Essential Checklist of a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign
Posted on May 9 2015
Crowdfunding is where individuals pool money to back and source a project, to make it go live. Here is a checklist you should read.
Before we go any further, do you know the options available for to grow your business? Crowdfunding has grown over the years for startups and inventors to raise funds for their projects and is an attractive way to generate funding. The range of sites are regional based, some involved real estate and there's even sites to finance debt. If you're looking to grab the attention of a wider audience who like unique (or unusual things), try submitting your product on Gifts and Coupons for Instant Exposure and a Crowdfunding Campaign Boost Up, where we support all types of crowdfunding projects.
Let's review what's out there with this pre-launch and launch checklist. We can split crowdfunds into two platform types; Reward Projects and Donations.
Details: 5% fee, plus processing fees of 3%-5%.
According to the rules, there are strict requirements so in order for the project to go-ahead it must meet or exceed your goal. Personal fundraising is not allowed. See the Kickstarter Tips page which is really useful for project owners.
Details: 9% fee, 3% processing fee and fees for international wires.
Known for it's more international projects, acceptance of charity funding and the ability to keep what you raise even if you don't meet your goals. See Indiegogo's Blog, which lists the most successful campaigns and case studies.
Details: 5% fee, 2.9% processing fee.
The biggest crowdfunding site, looks to be more focused on donation funding for self (i.e. medical costs or education) than actual projects.
7 Checklist Points to Transform your Project from Good to Great
Ideally before your campaign you would be generating buzz and promotion before launching. This rundown checklist will confirm you're ready to launch:
Look at What's Around you
Overall, research should be made beforehand. A list of potential funders, family and friends (or enemies, hey this is business!), a single page website giving details of the project which captures emails plus many other ideas are sure fire ways to save money but at the same benefits your campaign.
Don't Expect Funding solely on an Idea.
Concepts are great, people have great ideas all the time (especially when they're in bars or pubs!). The closer you are to finishing the product the better as it instils confidence in your package.
Back up your Words with Imagery and Video.
People like having things to look at, concentration spans aren't very high nowadays. Having concept art, screenshots and video (under 3 minutes) all help to visualise what it is you're offering and gain trust. Note: On Indiegogo's Playbook stats, they found that a video increases your chance of success by 115%.
Spend Time on your Copyrighting
Bullet points, paragraphs, a direct call to action, a clear concept etc., are a must. Mention why you are doing this project, showcase your skills/background/credibility - why should they trust you and more important, how would investing in this project help them.
Engage in the Community (See Below Promoting to your Peers and Community)
LinkedIn, Google Plus and Reddit Kickstarter have groups to post in, but the target audience are in all probability not the people you should be targeting. The sites below are communities, so you need to get established on the sites first. Participate, gain post numbers by helping others or by raising questions not already asked. Earn respect from your peers which will lead to greater success with your campaigns.
Research and Monitor (See Below Research, Tools and Campaign Tips to Generate Buzz)
Aka "How to Learn from Others". If you really want to be successful, you have to check out the archive of current and past projects. See how they wrote their descriptions, what they did and most importantly did they get backed. This can determine the outcome if someone in a relative field posted a project, plus you'll see how much of a targeted audience is interested.
Get eyes on your Project
This doesn't have to be targeted at a campaign that already launched, but this advice applies to the pre-launch too. Getting people looking at your product, even if it's say as a Reddit link to a concept or sketch, is great. Combining it to your web page link where you can gather emails is even better. So when you're launching, you'll already have a target audience who knows about your product, interested. Even Fiverr is a cheap way of getting interest in your project and should be included in your checklist.
Promoting to your Peers and Community
First thing, before submitting your crowdfunding campaign to all the sites listed below you need to be aware that self-promotion only will mostly likely get your posts removed or even get yourself blocked.
Details: Over 16k+ members, 27k+ posts *Data Taken at the time of this article.
The focus is on Crowdfunding Questions, advice and strategies and then there's a section devoted to sharing your crowdfunding stories.
Details: Over 5k members, 22k+ posts.
A place to discuss projects you've backed,tops and advice, sharing kickstarter stories and a small place for Indiegogo discussion too.
It's more of a tool but lists your project url on their site for free. The conditions are that if funds are generated from the Kicking It Forward site then 5% of profits is expected to be passed on to fund other projects.
Research, Tools and Campaign Tips to Generate Buzz
Generating buzz and promoting before your campaign is launched is a must, that way you can find the backers you need and contact them directly about your launch.
Details: Tracking over 170k projects, plus the Kicktraq Sponsorship Guarantee.
This site acts as an analytics package for Kickstarter. You can type in a Kickstarter url to find more information or use tags to find the industry you want to get into. The funding progress is mapped by chart data, average pledge stats and amounts
Details: Tips on running a campaign before launch Blogs to Read.
A really useful site, with this page being one of the most interesting because it focuses on every day issues which are connected with Kickstarter and Indiegogo.
Details: A crowdfund specific PR site.
A place where current campaigns are listed but also offers an area where you can submit your Press Release for free, other alternatives are the established PRLog and PR.com.
Details: Get the Masses involved and use Social Media.
Thunderclap runs a campaign where if it gets enough people interested in your product they'll place a well-timed tweet or Facebook post to get you noticed.
Details: A way to have your message echoed throughout social media.
Headtalker offers similar features to Thunderclap but for free. HeadTalker states they also give you "500,000 free social" reach as a boost. I personally found their response quick slow but they did bring social media hits.
Facebook ads, paid tweets may be an option, if they're focused and aimed at your target audience. Another idea, is offline promotion through newspaper adverts or even on Fiverr there's a paid service where a guy will print your advert and plaster it all over his local campus.
So in conclusion, launching and promoting your product is not difficult, but what is important is the platform you choose and the planning and preparation in getting noticed. More Kickstarter, Indiegogo and other Crowdfunding tips to come!