However well your crowdfund does, the whole process from start to finish is a journey. A journey that is so fast and pressurised it is like going through a wormhole, compressing everything into an 8 week period; your marketing vision, your relationship with your customers and your handle on social media!
In order to ensure your journey develops more wormhole rather than blackhole it is key that you take note of several things:
- Planning. Your plan will change, but work out what each member of the team will do for every day of the crowdfund. Who will you contact, and how. What visuals will you produce? Who will do the thank yous? Make sure you understand your core message, but change how you say it so it doesn’t get boring! At the end of your crowdfund you can look back and see how much of your original plan changed!
- Your donors are your customers. They are gold-dust. They will get to know you very well over the period of the crowdfund, and you will certainly get to know what they like and what they don’t like, be prepared to listen. Some companies spend a lot of money on this kind of information – you, instead, are spending an intensive period of time, and lots of sweat.
- Use your crowdfund to co-create. Let your donors help develop your product or service. If you’ve got them hooked they’ll have plenty of ideas from their perspective and will be more loyal in the longer term.
- The end of the crowdfund is really only the beginning. Before your launch, few people will have heard of you or what you are trying to do. Now you are in the public eye – you’ve made promises and now it’s time to keep them. Make sure if you’ve got rewards, send them with thank you’s, send them on time, and send them to the right address!
- Make sure you take a break at the end. It is such an intensive period of time, emotions are frayed and you may even ask ‘was it worth it’. It really will have been, but to get onto the next phase you really need to be fresh, not run ragged and have no energy.
Watch our film interview with Medicine’s Dark Secrets here just after they finished their crowdfund on Indiegogo. Learn from them how they managed their journey, and what tips they have for others deciding to crowdfund.
When you “don’t know what to do”, you seek information. Then you may know what to do, but the danger is you don’t do it. So, what we want to focus on is the WHEN to do it” because this helps you to avoid procrastination. The infuriating “should I” “could I” thoughts that take over your mental processes and permit you to rationalise your procrastination, delay your action to accomplish your goal.
If you check out the timeline at the bottom of the page you’ll see what you do in different stages of a crowdfund, from the pre-planning, all the way till after the crowdfund. We find this helpful when helping to coordinate successful campaigns. The colour differentiates the different stages, the upper block that runs consistently throughout is your engagement – We see honest engagement with your audience and networks as a core to sustainable enterprise development.
We have assumed that in the initial strategic planning stage you have already vetted your project/ idea as a good Crowdfunding opportunity (if you don’t know, ask us as we can help you to assess the feasibility of your project). Each stage prior to the crowdfunding is extensive in itself and deserves full attention to detail.
In summary, use this timeline to assess where you are in your process and what you need to do to get to the next stage. If you need any help, get in touch.
In crowdfunding and engagement campaigns this ‘calm’ isn’t so tantalising. We can’t stress more about our shiver of concern with regards to the pro-active and enthusiastic crowdfunder who only focuses on the things they’ll need for their profile page. He makes a compelling video, has a fair product and writes about his vision, and does a little due diligence in choosing an appropriate platform. Hastily, he jumps on, uploads, and sits on the edge of his seat and waits. With his fingers crossed, he envisions the success and the potential of the next 8 weeks of his campaign. However often, at this point nothing happens.
SoLoCo, was originally a crowdfunding platform, and we have seen this happen often! SO – why does it happen and what are things you can do to prevent it?
Is it a bad project? A lack of passion? One thing for sure is it’s not pessimism. One P-word to address today is the ‘Pre’. The Pre is for that meticulous part before the crowdfund. Assuming that all variables are fair; project, personality, vision, etc. The campaign should unfold to be a success; however, as ever your preparation and a well thought-out strategy is huge and will enable you to really launch your project with the momentum necessary to achieve your goal. In a well thought-out marketing strategy for crowdfunding there is always one primary emphasis – how and who can you engage with.
If you are curious or pro-active about doing this, then start by grabbing a sheet of paper and brainstorming all the contacts that you know. This means; business contacts, twitter followers, friends, family, friends of friends, linked-In members, associations you’re part of, etc; all folks that might be interested or that can help out; anybody who you know who is influential. These fundamental networks will be the foundation to the success of your project, they will stimulate the momentum and the seemingly ‘big hit’ effect that will trigger the followers to reach out after the crowdfund is launched. Remember people don’t just jump on a platform with £20 and think who am I going to help out today. So you want to aim to have a fifth or even a quarter of your goal already donated before the campaign is launched – that way, when it is launched people are drawn to your immediate success. After all, people want to be part of the next big thing, right?
I certainly am filling large shoes talking about this subject. I know there is already a tonne of information about which crowdfunding platforms to use and the differences in their perks.
Envisioning how you’re going to attract your early adopters, that stage of raising capital and literally bursting into the live .com stage is often quite a daunting and exhilarating thought, wouldn’t you say?
Despite the whole crowdfunding topic becoming quite a saturated space online, today I want to raise a couple of thoughts. Things to consider when it comes to YOU and the “Platform Choosing Time”. We all know that there are a dozen plus platforms available. Each platform provides a slightly different reach, has a couple of percentage points different with regards to the fee for hosting, and hosts for community specific genres and locations.
Dealing with numerous clients, this is always an interesting topic of conversation. We advise you to assess your choice through the segmentation of your audience; demographically, geographically and through your audiences values, ie. Where they’re based, what they believe in and things like they’re income, nationalities, gender and age – Think, what kind of person uses my product/ service?
Consider this; your value proposition is for your audience so it makes total sense to position yourself most visibly in all aspects or your segmentation. Secondly consider the purpose of your crowdfund – Are you looking to raise money through sharing equity or aim to raise money through donations or is your business considering the crowdfunding model purely for an engagement campaign?
We’ve made a Segmentation takeaway for you to jot some notes and thoughts down to help you decide which platform is best for you.
Here are some crowdfunding platforms that you may want to consider;
People fund it
OR your own technology! (get in touch if you want to find out more about this)
Have a watch of our conversation with Gregg and Lesley-Ann of Big Baby Productions about the highs and lows of their 8 week campaign that exceeded their target of $30,000 by over $2,000. They talk about the importance of planning, using a network asset map, their global reach and the amount of time they had to spend every day during the actual campaign. For a background on Medicine’s Dark Secrets click here.
Some great snippets of advice for all who are thinking about running a crowdfunding campaign.