40 Ways to Ace Your Next Crowdfunding Campaign

40 WAYS TO ACE YOUR NEXT CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN

Crowdfunding has no doubt disrupted startup founding and funding. Angel Investors and Venture Capitalists can now find and fund worthy ventures on crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

Massolution reports that this alternative finance industry was worth $34.4b in 2015, a World Bank report says it is projected to hit $93b by 2025.

What drives these figures? Campaigns.

Sadly, not all crowdfunding campaigns succeed or reach their funding goals. Kickstarter reports as of August 15, 2017 indicate there were 129,736 successful and 232,308 unsuccessful campaigns:  51,249 of which received zero funding on Kickstarter.

So how can you increase your chances of nailing your first or next crowdfunding campaign?

This article lists 40 ways to do just that.

But first,

What is Crowdfunding?

  • Crowdfunding is what happens when inventor meets investor (where investor is the crowd). It is simply a group of financiers coming together to sponsor/support businesses, products, or ideas.

How Does It Work?

You pitch an idea.

Supporters or investors see it, like it and donate.

Many stars and startups have come to limelight via crowdfunding. Oculus Rift is an example, which was later bought by Facebook for $2b.

Google Trend of Crowdfunding v. Kickstarter v. Indiegogo

Google Trend graph of Crowdfunding v. Kickstarter v. Indiegogo

The chart above shows data, visualization and insights on crowdfunding, Kickstarter and Indiegogo within the last 5 years. Kickstarter has the upper hand with nearly 75% lead at peak periods.

Crowdfunded Failures, Flops and Successes

Even with a great idea there are no guarantees. Below are some examples of fundraising fails, flops and successes.

Crowdfunding Failures

Kickstarter reports that 14% of projects they hosted failed to receive a single pledge, i.e. 51,253 projects were zero funded (as of August 15, 2017).

Crowdfunding Flops

The campaigns below reached or exceeded their goals but turned out to be flops.

PROJECT

IDEA

GOT

REASON

1

 iBackPack

Portable backpack for iPhones

$720,000

Blamed on batteries

2

CST-01                                                        

World’s World’s thinnest watch

$1m+

Didn’t have and couldn’t find tech needed to create it. Filed for bankruptcy

3

Elio Motors Scooter

3-wheeled electric vehicle

$17m+

Driven by suspicious frivolous expenses

4

Skarp Laser Razor

Laser based hair removal

$4m +

Couldn’t cut it: didn’t really have a prototype

5

Jennifer Flynn Cataldo

Cancer Treatment

$38,000+

Turned out to be a scam

Crowdfunding Successes

Kittyo reached its $30,000 Kickstarter funding goal in 45 minutes. Others are listed below.

PROJECT

IDEA

GOT

REASON

1

Pebble 2

Intelligent watch

$12m+       $12m+

FitBit ended up buying the startup

2

Kindom Death: Monster 1.5

Horror board game

     $8m+

Experience of inventors

3

Cocoro

Safer female underwear

€169, 652+

Experience and innovation

4

FitGet Cube

Anti-stress cube

 $6m+

Experience

5

NeckSound

Audio necklace

 €41, 307

Innovation

 

The above were all successful.

Below Are 40 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Next Campaign

Proper planning and advance preparation increases chances of success.

Planning should encompass 3 stages:

a. Pre-Campaign

b. Live-Campaign

c. Post-Campaign

Pre-Campaign Stage

1.  Ideate

precampaing process

Get an idea, better yet let an idea get hold of you. Kickstarter’s #1 rule says “projects must create something to share with others”, something of value.

2.  Envision

Visualize your idea in action, adding value. How much you believe in your concept reflects in your tone, copy, pictures and videos.

3. Test Idea

It is possible to overrate your idea. Putting your concept to the test will reveal its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. CST-01 was a successful crowdfunding flop.

4.  Design Prototypes and Rendering

Prototypes will earn you backers trust, it shows you’ve put in effort in advance, makes you more believable.

5.  Research Crowdfunding Sites/Companies

Not all crowdfunding sites are legit or equipped to support your kind of project. Invest the time to find the right fit. Kickstarter and Indiegogo, are reputable names.

6.  Know the Rules

Kickstarter allows charities run fundraising projects, but prohibits raising money under the guise of giving to charities. Make sure the project you intend to raise funds for is permitted on your preferred crowdfunding site.

7.  Select Your Target

You want targeted crowd not just any crowd. Kittyo drew in 50, 000 targeted cat lovers, got 13, 000 sign-ups and scored over 40% conversion within 5 months.

campaign audience targeting indiegogo and kickstarter

8.  Research Serial Backers

Serial backers back notable projects back-to-back. Get insight into this group so you can better target and engage them.  Krowdster backer directory is a searchable database of backers with geo targeting and CSV export capabilities.

9.  Have an Advertising Budget

Big or small, you need an advertising budget to be able to reach the crowd. Plan to maximize every dollar you spend on any channel.

(Editor’s note: the majority of 6-figure funded or more campaigns that are building hardware or other products tend to budget a minimum of 10% marketing spend relative to the real final amount of money they intend to raise. So, for example, when you aim to reach $500,000 USD, it’s reasonable to plan and have available a USD$50,000 advertising budget)

10.  Build a Mailing List

They say the money is in the list, you need to list-en to that. Start building one before your campaign begins.

