What are the top tips to consider when creating and launching a crowdfunding campaign? Jump Start students recently got the opportunity to conference call Pozible HQ in Melbourne and received some excellent advice. Here are some of the tips they discovered...
1. Set a reachable funding target.
With Pozible it's all or nothing. If you don't reach the funding target, you will not receive any of the pledged money. It's best to set a relatively low funding target and reach your goal, rather than set it very high the first time. Pozible highlighted the Gayby Baby campaign which phased their project into two campaigns. Their first campaign asked for $10k and whilst being successful, it also built a following and helped them build momentum towards their larger goal. Their second $100k campaign was successfully funded a year later. Phasing your long term goal into smaller action steps could help you arrive there more quickly.
2. The recommended campaign timeframe is one month.
When you first launch your campaign you may receive an injection of funds from your core supporters (see Step 6), but typically, pledges will drop during the middle of the campaign and rise again towards the end as people see the deadline approaching. One month is considered to be the best timeframe for crowdfunding campaigns.
3. Provide a range of rewards at different prices.
Rewards can come in three forms:
- Recognition rewards - This type of rewards provide your supporters with the chance to receive recognition for funding your project. This could mean they receive a thank you postcard, a mention on your social media/website or perhaps their name is printed on the inside of your forthcoming book or mentioned in the film credits.
- Tangible rewards - This provides you with a strong opportunity to build pre-sales for your product before its launch or maybe there are other tangible rewards which would combine well with your product offering. For example, if you're trying to fund the next self-watering planter, perhaps you could offer vegetable seeds as a more accessible pledge for some supporters.
- Experience rewards - These rewards could offer an experience that supporters can't get elsewhere. If you were trying to get a new food truck funded, perhaps you could offer the chance for your supporters to host a party and get an exclusive cooking class. Maybe you could offer a workshop or studio tour to show where your idea was conceived?
Make sure your rewards come at a variety of different prices at both the cheap and expensive ranges of the spectrum.
4. Tell a personal story and be visual.
In telling a personal story you create the chance for people to connect. How can you communicate a 'shared purpose' with your supporters which spurs action on their behalf? Use strong visuals to communicate key points about your campaign. Remember that a picture tells a thousand words.
5. Craft an interesting video under 2 minutes in length.
Pozible advised that the average time spent on a campaign page is 1 minute and 45 seconds. With so much distraction from social media, news feeds, phone calls and latest cat videos on YouTube, it's highly important your video shows the most important content in the first 30 seconds. Your video should conclude with a strong 'call to action' which directs possible supporters to the best ways they can pledge or share.
6. Once the campaign is ready, build early momentum.
People like to support something popular. Imagine this scenario; two crowdfunding campaigns of the same product have been launched simultaneously on two different websites. You arrive to the first website and no-one has pledged money yet. When you arrive to the second website, there is a hive of activity and $5k has already been pledged. Which campaign would you feel compelled to pledge and support?
Similar to Roger's diffusion of innovation theory, it's important to build momentum early on. Before announcing your campaign to the world, seek support from your core supporters; mum, dad, family and friends. Once the ball is rolling, you are then much more likely to get support from other potential supporters and the general public. Use your network to spread the word via social media, press releases etc. Campaigns typically fail because either the funding target is too high or the network is too small.