Crowdfunding has made it easier than ever before to launch your business, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. If your idea rocks and you’re considering a crowdfunded campaign, there are certain things you’ll want to do to knock it out of the park. Remember, not every good idea makes it, and tons of terrible ideas do. Remember the Hawaii Chair?
Marketing is key in getting your awesome product or service to the people that want it. You’re doing it; you’re putting your brilliant idea out there. Now, let’s talk about your options.
How to Launch a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign
1. Prepare a Detailed List of What You’ll Need
Take advice from a successful crowdfunder. Here is a list of items from a recent article that Jackson Bond from Relayr, makers of WunderBar, used to launch his product:
2. Plan Your Target Carefully
You’re probably not going to raise $1,000,000 for an innovative hula-hoop. Search for products or services in the same vein as yours and research what their production costs are. You can even peruse crowdfunding sites for this. If you miss the mark the first time, you may need to restart your whole campaign, pitch the same ideas all over again, and possibly sit down and have a good cry.
3. Create Your Website
Build a nice-looking homepage for yourself. Make it as simple as possible for a visitor to take action here. Insert a video that explains your products, a Facebook share widget, a Twitter widget, and a widget or link to whichever crowdfunding site you select in tip 5.
4. Optimize Your Website
This is a great opportunity to implement search engine optimization. If you’re unfamiliar with it, there are plenty of places to pick up digital marketing services. If you know a bit about it, do a little keyword research and insert phrases into your content sparingly. Then, you can begin to build backlinks. Find directories of sites that match the service you’re offering and reach out to them to see if they’re interested in linking to your idea’s landing page.
5. Find the Right Crowdfunding Platform
There are a bunch of crowdfunding platforms out there that help you launch your project (Kickstarter, Indiegogo, RocketHub, etc.). Click through these sites and investigate which projects are succeeding. If your idea is somehow aligned to the successful ideas on this site, it might be a good place for you.
6. Balance Your Rewards
Make sure that the rewards you’re offering are consistent with the contributions that merit them. Don’t give out a basket of homemade cookies for a $10,000 donation, for instance. Your campaign’s donation rewards can be incentive for people to donate in and of themselves. Make your investors feel like real investors. Give them a piece. Make your highest rewards something only a select few can possibly have. Offer them something finite. Scarcity drives interest. For example, in the Kickstarter campaign for “Lizard King,” a Western film, higher donations get you an associate producer credit.
7. Make Yourself Visible
Now it’s time to engage the public. Make yourself known. Look for industry-relevant guest blogging opportunities to write about your product on a high-quality site. Here are some tips from Google’s Matt Cutts for guest blogging.
Again, if you’re inexperienced this may be a situation where it’s best for you to bring in media relations experts. For Relayr, Jackson Bond used analytics to determine that most of their traffic was coming from LinkedIn. Leave no stone unturned. Bond achieved visibility through industry-relevant guest blogging, which in turn strengthens backlinking. And how do you drive traffic to those guest blogs? With social promotion. Never give up, and cross your fingers. You’re on your way.
These 7 tips should set you on the road to your goal. One last note: you have to believe in your idea. You have to give it everything you’ve got, or how can you expect someone else to? Whenever you’re discussing it, remember why you wanted to start this crowdfunding campaign in the first place. Don’t lose sight of that. Glory goes to those who never give up.
What are you doing to set up your crowdfunding project for success? Tell us about it in the comments section below.