Creating a successful crowdfunding campaign is a multifaceted endeavor that despite what sensationalized news articles may make you think, a successful campaign doesn’t happen overnight. In fact, the planning stages of a campaign can take far longer than the 30-90 days that a typical crowd funding campaign runs for. So regardless of how cool or unique your idea is, or how many people you think will love it, without enough time dedicated to the planning stages, your funding campaign will fail. That being said here are a few ways you can ensure the success of your crowdfunding campaign before you ever launch it.
Determine your Target Audience
Having a firm grasp of your target audience, before you launch your funding campaign is absolutely vital to your overall success. Without a strong understanding of who you’re trying to reach, you’ll be tempted to target anyone and everyone. While a campaign could still be successful using this method, it is neither a fun nor an efficient way to spend your time. In order to determine your target audience ask the following questions:
- What demographic am I trying to reach?
- What values or lifestyles will these people have?
- How will my product (or project) impact these people?
- Is my product/project a need or a luxury?
Develop an Irresistible Incentive
Once you’ve discovered who your target audience is, you should create an incentive that appeals to them. For family and friends the incentive to support you comes from their relationship with you, and the fact that they’re supporting you. But for a complete stranger who lacks the same familial bond, value added is required. To put this bluntly: if the product or project you’re trying to fund does not directly enhance a person’s life equal to or greater than the money you’re asking for, they will not back you. Developing your incentive is going to directly influence the success you have garnering pre-launch support. In other words, you want to make it impossible for your target audience not to support you.
Begin Building a Crowd
If you’ve taken the time, and done a good job narrowing down your target audience and developing an incentive that speaks to them. Building your crowd will be simple. This is because your target audience is already comprised of people who want what you’re planning to make. In order to best reach your target audience you’ll need to search Google for active bloggers and social media users who have a large following with your same target audience. Because blogs and social media thrive off of information (especially new and relevant information) many of these bloggers will naturally want to talk about what you’re doing.
Once you’ve made a list of bloggers and social media personalities to reach out to its time for the press releases.
Using Google (or your search engine of choice) you can begin the search for news and media organizations that cater to your target audience. The majority of these outlets will have a department or manager who receives and reviews press releases so be on the lookout for that. Because a single press release can be used for multiple outlets with only minor tweaking this is one of the most efficient ways you can spend your time (for help writing a press release go here).
If your crowd funded project has local appeal you’ll want to spend some time reaching out to those in your area who may be willing to support you, or who have influence with your target audience. For example if you’re creating a new way for high school students to manage their time, then approaching high schools in your area would be a no brainer!
Success is in the Beginning
While the above tasks aren’t impossible, they will take some time and effort to pull off. By completing all three you can net yourself a good amount of backers the first day your campaign launches. With backers supporting your project from day one you’ll not only increase the odds of success but you’ll also send the signal to those who stumble upon your campaign that this is something they should consider backing as well.