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10 Tips for a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign

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Since 2012, crowdfunding — raising small amounts of money from a large group of people online — has become one of the most accessible and grassroots ways for businesses to acquire funds. Today, it accounts for three percent of funding for startups and small businesses, and that number continues to grow each year. Use these 10 tips to give your crowdfunding campaign the greatest chance of success.

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10 Tips for a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign

  1. 1. 10 Tips for a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign
  2. 2. Since 2012, crowdfunding — raising small amounts of money from a large group of people online — has become one of the most accessible and grassroots ways for businesses to acquire funds. Today, it accounts for three percent of funding for startups and small businesses, and that number continues to grow each year. Use these 10 tips to give your crowdfunding campaign the greatest chance of success.
  3. 3. 01. Set a Smart Funding Goal To set your funding goal, look at what similar campaigns have raised. Crowdfunding sites suggest setting a goal that’s less than $100,000 as this will appear realistic to your fans and followers.
  4. 4. 02. Use a Recognized Crowdfunding Platform Take advantage of popular and recognized websites such as Fundable, Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Potential backers, such as current or future customers, will feel most comfortable using crowdfunding sites that are familiar to them.
  5. 5. 03. Perfect Your Pitch If your vision doesn’t resonate with the public, your crowdfunding campaign probably won’t get off the ground. Start by creating a short write-up that quickly and clearly communicates your mission and funding needs. This is a great opportunity to motivate people to contribute to your business.
  6. 6. Success Story: Flow Hive, a solution for harvesting honey without disturbing bees, used Indiegogo to raise more than $12 million. Throughout its campaign, Flow Hive made sure to connect its product to anyone who has ever used honey — not just beekeepers. 03. Perfect Your Pitch
  7. 7. 04. Prepare for Questions Backers will want to know information such as how you plan to spend the money, what your short-term and long-term goals are, and if you’ve acquired trademarks, patents and copyrights. Make sure you respond to these inquiries in a timely manner so that interested investors will take you seriously.
  8. 8. 05. Reach Out to Your Existing Customers If you’re expanding your business with a new product or service, your best potential backers might be current customers. Share your crowdfunding campaign in your company communications.
  9. 9. Success Story: Pebble Time, a smartwatch company, was able to raise $20 million for its second round of funding on Kickstarter. Three years after its initial Kickstarter campaign, the company tapped into its existing customer base and original supporters to take the company to the next level. 05. Reach Out to Your Existing Customers
  10. 10. 06. Show Interest From Fans Most people are risk averse, so demonstrate a proven idea by sharing the number of preorders you’ve received and campaign updates on your crowdfunding page. You’ll be more likely to attract the attention of the crowd if they know people are already buying in.
  11. 11. 07. Promote Your Campaign on Social Media Use the power of social media to drive traffic to your campaign. Post regular updates to your followers, and engage with your audience. To get more exposure, be sure to encourage people to share your posts with their own networks.
  12. 12. Success Story: There’s no better way to promote the new version of a selfie stick than with social media, and that’s exactly what Podo did. Podo integrated clever social links on its Kickstarter page to appeal to current and potential backers. 07. Promote Your Campaign on Social Media
  13. 13. 08. Offer Perks for Investments Attract potential backers with unique perks for various levels of investment. For example, if you’re a musician, offer a free CD for a low-level contribution and a ticket to a live concert for a high-level contribution. This will get people excited about your campaign.
  14. 14. 09. Pitch the Press Reporters are always looking for good stories and readers love to cheer on the little guy. Send a press release to local newspapers and television stations to spread the word about your crowdfunding campaign.
  15. 15. Success Story: The Coolest Cooler used its relatable, all-American product to raise more than $13 million on Kickstarter. The company made sure to feature all of the press it had received — including pieces on BuzzFeed, Business Insider and the “Today” show — on its Kickstarter page. 09. Pitch the Press
  16. 16. 10. Thank Your Supporters Don’t discount the power of gratitude. When someone pledges money or spreads the word about your campaign to their own network, follow up and thank them personally.
  17. 17. Browse some of the crowdfunding platforms to look for successful and unsuccessful campaigns. While your business might be different, you’ll find examples of what works — and what doesn’t. Advice InspirationAction Come out of your comfort zone and be willing to spread the word about your campaign to friends, family and colleagues. It’s all about people supporting people, so put yourself out there and you will increase your chances of success through crowdfunding. “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” — Vincent Van Gogh, artist
  18. 18. For more tips on funding for your business, visit the Staples Small Business Hub.

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