What do Brooklinen, Cards Against Humanity, and Veronica Mars have in common? Believe it or not, they’re all the results of successful crowdfunding campaigns! Exceeding their funding goals to become some of the most successful projects of crowdfunding, they’ve each evolved into a revered independent company, a bestselling party game, and a feature film.
From these three examples, it’s easy to see how diverse the crowdfunding space can be—so for the purpose of this article, I’ll be referring to rewards-based crowdfunding, or: the system of obtaining funds for a project in exchange for a product, service, or experience.
Below are the top tips to run an effective, eye-catching, and goal-hitting crowdfunding campaign.
Harness the power of a crowd
If you want to create a huge buzz once your campaign is live, you need to harness a community’s power ahead of time. In order to get your audience excited about your campaign, build a mailing list leading up to your launch date. Your email signup page should be simple and feature a short, punchy teaser about your campaign. Prior to launch, share that link on social media and to your close networks in order to increase your signups.
Before launch, send out an email reminder to your mailing list one week before, and one night before your campaign goes live. And of course, send out a short and sweet newsletter to your list as soon as your campaign launches—and make sure to include a link to your campaign!
Create an engaging project video
The first thing to consider for a project video is creating something that looks professional. Make sure you’re using the right gear, or consider hiring a videographer to help you out. Then, write a script or outline of how you’ll introduce your project to the world—try having a friend interview you with open-ended questions so you can answer naturally without sounding scripted.
Finally, try to keep everything on the shorter side—while each project is different, you should aim for approximately four minutes. Your campaign video is an opportunity to humanize your project, so make it fun, compelling, informative, and unique to your campaign.
Build a beautiful, succinct, engaging campaign page
To start, make sure your page is sharing exactly what you’re creating and that it answers questions like: How did you come up with it; why is it important; how is it different from anything else out there; and of course, why did you turn to crowdfunding?
Second, fill your page with visuals—show your process and what you’re making through images instead of endless text! If you can, get professional photography of your product; if you’re working on a film, include screenshots from your footage. You should also include graphics on your page to describe statistics, rewards, or instructions. (Pro tip: gifs are a great way to display multiple images at once in a slideshow format.)
Finally, be sure to keep it succinct—share the majority of your project within your video, and hit the main points again throughout your campaign page.
Lock down your budget
Since you’re running a crowdfunding campaign, you need to figure out what budget will allow you to cover the costs of everything you’re creating.
Draw up a spreadsheet of the minimum amount you need in order to produce your campaign. Keep in mind shipping product, taxes, any platform or payment fees, and paying yourself (you’re doing the work, after all!).
Plus, you should include other costs like paying your video partner, graphic designer, fulfillment house, shipping, etc. Rough estimates are fine, but do your research and come up with a solid number. Add a small buffer if you need to.
Running a crowdfunding campaign can seem like a daunting task, but have fun with it! Telling a story and inviting audiences into what you’re creating will never go out of style, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all deal. What will really make your campaign stick out is making it individual to you, so it doesn’t sound or look like everything else out there. Follow these tips with your own twist, and you’ll be celebrating a successful campaign in no time.