Tuesday 25th October 2016                 Change text size:

Seven steps: essential tips for successful crowdfunding

Photo: Turning Earth/Crowdfunder

Crowdfunding is an increasingly popular form of financing that allows entrepreneurs to realise their ideas with the help of the crowd. 

Crowdfunder, the UK’s biggest crowdfunding platform, helps businesses, charities and community groups raise money from the communities around them, catering for projects that will have a positive social impact. 

If you’re plotting the next best thing, or sitting on a master plan, these seven top tips, provided by Crowdfunder’s behind-the-scenes crowdfunding wizards, will help you make it a reality.

Step 1. Have a plan

Fail to plan, plan to fail,” has never been truer than when creating a Crowdfunder campaign. With 28 days to raise the funds, you need to know what you are doing as your campaign progresses, if you are to have an impact and get people pledging to your project.

It’s important to remember that 90% of the work that goes into a successful crowdfund happens before the project goes live. 

Step 2. Don’t keep your idea to yourself – tell everyone! 

Use every means possible to shout about your project. Start Tweeting about it and posting updates on Facebook. Pick up the phone and tell everyone in your phone book. Tell everyone you pass in the street or meet at the pub.

Encourage all of your friends and your family to share your project across their own communities.

Step 3. Marketing

One of the great benefits of crowdfunding is that you can market it as you would a business. Send email newsletters, talk to your networks on LinkedIn, create a day-by-day list of actions to complete that means you are actively promoting all the way through. Remember, it’s not just about meeting your target; you can overfund and raise more money to expand on your ideas.

Promotion is the key to a successful campaign. It’s very important to know who your ideal audience is, if you target them carefully, create the right buzz and your idea is a good one, you will be onto a winner.

Step 4. Build a team

Behind every entrepreneur, business and charity is a brilliant team. It could be your mum taking leaflets to her coffee mornings, or your best friend sending an email at work to support you.

It’s important to give everyone a role. Be very clear on what you need from them and encourage everybody to be the voice of your campaign. Make sure that they all know to share your updates and messages online and take every opportunity to ask for help.

Step 5. Test your campaign 

Crowdfunding is about reaching out to your networks and it’s vital to get your messaging right. The best way to do this is to test your ideas on people. By asking your nearest networks if your idea is something they would want to pledge on you can get a very good idea of how your campaign will roll out.

Also, by taking a selection of your email database and sending an email or setting up a survey you can discover how many people might get involved. This figure then gives you the opportunity to assess how you go forward and understand how your campaign will progress giving you a very good idea of the scale of work you need to do and the structure going forward. 

Step 6. Get some money in the bag

Positivity breeds positivity and by getting some early pledges in the door when you launch your campaign gives future pledgers the confidence to back you. It’s a great idea to get ten people lined up to pledge as you launch so you have some early activity showing on your Crowdfunder page.

Step 7. Crowdfund!

Then it’s plain sailing – you have your audience, you have your plan, you have your team and you have your messaging – go crowdfund!

To get more top tips on how to launch a successful crowdfund, visit www.crowdfunder.co.uk

Further reading:

‘Alternative’ finance no more: Crowdfunder on why it’s eyeing up the mainstream

Crowdfunder meets £500,000 equity crowdfunding target in under four hours

April’s top 10 green crowdfunding projects

Peer-to-peer lending doubles in size to £843m in 2013


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