Mechanism And Tips On How To Start a Successful Crowdfunding
Crowdfunding is becoming a popular way to raise money for new ideas and products. But launching a successful crowdfunding campaign has never been easier.
This guide will show you how to plan, prepare and start a successful crowdfunding campaign, and how to keep your ideas a lasting business after the campaign ends.
What Is Crowdfunding?
Crowdfunding is often a direct return from an unspecified number of people who want to see the success of a project, rather than raising large sums of money from a single source like banks and retail investors. In exchange, it is a way to raise a small amount of money.
The concept of crowdfunding isn’t new but in the last decade or so, with the advent of sites like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Crowddfunder, and Makuake, and CAMPFIRE in Japan, who’s online for business, merchandise, or charity? However, the process of soliciting support in a form that allows participation has become easier. These companies act as virtual intermediaries for entrepreneurs and backers, providing a system and space for hosting campaigns, as well as a cash receiver.
What Is The Function Of Crowdfunding?
Crowdfunding sites provide a place to host campaigns. It is usually in exchange for a percentage of the funds raised. Supporters of the campaign will be given different returns depending on the level of funding they provide. These returns include exclusive merchandise, pre-access to merchandise, and more. And the more money you provide, the better your returns.
Most crowdfunding sites require you to set financial goals for your campaign and how long it takes to reach those goals (typically 30-90 days). On some platforms, you can keep all of the money raised during the campaign, whether or not you reach your goal. Companies like Kickstarter also use an all-or-nothing model that refunds funds to backers if the campaign is inadequate.
If the campaign is successful, you can leverage the audience built by crowdfunding efforts and continue to gain a position to become a sustainable business.
Three Types Of Crowdfunding
Crowdfunding projects can be divided into three main types:
- Stock-type: Stock-type crowdfunding is a method of raising funds in return for the provision of private equity.
- Donation type: With donation type crowdfunding, there is no financial return for supporters. It is often used in charity.
- Purchase type: This is the type of so-called crowdfunding. Supporters can get returns for new products and services instead of investing. This article mainly introduces purchase-type crowdfunding.
Benefits Of Crowdfunding
Crowdfunding offers some valuable perks in addition to being a great way to fund a startup.
Can Verify Ideas
The more you understand the upcoming products and target markets, the less financial risk you have and the better tools for conducting market research.
Pre-sale of a product through a campaign gives a clear answer to the question “Who will buy the product?” And helps to validate the idea. Manufacturing a product without showing how to sell it later can also waste a lot of time and money if the demand for the idea is not very high.
And if you know that some people want the products they sell, you can confidently implement and expand your plans.
Being able to build solid followers before shipping an item is an important advantage. Crowdfunding helps build an enthusiastic audience to keep up with the growth of your business, especially when combined with social media and media coverage.
Can Create a Source Of Funding
Securing money is time-consuming and difficult for many entrepreneurs. In particular, ideas and new business models that haven’t come out yet don’t look attractive to conservative lenders like banks, and even if they meet individual investors who support their business, they usually trade for it. In many cases, some of the stocks are abandoned.
Successful crowdfunding campaigns can be a daunting task, but for many founders, it’s easier to get funding than traditional methods.
What Kind Of Business Is The Target Of Crowdfunding?
There are no restrictions on what kind of products or businesses are crowdfunded, but successful projects have some things in common.
Specific Products: Crowdfunding success stories often focus on individual products rather than shops. The reason for this is that backers tend to want to support tangible items rather than a wide range of ideas. For the best chance, seek help with the best products. Creating a store is not too late, even after the first idea is successful.
Products for targeted niche audiences: Create products that fill the needs and gaps that exist in your daily life and find the markets that are urgently needed.
Strong differentiation: In order to attract attention and attract supporters, we must develop something that is not available anywhere else. Let’s research so that it becomes a product that can be differentiated.
Crowdfunding Campaign Marketing And Promotion
Think of a crowdfunding campaign as an extension of product launches, and for a successful campaign you need to be serious about marketing and public relations before and during the campaign.
There are a few things you need to do to get your audience to be supportive, such as compelling videos, great product photos, and catchphrases for compelling campaigns.
Campaign videos can be used multiple times across multiple platforms and form the basis of marketing activities. It’s the same whether you’re making the video yourself or with a professional team. Try to explain the following in your script:
Who You Are: Talk to potential supporters about yourself and your experience.
