Do you need funds to make your dream come true?
Whether you are dreaming of building a life-changing tech startup or passionate for your Romanian art project or working in grassroots to create change or simply dreaming of 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 crowdfunding concept has been evolving since past 20 years, 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 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 ensure that you will start receiving donations from the very next moment. It requires a considerable amount of pre-work up to launch a campaign.
A pre-launch before two weeks of your campaign going live, can help you to reach ~20% of your goal within first 10 days. Offering eye-catching digital gifts or perks can make pre-launch exciting. You can encourage your supporters to help you, whether by building email database or by sharing your prelaunch 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 only 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 does, 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 & everything to capture the viewer’s attention and pull them in.
Rewards Can Create 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. Big comes with something ‘Big.’ Place yourself in the shoes of your donors, design some amazing rewards for them. You can try including 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
Realise that 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 does your campaign matters for you.
Strategise to send out an email blast to entire contact list 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, engage with everyone you meet. Keep the funds flowing.
Tweet to the 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. 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 Going
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’s 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 The Media
Once the campaign hits 50% of the goal, curate an amazing story with a catchy headline and reach out to the media. Keep reaching out to the media throughout the campaign with your achievements and some major updates or announcements.
Hitting a major milestone big can make your campaign get featured everywhere and boost it even 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.
Want to make your dream happen or Build something path breaking. Start your crowdfunding campaign at www.growthhub.co. You can also participate in the Growthhub Crowdfunding challenge between now and 15 Feb 2015. It is an event organised by eDC IIT Delhi and GrowthHub as a part of the e-summit 2017. Get a chance to win INR 5 Lakhs worth of prizes on raising Rs 1 lakhs. For more details, visit our page.
About The Author
[The author of this post is Manikanth Deverakonda – founder of Growthhub, a community-based crowdfunding platform for empowering dreams.]