Six Tips To Crowdfunding Success

This is a short piece I wrote for a recruitment agency’s client newsletter, which I thought you’d be interested to see:

1. Show your working. Don’t ask people to back a concept, ask them to finance the final stages of a project that’s almost completed. Successful crowdfunding is not about asking people to make your dreams come true, it’s the other way around—you’re offering them something amazing, if they pay for it.

2. Don’t set your target too high. Greed is not attractive to backers. Run the financials, work out how much it’ll cost to produce the basic form of your product, and ask for that (less the cost of rewards, of course). If the project over-funds, use the extra to add in more features.

3. Structure the rewards you offer. Kickstarter is a way for people to pre-order cool new stuff, so let them. Arrange your rewards so that someone can buy the basic product for £20 but ends up pledging £50 because they’ll get even more cool bits.

4. Prime your publicity. Kickstarter will not bring you an audience: you have to do that. Make sure your network is ready to help you publicise the campaign on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, newsfeeds and via mailouts. Some people pay to advertise their crowdfunding projects on popular websites.

5. Monitor the campaign daily. Staying in contact with your backers and supporters and making them feel invested is important: not only will they spread the word about your project for you, but often they’ll come back
and pledge more money for extra rewards and stretch goals.

6. Don’t worry if it fails. Cancel the project, work out where you went wrong, redefine the project or retool the campaign and try again. Crowdfunding is a great way of learning if your idea has a potential market, and refining it until you find the sweet spot.