We have recently asked a number of our successfully funded crowdfunding campaigners to comment on what they thought made their campaigns work while so many others don’t. Around 10% of the campaigns on StartMe gets funded successfully so far so needless to say we were very interested to hear more about what these guys did to be in the top 10% of campaigns.
We got a range of different answers, its needless to say. Many of them agreed that apart from putting allot of work into their campaigns, they made sure that people they knew started donating early. Nearly all of those interviewed said that showing early momentum was key. But not only early momentum surely? So what else then we asked. These are some of the key points that they mentioned
What is exciting about your project. Find a way to get someone to take the time to look at your project for starters. You need to make your project relevant to THEM. You may have a real passion for your business or project, but others probably don’t. At least, not initially. So go and get them hooked by offering benefits or rewards something new, something desirable, something fun. Crowd-funding has really locked into this idea.
Introduce a sense of humour. Raising funds for your business or project is serious business. Yes of course you want to show your serious side, but also be entertaining.
Make sure you ask. Be brave, be bold, be unapologetic. Don’t offer an easy way out, offer something in return. The amount most commonly donated is R200 - R500 on www.StartMe.co.za. People tend not to go for the smallest amounts.
Make it easy for other people to spread the word. For crowdfunding, getting people to get other people onto your project is key. So provide them with resources that they will be excited to share. Get posting, tweeting, emailing—the lot.
Be careful not to over-ask. If you try to push your project every time you meet people or go online, people will tune out. Talk about other things, engage in other conversations, and then bring up your project if it is relevant.
Be a networker - Here is some great practice for being a successful entrepreneur or artist. Its all about who you know and who you meet. So make sure that you meet the right people and get them interested in you and your project.
Its not all about taking. As in life, we need to balance taking and giving. If someone asks you for time or money or effort , the first question in your mind will be - what is in this for me? Your audience are exactly the same. Put yourself in their shoes and think about what is in it for them.
Get others in on it too, right from the start. It’s estimated that in order to attract “cold” donors (in other words people who don’t know you personally) to donate via crowdfunding, there need to be at least 20 people listed as supporters. So before you go live with your campaign, rally your buddies (and your folks) behind you and get them to pledge as soon as the light turns green. Encourage them to reach out to their own networks. The success of crowdfunding is right there in its name: it’s about raising a crowd. And if you can start off with a small one already in the bag, then you’re doing well.
Crowdunding is not a magic wand. And crowdfundig is certainly not easy money. But once you’ve got things rolling, and you’ve created a community who are invested in what you do, you will not only find that you are able to raise the money needed but you may just have the start of a loyal following for your band, business or idea that can ensure that you are successful far beyond the start.