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CrowdFunding 101

The 5 Crowdfunding Duh's

posted May 18, 2015, 7:56 PM by Sam Khorram   [ updated May 20, 2015, 10:57 AM by Rafael Hernandez ]

Introduction: The first of many articles to come, I decided to put this together because it seems every crowdfunding related article I find has a hidden pitch or ulterior motive. Feel free to call me out if I ever slip into that here - that being said:

There are some obvious crowdfunding 'duh's' like be fully transparent, build your crowd, and don't copy intellectual property- for the most part people tend to follow the rules.

Then, there are the less obvious duh's


1. Crowdfunding is not a field of dreams

As obvious as this may seem to some clearly a vast majority of the crowd still doesn't get it. The "wait for them to come" approach doesn't work it never really has you need to seek out your audience. Online communities are cluttered and noisy you need to cut through the uselessness and hunt down your crowd. 

If you build [ your crowdfunding campaign page ] they will not come! You need to attract the crowd there.




2. Do extensive research

I can't tell you how many client's come to me after a successful campaign and say "If we knew what we know now, we would have waited a year before launch"

You lose nothing by being prepared. Specifically what I mean by research is: if you're creating a campaign (for example) to fund a manufactured product, don't do a quick 3D model and get a fly-by quote for 5,000 units from your local design company. More often than not the 3D model will change more than 10 times and that quote will get multiplied. 

Factor in real shipping costs based on weight and size, not estimates. I repeat, not estimates! (more on that later) Calculate how much of a percentage you will be giving up to Kickstarter or whatever platform you're using and credit card fees, some cards have higher rates than others (e.g. American Express)


3. Be truthful with yourself

Chances are your invention/service/company has been done before and unless it's as revolutionary as the introduction of the personal computer (and no your Apple Watch + iPhone Mount is not as game changing as you think) you need to answer one simple question. What problem are you solving? 

Really? What do you bring to the table that your competition doesn't? If you can't answer that question to yourself truthfully you need to take a step back and reevaluate a bit.


4. Be brutally realistic about goals

We hear so much about the Crowdfunding success stories like Pebble Time (20M Raised) and Reading Rainbow successfully funded with over 100,000 backers 

Realistically, you are not going to have Levar Burton's reach so having a product or service that needs ~10,000+ backers to become viable most likely isn't a crowdfund-able project... yet.

Now, I don't want to say this is impossible without a celebrity, it can most definitely be done, with the correct marketing budget and goals. But, you can't expect to raise $500,000 with a marketing budget of $1,000.

5. Never lose your motivation

If you are passionate enough to have reached the real crowdfunding stage, not the "oh Kickstarter?! I can raise money there" stage. The stage where you've done all the work and all you need now is support and market validation then you are constantly going to face hurdles and challenges, each harder than the previous one. Do not let it get you down.


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Reach out to me on Twitter (@sallarkhorram) I love to talk about crowdfunding, small biz, startups, & tech. Btw if you row we'll get along great!





By: Sallar Khorramshahi
CBO @CrwdFndPlanning & #Crowdfunding Mentor ・ Exploring Live Stream #Periscope



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