Based on experience of raising more than $9 million funding on crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo, Heather Delaney, Head of Kickstarter and Consumer Tech at Dynamo PR shares her top tips for a successful crowdfunding campaign. According to Crowdfunding Industry Report by Massolution: Crowdfunding platforms raised $2.7 billion and successfully funded more than 1m campaigns in 2012. It also forecasts an 81% increase in global crowdfunding volumes in 2013, to $5.1 billion.
Key takeaways include:
- Keep it simple. Entrepreneurs can sometimes explain their project as though everyone reading understands what they know, as though they have been part of the journey from the beginning. The consumer might not understand the difference between hardware and software! When you’ve spent so much time on a project You tend to forget what people are interested in.
- Creativity. Your crowdfunding campaign must demonstrate the value to the consumer in an engaging way. Heather uses a great example of how she made use of Etsy artists to help launch a 3D printing pen. It can be a bit of extra work but these grand gestures can be very powerful. If you have nothing to show people of what your product is capable of, you’re only doing half the work.
- PR. A lot of people overlook their PR. They don’t really think about what’s required for a journalist to write a great article. Press requires good content. You have to give them something, and not just a link. Remember, journalists may receive over 200 emails in a week so help them out a little. Make sure you supply high res imagery, a video, project details, demo/prototype, specs, team biographies- ANYTHING that makes it easy for a busy journalist to want to publish your story.
So, when crowdfunding, forget about your own world. You may have been working on a software issue for 2 years but for the rest of us, that’s not as interesting as your end product being easy and fun to use. No irrelevant updates, and that includes the new office cate or refrigerator! If you’re spending the crowds money on things outside of the product it’s a sure way to incur their wrath…
Some quick ways to fail with your crowdfunding campaign:
- Your video is 8,12,20 minutes long. No one can watch more than 3 minutes at most. Your video should be your elevator pitch. If you can’t say it in 3 minutes then there’s something wrong.
- Keeping the project secret then demanding press coverage when launch time comes. You can’t surprise the press and then excpect them to jump at the chance to write about you.