HOW TO EFFECTIVELY CROWDFUND YOUR START-UP

Crowdfunding is becoming an increasingly popular way to fund small businesses and start-ups to get them off the ground. The fundraising platform is also used by non-profits, artists, musicians and many more. But with so many people using the tool, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to get your message seen by the masses. Therefore it’s more important than ever to ensure you are doing everything you can to make sure your campaign is as effective and powerful as possible.

Choose the right platform

With more than 600 different crowdfunding platforms available worldwide, it’s important to take some time and do your research to find out which platform will be best for your particular campaign. The most popular sites currently are Kickstarter and Indiegogo where in exchange for donations users receive a range of special rewards, dependent on the size of their donation. But there are also more investment based platforms, where users directly invest in businesses, buying shares and stakes in the company.

Make the most out of your existing network

Harnessing your existing network, such as family, friends along with past and present business connections, is a vitally important part of any crowdfunding campaign for a number of reasons. This existing core inner group can act as your biggest endorsers, vouching for you and your project while spreading the word among their own networks getting the message out there. They can also start the ball rolling with donations, adding as little or as much as they can to the project. In turn, this will encourage others to give, as they will be to see that the project is legit as it already has backing and is, therefore, worthwhile.

Think about the perks

As we have previously mentioned a large part of crowdfunding is the perks on offer in return for donations. This is one of biggest selling points of these platforms, so it is important to put some serious thought into what you are offering.  You will need a range of different rewards to match the level of donation, the bigger the donation, the bigger the reward. Think about what users would actually want, and how they can be useful to both the donor and you. They don’t even always have to cost money they can simply be offering users the chance to vote on how a product is designed, a personal thank you message or early access to a product or service. You just need to make sure you can afford the rewards and they are feasible and easy to manage.

Be detailed

Users are going to be more inclined to donate to projects that they know a lot about and can see exactly where their money will be going and how it will be used. So make sure your communications are clear and as detailed as possible, populate your campaign page with as much detail about your project and your story as you can, be true, real and express yourself clearly. Present a serious business plan, which is easily digestible for anyone reading, so people can really get a feel for where their money is going and why you need it. 

Include a video

Most crowdfunding platforms allow you to upload a video to your campaign page; this is something we would highly recommend. It is a commonly known that videos will engage people a lot more than big chunks of text, and they are a great way to bring your project to life. Keep them short and concise with a clear call to action.

Always be online

Running a Crowdfunding campaign is not to be sniffed at. It’s a lot of hard work, late nights and you need to be prepared to essentially live online. During the time when your campaign is live is when the hard work really starts. It will be down to you to stay active on social media sites, monitor the page and answer any emails/queries you may get. 

If you follow these six steps your crowdfunding campaign is sure to be a success, and your start-up will be up and running in no time.