Think of crowdfunding as telling a story. It’s rare that the reader will decide to read a book without reading the blurb, hearing a review or receiving recommendation. Therefore, when developing your project the first important stage is to plan and to generate awareness before you go live.
Before your project is live, we recommend at least one month’s promotion - projects that have done this have had a greater success rate
Create a 30 day project plan, including when you want the project to begin, how much money you hope people will pledge each day and at what stages you will update your audience on project progress
Use social media: To have the greatest chance of success, start using this a month before your project is uploaded onto the Crowdfunder site. This way, people are aware and eager to be involved, when you do release the project officially
Create a Twitter and Facebook account for your project and connect with similar online forums to discuss your project
If you don’t already have one, create a blog; this way you’ll meet lots of people that have similar interests. Great free blogging sites include Wordpress or Blogger
Compile a list of any media, blogger and business contacts that might be interested in helping you spread the word
Creating your project page and giving a detailed description takes time. There are lots of things to include and it is important you have given your backers all the information they need:
Create a project name that is short, simple and describes your project in as few words as possible
Be honest and clear about what you want to achieve. Tell a story and make it interesting and compelling; explain what makes your project different to others and why you need the funding
Include in your project description aims for the project, how much funding you need, a breakdown of costs, rewards you are offering and include links to all social media pages, blogs and websites
Insert pictures into your project description, to give more information about your project and to make it inviting to look at
Include a video for better interaction with your audience
Setting a target is a really important step, as everything else you do will work around this figure.
Therefore, choose your funding total carefully as it cannot be changed once your project is live.
Your financial target needs to be feasible, achievable and reasonable: Don't forget that unless you reach your goal you won't receive any funding at all, so be realistic about what you think you can raise. You can raise more than your target amount though
Break down the costs of how much you need and what the money will be used for, to give you and your audience a clear understanding of you financial goal
Divide your project total by the number of days you are crowdfunding for, to give you a good idea as to how much money you need to raise each day
Remember to budget for your rewards within your financial target: You don’t need to worry about spending extra money on rewards because they should be accounted for in your total figure
Do not budget too high because if you do not receive the full target amount, then no funding will be retrieved. Remember you can always gain more than your target
It's great if your closest supporters can have 10% ready to pledge on the first day your project goes live. This shows the support you have for your project and also makes it look more appealing, once it is live
Research similar projects for ideas on what makes a successful financial target
You should crowdfund your project for 30 days (Unless you are aiming to raise a large amount of money, then we advise 45)
Deciding on rewards is one of the most important stages in your project creation. The right rewards will immediately attract people to your project page and help to create an interest in your project, not just now but for the future.
Offer valuable rewards which reflect the amount of money being pledged: Remember you are thanking your backer for their money and in return they are receiving a reward which reflects the money contributed. If the rewards are beneficial, more people are inclined to fund your project
You must have at least 5 tiered rewards and a variation within these rewards: This not only provides the person pledging with an option between rewards but also between how much money they would like to pledge
Rewards should reflect your project’s ambitions and is often something tangible. For example, if you are crowdfunding to create an album, offering the CD as a reward would be perfect
Be creative and don't be afraid to have fun with them: An attractive reward can become a ‘talking point’. Think about what you could offer backers that they couldn't get elsewhere, or think about what your project has to offer that could be shared, discounted or given away
Think of something unique you can offer your backers that is cheap for you but valuable to others. For example, holding an event at the end of your project is a great reward which is affordable to create and feel-good for the community
If the reward is a product, pricing the reward near to its original price point is a good rule of thumb
Please follow these links for examples of rewards, depending on your project category:
Music Projects: http://blog.crowdfunder.co.uk/2013/02/18/music-rewards/
Art Projects: http://blog.crowdfunder.co.uk/2013/02/18/art-rewards/
Film, TV and Video Projects: http://blog.crowdfunder.co.uk/2013/02/18/film-tv-and-video-rewards/
Books and Magazine Projects: http://blog.crowdfunder.co.uk/2013/02/18/books-and-magazine-rewards/
Food and Drink Projects: http://blog.crowdfunder.co.uk/2013/02/18/food-and-drink-rewards/
Community Projects: http://blog.crowdfunder.co.uk/2013/02/18/community-project-rewards/
Your video is the first thing people look at, when visiting your project page. Therefore, it needs to say everything about your project in a clear and concise way. A video helps to bring a project to life and show people exactly who you are and what your project aims to do. Plus research shows that projects with a video raise twice as much funding.
