As an entrepreneur, you have to wear many hats in order to be successful. After coming up with a brilliant idea, success comes down to developing that idea into a workable business plan, and then finding ways to finance your dream. Crowdfunding is a great tool for entrepreneurs, because there are tons of available online tools, but the trick is learning to leverage them in an effective way. Here are some tips to consider before launching your crowdfunding campaign:
Be upfront and honest - potential funders and investors are more likely to give when they know exactly what their funds will be going to. Be direct and upfront about what your future plans, goals, and timeline are - especially when there's a lot of money at stake. Keep investors updated as often as you can with news and developments, so they feel more connected to your project and don't feel like they're being left in the dark. Don't ignore the existence of your competitors, but rather explain why your idea is innovative and different than what is currently on the market. If you give investors clear stats and information, you're more likely to attract smart and trustworthy funders.
Don't launch before you're ready - when your business is still just an idea, spend your time drumming up interest, and getting an idea of what people are looking for out of a product. Your campaign will be more successful if you already know that a demand for your concept exists, or if you have a few loyal followers who you know will invest. First, work on building an email list and improving your web presence so that once your campaign launches, you'll already have a decent framework in place to handle inquiries and traffic.
Answer questions quickly and thoroughly - you can anticipate some common questions that potential funders might have about your concept, and prepare answers ahead of time. That way, you can get back to them quickly and eloquently, without having to rush together an answer. Better yet, post a list of FAQs so potential funders can find the answers they're looking for without even having to contact you. You'll seem better informed, which is a big step towards success.
Video is a great tool, so utilize it - videos are fun, memorable, and easy to share in email and on social media. Put together a sleek video to feature at the top of your crowdfunding site. You want something that explains your idea, includes statistics or positive reviews, or anything that generally builds excitement. Product or service demonstrations can inspire investors to take you seriously - when they see your idea in motion, they're more likely to latch on to your concept.
Appeal to both the heart and the mind - while statistics are helpful tools to prove that your concept is on solid ground, you can't forget about the person behind the concept. Personalizing your campaign can really be to your advantage, because investors are looking for the human side of things as well. There's no shame in asking for money if you need it, as long as you have a great product to back it up. And if you also prove that you have a great personality, investors can find it easier to trust you. Acting cold and aloof can turn potential funders off.
Crowdfunding can potentially be a great way to fund your idea or concept, if you know the right way to do it. Keep the ideas above in mind when planning your campaign, and you'll find it easier to attract quality investors, and build a relationship with people who want to see you succeed. Remember, if you generally solicit for an investment, you’ll need to verify that your investors are accredited investors.