4 Startup Crowdfunding Tips Agencies Don’t Want You To Know
Successful Strategies for your Kickstarter Project in Austin, TX
We’ve all seen a project get launched on Kickstarter and suddenly skyrocket to insane numbers. If you have a great idea, it certainly can make you hopeful to see a project backed so quickly.
However, reality isn’t as pretty as the records show. There’s a lot that goes into a successful crowdfunding project – and 90% of the time there’s an agency and / or a strategy behind it. Today we’re going to share with you some of those strategies. It may all seem like common sense, but we hope that these tips can help get your crowdfunding project off the ground.
1. A Strong Brand and Message
While it can be tempting to jump immediately to Kickstarter or Indie GoGo with your brilliant new idea, it’s best to hold off at first. Your first step, after coming up with your idea, is to build a powerful brand identity and brand message. Realistically, your crowdfunding pursuit is the beginning of a business or product design and eventually you would need a brand identity anyways.
Your crowdfunding project is going to be your first impression, and by having a professional brand – it will ensure that potential backers know you are serious. Start by creating a good logo and branding style guide. Once you have the identity in place, it’s important that your delivery items are consistent with your new branding.
Instead of just recording a video on your cell phone, spend some time writing out your brand messaging. Explain your idea, the rewards associated with backing and the milestones for the release date. Create a professional video that outlines all of your messaging in a clear and consistent manner. Use branded graphics in the text description and create shareables that backers can use on social media.
2. Angel “Investors”
Don’t start your crowdfunding project without committed backers already lined up. Approach your friends, family and business partners and pitch the project to them first. Get 20 – 40% of your “goal” amount from outreach before you launch your project.
It’s important to have a plan in line for when they back into your project, as well. A project that has a natural growth process in meeting its goal lets potential backers see that their investment is a safe bet. Line your committed backers to “buy in” at certain goal points. Heavy upfront, heavy when you get media exposure, and heavy towards the end. It’s also incredibly important that you have these backers pocketed, because often times people who back may pull out at the last minute, causing you to just miss your goal. If you have committed backers that can push you over the limit in the final days, your campaign will be successful.
3. Media Circulation
When reaching out for backers, also look at potential blogs and publications that may be interested in what you’re crowdfunding. Blogs, publications and media outlets are always looking for new and exciting things to cover and it’s likely that your crowdfunding idea can find a platform for exposure.
Send out a press package to any blogs or publications you feel may be interested (look within industry). Inside of your press package: include a description of your project, images the publications can use in their articles and a little bit of history behind your project. If you can get a few places to report on your crowdfunding project at launch, in the middle and towards the end of your time frame – those little boosts of publicity will go a long way. Also, don’t be afraid to spend some money advertising your Kickstarter project. People won’t be able to find it if you don’t get the word out!
4. Realistic Milestones and Rewards
Don’t over promise. Remember that when using a crowdfunding platform, the platform will take a percentage of your goal if successful. Remember that you will be responsible in shipping or delivery and that those have costs as well. Most importantly don’t forget the amount of man-hours that go into a project and the “rewards”.
Before committing to reward tiers, do your research and build a business plan. Do you have an assembler for your new electronic appliance? Will a plane flight from Tokyo to New York cost $1000? If you are printing hardcover books, are you prepared to spend $50+ a book?” If you are making a game, do you have the man power to build a new level within your delivery time?
A successfully backed project is great, but if you don’t deliver, you’ll be faced with angry backers and essentially be blacklisted. A successful project with successful delivery will give you the opportunity to crowdfund again in the future. Be realistic about your milestones and rewards, and delivery will be easy.
You can build a strong crowdfunding project, it just requires effort and planning!