You’ve developed your pitch, honed your comms and got your crowdfunding up and running. Job done? Far from it. Here are our ten top tips to get the most out of your crowdfunding venture.
1. See the big picture
Don’t think of your crowdfunding project in isolation, think of it as you would any other marketing campaign; a stepping-stone on the path to a long and beautiful relationship with your supporters! Yes, we know it’s cheesy, but you really do want to turn those funders into fans.
- Wet the appetite of your audience
- Give them an offer they can’t refuse
- Show you actually give two hoots about them
2. Develop an arsenal of resources
Blogs, social media, pr, website updates, e-mail, direct mail, there are so many channels you can use to get word out there. One size won’t fit all, but you can be smart about developing a range of resources such as stories, images and videos that you can use across your channels. Keep it consistent and keep plugging those key messages.
3. Create a buzz
Crowdfunding is more personal that a trip to the bank manager, so you need to tell your story and make sure it’s strong, consistent and impacting. When you hit a milestone, such as getting 50% of your funding, make a song and dance about it – quite literally if you have to. Video is a great little tool and we’ve just produced one to help Fourex get funding for their currency exchange machine.
4. Keep plugging away
"The worst mistake you can make is thinking that it'll be easy," says strategist Jason Best of Crowdfund Capital Advisors. "Anytime you raise money, it's hard, real work and requires a way to be able to engage the customer community." So, develop your comms plan, get your message out there and don’t give up. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day!
5. Be accountable
Just because there’s no big bank manager sitting opposite you, doesn’t mean you can get slack about the details. Get your finances up to date, your projections on point and have a clear plan so people know what your timeline is and when they can expect their return
It’s worth preparing for all eventualities, so think about what you’ll do if you get more money than you need, and also what you’ll do if you don’t get quite enough.
6. Fulfil your promises
You need to have a plan of action for when you smash your target. If you promised your funders the first product off the press, they’ll be chomping at the bit to know when that will be. Get yourself sorted in advance, so you’re not on the back foot.
7. Maintain momentum
The end of the crowdfunding campaign merely sparks the start of the next project! You’ll be on a bit of a high when you’ve hit that target, so pass that enthusiasm on to your funders. Remember, everyone wants to be on the winning team, so let your funders revel in the success too.
8. Say thank you
We might not want to admit it, but we all want to feel loved. A little TLC can go a long way. A no strings attached, no underlying agenda, pure, unadulterated ‘thank you’ can be a monumental step in your relationship with your funders.
9. Don’t be greedy
Even if your project has been a rip-roaring success, don’t be tempted to stick your fingers back in the piggy bank too soon. Marketing is all about building relationships, not merely processing transactions. Your funders are certainly a warm point of contact for the future, but they want to see the success of your project before they cough up more cash.
10. Get some inspiration
Crowdfunding is really taking off, so if you need a little more inspiration, then take a look at some of the companies who are really making it work for them. Chapel Down wines raised a staggering £3.9m from their first venture, Just Park raised £3.7m for their parking app and Pop Recs found themselves £6,000 worth of funding in just four hours for a pop up record shop.
If you’re not sure how to make the most of your crowdfunding venture then we can help. You can call us on 01892 541111, email or drop in for a chat.
If you’re keen to get a bigger idea of what this brave new world is all about then, on 21 April, we’ll be at Crowdfinders Live Event in London. Apparently it’s ‘the world’s most comprehensive, informative and dynamic crowdfunding summit’ – so you don’t want to miss out!