Successful crowd funding is not about the project but about the person
I get emails every week from people with small business and fundraising ideas but lacking the money to make them a reality. They find the blog in a search for funding ideas and wonder if their project is right for successful crowd funding.
My usual response probably isn’t what they expect. While you may need to tweak your idea a little, every idea project is right for crowd funding. The revolutionary new way to raise money is nothing more than traditional methods of fundraising and finance, applied to the online crowd.
Instead, what people should be asking is, “Am I right for crowd funding?”
While virtually any project can be crowd funded, not everyone has what it takes for successful crowd funding. Check out the video and more detail below for the 6 habits you need for successful crowd funding.
Successful crowd funding is about being personal
For successful crowd funding, above everything else, you must be personal. This shouldn’t surprise anyone. Funding a small business idea or traditional fundraising has always been about who you know, not what you know.
Successful crowd funding is about reaching people on a personal level and making your goals…their goals. One of the first posts on the blog was about making an impact for your campaign by making it personal. It’s one of the first posts I point to when people come to me with a crowd funding idea.
- Tell your story and find ways to make it relatable to others
- Evoke emotions with your images, video and content
Successful crowd funding is comprehensive
Beyond the business savvy you’ll need for your project or fundraising idea, crowd funding involves a complete process of marketing and outreach. A lot of the unsuccessful crowd funding projects are those started by one person without the rounded experience in multiple fields.
Successful crowd funding requires business planning skills, understanding how to strategically plan your campaign. It involves an understanding of marketing, both online and offline, to reach your audience. It requires an understanding of budgeting and project financing. If you do not already have the inclusive experience across these fields and more, you will need to do some extensive studying to bring yourself up to speed.
It takes a Team for Successful Crowd Funding
The need for such comprehensive knowledge, and the hours required for successful crowd funding, means that a team is absolutely essential for your project. Slava Rubin, founder of Indiegogo, reports that teams raise an average of 70% more money than campaigns run by just one person.
You need to build two teams around your crowd funding campaign. You’ll first need a team in the traditional sense of a few people willing to spend some time working on your campaign each week. These might come from your established personal network or from people already passionate about the idea who you meet in your outreach to forums and social groups.
You’ll also need to build your community of page visitors and backers into some sense of a team. Building a community around your campaign is the only way to get the social sharing you need for a successful crowd funding campaign.
Successful crowd funding is about being Aggressive
Just over 2% of visitors to your crowd funding campaign page actually contribute to the project. Worse still is the feeling many crowdfunding project owners feel when they realize that even their own friends and family are not supporting the campaign.
You need to be aggressive asking people to visit and contribute to your crowd funding page. Even if you are asking for donations to a non-profit fundraising campaign, you are not asking for a handout. You are promoting a project that needs to be funded and you need to get the word out. Don’t be afraid to ask and ask multiple times.
Get Creative for Successful Crowd Funding
There are more than 7,000 projects live on Kickstarter right now. You may have the most innovative idea out there and it may still not be enough to get noticed. It seems the greatest advantage of crowd funding, having the potential crowd back your project, is also its biggest disadvantage. It gets crowded in crowd funding and you need to find ways to get noticed.
- Constructing a creative rewards schedule that incentivizes and motivates your visitors is a step in the right direction.
- Develop your project in a way that will bring in other groups like non-profit organizations and other small businesses.
Successful crowd funding is about being Strategic
Successful crowd funding is about planning your campaign from start to finish, before it even goes live on the internet. This means planning the strategy from pre-launch outreach, marketing and community building. Besides the time you’ll need to learn about how different fields of business operate, you’ll need to figure out how they fit together and how you are going to use each for your campaign.
When I say not everyone has what it takes for successful crowd funding, it doesn’t mean your project can’t be successful if you don’t have the six traits above. Many people without these traits will not be successful because they do not take the time to develop them. They begin their crowd funding campaign and neglect parts that will bring out their weakness, not developing a team or not being aggressive when approaching others.
It may take a little time and a lot of effort but none of these habits is impossible to learn. The definition of a “habit” is just something you do with regular tendency or practice. Work on these six habits as while developing your crowd funding campaign and you’ll be well on your way to raising more money in the crowd.