In order to pull off a successful crowdfunding campaign, you need to have some serious faith that your concept will solve pain points for your audience. Likewise, your followers are taking a big gamble on you, so you had better make it worth their while to learn about your campaign and contribute to getting it off the ground.
Six entrepreneurs share what areas you should focus on most when developing a crowdfunding campaign -- and why they're crucial for nailing it.
Produce a compelling video.
"Much of your campaign's success will result from your main video," says Andrew Thomas, co-founder of Wi-Fi enabled doorbell business SkyBell Doorbell. "Campaigns with a video are shown to significantly outperform campaigns that don't -- and investing in a good video will help you even further."
Thomas recommends getting to your business's value proposition within the first 15-30 seconds of the clip. "We used this approach, and it helped us raise $600,000 on Indiegogo for our IoT product," he says.
Try a whiteboard explainer.
When deciding which video format to go with for your campaign, consider a whiteboard explainer format to drill down to the very simple basics of what you're trying to get across to your audience. Zac Johnson, CEO of blogging business Blogging.org, believes videos like this are one of the best ways to gain (and keep) the attention of your audience.
"We've all seen them before, and they still grab our attention every time. We recently used this process to show users how easy it was to start a new website or blog of their own, and it worked great. For best results, keep your videos entertaining, short and to the point."
Create a killer marketing and distribution plan.
"Just because you flip the switch and turn on your crowdfunding campaign, that doesn't mean people will come flocking," says G. Krista Morgan, CEO and co-founder of marketplace lender service P2Binvestor. Instead, you need to put the right systems in place ahead of time in order to yield the best results.
"Spend the time creating a detailed marketing and distribution plan that incorporates multiple channels long before you go live. Most importantly, plan how you will track and measure each. When you've identified which channels are driving the most traffic, double down."
Alert the press about your campaign as soon as you can.
Torrey Tayenaka, CEO and co-founder of video marketing agency Sparkhouse, and his team have raised over $2 million in crowdfunding in the last two years alone. The one thing he wishes he had done before going into it? Made arrangements to secure press coverage well in advance.
"You need to reach out to as many publications, blogs, websites, partners, etc. before your campaign goes live," he says. "Don't play catch up after the fact -- otherwise you will be too far behind already."
Develop great content to do the legwork for you.
"I've advised technical founders interested in crowdfunding who think their product idea speaks for itself. It doesn't," says Vik Patel, CEO of VPS hosting service Future Hosting. "Content, including video, must create a compelling story that appeals to contributors."
Patel advises hiring someone with experience developing compelling content for crowdfunding campaigns, especially if you don't have someone on your team with the creative chops to pull it off.
Build upon existing momentum.
"In my previous role as the manager of a music crowdfunding platform, I've seen dozens of campaigns, and all the successful ones have one thing in common: They start fast, and then have a strategy to keep that momentum," says Daniel Rogers, co-founder of employee engagement platform Peakon.
"The best way to do this is to prime as much of your network as possible before launch. Even if you don't have an existing community, you need to invest in marketing prior to launch," he says.