The campaigns that succeed appear to follow a formula: here’s how you can work the formula for your campaign too.
There’s a variety of reasons that a crowdfunding campaign could succeed – or fail. From how you promote it to selecting your funding target, most campaigns that achieve or even exceed their goals appear to all have done so using similar methods.
To give you the best chance of enjoying similar success for your campaign, here’s some techniques, strategies and trade secrets – tried and tested by the crowdfunding champions of today – that are certainly worth exploring
1. Have a Genuinely Brilliant Project Idea
It is a truth universally acknowledged in the crowdfunding universe that if you don’t have a decent idea, cause or product at the core of your campaign, your campaign has failed before it’s even begun.
Having a genuine concept that is attractive, relevant and identifiable by your target audience, is vital if you have any hope of that audience investing in it.
That means that your story – the journey that you have taken to arrive at your idea or the background to your cause – should be front and centre in your campaign. People will not invest in a campaign that they don’t believe in or one they can see will not succeed, so you must appeal to them on a personal, authentic level.
By sharing your story of how you are turning your idea into a reality, you are explaining to them its value, why you need their support and why they should invest in it… and in you.
2. Have a Dedicated Team on the Same Wavelength
Having a large dedicated team working behind-the-scenes of your campaign is a luxury of which not many can boast, but there’s no denying it certainly helps.
As these points highlight, running a successful campaign requires concentrated effort on a very regular basis on a broad range of tasks from conception to marketing, and so the more people power you have at your disposal to do this, the less the burden on your shoulders to do it all.
Plus, as crowdfunding relies mainly on who you know, who knows them and so forth, the added benefit of a large team is that, the more people who are promoting your campaign amongst their own network, the larger your campaign’s potential pool of backers.
Beware, however, that your team needs to always be on the same wavelength in all their individual tasks: making sure the same tone is used across all campaign promotion, for example, is important, so as not to confuse – and lose – potential backers.
3. Set an Achievable Target
Whilst it’s tempting to think that crowdfunding, if successful, could leave you enough left over to buy that yacht (in your dreams), be warned: your funding target has to be proportionate to the idea you’re selling in your campaign, or very few will invest.
Your potential backers will instantly see through any campaign that claims need for a huge amount of money to achieve a significantly smaller result. Likewise, a grand idea with a low funding goal may be equally untrustworthy.
So, how do you hit that funding target sweet-spot? Simple: transparency. Make sure that you explain in your campaign exactly how every cent raised will be spent (give or take), and how you plan to use any monies exceeding the goal, if it comes to that. Your backers will trust you more if you’ve obviously done your research and if reaching your goal is an achievable possibility.
4. Plan a Realistic Timeline for the Campaign
As important as setting a funding goal that’s proportionate to your cause, is creating a realistic timeline for achieving it.
It will be immediately obvious to backers – and bear in mind they want to be a part of a successful campaign! – that your plan of reaching your target of €10,000 in three days is one that simply cannot succeed (in most cases).
Give yourself enough time to complete all the pointers on this list and to do them well, otherwise all the time and effort put into your crowdfunding campaign is unlikely to pay off.
5. Know Your Rewards
Although the primary reason for people to back your project should be because it’s worthwhile, offering perks can often be a good way to sweeten the deal.
Depending on your cause and budget, you could consider offering personal shout-outs on social media, plaques bearing top investors names being displayed, all sorts of gifts, or even advertising/branding opportunities.
Whilst rewards can add value (and thus success) to your campaign, a note of caution: make sure you can ultimately make good on your promises. Don’t forget that delivery might take time, effort and funds, and if you back out later, it will not reflect well on you or your project.
6. Keep Your Content Interesting, Relevant and Up-to-date
A campaign with winning content is usually a winning campaign. When it comes to crowdfunding, your supporters are your investors, so keeping them in the loop is beyond essential.
Honest and regular updates, via email or social media, for example, ensure that your backers will not lose interest in your project, and will keep on sharing and talking about your campaign within their own networks – other with potential investors.
Your content on your campaign page, as well as on social media or on any relevant websites and in hard copy literature (if applicable), should be consistent, attractive and up-to-date, and you should also consider publishing testimonials or calls to action to garner further interest.
7. Make Promoting your Campaign a Top Priority
When crowdfunding, the target audience for your project will be the very people who will be investing in it. That means that the marketing and promotion of your crowdfunding campaign should be absolute priority from the get-go.
Making an effective promotion plan that makes regular use of various platforms (including social media, bloggers, the press and media) will optimise your campaign for the best chances of success.
You may even consider arranging a live launch event for example, which gives you and your team the chance to personally meet and network with your potential investors and persuade them about your cause.
Whilst there is no way to guarantee success with a crowdfunding campaign, as long as you are 100% committed to it and research, plan and engage with it, then you can certainly boost your chances of achieving your fundraising goals.