Ah, the modern era. It seems like money really does grow on trees.
If someone can make a Kickstarter for the sole purpose of whipping up some potato salad and raise a jillion dollars in a week, surely your heroic business proposal will float itself.
This will likely happen without a boatload of elbow grease on your part, right? As long as you set aside a fat chunk of dough for marketing, you’ve covered all your bases…
Wrong. Very, very wrong. Bad wantrepreneur. Tsk, tsk.
Okay, here’s the scoop, you hopeful soul.
Dumping stacks of bills into a corner and letting some PR/marketing guru gobble them up in exchange for bringing your venture to the next level could be synonymous with flushing those precious dollars down the drain.
There’s a serious chance that your campaign isn’t going particularly well because of the precursory steps that lead up to the launch.
Unfortunately, this means that even a social media Jedi could have a difficult time resurrecting your comatose effort.
Well, wait a second. Why do I even need to market anything? IndieGoGo and Kickstarter have enormous followings. Shouldn’t that suffice?
Oh, no! You’ve fallen into an all-too-enticing trap.
Now, don’t be too hard on yourself, because tons of folks who are looking to crowdfund endeavors assume that the incredible reach of the host sites they choose will do all the legwork.
It’s a real shame that it doesn’t work like this, but the “why” behind it actually makes quite a bit of sense.
Think of YouTube, for example. How many kooks upload videos of themselves trying to burp the ABC’s or dance along to whatever viral craze is taking the internet by storm every day?
You have loads of competition — and whether or not you deem that competition worthy of anyone’s time doesn’t matter one lick.
The fact is that big-shot host sites like the ones mentioned above are saturated with campaigns, which means that there’s a very real danger of yours getting lost in the mix.
Okay, fine. So how do I make mine stand out? My breakfast-food-sock startup is unique and it deserves attention!
Crowdfunding sites take a lean 5% off the top of everything you earn, and that’s their whole basis for profit.
That’s right — they only make money if you do.
They’re mainly going to focus their efforts of promotion and marketing on the campaigns that are already soaring above and beyond expectations.
Now ain’t that some “rich get richer” junk right there…
Have you ever taken the time to scroll through your preferred site?
Sometimes you’ll see featured campaigns, top-of-the-list lucky ducks that get to bask in the glory of their host’s payment structure.
What makes them so special?
How come they get all the attention?
Who’s coffee do I have to top off to get some dang SERVICE around here?
Well, you salty patron, Kickstarter saw that these campaigns raised a significant portion of their goal amount within the first couple of days.
Sites can smell success from a mile away, so they are likely to boost the ranking of and direct traffic to these particular pages.
Like we said above, it’s all in the prep work.
Crowdfunding is kind of like cooking — the outcome depends almost entirely on the preparation. So make sure you’re dominating that kitchen with a recipe for success.
Alright, patient readers. Are you ready for the secret ingredient? *Cue fanfare* Audience! Mmmm… tasty.
We can’t stress enough how important it is to build an audience before you even dream of launching anything at all.
This can be as simple as sending a quick email to your friends, family, coworkers, or neighbors about what you’re trying to get off the ground.
If that many supporters already have the inside scoop before you announce, they’ll be at the ready to toss a few greenbacks your way.
This initial investment is how you get that inflating boost that will attract attention, traffic, awareness, and ideally donors.
This might take a little bit of your time — don’t be put off by spending months and months building this foundation of supporters.
If you can rely on these generous participants to raise 30–40% of your goal within the first 72 hours, you can bet your Peruvian cherry peppers that your campaign will gain the interest of outsiders.
See? That doesn’t sound so hard.
Following these tips will save you the heart-wrenching pain of shoveling money out the window, or worse: A dead campaign.
Stand out by being successful, and be successful by starting your launch on the right foot.
Remember this: The savvy entrepreneur never underestimates the power of a good first impression.
Now train your eyes on the road ahead and get ready to knock your next crowdfunded venture right out of the park!
Special thanks to Khierstyn Ross @ http://www.crowdfundinguncut.com for the inspiration behind this article as well as the amazing video!