Below are 8 steps to creating your crowdfunding campaign:
1. Select the Site
Choose the right one for you. Although there are plenty of similarities between the various crowdfunding sites, most of them have some sort of unique positioning that could be more or less helpful to you and your campaign.
2. Know your Audience
Really understand who they are and what will motivate them about your startup. Like with any business endeavor you need to know your industry and market like the back of your hand. Keep in mind, you also need to know your crowdfunding audience. Depending on whether your campaign is equity, donation, reward, or lending based, your crowdfunding audience will have a unique set of needs and desires.
3. Create The Pitch
You’ll need a creative but concise pitch, usually in the format of a video. With the amount of content circulating the internet, it is critical that your video is compelling and immediately grabs the attention of your audience. While keeping it engaging, you will need to provide the hard stats that will make the visitor feel confident in your startup.
4. Plan Ahead
Most crowdfunding campaigns are like a reverse bell curve where the majority of funds come in at the beginning and the end of the campaign. This follows logic as people get involved when something is new and exciting or they’re nearing some sort of deadline. In order to keep your momentum consistent, plan your social media and email campaigns based on the beginning, middle, and end of the campaign and have a clear strategy for each stage.
5. Know your Financials
You need to determine what a reasonable funding goal is for your startup to get off the ground. People want to know that you will spend their money wisely and that you have a plan for how much capital you need and what it’s going to be spent on. If you have prepared detailed financial projections, you’ll know exactly how much you need and how you will spend it. If you do not have these yet, you should make it a priority.
6. Entice Your Audience
Unless your campaign is cause or donation-based, people are expecting something in return. Make sure you clearly demonstrate what your funders will be receiving for their pledge (a reward, interest, dividends, etc). Additionally, given the large number of campaigns that are competing for crowdfunding dollars, be sure that your rewards are enticing.
7. Make the Sale
Have a clear call to action (CTA). Too many crowdfunding campaigns are timid in their request for the sale. Be sure to clearly ask the visitor to contribute to your campaign.
8. Nurture Your Backers
Be sure to thank and engage your backers. Also, provide credit where credit is due, even if it’s a simple one line note, a social media thank you message, or an automated email. This will not only keep your backer happy, but it may encourage them to leverage their social networks for your campaign.
Fourth, Lastly, you’ll need to present what’s in it for them. Do they get a reward, interest on their loan, or equity? Clearly explain what they will be getting in return and make sure you don’t have any ambiguity here.