As crowdfunding makes gains in popularity, the battle for pageviews and pledges has become increasingly competitive, especially on portal sites that feature thousands of live projects at once. If you’re depending on a Kickstarter feature to kickstart your campaign, then you could be in trouble.
So how do you ensure that you’ve optimized your campaign for success? I’ve taken a look at a number of recently funded projects in order to identify some of the techniques, strategies, and crowdfunding secrets that will give you the best chance of meeting your goals.
1. Prepare Your Face Off
You can use crowdfunding to help validate ideas before they are fully realized, but if your campaign comes across as half-baked then your audience isn’t going to invest. People don’t want to back a campaign that’s not going to work, and you can’t use crowdfunding as a shortcut to avoid properly fleshing out your ideas.
2. Strategic Social Media
You don’t need a blanket presence on social media, though the wider your reach the better. Pick the networks that best match your marketing and content strategies and where your potential supporters are most likely to be found. Don’t forget to customize your promotion to suit each platform too.
3. Produce a Great Video
Video clips give visitors a better idea of your project. They can see you or your product in action rather than clicking through a series of static images. They are also labor-intensive, so don’t attempt to put together a clip if you don’t have the time, resources and expertise required. An amateur-looking video isn’t going to convince anyone to get involved, and at worst, could damage your campaign’s credibility.
It’s usually well worth paying for help to make your video pitch the best it can be because of the investment it will attract. There’s something about the medium that makes the video even more important than you’d think.
4. Create a Helpful Media Page
You’ve no doubt seen some of the most popular crowdfunding projects covered in the press, but this won’t happen if you don’t have a solid website and some press materials that journalists can download. Even if you’re a one-man show, don’t rely on your Facebook page to do it all. If journalists can’t find more information about your project and some high-resolution pictures to illustrate their features, they may choose to promote a different project instead.
5. Don’t Ask for Money Immediately
Tell your story and share your enthusiasm for your project, and people will naturally want to add their support. Remember that your supporters are giving you money with the expectation of getting something back: they want to receive a return on their investment, whether it’s a physical product or an emergency relief operation that swings into action.
There’s no way of guaranteeing crowdfunding success, but by studying the projects, strategies, and crowdfunding secrets that have worked for others, you can certainly maximize your chances. Like any other business venture, crowdfunding is an iterative process that start long before the doors are opened, and long after the campaign has closed.