Crowdfunding has become a huge fundraising resource for many entrepreneurs – companies such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo, RocketHub, Razoo,Crowdrise and PledgeMusic, to name but a few, can help make your project funding dreams come true.
Kickstarter has reportedly received more than $1.9 billion in pledges from 9.4 million backers to fund 257,000 creative projects, such as films, music, stage shows, comics, journalism, video games, technology and food-related projects.
While some crowdfunding projects take off, others crater, never getting off the ground, much less reaching their funding goal. Here are some of the things we atOOKII.Company believe you absolutely have to get right if you want to create a successful crowdfunding campaign.
Scan the main crowdfunding platforms for similar projects or even projects in a similar category. Consider waiting until those campaigns end and see how much they raise. While you are looking at who’s doing what, take a look at basic metrics. It’s a long shot trying to raise $5 millon for your eco bamboo yoga pants when the most you see raised for an item of apparel is $50,000.
This is huge and critical to your success. Everyone has a network. Before the campaign launches, reach out to your close network, including family and friends. Get them on board with the project and have them ready to reach out to their full network of contacts. Start building that mailing database. Leveraging your personal networks is a key first step in your campaign.
Opinion Leaders and Influencers
Prior to launch identify influencers who are willing and able to review your product during the course of the campaign. If you don’t already know who they are, you will find them in blogs, online communities and more traditional media. Send them production samples so they can become familiar with the product before you launch.
If done well the product video will become the focal point of your campaign. There are no second chances to create a first impression, so don’t skimp on this element of your launch. Potential backers will watch your video and within about 30 seconds they will have made a decision about pledging, or not! Hire a professional who can not only shoot and edit video but who can also help create a story board – which is basically a sequence of drawings, typically with some directions and script, representing the shots planned for your product video.
Like a professional video, high resolution, high quality images will pay for themselves. Use these images for all your communications; social networks, press releases, blog posts and email blasts. You don’t need hi-res for social media but you will for print articles so produce them all at hi-res and make life easy for yourself.
Create and issue periodic updates. Build the email database as backers make pledges and use direct mail AND updates to communicate. Publish updates when you hit benchmarks and thank your backers, use them to relay new rewards. Celebrate your wins, your backers, influencers and other media love being associated with successful crowdfunding stories. Your backers already like your project, so they should be some of your biggest fans. Make it easy for them to share on social media by including paragraphs and images they can copy/paste. And explicitly ask them to help spread the word – assume nothing!
In our experience press releases will drive some of the highest converting traffic to your crowdfunding campaign. Consider partnering with a public relations agency such as OOKII Company, who can write and distribute well-written press releases, which generate engagement throughout your campaign.
Hopefully this post has raised your awareness about what is needed in terms of public relations and communications when it comes to crowdfunding, and how an agency such as OOKII Company can help de-risk the project and increase your likelihood of success.
First published by Adrian G Stewart at OOKII.Company