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You have an innovative app or invention that you’ve been dying to get out to the public, but there’s only one problem: you don’t have the money to fund your project. That’s where crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter and GoFundMe come into play.
These websites enlist dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of donors to contribute to your cause. You don’t need to have a crazy idea to start a crowdfunding campaign—you can even use crowdfunding websites to help pay for medical treatments or field trips.
Even the most elaborate crowdfunding campaign might not end up with a lot of donations. Fortunately, following these steps will help you attract more patrons to help fund your goal.
1. Use the Right Crowdfunding Platform
Some sites are targeted towards specific niches and projects. For example, Crowdrise and GoFundMe are the best platforms for social causes and nonprofit ventures, while Indiegogo, Patreon, and Kickstarter are great fundraising tools for creative projects.
When it comes down to choosing a single platform, make sure to read up on the site’s policies to see if they collect money off of your donations. You should also spend some time looking at the types of projects on each website to see if yours will fit in. Take inspiration from the campaigns on the site as well—try to figure out what they do well and what they could improve on, and adjust your campaign from there.
2. Choose Your Funding Goals Wisely
How much money will you need to fund your project? You should know that some websites like Kickstarter will only let you keep the donated money if the amount surpasses your goal. On the other hand, Indiegogo will let you keep the money even if you don’t make it to the set amount.
Choose your funding goal wisely, and be realistic about it. Unless you have an extremely unique project and are able to reach thousands of people, you probably shouldn’t set your financial goal at one million dollars. Make your goal a reasonable amount that can help you get started.
3. Research Your Audience
Before you start creating ads or making engaging posts on social media, you need to figure out who will be most interested in supporting your project. This requires some marketing tactics and research.
Targeting the wrong audience will result in a lack of funding. In other words, you should try to refrain from assuming who your audience is, as you might end up focusing on the wrong group of people.
4. Offer Incentives to Donors
While some patrons will give you their wholehearted support without the offer of a reward, others will be less likely. Offering an incentive will help you reel in any hesitant pledgers, plus it’s just a nice gesture.
A good way to tackle rewards is to have different investment tiers. Donors at the lowest rung will get a small trinket, while those at the higher end will get an awesome reward. This will motivate people to donate more money to your cause.
Don’t give any promises that you can’t fulfill. Picking a super expensive reward will backfire if you end up getting thousands of donors. But if you can afford something on the pricey side, then go for it. Just keep in mind that it’ll take a lot of time to prepare the gifts and send them out.
5. Take Engaging Photos and Videos
No one’s going to fund a campaign that has no photos or videos to back it up. You have to give patrons proof that you need this money for a reason. Promotional videos are especially important—videos put a face on your project and help viewers understand the importance of your goals.
The video shown above is an example of the successful crowdfunding campaign for BAUBAX. It’s just long enough to tell you the story of their brand and show you all the features of the travel jacket.
You don’t have to go overboard with your video. Simply read up on some video editing tips, and you’re good to go. Don’t forget to include a number of photos that showcase your idea, product, or cause. Having plenty of media associated with your project will help people connect with your cause.
7. Promote Your Cause
You won’t get any traffic to your fundraising page if you fail to promote it. While you can have your friends and family share your cause on their social media accounts, it won’t bring in enough people to run a successful crowdfunding campaign. You’ll need to do some legwork as well.
Create a schedule of promotions that include time slots for sending out personalized mass emails, posting on social media, handing out flyers, and writing updates on your blog. Ideally, you’ll want investors to be interested in your campaign before you even start it. Having a solid following on social media prior to launching your campaign will give you the best results.
If you’re really serious about your project, consider hosting an in-person event. This can help draw in other patrons who might not use social media.
8. Communicate With Your Supporters
Communication is perhaps the most important step you can take towards reaching your goals. Having a good rapport between you and donators will establish a level of trust that makes your audience confident in your success.
When describing your project, make sure that you give your patrons all the details, and clearly explain all aspects of your goal. Otherwise, people will be unsure about the project, making them wary about handing over their cash.
If any donators ask you questions, make sure to answer them in a public FAQ page. This shows that you’re transparent with your audience and are willing to discuss your project.
Once you’ve gained a good amount of investors, provide them with updates. Let them know how your project is going, and if you’re running into any issues. Be open with your patrons if you think that you can’t meet certain deadlines.
Crowdfunding Your Way to Success
Whether you want to raise money for a project large or small, crowdfunding websites can help you achieve your goal. The success of your campaign comes down to how much work you’re willing to put in for marketing, advertising, and communication. When you succeed in all of these aspects, you’ll be on your way to completing your project.
It’s hard to make social media graphics for your campaign when you’re not a professional designer, but it can be done. When you’re ready to start advertising, make sure to check out these tools to help you create shareable social media images.