Product Stories: Explain your ideas, your business situation, why your products are important to you, and why they are important to your target audience.
Why you need help: Explain why you want to raise money through crowdfunding and how your money will be spent. Please appeal for direct support as much as possible.
Returns offered: Be sure to include an overview of the most interesting returns and the ones that you find most appealing to your supporters.
By the way, it’s important to note here that the video should be a few minutes long and the key points should be briefly communicated.
Photos must look professional, as depending on the quality of the product photo, it can be a dichotomy between putting potential supporters on your side or moving them away.
Please see the links below to take pictures, regardless of budget.
- Easy at home! What are the tips for taking professional-looking product photos?
- Introducing tips and techniques for shooting products that you can do at home
- The best way to take apparel photos for online shops
The pictures can show the prototype of the product and its specifications even better. Include other visuals that may help supporters get a complete picture of the brand, such as real-world behind-the-scenes shots and photos showing progress so far.
Communicating human views within the company to potential supporters can create a sense of connection with each other.
A good copy is just as important to crowdfunding as a high-quality photo. A compelling title and a clear, powerful language description of the project are essential to the success of the campaign.
Keep your project title (the headline at the top of your campaign) simple, specific, and memorable. Be sure to include the project or product name in the title.
Introducing the campaign clearly tells the supporter what the product is, what problems it can solve, how it differs from other products in the market, why it is important to the customer, etc. Let’s convey it. Instead of having them read the entire campaign page, make good use of the basics to make them want to read more.
PR (Public Relations)
Reaching relevant people about the genres involved in the campaign is an important part of a crowdfunding campaign. When you hear PR, you may be worried about selling to famous media, but the approach is the same whether you are a big media, a small blogger, or an influencer on social media.
Create And Investigate a Huge Contact List
It’s an unacceptable fact, but it will be bypassed by many who reach it that way. Bloggers and media receive dozens of emails and consultations a day, so they can’t respond to all of them.
If you do a survey of the media that might cover the campaign, the actual relevance shouldn’t be that widespread. Working with people who have nothing to do with your niche is a waste of time for both parties.
Consider whether the following are true for each person in the media and make sure you choose the right person.
- The writer previously covered other crowdfunding campaigns and belongs to the same industry
- The product is in an industry that writers can cover
- The product is based on or relevant to what the writer previously covered.
Reach Before Launching The Campaign
You don’t have to start a campaign before you can reach the press and influencers. Expectations for the campaign will be even higher if you get strong media coverage within the first few days of the campaign.
Write a Compelling Pitch
Keep the pitch concise and accurate. Tell reporters and bloggers how your product fits and try to keep track of the most important points. Also, include a link to the video. Videos are the fastest way to introduce products and can be easily embedded in stories and blog posts.
You don’t have to stop selling after the campaign starts. Writers are always looking for interesting stories. The media likes topics such as handmade original success.
Focusing on social media is as useful as media coverage. Leverage a personal network to create a topic before launching a campaign. Ask old people to share your campaign details on social media feeds, blogs, newsletters, and more. It will help with further promotion and will also attract attention to your own crowdfunding platform.
Plan a Successful Cloud Campaign From Start To Finish
Most of the success is determined by marketing activities. However, there are other important factors to make a long-term business that can be sustained even after the end of the campaign, such as the schedule of the campaign and the logistics to give returns to the supporters.
Determine The Timeline
Short campaigns look confident. You should have enough time to reach the largest audience, but not long enough to bury your campaign in other campaigns. Knowing that the campaign has only a few days left and making supporters think they should take action now can also be a factor in success.
Selection Of Returns (privileges) By Level
Return level selection and pricing are important strategic steps in the crowdfunding process. We set and provide various returns to guide users to support their projects and products. If purchasing the product itself is an important perk, set up some high-end perks, including low-priced options for those who just want to support. The following is an example of a typical crowdfunding return.
- Branded Novelty Goods: Branded stickers, T-shirts, bags and other perks that make you proud to participate are popular. These low-priced perks are a good option, especially if the product cost is high.
- Pre-ordering a product: One of the most popular perks is the right to early access to the product, or the right to get it at a discounted price, which is the best way to validate demand. If most of your marketing material focuses on the benefits of your product, you may have a high conversion rate for your pre-sale benefits.
- Unique and special experience: Supporters will be interested in the benefits of providing special access to the brand, such as one-on-one consultations with the founders of the campaign and invitations to special events. These experiences can reduce the working hours of the provider, so please use them as high-end returns.
