Written by Nick Braund • Published 10th December 2014
Crowdfunding has attracted a lot of attention recently, with thousands of brands, established companies and startups launching campaigns to fund their ideas or product, from films to smartphone printers and everything in between. Over $1.4 billion has been pledged to Kickstarter projects since the pioneering site launched in 2009, an astounding figure that demonstrates just how popular crowdfunding has become.
For many people, crowdfunding is a fantastic and inexpensive way to get their product or idea to market whilst avoiding complicated bank loans. The dilemma, however, is that with so many thousands of projects seeking funding, how do you get your idea to stand out from the crowd? Here are our top six tips on getting your project noticed:
- Know your audience. Who are you ‘selling’ to? You wouldn’t try to buy a mobile phone from a dry cleaners and the same concept goes for your project. Make sure that you quickly establish what you’re offering and where you want to be seen.
- Exploit your social media. This sounds simple, and might be obvious, but the potential power of social media is huge and messages can travel quickly. Furthermore, make sure you actively seek out your audience too, particularly if they are active online, perhaps on forums or industry related websites. Getting an influential blogger on your side could help to significantly grow your awareness
- Although this would, of course, be an extra cost, it is minimal and you can choose where you want your advert to feature. Consider who might be interested in your project – they may have visited your page but were not quite convinced about donating – and engage with them.
- Some of the most successful projects regularly keep their supporters updated with any new developments. Not only is this important to keep those who have donated happy, as these people are now your shareholders, it is also essential for those considering funding the project so they can see it is constantly evolving and that the money being donated is of genuine use. This is particularly true for a physical project, where prototypes can be shown as they go through the development process. Chipolo, a Bluetooth item finder, did exactly this and their goal of $15,000 was surpassed to reach $293,014.
- You need to bring the idea or project to life and a good way to do this is by having a launch party. Quite simply, it creates a buzz and allows potential backers to see that you are serious about the project and the money they might invest. As long as you have a strong and well-developed (future) brand image, and have invited your target audience influencers, the party is likely to be a success.
- Ensure that you have sufficient price points and appropriate bonuses or giveaways for each level. If someone donates less than £10 it’s fair that they receive a tweet or a thank you. As the ‘investment steadily increases, the value, sentiment and esteem of these ‘rewards’ need to grow also. An example on the popular crowdfunding site Zequs is a band who offer to play private gigs in return for significant donations to fund their first album. Personalisation is a key element to ensure the public buy into your cause and given the level of competition now, it is a battle to get your project noticed and ultimately a success.