If you have had a billion dollar idea and are seeking a way to raise the startup capital needed to kickstart your new ventures, then you will likely need to launch an Indiegogo campaign. As a leading global community, Indiegogo is a crowdfunding site that allows you to pitch ideas straight to the general public who may be interested in offering financial support. Whether you are a first-time entrepreneur or small business owner, crowdfunding can be the ideal way to bypass venture capitalists for donations from everyday Internet users that connect with your product or service.
That being said, competition on crowdfunding sites is extremely high and is expected to become even fiercer in the coming years. In fact, less than half of campaigns reach their funding goals and around 12% do not even receive a pledge. After going live on our Indiegogo campaign for Kamere – Inspiration to Uplift Lives Mobile App this past week, I wanted to share some of my insider tips that I have already learned to ensure you do not become part of these statistics. Read on to find out about the nine things you need to start crowdfunding like an Indiegogo dancer and raise the necessary capital to make your ideas a reality.
1. Build Your Audience through Social Media
Before launching your campaign, it is essential that you start building your audience in order to have the most success in leveraging other people’s money in meeting your funding goals. While keeping your product or service in mind, take an inventory of data about your potential customer demographics and their typical online activities. Try to determine what kinds of social media your ideal funders will be involved in, whether it’s Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, or LinkedIn. You may also want to learn more about your targeted niche by utilizing Klout or Followerwonk. Once you join the online communities of your selected audience, then start building professional relationships across the social media platforms to receive helpful suggestions and bring more traffic to your campaign later on.
2. Create a Relevant Blog
While you may already have a free blog on Weebly or Blogspot, it is highly recommended that you create a self-hosted WordPress website for creating an eye-catching and interesting blog that will attract your targeted audience. Since customers are much more likely to trust and hand over money to startups with a domain, be sure to not skimp on investing in web hosting and custom web designs. On your new blog, you will need to also build a landing page that will draw in Internet users and encourage visitors to join your email list. Always remember to have concise headlines, reliable testimonials, strong calls to action, links to other sites, product images, and impeccable grammar. When you tell people why you are doing what you are doing, there is a far better chance that they will follow you and contribute to your mission.
3. Establish a Reachable Goal
After you have created a highly engaged audience who are ready to support you, then it is time to launch your Indiegogo campaign for success. One of the most important aspects of setting up your campaign will be establishing a reachable monetary goal. Since very few projects asking for funding over the $100,000 mark actually are successful, it is essential that you have a very realistic goal that can actually be attained. For that reason, we have created a goal of $35,000 that will be utilized for developing and marketing the mobile application for Kamere to make inspiration easier to share on the go.
According to Indiegogo, campaigns that last for 30 days have a 35% chance of actually surpassing their funding goals, whereas campaigns for 60 days or more only have a 29% chance of becoming successful. For our Kamere campaign, we chose a 35-day deadline to motivate generous donors to give pledges in a more timely fashion. Therefore, you should also plan a realistic deadline of around one month when launching your campaign.
4. Publish a Video on Your Landing Page
Did you know that projects are 85% more likely to reach their funding goals with a video than without one? In a study carried out by MWP Digital, researchers discovered that 56% of the 7,196 projects assessed failed to get funding without having a video. Although they say a picture is worth a thousand words, a video can make or break your crowdfunding campaign. In order to stand out from the crowd and inform your potential backers about your product or service, create a video or even publish screenshots on your landing page. Despite the fact that creating a video for your campaign will be an investment of time and money, it will be worth it to have a higher likelihood of reaching your fund goals.
5. Provide Impressive Incentives
Startups that launch a crowdfunding project without offering anything tangible in return for financial contributions quickly fizzle on Indiegogo. After all, building a crowdfunding project is not comparable to running a political campaign or charity. Since very few people will provide backing simply from liking your project, it is critical that you offer impressive incentives in return for their generosity. With the most popular pledge amount being $25, projects without an incentive granted at the $20 mark have a 62% chance of failing. You may want to consider offering special edition t-shirts, customized stickers, credits on your website, or an exclusive invitation to the launch party.
You want to maintain an enthusiastic and optimistic perspective throughout your crowdfunding campaign by publicly letting people know how much money you have successfully raised every couple of days. Be sure to highlight all of the positive press you have generated, encourage supporters to share your campaign in their social networks, and offer praise to backers. Since rubbing some egos never hurt, it is a great idea to praise support given by big donations along with the incentives mentioned above. In fact, it may encourage other potential backers to increase their amount to receive a special nod too.
6. Send Out Press Releases
How can your targeted audience and loyal supporters provide their financial support unless they are aware that your campaign has gone live? Exactly, they can’t. Therefore, once launch day rolls around, it is important that you create an impressive press release to email through your outreach list. Also, let everyone else know that your campaign is live by tweeting your followers, posting on Facebook, and making grand announcements on your blog. It is also a great idea to give other bloggers the chance to interview you for their website to increase the good press circulating about your campaign across the World Wide Web.
7. Keep Promoting Your Campaign
Across all of your social media channels, you need to continually promote your campaign to boost traffic and bring in your pledges. Contact some of the key social media users in your circle to assist you in sharing your content with their audiences to extend your reach. It is typically recommended that you spend at least three times as much time you spent writing blog posts as promoting them on social media.
If you are depending on Tumblr and it is not working very well to draw in new customers, then switch to Twitter or even Quora. For instance, we used to the hashtag #FundKamere to gain attention for our startup and eventually obtain more pledges. When all else fails, live outside the box and realize that nothing is off limits when building potential venue. You may consider creating a YouTube video that features your product/service or going the old-fashioned route by handing out flyers in local relevant venues.
8. Test, Test, and Test More
When you are working with Indiegogo, your campaign has a very specific goal that must be accomplished in a limited amount of time, so you must act wisely in order to meet your deadline. If your campaign starts to fall behind or become stagnant, then you could be in big trouble. Therefore, it is essential that you continually test to know what you should be doing more of and what you should stop doing to receive the best results. Monitor your campaign’s performance by analyzing boosts in pledges and traffic. Testing will help you figure out what caused an increase in traffic and even what time of day is best to publish content. Then, you will have the knowledge needed to tweak your strategies and make each day count.
9. Expect the Unexpected
Overall, the most important lesson that we have already learned from launching our Kamere project is that Indiegogo campaigns cannot follow a specific “how-to” method that works in all instances. Each and every crowdfunding project will require different strategies because you are trying to reach a different target audience and there is a different market fit. Some projects may be easier to promote for being trendy, but other projects can be just as likely to achieve their goal with awesome incentives, great pricing, and an involved target audience.
While there are countless variables and hundreds of thousands little details that you cannot anticipate, there are some ground rules that must be followed in order to successfully build a campaign. Using these nine things needed to crowdfund like an Indiegogo dancer, you will have the foundation necessary for entering the fierce competition for pledges. As a final lesson, remember to be flexible in your strategies and do not depend on one tactic to work. Continually brainstorm new creative ways to promote your Indiegogo campaign and never give up on reaching more people to achieve your funding goals.
I really hope you enjoyed my crowdfunding post and if you could do me a huge favor and donate to our Indiegogo campaign I would really appreciate it. When you donate, please tell me what you donated in the comments below, so I can thank you personally! Thank so much for your support!
Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant who specializes in sales funnels, targeted traffic, and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.