By Alycia Gordan
Sometimes, dreams need a little nudge in the right direction, so that they can turn into reality. Similarly, if you need funds to start your own business, crowdfunding can help you immensely. There are many examples of online businesses which have not only met their initial goals but also exceeded them via crowdfunding.
So, if your idea is innovative, your startup can reach great heights through crowdfunding and surpass your expectations. It isn’t easy, but the following tips will help you to start a successful crowdfunding campaign for your startup.
1. Communicate with Potential Funders
It is very important to make your potential funders realize that you are really passionate about your startup. Share your story with them and tell them all the details including, where the first idea came from, your expected budget and why you want to launch it. If your vision and story boasts confidence and passion, chances are that your funders will be more convinced towards the credibility of your startup.
You can communicate your story through design and visuals. The images on your website should be professional. Also, a video is a really important aspect of visual communication. Make a high-quality video that not only conveys your message but is also interesting to watch. Remember, investment in good quality content at this point will be rewarding in the future.
Refer to Kickstarter’s Creator Handbook, which is a great source of information related to crowdfunding and its details.
2. Offer Perks
Even though credibility and innovation of the project matters the most, people tend to respond faster if you offer exciting perks and rewards for your pledgers. Creator Handbook has complete details that mention what can be offered or not. But remember to be fair in terms of rewards, and do not make promises that are difficult to deliver.
3. Keep Your Goals in Mind
It is very important to set funding goals before you launch your crowdfunding campaign. Kickstarter has an all-or-nothing funding policy and you only get to keep the money if you meet or exceed your preset goal. Look for other platforms like Indiegogo, which let you keep the funding even if you fail to reach your goal.
This is why, it is very important that you set a realistic and easily achievable funding goal, before you start the campaign.
4. Spread the Word
Once you have launched the campaign, start promoting it. Crowdfunding is only successful if you inform the maximum number of people about it. A lot of commitment and marketing is required to make people aware about it.
The best way to market is through social media. Email your friends and family or host a launch party. Make sure you tell them about your crowdfunding campaign loud and clear, because people you know are going to be your best potential funders.
Furthermore, you can also hire an inbound marketing company, which can provide you with link building ideas, to help you create a successful marketing campaign. Remember, keep a solid marketing budget for your crowdfunding campaign, because you need to stand out among the crowd to reach your funding goals.
5. Keep Your Project Backers in the Loop
Once you have a bunch of loyal project backers, it is really important to keep them informed about each and every milestone of your startup. There are inbuilt tools that can be used to send out automated emails and messages to your backers.
Try to be completely transparent regarding the progress of your startup. If things are not going as planned, let them know. It is essential to maintain their interest in your project at all times.
6. Reward Your Backers and Get Feedback
A crowdfunding campaign doesn’t end when you reach your funding goals. It is actually over when you fulfill all your promises and reward your backers. Make sure that you deliver the perks or benefits that were promised, so that you have a group of loyal supporters even after the crowdfunding campaign is finished.
Also, try to get feedback when you reward them, because at this stage they will answer with honest opinions that can help you design even better crowdfunding campaigns the next time. But all this can only be achieved if you reach your funding goal and had a successful crowdfunding campaign.
7. Tap the Overseas Market
Try out a platform like Pozible which allows people from all over the world to pledge. It was originally launched in China, but many Chinese startups received a lot of pledges from other parts of the world. So, get inspired and tap the international market to reach your funding goals. It can make a huge contribution towards the success of your crowdfunding campaign.
Do not stress out if you fail to reach your goal the first time. Consider it an important learning experience, and identify the problems or shortcomings in your idea. Try to fix them at this stage, as this will save a lot of time and money in the future.
Crowdfunding is a low-risk way to test your idea in the market. Make the most of your backers, and with correct planning and marketing strategies, you can try again to reach your goals or even exceed them.