5 Common Crowdfunding Mistakes

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Social Media & Digital Campaign Management

Looking to launch a crowdfunding campaign? Avoid these common creator mistakes and prepare a project worth funding.

Launching without an engaged audience

Who is going to show up to your campaign page on launch day? As a campaign creator, you should know exactly who those people are and rely on them to contribute and share.  Do you have an email list?  Does your social media have engaged users?  Are followers and fans regularly sharing your content? If you do not know this data, then you are not ready to launch a campaign.  A campaign’s success is contingent on eager followers, first movers and audiences that respond to digital campaigns and social media.  If a campaign skews too young, they will like it, share it and want to be involved but they don’t have the money to contribute.  If it’s demo is too old, they may not want to log in and set up a profile on a platform and give away their personal information or understand the crowdfunding space.  The point is to warm up your networks and create an email list of people already interested in what you plan to offer.  Once you have a sizable list, you invite them to become a part of your project and encourage them to contribute on day one.

A project is 80% more likely to succeed when it makes 20% in the first 24 hours.  You never want to share a campaign page that has an ugly ZERO on the page.  Get that raise amount as high as you can, as soon as possible to reassure funders and followers that this project has people who care about it and will make its goal.

Bottom Line: The first 48 hours will determine success or failure.

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Choosing the wrong platform

Kickstarter.  Indiegogo.  Tilt.  GoFundMe.  There are so many crowdfunding platforms so how do you know which one is right for your campaign?  Whether you are launching a rewards based, fundraising or philanthropic campaign, each platform has unique tools and a brand of their own.  How does the platform promote projects?  Will they offer campaign support? Does the look and feel of the campaign page properly showcase your ideas?  Does the platform offer fixed or flexible funding options?  How is backer information organized and able to be exported?  Does this platform have built in analytics?  Are there any fees I should know about? Consider the pros and cons of each platform and research other campaigns in your vertical.  What did the successful campaigns do right and what can you learn from ones that failed?  The right platform choice can be the difference between success and failure.  Campaign outcomes will follow your brand long after crowdfunding ends.  So, think about which platform would best serve your project as a partner in making a successful campaign and becoming a part of your project’s history.

Bottom Line: Perception is everything.  Brand Carefully.

Expecting the project to sell itself

Your project WILL NOT SELL ITSELF.  Creating buzz and traction starts months before you launch and requires day to day campaign management to keep backers engaged as ambassadors of your project.  Even if you have an amazing video, beautiful graphics and all the right content, crowdfunding campaigns are a dime a dozen.  Make sure you are promoting and engaging constantly across social media and providing shareable content.  Get into the mind of the potential backer by providing content that answers these questions:

  • What is in it for me?
  • Who else has backed this project?
  • Do I trust the creators of this project to provide quality product?
  • Do I feel compelled to share this campaign and begin a conversation on social media?

Launching and then letting the campaign sit on the platform will only lead to disappointment and failure.  A crowdfunding campaign requires 24/7 attention and a calendar of posts, updates, responses, emails and videos to keep the conversation going from day 1 to 30.  Every question must be answered, every backer, thanked.  Before you launch a campaign, make sure you have a dedicated campaign manager or that the creator has made the commitment to make this campaign their full time job.

Bottom Line: Commit to the hard sell.

Waiting until after to think fulfillment

For a Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign a project usually offers incentives to its contributors.  Tshirts, stickers, fan events, coffee mugs,and digital downloads are just a few examples of rewards.  Once you have strategically chosen the best reward and perk options for your campaign, create a fulfillment plan.  What will you need to order? How much does shipping and handling cost?  How much of your funds raised will actually go to the project you are creating and not just to the fulfillment of your rewards? Which vendors can offer quality and competitive pricing?  Create a budget and a spreadsheet and make calls to vendors and fulfillment centers so that you can properly budget out campaign needs and price rewards accordingly.  What you want to avoid is a logistical nightmare lasting months or years after the campaign ends, where you are tracking down shipments, backer info and packing boxes.  Know your options, financial limits and plan efficiently so that post-campaign is a smooth transition.

Bottom Line: Do not promise anything that you cannot deliver.

Being too shy to ask for money

You did it.  You launched a crowdfunding campaign to make your passion project come to life.  This is the time when you exhaust ALL of your networks to reach your goal.  Too many times a client holds back from making big asks to their successful friends.  Those are the very people you should be able to count on and come through for you to make your goal.  Do not be shy.  Email your contacts with a personal note and call to action.  Call a friend on the phone and ask for advice on the title?  Reach out to everyone you know and explain to them what your project is and what is in it for them.  If your own family network doesn’t show up for you on day one of the campaign, why would you expect a stranger to offer a contribution?

Bottom Line: Pick up the phone and ask for a contribution.

Stay tuned for more Crowdfunding tips from Alexinhwood Creative.
For more on Alexandria, please visit http://alexinhwood.com

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