Keys to a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign

  • Pitch a product or service that consumers will love. Obvious?  Yes.  Necessary?  You bet.  You are selling your dream, your idea, and your vision to a group of people in return for an investment – financial and emotional. They need to believe, too. As crowdfunding grows your project pitch will face increasing competition. Differentiate your project. Be unique. Share a vision of a better product or better methodology to achieve a goal. Some pundits claim that much Venture Capital is driven more by emotion than rational allocation. The same can be said for crowdfunding – it’s just the amount of capital designated by each funder and the scale of the outreach that is different. People want to participate in a successful and exciting project. Deliver some excitement up front and the probability for your success increases.
  • Rich media can be a powerful tool for communication.  Use it.  Create a video – or two.  Don’t cut corners on how you encapsulate your message.  Witty prose is fantastic but encapsulate your message in a dynamic package. Don’t assault your potential partners with a drubbing of a monotone drone. Your message must become a story and a compelling one. Use all tools available today for the presentation of your crowdfunded project.
  • Be strategic in your promotion. Having 2,469 Twitter followers is really cool but is each one of them going to provide funding? Build up your networks in advance of launching your crowdfunding campaigns. Get the project foundations established prior to launch. Use a Facebook page, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube .. the growing list of social media sites to circulate and disperse your message. This is obviously a lot easier if you already have a wide network of followers to help you out. And ask them to help. Those 2,469 Twitter followers? Ask them to retweet your message the same time you ask them to fund your dream.
  • Demonstrate a strong plan of execution. Communicate this plan to your backers and never stop sharing updates and progress. As soon as a funders starts to feel neglected or taken for granted the vitriol and flames start to roll.
  • Be transparent, accountable and available.  Even if they have given your project a small amount of money, as far as they are concerned they have skin in the game.  Be accountable and responsive to inquiries. We have all seen negative comments on a Kickstarter project that is delayed. Don’t let it get to that point.  Frequent communication is key.
  • Raise more than enough capital to get you where you need to be. Don’t be greedy but be realistic. Things change and you need to adjust. That really cool application you are developing now requires another developer for completion. How are you going to cover the cost? Make certain you budget works. Add a reasonable buffer to accommodate unforeseen hurdles. Most businesses fail do to under-capitalization. Don’t become a member of this statistic.
  • Have fun. If you are not having the time of your life pushing your limits and enduring the constant lack of sleep maybe the life of a start up is not for you. It’s a choice you make that demands total commitment.