Many of us dream of starting our own social business. There is something glamorous about being the captain of your own ship. You determine where the business goes, who you help, and what purpose you serve. It is exciting, scary, and will make you grow like never before.
Entrepreneurial ventures are rarely completely funded out of one’s own pocket. Entrepreneurs are increasingly looking to crowdfunding platforms to to raise the money they need to fund their new products. If you are considering this route, take a look at our list of six top tactics to ensure crowdfunding success:
1. Live, eat and breathe your story
You should be the one person who knows your campaign inside out. Ask yourself what, how and why you’re doing what you’re doing, and be prepared to communicate that repeatedly over a period lasting several months. Positivity, passion and commitment are infectious, so put on a brave face when the going gets tough and you’re more likely to reap the rewards.
2. Know your audience
Whatever you’re raising funds for, you’ll need to understand who will be funding you and their motivations for doing so. A successful campaign depends on these individuals, so nurture your relationship with them. Conducting market research will be imperative to your understanding of your customer, in addition to the ways in which you communicate your offering to them.
3. Reach out
What’s the use of starting a campaign if nobody else knows about it? Reaching out to your audience and potential backers means creating a communications strategy that covers the time periods before, during and after your campaign. Get in touch with everyone and their mother, asking them to share your journey with their own networks as well. Market research should help you decide the best channels to reach your customer segments and communications should be tailored to their interests.
4. Take it offline, too
Whilst crowdfunding can seem like an online venture a lot of the time, offline promotion is equally important in getting your message across. Utilise community groups and consider hosting an event: some campaigners hosting a launch party have got as much as half of their total funding in a single evening!
Be clear on what each piece of communication is trying to achieve, and deliver it with your signature passion and devotion.
5. Create value for funders
The ‘rewards’ feature of crowdfunding sites is an excellent way of creating an ‘exchange’ rather than promoting a purely charitable relationship. Scott Steinberg suggests in The Crowdfunding Bible that incentivising donations by giving funders something attractive, accessible and tangible increases your chances of hitting your target dramatically. Of course, always keep your rewards in line with your budget.
6. Never give up, even if you don’t reach your target
A failed crowdfunding campaign doesn’t necessarily equate to a failed offering or product. Could you have had a more thought-out communication strategy? Were your timings wrong? Was your target too ambitious? Know that if you believe in your story and commit to its success, you will yield results in the long run.
Crowdfunding can be an excellent tool that not only raises funds for your venture, but lifts your brand and enhances your customer relationships for the future.
Photo by Simon Cunningham Flickr/CC/ BY 2.0