When it comes to acquiring funds for a new business or a project, there’s nothing more optimistic and earnest than crowdfunding.
It is also very idealistic in such that it relies heavily on the philosophy that people, in general, really do want to help each other. And with today’s easy access to the internet and social media, it is a philosophy that is not only made feasible but also encouraged.
Looking beyond one’s lofty dreams and bright ideas, however, it is also a good idea to remember that, above all, the industry of crowdfunding has become a rather lucrative business. Not only that, as its popularity as a feasible funding option increases, so does the number of people using it to fund their start-ups and projects—some of which may be as great as (or in some cases, even better than) yours. So the question now is how do you and your project and/or start-up stand out? How do you ensure that you get picked by investors from a very large crop?
In short, how do you get funded? Let us count the ways.
ESTABLISH A WEB PRESENCE WELL BEFORE YOU START YOUR CAMPAIGN.
Let’s face it—not a lot of people would give their hard earned money to a relative stranger, that is basically you as a crowdfunder. It is, therefore, a great idea to have a strong web presence well before you even start passing the hat for funding. This includes having a web page that people can reference. Even more important is your social media presence. Create Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn pages, and keep your audience posted and interested.
START YOUR CAMPAIGN MONTHS BEFORE YOU LAUNCH IT.
One great bonus with having a web presence well established before your campaign is that you can use it to get subscribers. This, in turn, translates to leads comprised of people interested enough in your project or start-up to possibly fund it. It is a great starting point when you get the word out for your campaign, as well as keep people updated on your progress.
More often than not, great crowdfunding projects already have a cadre of funders lined up, well before the public campaign is launched. This is why you should already be doing the heavy lifting in terms of promotions and marketing at least six months before the campaign goes live.
HAVE A GREAT STORY…
Crowdfunding is a lot more complicated than just selling your idea to the world. Most people love a good story, and having a great one behind your campaign is sure to get your start-up or project funded. Do not be afraid to go into plenty of detail as it is a great way to keep your audience and funders involved, making them feel that they are really part of something special.
…AND TELL IT WELL.
With a great story in your arsenal, you also need to know how to tell it right. Do know that storytelling is not at all constrained with words. In fact, a presentation done with amazing visuals in the form of high-quality images or video will be a lot more well-received. In fact, a well-made video is always the best way to get your story and message out there. As a general rule of thumb, campaigns should have two videos telling their story with each one geared towards a different call to action—one to get people to subscribe for updates, and the other to get them to contribute.
When your campaign and promotion efforts go live, expect a barrage of questions and messages from your audience. Although not all of them will convert to funders—and in fact, a good percentage will turn out to be duds—it is still a must to respond to all of them. This conveys the message that you are well-prepared and knowledgeable, as well as transparent and have nothing to hide. It’s also a great way to network.
DON’T EXPECT TO WIN OVER EVERYONE.
Last but not the least, do not expect to win over everybody. Instead, focus on winning over the demographic that will most benefit and patronize your start-up or project. You simply cannot expect for everyone to embrace your crowdfunding campaign, so manage your expectations wisely.