4 powerful tips to boost the success of your crowdfunding campaign – written by the guy from the crowdfunding platform

Vinay’s note – Crowdfunding is no longer the cool new kid on the block that everyone’s talking about. In fact it would seem that successful crowdfunding is getting harder if not near impossible. But is that true?

In this post Elliot Chapple takes us through tried and tested tips to boost the success of your crowdfunding campaign.

Crowdfunding is reaching maturity. It’s no longer the cool new kid on the block that everyone’s talking about. The Flow Hive days are over, the IRL Shooters have peaked. It seems that successful crowdfunding is getting harder. Nowadays, projects don’t buzz purely based off the fact they did something avant-garde by launching their product through a crowdfunding site. Is crowdfunding dead? With a total funding volume estimated at $34.4 billion in 2015 alone, I’ll let you decide.

The plus is along with this maturity comes a greater understanding of what makes a crowdfunding campaign successful. The wealth of knowledge has expanded. The body of campaigns you can draw inspiration from is bigger, giving us better case studies, better information and most importantly an opportunity to make more informed choices. As Pozible’s main project advisor, I’ve seen this happen with my own eyes. It’s now very clear that a successful crowdfunding promotional strategy levers off the crowd and their psychological / emotional responses.

Every successful crowdfunding campaign can be broken down into 4 main stages. For each stage, I’ve sought knowledge from the true innovators and creators, the community. The 4 creators that I’ve handpicked recently had an awesome campaign and did particularly well at their respective stage. Let’s see what they had to say.

Communicating The Idea

Kylea & Lauren Waller

Entrepreneurial sisters Kylea & Lauren Waller raised $19,330 in a successful crowdfunding campaign for their budgeting software solution My Money Zen. Without anything to show but a plan, they had to really think hard about how they would explain their end product.

“Communicating the idea is crucial to any campaign, even more so in cases like ours, where we were raising funds for software development and couldn’t show a prototype.

We spent a significant portion of our prep time creating an explainer video. We knew we needed to work out how we were going to get across exactly what it is that we do, and touch the hearts and minds of our customer. Something that helped tremendously was running a survey to fully understand the problem we were solving, our customer’s pain points and their aspirations. This really informed our explainer video, as well as a lot of the content on the campaign page. There is plenty of info to be found online to help you outline your explainer video, one of our favourites is on Quicksprout. It doesn’t have to be expensive either. We created ours with free stock images, a voice over artist through fiverr and used iMovie. Total cost $150.

Like many other campaigns, we knew that a lot of our supporters would be family & friends, and that these people were not necessarily buying our product, but rather supporting us and our story. So we created an intro to our explainer video that covered this side of things. We did a lot of drilling down deep into our vision and our why. Where did this all come from? Why are we doing this? What difference are we trying to make? Once you’re clear on that, it really just comes down to speaking from the heart.”

Kylea is dead right here; you can’t assume, you have to ask. Find out exactly what people want and give it to them. Also keep in mind it’s as much about the story of the project as it is the project itself.

In a crowdfunding campaign, people are pledging to you just as much as they are your idea.Click To Tweet

To confirm this, here’s a non-exclusive multiple choice question we asked a random sample from our top 1% of project supporters:

crowdfunding survey statistics

Early Momentum

The Black hops founders; Dan, Eddie & Govs

Dan Norris and his team raised $17,805 for their brewery called Black Hops. In fact, they hit their financial target in the first day of the campaign launching. This means their campaign was Australia’s most successful beer crowdfunding campaign ever.

“Five weeks before our campaign officially launched, we got to work with getting the word out. We built a list of influencers that could assist us with publicity and exposure and reached out to a bunch of podcasts.

The key part of our crowdfunding strategy and how we created such strong early momentum was setting up an ambassador group on Facebook. This helped us create an engaged audience upfront, who helped us promote our campaign. To do this, we set up a page on our site telling people about the campaign and asking for their email so that we could notify them when we went live. When people signed up for the email, we invited them to join the ambassador group on Facebook.

The impact of that process was significant. The ambassador group snapped up most of the Early Bird offers ($40 discount on normal price) and by the time we emailed the list, there were only a few left. Those went quickly too, and by the time we shared it publicly, we were already into the other nine rewards. The impact was we hit 50% of our target in the first few hours, before we even launched publicly.

We also used Thunderclap, which allows you to send out multiple social media messages simultaneously to create attention for an event or launch. Our Thunderclap campaign resulted in 100 backers sharing the Black Hops crowdfunding launch all at the same time on social media. We made sure this happened a few hours after we released the early bird deal to ambassadors. ”

Related: WP Curve: The ultimate guide to Thunderclap for product launches

Dan’s strategy is one I’m constantly relaying to budding campaigners. This urgency at the beginning of a campaign is invaluable. Also, this is compounded when, at the public launch, supporters saw a sold out reward and the fear of missing out on the next reward ensued a beer buying frenzy.

