Neil recently completed a successful Thundafund campaign, and heads this advice and insights for potential crowdfunding project creators…
“I have just finished putting the bow on my first crowdfunding effort with the awesome Thundafund team at and, to say I learnt a lot would be an understatement.
We were triumphant! A 111% successfully funded campaign but, I could go on for days with suggestions on what is needed to be done to ensure the success of a Thundafund campaign, when reaching out to the crowd.
I know you don’t have days, so here are my top 6 tips you need to know when running a crowdfunding campaign.
Pre-plan, then plan, then plan the work, then work the plan.
- The best time to start planning your campaign is 2 years ago or 6 months ago. The second best time is right now. You cannot start early enough.
- Before launching your campaign, mention it on your landing page, start telling your friends, start reaching out to blogs and industry leaders et cetera. Get as much momentum as you can before your launch.
- Try and get a database of people who are listening to you and keen to hear from you when you launch. Stick with my motto: ‘Pre-plan, then plan, then plan the work, then work the plan.’ and you should do just fine.
- But seriously, “ARE WE ALL ON BOARD???” For your campaign to be a success, everybody in your team needs to be 110% ALL IN.
- It matters so much, everyone needs to feel that a successful campaign will change your business destiny. Otherwise, why are you even bothering with bothering your friends, family and social media network at a half ass attempt with a campaign. The crowd needs to feel you are genuine and behind this campaign 110% and they will in return, get behind it.
- You need to be hardworking at constantly engaging and constantly communicating about how people can get involved and how to support you in your campaign. Every conversation is a sales conversation. It must be all you speak about, all the time until the campaign closes.
- Also, it is important to understand that teams of 4 or more people have more than a 50% chance of being successful. So beef up your team. Get a campaign manager, a PR, social team leader and 2 chief evangelists and go get ‘em.
- Oh the video, this is c-r-u-c-i-a-l, if they don’t like the video, there is no chance they will read the rewards on offer or dig a little deeper.
- Unless your video is starring Brad Pitt, there is no reason it should be any longer than 2:30 mins long. None. Max 3 mins but that’s it.
- Get a friend with a good camera and find a friend who has a friend who can edit and get it done to the best of your ability. A good video gets shared and shares increase awareness.
- Be as beautiful and genuine and funny as possible in the video. If you can’t do that, just be honest and transparent.
- Take a 3 step approach to your video 1) This is why I’m here 2) This is what I’m making 3) This is where your money will go. THE END.
- Oh yes, and research other videos, obviously.
Go deep in social media.
- Your best results are going to come from social media. So you need to push this. Push this like you work for the HAWKS. Don’t just Tweet, “Hey! We’re crowdfunding, please help.” Investigate who ‘likes’ your posts, ‘likes’ similar industry pages, then send them some Direct Messages. Engage with them by finding out what they think.
- Do serious research on all things related to your product. Crowdfunding sites like Thundafund, Kickstarter and Indiegogo all leave their campaigns up there. So you research the shit out of similar campaigns. Find the people that backed similar campaigns and then hit those people up on social media to see if they will support you.
- This is crucial, it’s all about value, you are not an Online Shopping Company. The crowd won’t pay R100 for your t-shirt if they can buy a similar one the same day for R80.
- There needs to be a solid trade for the fact that they are backing your campaign. No one wants a digital shout out for R10 or their name on your facebook wall for R100. Why would they.
- Think of your campaign as a temporary online store for the things that you can offer. So if you are making the most amazing backpack in the World, you need to make it priced like the most amazing backpack in the World on sale and then make a cool e-book about travel tips because people who need backpacks, travel. Include a limited edition World map to tick off all the places you go with your backpack, get creative. Add value.
Campaign Goal and Money.
- Oh my hat, the word money actually makes everyone completely stupid. This is not FREE money. I’ll say it again. This is not FREE money. I hope twice is enough.
- Campaigners need to understand that just like when you go to the Bank with a business plan or go to rich uncle Allan with that twinkle in your eye, that money that you get isn’t profit. It’s the investment which needs to get paid back.
- With crowdfunding it gets paid into the things you now need to do; Pay for the video, pay the designer, pay for production, pay for PR, pay for shipping, pay for packaging, the list can be infinity long if it’s an intricate product you’re making. Bear this in mind and work it into your goal amount.
- The purpose of crowdfunding is more about the strength in numbers approach, as well as awareness and product validation, than it is about signing off of a bonus check or getting free money.
That’s it, there is more to it than these obvious 6 things but I hope you find them helpful.
Good luck with your campaign and I wish you all the success. If you REALLY OWN IT, it will happen, I promise.
If you need any help, hit me up on firstname.lastname@example.org.” – Neil Matthews