, phone numbers, social media profiles, areas of focus. Of course you can always build a free list by searching through Google and Twitter for the people you can reach out to.
KeyShot is an easy-to-use and powerful way to create renderings of your products. Make it 3D, create an animation, or turn your pictures photorealistic.
If your campaign is on Kickstarter then you know that you have to prototype your product before you launch your campaign. One good way to display your prototype? Using Arqspin to create a 360-degree view to display every aspect of the product. After you buy a spin table, it’s about as simple as as taking a video on a camera that you own.
Again, your product shots need to be great. GIMP is a photo-editing piece of software that doesn’t have all the functionalities of Photoshop, but it’s free. And if you’re running a crowdfunding campaign, then you’ll need every penny you can get.
Dan Wang is a Content Specialist at Shopify. Get more from Dan on Twitter.
(Editors note: A version of this article previously published on Shopify)