This was compiled with content from another one of Dan’s blog posts, 7 Day Startup: Crowdfunding For Business.

Maintaining Momentum

One of the Shacky tiny houses

Joep Pennartz raised $25,137 for his tiny house getaways project called Shacky. A true hustler, his do or die attitude was the key to his successful crowdfunding campaign.

“Crowdfunding proved to be super intense. The main thing I learned? Maintaining momentum is the key to a successful campaign.

The middle of your campaign is often hard, few pledges come in, and you start losing hope. But don’t worry, it happens to most of us, and perhaps my experiences are a little help!

Make your product tangible. You probably know what your crowdfunding is about, but your potential pledgers don’t! The trick is to make them see or even experience your dream. After your potential pledgers have fallen in love, make crystal clear that their love is in vain if they don’t support you RIGHT NOW.

Take every chance you get. Before your campaign, you sit down and make a strategy to reach potential pledgers. But during your campaign, you have to take every new opportunity that comes up. To give you an idea, I towed Tiny Houses down Melbourne’s CBD to host workshops with sheep and Tiny Houses. I advertised at every farmers market I could find, and don’t get me started on how I hassled journalists to write about Shacky.

Treat your pledgers like kings and queens. People that pledged love your campaign. If you treat them right, they will become your ambassadors!

DON’T GIVE UP – Just don’t. Most campaigns go through this dip, so you’re not alone. My campaign succeeded only in the last day, so just don’t give up!”

Another interesting strategy Joep employed was publicizing a personalized thank you for each and every supporter. He released 2 per day, and let the supporters know about it while also asking them to tag themselves.

This resulted in each supporter having a bite sized chunk of personalized content that all their friends could see. Behind the scenes, he was really promoting his campaign in a very appreciative and ‘non-needy’ way. Also, supporters’ friends assume that the pledge happened that same day. This makes a wonderful way to maintain the perception that the campaign was still ticking along nicely.

Beyond 100% Funded

Matt Haynes speaking at Brisbane Design Conference

Matt Haynes raised over $30,000 for his Design Conference. His stretch goals and incentivizing supporters to really get behind the project were the crux of his successful crowdfunding campaign.

“Our primary reward was the announcement of 3 international speakers. With 300 tickets set to A$99, we had the opportunity to raise $30k. With this in mind, we set our campaign goal at $15k, knowing that each speaker would cost us $5k a piece.

The magic begins by adding in a further international speaker free of charge for every $5k raised over and above the $15k target. At each $5K milestone, we added the next target ( i.e. $20k for the 1st) to the campaign description and divulged the next speaker.

With our $15k target hit with $15 days to go, our campaign was officially funded, making our reward much more appealing to investors who had to fly to the event: a global audience.

By coupling the news of being funded with the announcement of our fourth and highest profile speaker, we strategically sent out 150 investors going into a social media frenzy which resulted in our number doubling in half the time.

In summary: a campaign which can scale its rewards successfully through the stretch will experience much stronger support than a fixed reward campaign. I didn’t expect to come home as strong as we did, however we planned for it and I suggest you do the same.”

Matt smashed it and ended up 200% funded. The core of this is coming up with a ‘stretch goal’ (essentially just a new financial target with added outcomes) that benefits all the current supporters. If you’d pledged to this event, you already had your ticket, but by inviting your mates and sharing the campaign, your ticket becomes more valuable with every stretch goal achieved.

Summarizing Successful Crowdfunding

At the heart of all of these successful crowdfunding strategies is finding ways to lever the crowd – they’re your biggest asset! Make them understand and need your end-product. Unroll the campaign with a strategy to kick off a buying frenzy. Get them sharing the campaign and piggyback off their networks. Every supporter of a campaign becomes an ambassador, they will help you get that target because they want their reward.

This is the tip of the iceberg. If you’re generally interested in learning more about crowdfunding, check out the Pozible Crowdfunding Handbook. If you’ve got an idea or any questions for Pozible, book in a free phone chat with one of our dedicated advisors. It’s our mission to ensure you’re one of Pozible’s many successful crowdfunding campaigners.

Pozible staff

About

Elliot has run a number of business initiatives gravitating around new media and film including the launch of Australia's biggest action sports film festival Yew.tv. In early 2015 Elliot joined the Pozible team as their dedicated project advisor, offering advice and support to creators at all stages of their campaigns. In his time at Pozible the overall success rate of campaigns jumped from 58% to 63%. Reach out to Elliot on Linkedin.

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