Successful crowdfunders realize that there is much more to crowdfunding than just creating a crowdfunding campaign and promoting it on social media. There are 3 distinct phases of a crowdfunding campaign. Each phase requires proper planning, execution, and management. To take advantage of your unique crowdfunding opportunity, you need to understand each phase, and develop an action plan for each one.
To better your odds for realizing your funding goal, take phase one—research, planning and development—seriously. Do your home work and take the necessary time to plan your strategies before you go live in phase two. Let us begin by looking at a snapshot of a well planned crowdfunding campaign.
Phase One. The Pre-launch: Research, planning and development.
This is the most important phase. Develop a clear vision about who you are and what your campaign is all about. Identify your target audience. Develop creative marketing components with your target audience in mind (campaign tone, sales pitch, copy writing, images, video, and rewards).
Research and compare similar projects. Compare funding goals, rewards, copy written elements, video pitch, contribution price points and online marketing tactics. Based on your research findings, develop your unique selling points and strategies.
Establish a start date and end date for your campaign. Setup your marketing channels (social media channels, website, email list of potential contributors, publicity, and local and | national media contacts). Make the initial contact to introduce yourself and upcoming campaign to your audience and media contacts. Include your crowdfunding campaign start date on all your marketing communications.
Fortify your campaign by establishing credibility—expert interviews, expert | celebrity endorsement and testimonials, affiliation with a known brand or organization; don’t forget to highlight your personal expertise and legitimacy too. Lots of homework at this very important stage. Time frame from 30 days to six months.
Phase Two. Implementation, Communication & Management.
Follow up on the contacts you’ve made in phase one. Let them know your crowdfunding campaign is live! Invite them to be a part of this fantastic journey via their support. Continue your marketing communications efforts stressing the urgency, and unique nature of your project and / or practical value of supporting your campaign.
Set aside ample time each day to manage your campaign. Activities should include finding new leads, managing your social media channels, answering questions, and thanking supporters. Constantly update people on your progress through the crowd funding platform you’re using and any other means, e.g., Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, your blog, and newsletter.
Evaluate the results of your efforts. Make changes if necessary to achieve better results. Your hard work during the first phase will pay off in phase two. Average time from 30 days to 45 days.
Phase Three. End of campaign: Closing, Evaluation & Transition.
Follow-through with all your promises. Publicly acknowledge supporters on your web properties. Personally thank them via an email or even a hand signed letter, and / or phone call.
The successful end of your campaign should naturally transition into the beginning of your actual business. The buzz and exposure from your campaign, combined with your new capital, will enable you to grow your business.
If you were not able to reach your funding goal, evaluate your efforts. Ask your supporters for their feed back. In the process, you might discover where you went wrong. Perhaps you can revise your strategies and start another crowd funding campaign in the near future.