CrowdFunding Beat News.
Tip #1: Never Make Assumptions
Being hopeful or optimistic is one thing, but assuming that things will “work themselves out” is a dangerous road to walk. We assumed that our interviewees would all be willing to donate, we assumed that announcing our campaign at Podcast Movement would trigger people to donate, and we assumed that we could raise $9,500 within 30 days using a fixed-funding format, even though we have absolutely no experience with crowd-funding and HATE asking people for help. Needless to say, those assumptions haven’t really panned out, and we feel like naive idiots for thinking they would.
Tip #2: Go with Flexible Funding for Your First Campaign
Note: I’m specifically directing this tip at average people like us — those who have friends and family with average incomes, and don’t have an amazing life-changing product to offer.
There’s two different types of crowdfunding campaigns out there — fixed funding, which is all-or-nothing, meaning that if you don’t meet your goal, you don’t get any of it — or flexible funding, which means that you get what ever you make, regardless of whether or not you meet your goal. After doing way too much research, the majority recommendation was to go with a fixed funding campaign on Kickstarter, so that’s what we did. We spent months building our campaign and gathering footage to make the promo video.. pulling all-nighters to balance our freelance work + putting everything into place. And seeing as we’re not getting paid to pursue this project, it’s obviously caused a pretty huge dent in our income, which we were desperately hoping we’d make back with our Kickstarter funds…. Embarrassingly enough, we didn’t make it past the 4th day. It may seem like a cop out, or that we quit too soon, but it was more-so that we realized how seriously stupid and naive it was to expect a successful outcome on our first go-around. We also realized how silly it was to risk ending up 100% empty-handed with fixed-funding, rather than make at least something using flexible funding on Indiegogo. So we cut our losses, canceled our Kickstarter, and re-launched the same day on Indiegogo.
Tip #3: Don’t Get Caught Up In Advice Articles
This tip applies to this article as well. The fact of the matter is, every project is different, and everyone’s circumstances are different. If our advice doesn’t apply to your situation, then PLEASE don’t follow it! This was probably the biggest mistake we made starting out — and a very common mistake for entrepreneurs. We obviously wanted to be prepared for our campaign, and we didn’t personally know anyone who had launched a campaign, so we had to rely on online advice. Some of it was legitimate, but based on the tips that we’ve actually tried (and wasted time with), we’re assuming that most of the articles were was written for affiliate commission.
3. Press Releases — Coincidentally, we were told by someone at Podcast Movement that press releases were a thing of the past and that they NEVER worked. Hearing that worried me a bit, but I also have friends who work in PR, so I knew that they had to do at least something. So far, they’ve gotten us a decent amount of traffic, and added to our credibility even further.