Determine your financial goal
Before you launch your crowdfunding project it’s very important to assess your funding goal. An excellent way to gauge this is to take a good look at the possibilities with your family, friends and your social networking reach.
Total your Facebook friends and fans, Twitter followers and any other networks you’re active on, such as YouTube and LinkedIn. These are places you’ll be targeting to promote your campaign. Do you think you can count on a good percentage of your contacts to donate $5 or $25 on average?
Say you have roughly 1,000 connections you think you can count on. If they can reasonably be expected to donate an average of $5 each, your funding goal might be $5,000. Obviously, if you have more connections or can count on a higher average donation, your goal could be bigger. And there’s always a chance your campaign can go viral!
Keep in mind what you realistically need to move your idea from concept to reality. Don’t ask for more than you feel you need. Also consider the fact that you might only succeed funding only a portion of your goal or you might exceed it.
Your funding goal is a major consideration. Keep it real.
Craft a compelling presentation
You’ll want a written description, the who, what, when, where, why and how of your project. Keep it interesting and don’t get carried away with tedious details. Make your “why” powerful. Why is it so important to you? Connect on an intellectual and emotional level to increase your chance for success.
Be sure to include a clear call to action. In other words, tell them what to do next, which of course is to make a donation! That’s very important!
White space and graphics (aka eye-candy) is important to grab attention and invite the visitor to pay attention to what you have to say. Big blocks of text can be overwhelming. Short, pithy sentences and paragraphs will work best.
Videos help create a bond, so make one and include it on your page. It’s reported that campaigns that have short (3 minutes or less) videos are successful more often than those that have no video. Include a video. Yes, we’re serious!
Offer great rewards
Rewards need to be creative and enticing. While it’s believed that the $25 level is the most popular contribution, consider having up to 12 levels with the lowest being $5. If you’ll be shipping something to those that donated, include shipping costs. Keep in mind when you give great rewards you’ll have a much easier time collecting bigger donations. Carefully consider what you will offer.
Some reward suggestions are: free final product, sponsor ad on your launch site, a blog post dedicated to each contributor, a related or unrelated gift… use your imagination!
Promote, promote, promote
Once you’ve pulled everything together, it’s been reviewed and launched it’s time to get into action and promote your campaign. Send personal invitations (or make phone calls) to your closest connections. These family, friends and fans will get the ball rolling for you and prime the pump, so to speak. It’s your “social proof” and credibility.
Now is the time to widen your circle of influence and gain more fans and funders. Be attentive and always respond with gratitude to each contributor. Update your status and keep everyone in the loop on how your project is going. Celebrate milestones publicly. And don’t be afraid to ask for more donations and to help spread the news but avoid spamming!
It’s common for your campaign to get its most impact in the first and last few days and experience a lull in between. Find ways to keep them interested but don’t be discouraged.