Many people think all they need to raise oodles of money for their projects is to post about it on a crowdfunding site. In reality, successful fundraising requires a ton of work, and much of it must be done before you launch your campaign. Here are three things you must do prior to asking donors for cash.
Build an Audience
Good salespeople know it's infinitely easier to sell to folks who are already interested in the product. The same is true for crowdfunding. It's much easier and faster to raise capital for your project when you already have a pool of people you can tap for money.
Thus, the first thing you need to do is build an audience for your project. Specifically, you should grow an email list full of people who like your idea and would consider financing its development. You can do this in a number of ways, such as by holding a contest, offering a free eBook filled with valuable information related to your project, or producing a newsletter
In addition to cultivating an email list, you should also establish a presence on social media. You don't have to be on every site — just the one your customer base uses. For instance, if your project is geared towards a younger crowd, you may want focus your networking on Twitter, whereas you may be better off on Facebook if you want to attract older folks.
Building an audience takes time and consistent effort, but it'll be worth it in the end when you can rake in immediate cash for your project just by blasting an email or a tweet to your audience about your fundraising efforts.
Show Your Work
Although crowdfunding is a viable way of raising capital to fund your project, people are much warier about where they invest their cash these days. There are a number of reasons for this, but the painful crashing of promising crowdfunding projects that results in the loss of millions of donor dollars is likely a major contributor to their skittishness.
Before they hand over their money, people will want to see what you're working on and how far you've gotten in the development process to gain some assurance that the project will actually see the light of day. This is particularly true if you're pursuing equity-based crowdfunding, where donors are expecting a cut of the profits you make.
It's critical to the success of your campaign, then, that you put together a presentation showing how much progress you've made with your project. For instance, if you're trying to fund the development of a game, then a video of some gameplay is essential. If you're selling a physical product, then build a prototype.
Taking this step will go a long way towards forging trust between you and your donors, which will make them more willing to open their purses to fund your project.
Line Up Immediate Donors
It may seem odd to suggest finding donors before launching your crowdfunding campaign when the point of the campaign is to find donors. However, making sure you have people ready to hit the donate button on the first day of fundraising lets you tap into a psychological phenomenon called social proof.
People are more likely to do something if they see other folks doing it, particularly those they like and respect. This is why corporations hire celebrities to sell their products. Having people donate on day one can motivate others who are sitting on the fence to do the same. The idea is that the campaign must be worth supporting if all these other people are doing it.
For more tips on crowdfunding your project or help with the process, contact an expert in your area.
To learn more about best practices for crowdfunding, contact a crowdfunding platform.