Be it dreaming about building a life-changing tech-startup or your passion for Romanian art project or working in grassroots to create change or simply going overseas, crowdfunding can make your dreams come true.
Here are some tips to help you maximise the potential of your crowdfunding campaign.
Choose the right platform
The concept of crowdfunding has been evolving since the last two decades. 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 [amount, 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 many crowdfunding websites catering to specific domains such as creativity, innovation, etc. Choosing platforms serving niche domains can have both pros and cons.
Creating a campaign does not guarantee any donations from the very next moment. It requires a considerable amount of pre-work up to launch a campaign.
A pre-launch two weeks before your campaign goes live can help you to reach approximately 20 percent of your goal within the first 10 days. Offering eye-catching digital gifts or perks can make your pre-launch exciting. You can encourage your supporters to help you either by building an email database or by sharing your pre-launch in their networks.
Go to relevant events, build up a social following, and create a buzz about your campaign launch. Having a strong start boosts your campaign and helps in raising the target amount.
Your story, why?
With many other projects trying to make their best impression on the same platform, you only get one chance to stand out from the crowd. A good story can create an emotional connect and convince people to contribute.
“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it,” says Simon Sinek. Narrate it as a storyteller, 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.
Rewards can make wonders
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. Put yourself in your donor’s shoes, design some amazing rewards for them. You can also include some early bird rewards on higher amounts.
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 if you can connect rewards with what you do.
Shout-out in every way possible
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 to send out an email blast to all your contacts who are most likely to contribute to your campaign. Curate social media posts that are exciting and encourage people to donate.
You can consider posting countdown social posts to pull in more donations.
Write blogs, answer questions on quora, and engage with everyone you meet. 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.
Engage with your supporters
Many campaigners commit a common mistake of not adequately engaging with their supporters. Don’t be one of them.
Post updates about your campaign regularly and drop thank you emails. Reply to all comments on your campaign.
Campaign supporters are the early adopters of your dream. No business or relation runs without trust, ensure you keep things clear and transparent at what you are doing, revert promptly and win them.
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 early adopters, get them in and then go for the others.
Keep the ball rolling, don’t let a day go without a single donation. Keep things going, everyone will love to back you, if the momentum continues.
Reach out to media
Once the campaign hits 50 percent of the goal, curate an amazing story with a catchy headline and reach out media. Keep reaching out to media throughout the campaign with your achievements and some major 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 smashing your end goal.
Time to celebrate
Once you successfully raise funds, connect with every donor and express your gratitude, make them feel it is their celebration.
Celebrate every donation that you receive, acknowledge everyone.
The potential of crowdfunding is limitless, it’s your chance to make something big for you.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)