image for Launching a Crowdfund? No Problem: 5 Easy Steps

Launching a Crowdfund? No Problem: 5 Easy Steps

Published on Thursday, 1st November 2018, contributed by OggaDoon

Launching a crowdfund can be nerve-wracking. How high should you set your target? What incentives can you afford to give? How much will it cost you and should you include that in your target? Who is your main competition? The list goes on, but it doesn’t have to be stressful.

We’ve run successful crowdfunding campaigns for clients at varying levels, including HAB Housing’s record breaking mini-bond, which hit its £1m target in just four days, and went on to close with £2.5m. These five handy tips could set you well on your way to reaching your crowdfunding goals.

1. Know your audience

If you’re at the stage of fund raising, you should already know your target market. But this time you’re not just selling a product or service, you’re asking for them to invest in you and your brand so you can continue to deliver the service they know and love.

There are two different types of investors: those who will make large donations and want influence in return, and those who are already your fans, who will make small contributions out of a love for what you do. Set incentives for different pledge levels.

Realistically, all your followers won’t be able to donate £100, so start it small and think carefully about what you can provide for your investors in return for their support. What will they want? What do they like? What can you afford to give? A successful crowdfund will depend on your offering.

2. Set yourself realistic targets

One of the main things to know about crowdfunding is that the first 48 hours are crucial. We’re not saying this to stress you out – it’s a proven fact! Crowdfunding campaigns that hit 40% of their target in the first 48 hours are the most likely to succeed, and even exceed, their target.

So don’t be greedy. Sure, it’s nice to get a little more than you need as a safety blanket, but set the bar too high and people are less likely to donate, driving down your social proof factor. Be clear about why you have set your limit, what you will use it for, and how you have come to that conclusion. Transparency grows trust.

3. Exposure is important

Family and friends can be a great help when it comes to raising money. Nobody believes in you more than they do, but it’s unlikely that they’re going to reach your goal between them. Think about influencers in your field. Not direct competitors, but those with a similar audience who can help you reach a wider market of pledgers.

As well as influencers in your sector, think about media outlets: press, radio, and TV stations who might share your values and want to help you promote your brand. But don’t go wild – focus on the right publications for you rather than wasting energy on the big names who are less likely to engage.

4. Build a brilliant campaign

Your crowdfund doesn’t start the day it goes live. Preparing in advance is crucial. You’ll need marketing materials, visual collateral, and planned channels of communication with your audience, whether than be on social media or newsletters. You need to individually contact key influencers, plan content to launch on your website throughout the campaign, and be prepared with thank you messages for those who pledge support. A crowdfund can be exhausting, so do as much preparation as possible, even down to creating tweets and graphics for your emails.

Communicate openly, engage with your pledgers, and don’t be afraid to promote yourself. If nobody knows that you’re crowdfunding, they won’t know to invest.

5. Follow through on your promises

Whether you offered a lapel pin, a free copy of your magazine, or an all-inclusive holiday for two, you have to follow through on the incentives offered to pledgers. Incorporate this cost into your overall target, and be sure to distribute within a month of your crowdfund closing – or indicate up front if this won’t be possible, and when it will be.

The best way to keep pledgers sweet and convert them to followers and customers is to show your appreciation both by fulfilling your promises, and making them feel valued and needed.

Sound easy enough? If you still don’t want to go it alone, don’t worry. Our crowdfunding package is here to ensure your campaign runs as smoothly as possible. We offer bespoke support to suit your needs, whether you’re looking for £1,000 or £1m. Get in touch today and find out how we can help you smash your target.