In my last guestblog, I reflected on our unsuccessful Kickstarter campaign and explained what we did wrong. Today, I´m going to express 5 pillars that are significant when preparing the next crowdfunding campaign.
This is very very important, and I see lot of projects underestimating this part of the process. You should be working on this part at least 2-3 months before the start of the campaign, especially if you want to launch a completely new product. You just need to find your target audience and build the fanbase of people ready to back your campaign the minute you publish it. This way you can create momentum that will last. First backers coming in in the early stages of your campaign will serve as a social proof for the others that your product is worth buying.
You can work on this phase in several ways. You can set up a website (more on this subject in the 2nd point) to collect e-mails from potential backers. Another possibility is writing blog posts on websites with organic traffic such as medium.com and then getting their e-mail in exchange for extended piece of content etc. I wouldn’t recommend launching a campaign if you don’t have at least couple of hundreds of e-mail addresses on your list. Also, the presence on various social media (based on the type of your product) is a must.
Website is a significant part of the pre-launch campaign. You need to set up some kind of landing page where you should collect the e-mail addresses of potential buyers of your product. This website should be as minimalistic as possible, like ours:
If you don’t have a professional graphic designer and coder in your team, I highly recommend hiring someone to do that for you to achieve the best results. We hired small Slovak company called SEO Guru. They did a great job for reasonable amount of money.
Don’t even think about starting a crowdfunding campaign without a professional video. This is the first thing a visitor at your Kickstarter page sees, and if they don’t like it they are going to leave without reading about your campaign. A video shot to your iPhone is just not enough if you want to pull off a decent crowdfunding campaign. A small hint: You can create a great script for your video if you just watch the videos of the other successful campaigns in your field and put together the parts that made sense for you.
Visitors like your promotional video? Great! The next step is that they are going to read what you have to say about the campaign. Again, just look up the pages of the successful campaigns in your field, get inspired and then tailor your crowdfunding page to your specific parameters. Kickstarter also offers you the option to send a secret link of your page even before launching the campaign. This way you can send your Kickstarter page to your friends or a close group of potential customers so you can receive a valuable feedback.
Before launching, you need to make sure that you will be able to deliver the product on time both in cases when you barely exceed your funding goal or when you campaign goes crazy and you raise 10 times more money than you expected in the first place. You need to have figured out how you would handle manufacturing and shipping after the campaign is over so you don’t get screwed up. For example it might mean having at least two independent manufacturers ready to fulfill your order.
This is it! If you have all of these 5 steps worked out, you can start a crowdfunding campaign. Of course, this post hasn’t gone into the full detail. There are hundreds of in-depth articles on how to run a successful crowdfunding campaign on the internet, and here are the ones that gave me the most when preparing my own campaign: