You’ve had that next billion dollar idea and you’re going to raise your first $25k via Kickstarter, Indiegogo or another crowd funding site to make it a reality.
Simply put, crowdfunding is the process of asking the general public for donations that provide startup capital for new ventures. Using the technique, entrepreneurs and small business owners can bypass venture capitalists and angel investors entirely and instead pitch ideas straight to everyday Internet users, who provide financial backing.
Competition for crowdfunding dollars is already high, and destined to become even more competitive as time passes. Launching a project on a crowd funding site is far from a guaranteed success – less than half of the Kickstarter projects reach their funding goal, and around 12% don’t receive a single pledge, therefore no matter how great your product is you’re going to need to get web traffic to your funding page or you are going to struggle to raise the necessary capital to get your project off the ground.
Phase 1: Build your audience
The most successful entrepreneurs know the power of leveraging other people’s money to get to where they want to be. Well the best marketers know how to leverage other people’s audiences to do that too. You want to start this phase at least 3-4 months before you plan to launch your funding campaign.
It’s important to write down who your ideal customer is and who your ideal funder will be. I like to create personas based on real data about customer demographics and online behaviour, along with educated guesses about their personal histories, motivations, and potential concerns.
Try to answer the following questions while you write out your personas:
- What are the biggest problems they are trying to solve?
- What do they need most?
- What information are they typically searching for?
- What trends are influencing their business or personal success?
Next, develop a profile of each persona’s typical online activities. You know who they are and what their needs are, now think about all the ways they research a potential purchase on your site or on others.
- What do they do online? Do they read blogs? Are they active on social media?
- What kind of search terms do they use? Are they on email lists or RSS subscribers?
- What kind of information do they tend to consume online? Infographics? Videos? Podcasts?