How To Kickstart Your Crowdfunding Campaign.

Every startup company needs money. Even more so, every individual with a vision and a great idea will need the right amount of capital to turn their dreams into reality.

In the past, you either saved up the amount of money that was necessary or you raised a credit. Today, you can fund your capital with the help of a crowdfunding campaign.

What Is Crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is the process of asking the internet, aka the general public, to donate a given amount of money to your company as a startup capital for your project.

The amazing advantage: Since you are rewarding your donators with “perks”, the inhibition threshold to donate is incredibly low and people are willing to fund you.

Your idea or project needs to stand out from the competition though, otherwise people are less likely to be interested. That’s why it’s important to discuss a few important aspects:

1. Your Audience.

As you can imagine, the popularity of crowdfunding results in more competitors.
The competition for necessary funds is already high and it will continue to grow in the future.

Leveraging other people’s money is a trait of a successful entrepreneur.
It is therefore mandatory to build an audience, which generates enough traffic (and money) for you to reach your funding goal.

You should be able to answer the following questions:

1.1. Who are my target customers?
1.2 What traits should my ideal funders have?
1.3 Are you aware of their online behavour?
1.4 What are their urgent needs?

Determining your potential funders is an essential task, if you want to succeed with your campaign. You need to know who they are and adjust your presentation accordingly.

It is also important to analyze their online behavour. Are they more likely to come across your presentation directly or are they more active on social media? Do they prefer blogs or video introductions?

All of these questions will guide you along the way and maximize your potential.

At this point, you are probably interested in all of the options to actually launch your crowdfunding campaign, so let’s have a look:

2. Launch Your Campaign.

There are many options but you will most likely end up deciding between the following two:

Your Own Website vs. A Crowdfunding Platform.

Since both have unique advantages and disadvantages, I created a list for you:

Your Own Website:

+ Freedom of choice regarding design and content.
+ Several usage options (Blog, Landing Page,etc.)
+ Professional Presentation.
+ No competitors on your website.
+ You have more options regarding your deadline.
+ Can be used for further promotion after completion.

– Requires a lot of work
– You need to invest money (Domain, Hosting,etc.)
– Hard to gain traffic at first

As you can tell, there are a lot of advantages if you decide to setup your own blog or website.
It is necessary though, that it’s professional. Avoid free website builders that require little to no work. I personally recommend WordPress.

Wordpress is a custom management system that helps you to setup a website in the most efficient way possible. You can install it in less than 5 minutes on a host and you are good to go.

Therefore, as mentioned above, you will need a hosting solution.
In Addition, you also need to think about a theme for your website.
There are free and paid website themes that you can easily use in conjunction with WordPress.

If you want to browse a free selection of great themes, visit their Free Themes section.
Professional Premium Themes can be found on Themeforest.

On top of that, you should think of a suitable domain name for your cause and register it with a domain registar.

Before you decide to do that, let’s have a look at some of the benefits of a crowdfunding platform:

Crowdfunding via Kickstarter or Indiegogo.

+ Easy & Fast Setup.
+ Design is professional out of the box.
+ You don’t necessarily have to invest money*
+ Decent Traffic through the website itself*
+ You will be guided through the process.
+ Perks are presented very well.

– A lot of competition.
– You have to meet certain requirements
– The Deadline is not very flexible
– Pressure to reach your funding goal*

You probably noticed that I added quite a few (*) symbols above.
The reason: Successful crowdfunding, via a platform such as Kickstarter, highly depends on your personal situation.

Let’s take Kickstarter for example:

Kickstarter.

In order to be considered eligable for a campaign, your project needs to be reviewed first.
Depending on your project, your chances of getting accepted can therefore vary.

In general, technical projects seem to have a much greater advantage when it comes to running a successful campaign there.
Bizarre and funny campaigns also tend to receive much more attention because of their viral nature.

Indiegogo on the other hand allows any projects to be accepted:

Indiegogo.

You could raise money for websites, charities and just about anything you can think of right away.
It is worth mentioning though, that compared to Kickstarter, your success on Indiegogo solely depends on your fan base.

You need to have the ability to motivate a decent amount of people to support you in a short period of time. While this is also true for Kickstarter to an extend, it’s much more crucial on Indiegogo.

If you lack a certain amount of supporters from the start, your campaign is destined to fail.
The reason is the so called “Gogofactor“, which is a fancy word for an algorhythm that helps campaigns to achieve a higher ranking depending on their social activity.

However, if your presentation page does not receive many likes or shares, you can’t rank properly. It’s therefore your responsibility to plan your campaign accordingly.

Another very important aspect of crowdfunding is how the funds are beeing managed:

Funds.

Kickstarter:

To keep it short: It’s either all or nothing.
If you set your funding goal to 1.000$ for example, you need to fund those thousand dollars within the given time frame. When you reach the deadline and you didn’t manage to raise the needed funds, all of the money that has been donated will be restored to the funders.

In case you are exceeding your goal, you can keep the final amount though.

It makes sense if you think about it:

Your funding goal is the minimal amount of money that you need to accomplish your crowdfunding campaign. If you didn’t reach it, you are most likely not able to complete the steps needed to proceed with your project.

Indiegogo handles this aspect differently.

Indiegogo:

Indiegogo gives you the freedom to choose, whether you want to only accept the donations once you reach your goal or keep any amount that has been donated during the campaign.

While the second option seems more attractive on first sight, keep in mind that it can affect your credibility and chances of receiving donations.

Your potential funders want to be sure that they are donating for a campaign that has high chances of getting completed.
You wouldn’t want to donate for a project only to find out that the developers stopped updating their campaign and taking all the money without completing it, would you?

Make sure to set a realistic goal and describe your project thoroughly and you are on a good way.

Final Thoughts.

Crowdfunding is a topic which requires a lot of planning beforehand.
There are a lot of aspects to consider and depending on your situation, you have to decide which solution is best for your business.

You should determine your current outreach when deciding to think about crowdfunding.
Are you established enough to have the necessary funders to support you?
Do you have a strong social media presence?

If you are still struggling with your client base and image branding, I’d suggest focusing on those issues first. You want to create a buzz with your campaign and while it’s true that some ideas are so unique that they become viral overnight, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *