What is Crowdfunding?
Crowdfunding is a collaborative effort of individuals to pool resources, usually via the web, to support entrepreneurial, cause or creative projects initiated by other people, businesses, and community groups.
People sometimes confuse crowdfunding with crowdsourcing – another form of community engagement to outsource tasks. The distinction is crowdfunding raises money from people for an idea or something tangible and crowdsourcing pays money to people for an idea or something tangible.
Ready to Give Crowdfunding a Go?
Great, the world needs more creators taking action rather than just talking about ideas. But crowdfunding is not for the faint of heart.
Follow these tips to increase your odds of success.
1. Have a Go-to-Market Plan
A crowdfunding campaign is very similar to any other event or launch. It requires a plan including goals, strategy, a budget, and known resources in advance of going live. Don’t skimp at this critical stage and focus on raising what is required for a successful campaign.
2. Organize a Core Team
It’s estimated that 30% of funding comes from friends, family and colleagues. And it’s unlikely you’ll be able to do everything yourself – a cross-functional team is essential. Think in terms of two groups in your core team:
- Experts you need to do the work before, during, and after the campaign.
- Initial funders to help you create demand out of the gate.
Funders who don’t know you will respond when they see results and believe the risk is low or nil.
3. Create Multimedia Content for Key Channels and Stages
With so many ways to reach, engage and convert people on the web, you need a variety of content including positioning, SEO, photographs, email marketing campaigns, blog posts, elevator pitches, offers, etc. Video is a proven, low-cost way to create your pitch, help it spread, and increase funding results.
4. Be a Storyteller
We’re attracted to and inspired by stories (a narrative) that enable us to relate to characters, settings, challenges and goals. Be authentic and reveal something that isn’t common knowledge. Help others see themselves in your team’s shoes or as a consumer of your wares.
5. Cultivate Passion and Trust
Passion articulated clearly can spread like wildfire. Crowdfunding is social media and community engagement – so convey your trustworthiness through actions, proof points, clear updates and tone. Funders want to help but also want to know where their money is going and what’s in it for them.
6. Be Courageous and Innovative
Pitching a story on camera, asking for money, and promising delivery of something new are not, typically, comfort zones. Add social media and a compressed timeline and things get interesting. While you will likely lose a few people on Facebook, it’s important to respectfully push the envelope and involve others. Be true your vision and experiment.
7. Remain Flexible and Ready to Pivot
Even with a solid go-to-market plan, crowdfunding isn't predictable. This is one reason why it’s exciting and feels a little bit like a Shark Tank pitch on the web. The crowd will provide valuable feedback, either through action or not, and it’s important to tune in and be prepared to make needed changes on the fly.
8. Connect With an Audience Who Cares
Your core team of experts and initial funders care. To connect with more funders and encourage sharing by others, use a variety of marketing tactics and channels including email, social media, PR, SEO, direct mail, public speaking, etc. Social media is the backbone, but be sure to target and choreograph urgency to create results.
9. Announce With Cash in the Bank
Have enough cash to cover planned and unplanned activities during the campaign. This includes your ability to cover expenses for an additional week or two while the money you raised is making its way to your bank account.
10. Be Committed
Crowdfunding is typically a short-term, low-cost effort but your reputation lives on. If you’re going to use crowdfunding to achieve important goals, be sure to maintain integrity and deliver to the best of your ability. Protect the crowd and craft by always doing the right thing.
Posted From : http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2213375/10-Crowdfunding-Tips-for-Your-New-Product-Cause-or-Creative-Project
Our Mentors top 20 CrowdFunding campaign advise:
- Crowd comes first before Funding - Start early and be committed
- Crowd lives in the cloud . Build your office virtual and your cloud and operation using Google Apps /leverage with Google
- Build your crowd six mounts ahead
- First make sure you understand what is CrowdFunding. Then, make sure your crowd knows what is CrowdFunding six months ahead of campaign ( suggestion : email this video to them http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c25bW9rTEe8)
- CrowdFunding is a campaign with milestone. A CrowdFunding without a solid plan is just a wish and wast of your valuable time
- Do not think off doing it alone. Build your team ( www.CrowdFundingMentors.com)
- Create the best video you can / show you are an entrepreneur and not an actor . Think of video as your visual business plan and your global pitch.
- Give away good perks but watch for shipping cost and fulfillment cost before you launch
- Use a lot of images
- Build the best web portal you can prompt value. SEO as hard as you can ( white hat)
- Find your vertical, build your
- Do you risk mediation
- Come up with your funding requirement then multply it by three (3)
- Build your backer through Social media portals and;
- Email list
- phone list
- Family list
- Friends list
- Friend of friends list
- Blogs list
- Press list
- Association list
- Your backers are your best cheerleaders, salesmen, treat them very well
- Build your data base of core backers work with them as your QA and mentors
- Remember you ran out of your crowd support and funding within 3 weeks of your campaign, then plan for what then ?
- Remember you are committed to deliver after you raised the Fund, then what ?
- Support staff
- Support software ( CRM , help desk ,accounting, ERP ...etc. )
- manufacturer support / production
- Check to make sure you have not been copied. Monitor Google search and blogs
- Take a vacation and get ready for then next run and always have a plan B