UPDATE: Narek has agreed to periodically drop by and answer any follow-up questions members may have.
What is Crowdfunding?
Instead of borrowing from a bank, today many businesses can be launched by their future customers. Find out all about crowdfunding in Crowdfunding: What is It, When Can Small Businesses Use It – and When Doesn’t it Make Sense.
Many people think they can just create a crowdfunding campaign and it will magically finance their business. It is important to understand that they require a lot of advance planning, marketing and PR for success.
Each crowdfunding platform gives you a very short window of opportunity before newer campaigns push you out of visibility. If you don’t get a lot of interaction, and especially donations, right after your campaign goes live, it is unlikely to succeed.
60% of all crowdfunders fail to achieve their goals
So what are the 40% doing right that the vast majority aren’t? The Crowdfunding Formula interviewed 200 successful campaigners. Wouldn’t you like to know what they discovered?
Read that link for some inside tips, and be with us for the AMA (Ask Me Anything) by going inside the BizSugar Mastermind for even more! Start adding your questions in the event post now.
What is an IndieGoGo “In-Demand” Campaign?
Did you know that IndieGoGo allows fundraisers to continue raising funds AFTER their campaign is over? According to their platform:
You have successfully reached your crowdfunding goal — now what? With Indiegogo InDemand, you can continue to raise funds and build your backer community after your campaign ends.
Crowdfunding Questions from Community Members So Far
Nikola Roza said, “I have three quick questions:
- First, I read somewhere that for a crowdfunding project to succeed, it must have a compelling video to support it; and that those without videos, or with bad ones, are almost sure to fail.Is that true? And is there someway to make up for the lack of videos? I ask because producing high quality videos is a skill that has to be mastered, not to mention you also need to beat the fear of camera.
- Second, what is the best channel to market your campaign? Do you only use quick promotion channels like Facebook and Google ads, or do you mix in blogging a bit, perhaps not at your blog but, for example guest posting on a site that already has relevant audience? I ask because SEO takes time to kick in and you’d need to start promoting your crowdfunding campaign 6 months in advance to see any benefit from it.
- Finally, I read your article on Linkedin. You mention to get in touch with journalists who cover events similar to the one you’re promoting. My question is, since most journalists get hundreds of emails per day, how do you make yours stand out?”
- Ahmad Raza of WiseToast said: “I would like to know if there is any specific template that works best? Also, what are the key elements to writing a successful pitch?”
- Ann Smarty of SEOSmarty queried: “I’d love to know where to start. The whole process seems intimidating… how do I actually start?”
- KCSorrelli shared: “I have never done any crowdfunding campaigns so I don’t have any knowledge about the steps it takes to set one up. However, I would like to know if there are any laws or regulatory measures that have to be followed when conducting a campaign? Are there any type of campaigns that would be considered illegal or that crowdfunding campaigns should not be used?”
- Martin Lindeskog said, “I used a hybrid version of the fixed crowdfunding process, without having a real deadline or fixed amount. I wrote how much I needed in round figures, and when I wanted to have the money, in order to keep on going with the book project. It took several years, but I didn’t give up.What is the expert take on this example, and has he studied one of the first crowdfunding services, called GoGetFunding? I used it for the creation of the illustrations of my first book on (black) tea. Fine artist and cartoonist, John Cox, created the illustrations.Did you know that the site, FundedByMe, used crowdfunding for developing its own business activities? You could get a share of the company, if you backed their crowdfunding campaign. “
- Julie Weishaar shared: “I make video book trailers and explainer videos for small businesses. Could I use crowdfunding that offers videos as perks? And then extend it as an InDemand campaign to generate new customers? “
- Tony Newton, Founder and CEO of LinkTub asks: “What are some good angles to promote software? Specifically SaaS. Would be giving away 1 year licenses be good? How do you go about trying to promote a Crowdfund that doesn’t have a “social good” story behind it? Crowdfunding for tech that has little social value seems extraordinarily difficult.”
- Eric Goldschein, Staff Writer at Fundera, asked in the BizSugar blog: “When starting a crowdfunding campaign, should entrepreneurs be worried about copyrighting their ideas before going live with it? What would stop someone else — whether here or abroad in other markets — from quickly copying a nascent concept and selling it through their own ecommerce platforms?”
- Anita Campbell, CEO of BizSugar and Small Business Trends, asked in the BizSugar blog: “How much time should you expect to put into a crowdfunding campaign, for it to be successful? Is there a rule of thumb?”
- David Leonhardt, President of THGM Writers, asked in the BizSugar blog: “Just generally, I’ve run into this last year with my daughter’s choir, when they were planning their trip to China. I set up their crowdfunding campaign through IndieGoGo, but I can’t say that I did a great job of promoting it. We had, of course, several parents involved. Since this might come up again, any tips on how to coordinate marketing for a group like this would be helpful.”
- Liesha Petrovich, owner, Maine Kyokushin Karate said, “Interesting Topic…Do non-profit crowdfunding projects do better than for-profit?”
- Uttoran Sen, CEO and Founder at Guest Crew, commented: “I run a Crowd Speaking site (GuestCrew) and we have helped people raise funds on several crowd funding sites. So far I have noticed that it is easy to run a successful campaign on the Tech and Design niche where there is an actual product to sell. This type of campaigns are mostly pre-launch sale and it works out well.The real challenge is to raise a campaign where there isn’t anything to give – a campaign that helps someone but in return you have only a thank-you note! In such a case, what other special perks can be given out where there isn’t a real world product to give out? “
- Gail Gardner, BizSugar Mastermind Community Manager, added: “I’m glad you brought this up. GuestCrew is similar to Thunderclap, which chose to shut their doors when Facebook prevented them from posting using their viral method. Has that affected GuestCrew or have you found a way around that?One of the most important uses of something like Thunderclap or GuestCrew is to launch products and crowdfunding campaigns.Our guest has agreed to come back tomorrow to answer the rest of the questions. In the meantime, there is always something you can give. Offer what you have such as a blog post or social campaign. It doesn’t have to be a product. Hopefully, Narek may have more creative suggestions.
- Your question could have been here.