It’s important to price returns in a sustainable way. Also, if you offer a discounted price as a return in exchange for assistance, double-check all costs, including shipping. If you offer one-on-one, you need to control the number of returns. By doing so, it will not interfere with your daily work.
Supporters also know that crowdfunding is not the same as buying an off-the-shelf product. But be aware that they aren’t helping with zero expectations.
Before launching the campaign, we will prepare an informed production schedule quote. To make those estimates, consider the following:
- How many products do you plan to make? Producing one unit is different from producing 100, and producing 100 is different from producing 10,000.
- How long does it take to produce?
- How long does it take to receive the item from the manufacturer?
- How long does it take to achieve a campaign return?
These will help you complete the manufacturing process before you start the campaign (don’t forget to set additional flextime, considering unexpected delays). The initial timeline is likely to change as the plan progresses, but a well-thought-out estimate can tell you what you can expect from your supporters. In the unlikely event of a delay, notify your supporters as soon as possible and provide them with the latest appointments.
Delivery And Fulfillment (General Business)
Before launching the campaign, make sure the manufacturer can ship to your place of residence.
Then, prepare to ship the products together to the supporter. If 1,000 supporters make a reservation for a product, the order for 1,000 pieces will be packed and shipped. Planning can be very helpful in achieving a smooth fulfillment process. Did you choose a delivery company?
Do you know each shipping class and price? Do I need to print the label? Do you take international shipping into account? Be sure to keep these factors in mind when setting and pricing return levels and notifying supporters of your timeline.
If you have little experience in managing money in your business, you should pay particular attention to managing your income and expenses. Proper management will be effective in subsequent cash flow management, tax affairs, and even expenditures, and will enable you to maximize your income.
Communication With Supporters
The supporters of your campaign are fans, supporters, and customers. Therefore, let’s update the campaign and products frequently. Frequent updates can win their credibility, make them think about further help, and keep them credible in the unlikely event of a delay. Many crowdfunding tools have an e-mail newsletter feature, so let’s use it to keep you informed. Below are some ideas that can be posted on the e-mail newsletter.
- News about mid-term funding goals
- Update information on the manufacturing process
- Behind-the-scenes photos
- New product or product variation
- New or expanded return level
- New in-stock items
- Thank you message
Successful Crowdfunding Campaign
Many successful businesses started with crowdfunding. Here are some examples from Shopify merchants.
- GNARBOX: A multimedia management company that created a pre-launch list of 20,000 audiences and raised over $ 500,000 in 30 days before launching a crowdfunding campaign.
- BodyBoss: A digital service with real merchandise aimed at “taking the gym to you.” Launched on multiple crowdfunding platforms one after another, more than $ 500,000 was raised on Kickstarter and $ 1.3 million on Indiegogo in the process.
- Wipebook: Two entrepreneurs have come up with a notebook that can be erased like a whiteboard to eliminate waste. It’s about selling the first version of your product to validate demand before expanding the topic. Within a few hours, we reached our $ 4,000 funding goal and successfully raised over $ 500,000 in a 30-day campaign.
Establish An Online Presence
The best time to establish your presence on the web is before or during the campaign.
If you’re featured on your crowdfunding platform or get the attention of social media or the press, you’ll see many visitors visiting the campaign page. If you have a unique presence that will survive the end of the campaign, you can build links from early-established websites, which will benefit you from long-term SEO.
Campaigns should ultimately be treated as a means of bringing customers to a platform they own and manage.
Are there any unique announcements or content that could serve as a blog? Do you want many people to know not only the product but also the brand story? Do you have any products you would like to know about? These are good ways to build relationships with your supporters. The information that can be stored on the campaign page is limited, so I definitely want to make use of it.
If you have your Twitter or Facebook profile active, you’ll probably have more followers once the campaign starts. This will be useful for future marketing and engagement. The same logic applies to websites, which not only gives you the opportunity to get attention but also makes a great start, such as creating a mailing list for future engagement and sales.
The Campaign Is Just The Beginning
Crowdfunding campaigns help to secure the funds needed to produce a product, but they are also noteworthy from a long-term perspective of building a lasting business.
Think of a crowdfunding campaign as a wedding. We want to make the wedding magnificent, but most importantly, it’s a long-term success. Successful campaigns prove market demand, connect with active supporters, and You can finally get the money to start a real business. Please give it a try!