Do you need funds to make your dream happen ?
Whether you are dreaming of building a life changing tech-startup or passionate for your Romanian art project or working in grassroots to create change or simply dreaming of going overseas, crowdfunding can make your dreams come true.
Here are some tips to help you maximise the potential of your crowdfunding campaign:
1. Choose the right platform
The concept of crowdfunding has been evolving for around two decades now. Today you can find many fundraising websites to start a campaign.
Here is a checklist to consider, before you decide on a website to host your campaign:
- Offered Pricing of the crowdfunding website
- Payment transfers policy to your bank account (mount, lead time and All-or-Nothing policy, etc.)
- Customer Traffic on the crowdfunding platform
- Average success rate of the campaigns on that platform
- Fundraising Assistance: Campaign Manager, building strategies, boosting campaign, etc.
There are crowdfunding websites catering to specific domains such as creativity, innovation, and the like. Choosing platforms that serve niche campaigns can have both pros and cons.
2. Fundraise pre-launch
Creating a campaign does not ensure that you will start receiving contributions or pledges the moment your launch. It requires a considerable amount of pre-launch work in order to succeed — sort of a pump-priming, so to speak.
A pre-launch around two weeks before your campaign goes live can help you to reach around 20 per cent of your goal within the first 10 days. Offering eye-catching digital gifts or perks can make the pre-launch exciting. You can encourage your supporters to help you, whether by building email database or by sharing your prelaunch across their social networks.
Go to relevant events, build up a social following and create a buzz around your campaign launch. Having a strong start boosts your campaign and helps in raising the target amount.
3. Be creative in sharing your story: Start with “Why?”
With many other projects trying to make their best impression on the same platform, you only get only one chance to stand out from the crowd. A good story can create an emotional connection and convince people to contribute.
“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it,” says Simon Sinek, leadership and management speaker and author of Start With Why. Narrate it as a storyteller does — tell why it matters to you and show how passionate you are.
Capture the audience imagination with eye-catching images or an amazing video. Creatively crafted videos can do magic.
Do anything and everything to capture the viewer’s attention and pull them in.
4. Be generous and creative with rewards
Your story might be amazing, but if you don’t focus on what is in it for the donors, you might end up receiving very little money. Big comes with something big. Picture yourself in shoes of your donors; and then design some amazing rewards for them. You can try including some early bird rewards or bigger rewards for bigger contributions.
Ensure you develop truly compelling rewards for your backers. One of the best ways of doing this is to google some of the most successful fundraising campaigns and browse through their rewards. Try to connect rewards with what you do.
In short, be creative!
5. Shout-out in every way possible
Realise that many of the supporters may not be familiar about crowdfunding. So buckle up for a crazy tussle. Maximise your shout-out using all channels available and paint a vivid picture of how your campaign matters for you.
Strategise and send targeted email messages to customers who are most likely to contribute to your campaign. Curate social media posts that are exciting and which encourage people to contribute.
You can consider posting countdown social posts to pull in more donations.
Write blogs, answer questions on Quora, engage with everyone you meet. Keep the funds flowing.
Tweet influencers and famous personalities in your domain and ask for funds. Marketing has no limits. Do everything you can, but ensure you don’t annoy anyone.
6. Engage with your supporters
Many campaigners commit the common mistake of not adequately engaging their supporters. Don’t be one of them.
Post updates about your campaign regularly. Drop thank you emails. Reply to all comments on your campaign.
Campaign supporters are the early adopters of your dream. No business or relationship runs without trust, ensure you keep things clear and transparent at what you are doing, revert promptly, and win them.
7. Keep the momentum
Everyone wants to be part of something big. Many people in your network will back you when they see something amazing is ‘on’ or many others are already supporting you. Make a list of your campaign’s early adopters, get them in and then go for the others.
Keep the ball rolling; don’t let a day go without a single contribution. People like being part of things if they can see the momentum going.
8. Reach out to media across channels
Once the campaign hits 50 per cent of the goal, curate an amazing story with a catchy headline and reach out to various media channels. Keep reaching out with your achievements, especially when you havemajor updates or announcements.
Hitting something big can make your campaign featured and get boosted further.
With every new backer, you improve your chances of media coverage and reaching your end goal.
9. Take time to celebrate
Once you successfully raise funds, connect with every contributor and express your gratitude. Make them feel that it is their celebration.
Celebrate every contribution that you receive; acknowledge everyone who participates.
The potential of crowdfunding is limitless. Whether you are raising funds to launch your product, contribute to a good cause, or support a work of art, it’s your chance to make something big out of small things.
Manikanth Devarakonda is Co-founder at www.growthhub.co, a crowdfunding platform that helps you make your dream happen or build something pathbreaking. You can also participate in the Growthhub Crowdfunding challenge between now and 15 February 2015. It is an event organised by eDC IIT Delhi and GrowthHub as a part of the e-summit 2017, where participants can win cash prizes for raising funds.
The views expressed here are of the author’s, and e27 may not necessarily subscribe to them. e27 invites members from Asia’s tech industry and startup community to share their honest opinions and expert knowledge with our readers. If you are interested in sharing your point of view, submit your post here.
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