It Takes A Crowd
Ever wish you could bring an idea to life? Have you dreamed of having your own small business? Is a philanthropic spirit bubbling up inside of you? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may be interested in instituting a crowdfunding campaign.
What is “Crowdfunding”?
Simply put, it is the efforts of a group of individuals who network to pool money together, usually via the Internet, to support efforts initiated by other individuals or organizations. The entrepreneurial spirit has never been more alive than it is right now. Internet has made it easy to launch a project or small business through crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and GoFundMe.
Do your homework – It’s important to get all of the facts straight about what the different options are before you begin. The more popular platform sites have easy to read overviews about their services as well as pricing charts to give you an idea of what type of fees they will retain for using their service.
Define your project / cause – Before you dive right in and begin crafting your campaign, make sure that you have spent a decent amount of time describing your project or cause. Carefully outline your goals. Soul search on why this project or cause is so important to you and how you are going to position it to be important to others. Once you have all this information down, then follow the steps that the platform provides to start creating your campaign.
Positive first impressions – There are many people out there trying to do the same thing that you are doing. Make sure that your campaign description is written in a clear, concise and compelling manner. I guarantee that you are not going to raise extra $$$ for being long winded. Keep in mind that people have short attention spans and they react positively to something visual in nature. Consider adding in multi-media details like a short video, a photo album, or heck, a song. Also, certain crowdfunding platforms allow “perks” to be given out to encourage contributions. These are offers made and managed solely by the campaign owners. Try to have multiple “perks” and tie them to different contribution amounts (variance is key to ensure that more people consider contributing). For extra synergy, make them thematically relevant to your overall project / cause.
Get the word out – The key to a successful campaign is to get as many people involved as possible. Make sure that you leverage your network and try to get others to do the same on your behalf. If you have information about your campaign in other places (Twitter, Facebook, official website, big press, etc.), make sure that you include links to those items with your campaign. Send updates out through the social tools that platform provides. Don’t be afraid to spread the word through traditional formats as well (posters, brochures, etc.).
Most importantly….have fun! – As a first timer to the process, you are going to learn a lot. Make sure that you explore the resources and blogs that the crowdfunding platform offers. There are many tips and tricks out there. Stay open to trying new things with your campaign. If certain tips do not work, do not get discouraged, there are many other tips you can practice to help achieve a successful campaign.