Money matters. If there's one universal constant about startups and fresh new ideas, it's that a lack of green can spell disaster. As illustrious publications like Inc. so helpfully point out, 96% of businesses fail within ten years, and one of the leading causes is a shortage of funding.
For many would-be entrepreneurs, crowdfunding has become a go-to source of startup capital, but getting an idea off the ground is often plagued with pitfalls and guesswork. That is, if you aren't sure about some of the proven pathways to success. Here are three tips to help knock your crowdfunding goals out of the park.
Step 1: Choose The Right Platform
The popularity of crowdfunding has sparked a slew of different platforms designed to connect creators with supporters. You've got Kickstarter, Indiegogo, GoFundMe, Plumfund, and a whole lot more to choose from. Make sure you go with the one that's right for your project.
Different sites have different models that govern how you can raise funds, their approval process, transaction fees, and the like. Kickstarter, for instance, has an all-or-nothing setup that requires you to reach your entire funding goal or receive no funding at all. GoFundMe, on the other hand, allows you to set a goal and withdraw from your available funds at any time.
Make sure that you carefully compare your options and go with the crowdfunding site you think will best complement your startup.
Step 2: You Need A Killer Pitch
You might be convinced that you've got the perfect idea for a startup, but potential supporters won't know that unless you persuade them that your idea is worth backing.
No need to reinvent the wheel here, the anatomy of a great pitch has already been thoroughly analyzed. You'll need to keep it simple, clear, and make sure people can sense the passion behind your idea.
This infographic refers to six elements that apply just as much to an on-the-spot pitch as they do to writing and presenting that pitch to people online:
The Hook. It has to grab the attention of the reader by being compelling.
The Problem. Let them know what the monumental task you're tackling is all about.
The Solution. It has to be unique. If you're not breaking new ground, you're less likely to get noticed.
The Team. Why is your crew the best for the job? You have to convince supporters that you're uniquely capable of achieving your goals.
The Draw. You might not have traction within the market yet, but if you can show that there's already buzz about what you've dreamt up, you'll be more likely to score new supporters. If you have data, use it to back up your claims.
The Close. Finish with a powerful message. You won't be asking for a card, but you will make an earnest appeal for support. Make sure backers know what's in it for them, and what they stand to gain by pledging to your cause.
Step 3: You Have To Engage With Your Supporters
One of the biggest errors crowdfunding newbies make is failing to communicate. Your supporters want to know about your progress, so make sure to supply them with status updates and keep them abreast on how the startup is progressing.
When you hit a milestone, make an announcement. When something is changing, let supporters know. Make sure to use all methods available to you, including your social media platforms.
Wendy is a super-connector with OutreachMama and Youth Noise NJ who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition. You can contact her on Twitter.