10 Secrets of Highly Successful CrowdFunding Campaigns.
CrowdFund by: Build Interest, Ask for $$$ later, Prepare, Media Page, Video, Social Media, be Personal, Communicate Progress, use Existing/get New Fans.
As CrowdFunding [Definition] makes more gains in popularity, the battle for Page Views & Pledges has become increasingly competitive – especially on portal sites that feature thousands of live projects at once. If you’re depending on a Kickstarter feature to kick-start your campaign, then you could be in trouble. So how do you ensure that you’ve optimized your campaign for success? We’ve taken a look at a number of recently funded projects in order to identify some of the techniques, strategies & crowd-funding secrets that will give you the best chance of meeting your goals.
1. Prepare your Approach. You can use CrowdFunding to help validate your ideas before they are fully realized, but if your campaign comes across as very weak, then your audience isn’t going to invest. “People don’t want to back a campaign that’s not going to work,” says Writer & Entrepreneur Seth Godin on his CrowdFunding experiences. You can’t use CrowdFunding as a “shortcut” to avoid properly fleshing out your ideas.
2. Create a “helpful” Media Page. You’ve no doubt seen some of the most popular CrowdFunding projects covered in the press, but this won’t happen if you don’t have a solid website and some press materials that journalists can download. Even if you’re a one-man show, don’t rely on your Facebook page to do it all. If journalists can’t find more information about your project and some high-res pictures to illustrate their features, they may choose to promote a different project instead. If you have grander plans, think press releases and even tours: the Star Citizen video game raised over $14M through IgnitionDeck’s WordPress plugin, and the campaign included a press tour before the Crowd-Funding element was even launched.
3. Produce a “great” Video. Video clips give visitors a better idea of your project — they can see you or your product in action rather than clicking through a series of static images. They are also labor-intensive, so don’t attempt to put together a clip if you don’t have the time, resources and expertise required. An amateur-looking video isn’t going to convince anyone to get involved, and at worst, could damage your campaign’s credibility. It’s usually well worth paying for help to make your video pitch the best it can be because of the investment it will attract. On the campaign Seth Godin ran that reached its goal in three hours: “There’s something about the medium that makes the video even more important than you’d think.”
4. Use Strategic Social Media. You don’t need a “blanket” the Social Media – though the wider your reach – the better. Pick the networks that best match your marketing & content strategies and where your potential supporters are most likely to be found. Don’t forget to customize your promotion to suit each platform too: (ie, Indie band) Bigtree Bonsai raised $6,956 (almost double their target) via IgnitionDeck after spreading the word with a #LetsMakeaRecord Hashtag.
5. Keep it Personal. Introduce your team to let your supporters meet the people behind your project regardless of whether you’re an established company or an up-and-coming startup. Consider the humor and personality in the CrowdFunding campaign
6. Build Interest before you Launch your CF effort, by drumming up interest in your project or your business. With a solid Fan-base in place, your campaign will get off to a good start. If you don’t already have a community to tap into, try and get the attention of a handful of influential figures who might be interested in your project.
7. Don’t ask for $$$ immediately. Tell your story and share your enthusiasm for your project, and people will naturally want to add their support. Remember that your supporters are giving you money with the expectation of getting something back: they want to receive a return on their investment, whether it’s a physical product or an emergency relief operation that swings into action. Consider some thing that shows the benefits & value of your product up front, so backers know what it is they’re supporting. What’s more, supporters could pledge as little or as much as they liked you.
8. Communicate often on the Progress of CF. Whether it’s good news or bad, keep your backers and potential backers in the loop. Post regular updates on your Crowd-Funding page, and keep the process going after the campaign has ended: “The real work begins after the campaigns to ensure everyone gets what they pledged,”
9. Appeal to your Existing Fans. The campaign that earned the Veronica Mars sitcom a shot at the big screen paid particular attention to the show’s existing fans. The campaign didn’t do a great deal to draw in new interest, but was very clever about appealing to people who had already formed an attachment to Veronica Mars. Consider the fans & supporters that you already have, making your project goals & rewards something that these people are going to be ready to identify with.
10. Appeal to Everyone Else. You can create a campaign that has broad appeal to more people interested in your product or services. One of the best ways to do this is by creating a reward scheme with many different price points. Even if you can’t offer a physical reward for a $1 donation, you could still give these pledgers early access to your product or a credit within your SW package,
Conclusion: There’s no way of guaranteeing Crowd-Funding success, but by studying the projects, strategies, & Crowd-Funding secrets that have worked for others, you can certainly maximize your chances. Like any other business venture, Crowd-Funding is an iterative process that can start long before you launch, and long after the campaign has closed.
Comments: Do you know any other factors that are important in Crowd-Funding?
from Ignition Deck.com 5/16 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz