Like me, you are probably checking at the amazing numbers game companies are posting during this very special time in our planet. Not only people are confined mostly everywhere, but data seems to point out that current numbers will keep high even after you are “freed” from your quarantine.
That said, how about crowdfunding projects? What happened to them? According to Enventys Partners, they are also high up above expectations. A staggering 38% increase YoY in total revenues, and a steady number of funded projects. Since these are “optimistic” for our industry, here are 10 golden tips if you are thinking about asking other people for their monies (even before you start doing anything):
Plan Like Crazy
You need to be absolutely sure about what you are getting into. A crowdfunding project is extremely hard to do, and my main advice would be to ask for professional help. Anyway, planning every step, especially the pre-campaign steps are critical to delivering what your target backers will be expecting at the end. Make a Q&A list – who are your potential backers? Which projects similar to yours were successful? Why? How much money do I need, and for what? Oh, and make sure your rewards, platform fees and taxes are considered in the final number. You can’t imagine how many projects fail because of underestimating costs
Less is More
At the same time, do not overestimate. It is better to have a lean, objective target with cool bonus achievements that an expensive project, less prone to be backed in full by excited fans.
Be beautiful. Yes, you too, but mostly your assets. Any project needs a great designer/illustrator or an agency behind it. You need to be cool before it is actually cool. Sell the dream (and then deliver it).
I could promise you the moon, but I won’t. Do not get carried away with the rewards thing. Although a swag brainstorm could be lots of fun, make sure that what you promise is doable. A very common thought is: “oh, but if I add the cost to the backing, I could do ANYTHING”. That might be true, but at the same time that “custom wood carved founder edition with 3D pieces made of adamantium” may be impossible to achieve (both in time and within reasonable outsourcing companies). Be careful.
Build a Community (before launching a campaign)
Have a marketer, or hire one. Maybe a community manager. You’ll need a marketing strategy and plan, both for building a engaged community and for delivering the content and asset management you will need when stuff is online. One of the golden rules of crowdfunding is having a passionate following BEFORE asking them for money.
Choose your Platform Wisely
Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Gofunding – there are literally TENS of platforms to choose from. Find the right one for you, both as cost-benefit, but also make sure that your backer target is active on that platform. It makes no sense to campaign on Causes if you are not an NGO, got it?
You will have to invest
Mmmm, so agencies, marketing experts, community managers, designers…this is not the freebie you are looking for, right? Make sure you plan for minimal investment. You can get good services for a fair price (but do not count with free).
Managing a Campaign is Hard
It is a ton of work, rest assured. If you don’t have the resources to outsource it, also plan for having at least two people dedicated to the project maintenance.
Make Sure You Deliver
It’s kinda obvious, but you need to deliver the promise (so, again, do not overpromise anything), and to keep safe, plan low to deliver high. Everything you do not want are people asking for refunds or worse, withdrawing their backing in the last few days of the campaign. That could lead to a distrust crisis and put everything at risk.
Again, another obvious advice. Believe me, it needs to be here. There are plenty of people creating fraudulent campaigns on all platforms. You need to be honest and clear with your communication, and avoid “as seen on TV”-type communication. Stay tuned to your community lingo and keep showing progress. That is one of the keys to major success.