Basketball coach John Wooden is famous for saying that lack of preparation makes failure certain. A well-prepared 30-day crowdfunding campaign can prove that people are eager to open their wallets for your product, instead of your campaign becoming a 30% to 50% campaign failure statistic.
Also, one proven success is more convincing than hyping yourself on a well-built website. While campaign funding is the main use of crowdfunding services, valuable side benefits can include press attention along with market and brand awareness testing. That is, so long as your product or service bursts into the business world like a bolt of sunshine, rather than an unwelcome snowfall.
Below are seven ways to make sure that your groundwork will yield a sunny and successful crowdfunding campaign.
1. People You Already Know: Aim for at least 5 pledges from your existing contact list, especially friends and family, just to get a crowd rolling. Send them an email with an easy-to-click link, before the campaign goes live, and ask for a small amount of support. This will keep strangers and social media contacts from being suspicious about a campaign with no followers.
2. Start Blogging: Create or increase your own publicity with a weekly flow of blogposts, before and during and after the campaign. Informing and entertaining readers and followers will help you build and grow momentum. So long as they like and identify with what you have to say, your pledge group may give business and feedback well beyond the crowdfunding journey.
3. Converse via Social Media: These platforms primarily help you develop two-way short conversations with people who have contact lists of their own. Find the influencers who like your concept, get interested in what interests them, and reciprocity will flow. Start a separate Twitter account and Facebook page for the campaign, post photos on Pinterest, post short YouTube videos – the world’s at your fingertips.
4. Shoot a Video: In this media-centered world, a crowdfunding campaign without a video is shooting its success in the foot. Under good lighting, show your personality and passion in a setting that matches your project, edit down to 3 minutes, show it at the top of the crowdfunding page and on YouTube.
5. Build an Email List: Using existing newsletter lists, former co-workers from LinkedIn, and contacts from Facebook and blogposts, put together a large list of aquaintances. Ideally, spend at least 4-6 weeks to a few months getting people to trust the content on a weekly newsletter or blogpost, so that they’re ready to donate to your promoted cause or idea. Link the campaign in easy-to-read font at the email’s beginning and middle and end.
6. Sneak Peeks and Rewards: Have something tangible to show or send people in small stages before and during the campaign, like a short clip of your debut film or an enticing shot of techie hardware. Develop a tiered list of rewards from small ($5) to great ($5,000+), and ask for social media feedback. Make sure you know the cost and timing of getting rewards to donators, especially for overseas shipping.
7. Pitch It: Make sure your campaign answers the essential questions: who is involved, what is the project, when will events/rewards happen, where are you and the rewards from, how much do you need to ensure success.