Have you ever wished you could start your own business or had a revolutionary idea for tomorrow’s next million-dollar invention?
If so, you’ll be pleased to know that crowdfunding gives you the power to grow an entire empire or bring a mere idea to life almost overnight. Well, not literally overnight, but I know you get the drift.
It is not also not surprising that 90% of the present day’s most successful startups use this new effective online-based strategy to raise funds and obtain the necessary financial backing needed to breathe life into business blueprints.
But before you’re tempted to think that it’s all fun and games, think of it this way. Crowdfunding, unlike charity, is built on merit and not simple sympathy. You have to give people a reason to believe in you and your idea.
And as you’ll come to find out, the key to success, no matter where or how you seek funding, is directly linked to the amount of work you put into your idea – and that happens even before you launch your campaign.
Nonetheless, let’s first put things into the right perspective.
What is Crowdfunding?
Crowdfunding (in its simplest form) is the process of asking the general public for donations that provide startup capital for new ventures. With this technique, entrepreneurs and other business owners normally bypass venture capitalists and angel investors entirely and through the use of Internet they can reach as many users and private parties as their resources (platform) can allow.
The power of crowdfunding is this: it gives creators a reason to ask for support and contributions from interested parties without necessarily asking them to invest directly in it. Contrary to conventional presales, it’s a way of asking for help to turn an idea into reality without wearing down folks with BS and other irrelevant stuff that general adverts wield.
Basically, there are three pieces to the crowdfunding puzzle:
However, before you can even begin your crowdfunding venture, you have to make some important decisions first. Chief among them is deciding exactly how you will fund your project through public support.
When it comes to raising capital through outreach to public donors, you essentially have two choices which can and should be mixed with one another:
Option 1: Use an existing crowdfunding service
There are plenty you can choose from, such as:
But a word of caution, though. Almost all of the major crowdfunding platforms make it clear from the word go that promoting your campaign is your responsibility.
For instance, Kickstarter and Indiegogo, (the two largest platforms so far) have it pretty clear in their playbook that they offer an amplification opportunity, but don’t guarantee anyone a funded campaign, or even a crowd. That, my friend, is your very own responsibility.
Option 2:Utilize your own website etc.
You can utilize your own website, online portals and any existing network of connections to provide campaigns built around special offers.
There’s no denying that a well-orchestrated crowdfunding campaign attracts lots of publicity. Getting investors onboard, better branding and new associates are just but a few positive perks of good pre-crowdfunding prepping. And, contrary to what some think, these too can be thought of unseen cash cows. But that’s a story for another day.
Back to crowdfunding through social media, and a majority of entrepreneurs will often get stuck when it comes to converting their avenues into actual ‘sales’ or pledges. For starters, posting your campaign on Facebook/Twitter post just isn’t enough. One needs smarter and creative ways to convert every bit of traffic into a pledge. Think about paid Facebook adverts, create a dedicated page and most importantly connect to other similar content pages/community in your preferred social media avenue.
Additionally, try running a social contest, it’s a good strategy for achieving a strong pre-funding subscriber boost.