11. Start a Newsletter

Newsletters is one way to inform, update, engage and convert potential backers with fresh content centered around your project.

12.  Design a High Converting Landing Page

Your landing page can either land you a sale or sell you out. Pay attention to formatting, fonts and colors. Hire freelancers or other copy experts if you’re copy-challenged.

13.  Tell Your Story

Storytelling invigorates marketing. It helps you connect with your target audience on a deep level. Put more conversational style content in front of backers. Like in the example from this campaign below:

 14.  Choose Your Words

Landing page copy, newsletters, ads, project title, scripts, reward levels, campaign descriptions are all written. Use CTA’s and choose your words wisely, or hire a copywriter.

15.  Social Activity

Build buzz with social media hype and mentions on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, SnapChat etc. Become more socially active well in advance. You don’t want to be a social media gold digger.

16.  Your DP, Profile Picture Should be Inviting

One of the first things people do when they meet you is establish eye contact. A smiling face is always more inviting and welcoming.

17.  Optimize Social Media Profiles, e.g. Facebook Header

People will likely see your header first. You can customize it in line with your running campaign.

18. Start a Facebook Page

An active Facebook page can help drive campaigns toward success. You can use Facebook Page Insights or other analytics tools like LikeAlyzer to gauge performance.

19.  Create a Youtube Channel  

Start and maintain a dedicated Youtube channel. This 2014 Jamstick crowdfunded project below had 12,379 views as of August 15, 2017.

20.  Brand T-shirts, Face Caps

Project branded t-shirts or face caps in your Youtube videos and social media posts reinforce your campaign message.

21.  Plan your Perks and Perk Levels

VIP treatment like exclusive parties, live band, rare collections, autographed one-only copies of items can influence backers to up-give. Ensure to fulfill promised perks, calculate shipping charges like packing and postage, custom duties etc in advance.

A study revealed nearly 1 in 10 successful Kickstarter projects fail to deliver promised perks.

If shipping to/through the EU, find out if your perks qualify for low value consignment relief (LVCR).

22.  Plan Pre-Orders

Make it possible for backers to pre-order your gigs, some will buy the privilege of having the first look.

23.  Work with an Agency/Service

If the above seem daunting you may choose to use an agency. They know the ropes. Services like UntorchFunded.TodayKicktraq, IdeaPlotting, CrowdCreate, and many others have helped startups like Ravean raise seed fund.

Live-Campaign Stage

Once your campaign is running you should do the following

24.  Follow Up

Send reminders to non-responsive backers on the backers list you curated from backer directory search.

25.  Update Backers

Project progress reports reassure backers, they really care where their money goes.

26.  Build Trust

People entrust their monies to banks and other financial institutions because they trust them. Can backers bank on you, your project? Engage them and win their trust.

crowdfunding confidence

27.  Blog/Guest Post

Blogging or guest posting on popular sites establishes you as a niche authority, further boosting your overall credibility.

28.  Use a Slogan

Use a catchy slogan as branding strategy, words easily associated with your campaign. Efe used this tactic among others to emerge winner Big Brother Naija, 2017. His slogan was “based on logistics”.

29.  Pitch, Pitch, Repeat

How you say what you say in your sales/video pitch can make a huge difference. Study successful pitches and replicate their marketing/communication strategies.

30.  Invest Your Funds Too

Put your money where your mouth is, it builds commitment and accountability.

31.  Support Similar Projects

Supporting other or similar crowdfunding campaigns is a great way to network. You can also gain exposure and valuable insight.

32.  Study Past Winners

Study successful campaigns, copy-paste their strategies.

33.  Use Tools like Backerkit

Backerkit helps fundraisers better position projects to capture backers attention, using a suite of cool features like backer survey.

34.  Try Non-Financial Backers

They can help spread the word or share your project videos to their networks. Don’t ignore them.

Post-Campaign Stage

Now that you’ve reached or exceeded your goal you need to fulfill.

35.  Note SKU, Quantity

Inventory tracking can go off track without proper SKU. This will become obvious during fulfillment.

Here’s how to ace your SKU:

36.  Meet Customs Requirements

Figure out custom requirements for all shipping destinations including duties, tax, clearance etc. If backers are required to pay any, inform them in advance.

37.  Fulfill Promised Perks

Some backers give expecting perks in return. If you have promised perks be sure to deliver or you could be sued.

38.  Confirm Receipt of Perks

Follow up with backers to confirm they received their perks.

39.  Send a Thank You Message

Send a warm thank you email to backers for their support.

thanking your backers

40.  Keep them Posted

Send them occasional updates of new milestones you’ve achieved since the campaign ended. 

Conclusion

All your crowdfunding effort could go to waste if you fail fulfillment. You could spend your entire fund (plus some) settling court cases.

Floship is a global leader in Crowdfunding Fulfillment with many years of experience and expertise. We are glad to help you wrap up your crowdfunding campaign on a high note.

GET IN TOUCH NOW, TO GET A QUOTE

 


Floship Guest Post – About the Author

Amos Onwukwe is an AWAI trained B2B/B2C Freelance Copywriter.

When not writing, he’s making music with the crew. You can follow him on Twitter @amos_onwukwe.


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