Statistics show that 2-3 minutes is the best length of time for a crowdfunding video
Tell people what your project is and your aims for the future. It is good to see a face behind the project; so don’t be shy, say hello!
Talk about why you would like the support and include a breakdown of what you plan to do with the money pledged. If you are struggling for words, why not have a look at our script top tips: http://blog.crowdfunder.co.uk/2013/02/22/video-script-tips/
Mention the exciting rewards that are available to people pledging
If it relates to your project, by all means include others in your video. This could be as simple as supporters of the project or your fellow colleagues also working on the project
Be creative! If you are approaching Crowdfunder with a project, this is already highlighting your creativity - so try and express that through your video
If you are crowdfunding for a product or activity, you may decide to include footage of the product or event, if applicable
There are lots of ways you can make your video. These include a handheld camera or even a webcam. iMovie is great for a Mac or if you don’t have a Mac, look here for some great websites for putting your video together: http://webseasoning.com/technology/10-best-and-free-online-video-editing-software/1066/
Remember to thank your backers for their support, at the end of your video. Without them, none of this would be possible
Now your project is live, maintaining that initial promotion is vital.
Start with the people closest to you: Tell your family, friends, colleagues and everyone you know
Send out a friendly email to your entire network, telling them about your exciting project and how they can pledge
Make posters and flyers and distribute them in local shops and businesses
Continue using social media: Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Fun fact: Assuming you have the worldwide average number of friends on Facebook (130) and you tell your friends about your project, if just 10% of your friends tell their friends then over 18,000 people will hear about your project. The numbers add up quickly!
Tweet a few times a day, retweet other peoples messages and respond to tweets to keep the momentum going
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, so we can help promote your project across our vast network
Look for relevant bloggers: Once you’ve established yourself as a blogger, find out who else blogs about similar topics. Email the blogger and suggest a guest blog (i.e. You write a post on their site)
Approach your local newspapers and radio stations and include a photo for a greater chance of making the papers
Share your widget: You can put your project anywhere on the web with your widget. It’s a great device for people to see how much you’ve raised. Just copy the code and paste it in your blog/website/forum and watch people click. Why not approach some larger websites and ask them to do the same?
Target online communities and make regular comments: Each place you visit online that allows you to comment you should leave a trail, continuously posting the link to your project page
Keep people involved and update them. How quickly you reach your project target varies between each project so it is really important to keep people informed as you go.
You can send out project updates via the 'Project Updates' tab on your project page. This update will go out via email to all the people who have backed your project on the website. Also anyone viewing your project can click on the tab to read these updates
Sending regular project updates helps to keep the momentum high and allows your backers to feel closer to the project. Also, communicating with people who have funded you this way can help build a relationship and in turn they can help promote your project
Send out a project update half way through your crowdfunding campaign, telling your backers how much you appreciate their support so far and your aims for the rest of the campaign
Address people individually; reply to people who post on your own blog, creating conversation with your supporters
If you reach your target early, don’t give up on your project; keep crowdfunding. Send a project update with the hope of reaching a new milestone. Remember, you can always raise more than your target figure
Once you have reached your target, send an email to all of your backers asking them for any relevant details - such as an address – so you can deliver their rewards to them. Remember, it is your responsibility to send rewards and to communicate with backers about how you aim to do this, once crowdfunding is complete
So your crowdfunding campaign may have come to an end and your target successfully reached but it doesn’t stop there.
Update people on how much you raise when your campaign finishes
Keep them informed on the progress of your project
Let people know when they are likely to receive their rewards
Update them on future events / projects outside of your crowdfunding campaign: Build your community for the future, not just now
Come back and crowdfund with us again! You already have a strong support network, why not crowdfund bigger and better!