You’ve got an awesome idea bouncing around in your head, an app, a brilliant novel, an unexplored documentary film or maybe a product this world should not exist without. All you need to do is get some investors on your side.
This next step is a little tricky. Don’t stress out though, we can help you help yourself. We’ve got lots of faith in your quirky project.
Crowdfunding is easily accessible, which is great. It allows big dreams to seem within reach. However, because it’s so easy to access, a lot of projects jump the gun and ask for funding too early or without enough planning.
A mistake we’ve seen a lot with Kickstarter and Indiegogo participants is that they start their marketing campaign in the middle of looking for investors. Before asking for money, make sure that you’ve thought out all the marketing, strategy and creative. You’re selling your product, just not to consumers. Yet.
Here Is Our Advice:
Spend the Time
Chances are, this project isn’t your only job, but you should act like it. Spend eight hours a day working on the project, whether that’s fundraising, marketing, brainstorming or the project itself.
- Be clear and concise with your plan so you can show interested parties that you’ve spent a lot of time being careful with their money. Remember, the tighter the definition, the better the chances of success.
- Don’t try to wing it on any of the steps. Getting caught being shady with an investor is worse than being unprepared.
- Keep the energy going. This means not getting down when things look impossible, constantly creating content, keeping audiences engaged and staying excited for yourself.
There are millions of products and services to spend money on, so you’ve got to make sure folks want to spend it on you.
- Some backers will love your idea, and that’s enough incentive to dump out their wallets into your hand. Others might want a little reward for their contribution. Try relating the rewards to the project as specifically as possible. For example, if you need backers for a new visual app, you can offer to create an inforgraph of their life in exchange for a minimum investment.
- This is not the place to verbally throw up ideas to a web cam. Invest in a professional video. It should stand out as something unique. If you browse Indiegogo or Kickstarter, you’ll see the good videos really get positive attention.
- The landing page for the project should be informative, (who is the product for, where will the money go, why only you can deliver it), but it should also be design heavy and memorable. First impressions really count with investors.
Unless you’ve got super rich friends with lots of faith in everything you do, social media isn’t going to be enough. It is a great place to start, but it’s not the only place to be. Create some buzz on Facebook and Twitter, then move on. Relevant blogs are a better place to put your efforts.
- Put together a media list with any online or print publications that will direct investors your way. Remember, people who follow blogs already have an invested interest in your cause.
- Build a genuine relationship with bloggers, chances are they’ve got contacts they can connect you with.
- No one is forced to read a blog, this isn’t War and Peace in you AP English class. So you’ve got to tell a compelling story that is confident and enthusiastic, otherwise your readership is out the door along with their dollars.
Keep Investors Up-to-Date
If someone is giving you money because they believe in you, it’s nice to let them know how it’s going.
- Craft email blasts to inform investors with news about the project, additional backing and encourage them to look for investors too.
- Create a calendar with goals and expectations for the project. you should do this anyway, but sharing it with backers lets them know where you stand every step of the way.
- Be specific with where their dollars are going, and don’t lie about your numbers. Keep in mind, if you don’t reach your financial goals you get nothing, and that would be awkward to explain.
Finally, crowdfunding is a culture of support. If you support someone else’s project they’ll remember, and they may return the favor.