A successful crowdfunding campaign starts weeks before you post your information to a crowdfunding platform. Preparation entails:
- Contacting the media if your campaign is particularly newsworthy or quirky and telling them about your project and when it will go live,
- Alerting your friends and asking them to contact people they know, telling them when your campaign goes live so you have some activity the first day,
- Making sure your social media pages include your campaign – and that you have lots of friends and likes. Link the crowdfunding campaign to your social media pages.
Elements of a successful campaign include:
- A professional looking video between three and five minutes long, with good audio quality. Your video needs to be engaging and keep your audience’s attention.
- A concise, grammatically correct description that explains your project — why it is important or worthy of donations,
- A budget that you explain to potential donors — don’t just say you need $25,000 to make a movie. Give details. The more money you request, the more detail you should provide,
- Good perks that are related to your project if possible. Generic T-shirts and baseball caps don’t inspire people to give. If you are actually manufacturing a product, or are financing a service, give them as perks for higher-level donations. Make sure you offer tiered perks. For $5 donations you can get away with just a thank you note, but after that, you need something more substantive.
- Updates — to maintain excitement, or give the impression of progress if you are not getting many donations. Continually update the campaign with new perks or more detailed explanations,
- People who are thinking of donating will have questions. Make sure you answer them promptly.
- Keep your social media pages up to date on your campaign progress.
- Don’t ask for too little money. Remember there are fees to pay to the crowdfunding platform, to credit card servicers, and for shipping costs if you have to send your perks through the mail.
In the early years of crowdfunding campaigns lasted up to 90 days. Now somewhere between 45 and 60 days is considered optimum. Research shows that most donations come in at the very beginning and end of a campaign no matter the length.
Running a crowdfunding campaign can seem like a part-time job. Don’t exhaust yourself. Try to have a team of people helping out. Remember that you have to maintain a high level of activity throughout the process.