Crowdfunding is an incredible tool for startups looking for funding and visibility. Like any tool, to get the most out of your crowdfund, you have to put in plenty of hard work. Behind every top notch crowdfunding profile and raving new product review is a hardworking entrepreneur. The most successful campaigns involve weeks of preparation leading up to launch.
From perfecting the visual components of your profile, to thoroughly researching potential media placements, taking the proper steps as you gear up to launch will ensure the best chance of success for your campaign.
T-minus: 1 month
If possible, plan your launch date in advance to give you plenty of time to prep.
- Build a social following. Social media marketing is a key component to a successful crowdfunding campaign. A month before your crowdfunding campaign launches, begin building a social following on a platform like Twitter, Facebook, or Linkedin.
- Create a List of Potential Backers. Support from your network will be your foundation for success when you launch. Start brainstorming a list of potential donors from your network and make your rewards compelling to them.
T-minus: 3 weeks
- Finalize your Message. Your crowdfunding profile needs to perfectly capture your business and your story as an entrepreneur. Write your copy, edit it, write it again, and don’t hesitate to ask for peer reviews!
- Create Strong Visual Representations. Make sure that you have good images and collateral that explains your company and product. When potential backers click on a profile, they scroll first and read second- you want to make sure to catch their eye! It may be worth your time to hire a product photographer, or find a local photography student for a more budget-friendly way to get great visual collateral to accompany your fundraise.
- Craft a marketing plan. Begin to build an outline of steps you’ll take to promote your crowdfunding campaign. Create a plan that includes social media, email marketing, media outreach, and any other forms of marketing you’d like to incorporate. Be creative!
T-minus: 1 week
You’re getting down to the wire; it’s time finalize your fundraise and prep for launch mode.
- Notify your network. One week prior to your crowdfunding campaign’s launch, let your close friends and family members know about your plans. Planting the seed early will prepare them for your future busy schedule, pledge requests, and get them thinking about how much they can contribute to your campaign. It also gives them time to start spreading the word!
Helpful Hint: Separate everyone you know into various segments to be emailed separately once your campaign launches. This can include close friends, acquaintances, family members, and business associates.
- Research media outlets. Achieving placements in relevant media outlets can drastically increase your campaign’s likelihood of success. Research journalists who cover stories relating to your industry – read a few of their recent articles, take note of their style, and find their contact information. It’s useful to build a spreadsheet with this information for later reference.
- Make final edits. One week prior to launch, take a look at all of your documents, copy, and visuals to ensure that it looks professional and appealing. Make any last minute changes as necessary.
Congratulations, you’ve made it! Today is a big day for your crowdfunding campaign, and your hard work preparing is about to come to fruition. Keep your momentum going by:
- Notify your networks. Remember that segmented list of everyone you know? Send them all messages (tailored to be appropriate for each group) notifying them of your official crowdfunding campaign launch. Be sure to include a link to your profile!
Helpful Hint: A launch party is a great way to kick off your crowdfunding campaign and a great way to gather support. Invite your friends, family, and business associates to join you in celebrating your big day. Don’t forget to bring a laptop or two with your Fundable profile displayed in case party goers would like to be one of your first supporters.
- Share via Social Platforms. Since you’ve been growing your social media presence for a month, you should now have an audience of people to announce your crowdfunding campaign to. Encourage followers (particularly those who engage with your brand the most) to check out your profile.
- Pitch your story to the media. Use your carefully researched list of journalists to pitch your story to as many media outlets as possible. Be sure to reference past articles to show that you’re engaged and know what each journalist likes to cover.