While successful crowdfunding campaigns sound like a dream, there are more than a few success stories. Crowdfunding isn’t a fad. In fact, when it comes to raising startup capital it’s a platform on the rise.
Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter.com are growing in popularity. Since launching in 2009, Kickstarter reports “8.7 million people have pledged more than $1.7 billion, funding 85,000 creative projects,” while “thousands of creative projects are raising funds on Kickstarter right now.” Impressive.
If you plan to crowdfund your next project here’s a look at seven tips to get started.
Cover the basics.
Before funds can start rolling in, Kickstarter requires project approval via their “Launch Now” feature which uses an algorithm incorporating thousands of data points to check whether your project is ready to launch. If it doesn’t meet the initial criteria it is then reviewed by the site to ensure the campaign is legitimate and meets standards.
As Kickstarter explains, “We take our review process really seriously — because we have to. It’s a big deal for a project to be taken down after it’s launched – much bigger than taking down a YouTube video.” Thankfully they have resources like Creator Handbook to help crowdfunding newbies get started with shaping their projects.
Humanize your crowdfunding video.
Your story should sell itself and that includes a cohesive and relatable project video. In fact, “they’ve seen projects with videos successfully funded at a much higher rate–50% with videos vs. 30% without against an overall average success rate of around 40% (Forbes).”
Backers often look forward to funding “the person” rather than “the project”. If you funders as competent, passionate, and trustworthy, they will be more than willing to fund you and, of course, your project. Let’s face it. Online video converts. As human beings we are wired to pay attention to faces, voices, body language and movement. There is an actual “an actual brain function that hard-wires us to use the human face as a gathering point for information and believability (Forbes).”
Whether you are using an online video or a written content, make it quick and snappy – yet informative. People don’t have long attention spans these days. Not sure what content length is the best? Take a look at Staff Picks to get an idea of what Kickstarter looks for when it comes to winning content.
Make sure you own your content.
Avoid using content that is copyrighted. “Don’t use music, images, video, or other content that you don’t have the rights to. Using copyrighted material is almost always against the law and can lead to expensive lawsuits down the road.”
You don’t want to end up paying someone while you are trying hard to do quite the opposite. Use stock photography websites, royalty free music and other sites that offer you the right to use copyrighted material or intellectual property without the need to pay royalties or license fees.
Present a credible purpose.
What makes your crowdfunding project noteworthy and credible? Make sure you know and can communicate it. Don’t be discrete and never lie! According to Kickstarter rules, “projects can’t mislead people or misrepresent facts, and creators should be candid about what they plan to accomplish. When a project involves manufacturing and distributing something complex, like a gadget,” a prototype is required.
Share the benefits.
When it comes to crowfunding it’s not all about you. Consider the needs of your backers and give them a good reason to help you meet your goal!
Engage your community.
Building relationships is one of your greatest resources when crowdfunding. According to crowdfunding platform IndieGoGo, “Early success gives your campaign legitimacy and helps your fundraising reach a tipping point as people beyond your inner circle start will start contributing to your project. Aim to raise the first 25% of your funds from close friends, family, and fans.”
Get to know your backers, ask them why they are interested in your project, and answer questions promptly. Engage your backers with frequent updates using behind-the-scene videos, and content to keep them in the loop.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Ashley Sanford is a content manager at Peak Dissertation, a firm providing international assistance with #dissertation to learners where student can ask, “write my dissertation“, if they need help. In addition to academic writing, she is also a keen writer of fiction as well as non-fiction short articles. Connect with @Peakdisertation on Twitter.