Think Big! – In the last two decades, the entrepreneurial revolution has transformed the possibilities for those who want to change their world.  Among the many tools, there is one that has helped big dreams come true. Crowdfunding. But, creating a successful crowdfunding campaign demands a lot of work and an organized process. So continue reading and find out how to create a crowdfunding campaign for your dream project in 6 steps. A crowdfunding campaign can be created for many purposes. If there is an interesting idea, there is the possibility to design a successful crowdfunding campaign. However, it’s important to understand that right now there are millions of projects in need of funds. Standing out of the crowd may be challenging, but that is why you should plan every little step to turn your dream project into reality.

After all, what is a successful crowdfunding campaign?

Great missions can be accomplished by taking small steps. This is the basis of crowdfunding. Persuading people to donate money to make your project come alive is not an easy job.  As Inna Boyadzhieva, mentor of the European Innovation Academy (EIA), said: “successful crowdfunding generally doesn’t happen by accident.” Achieving goals through your campaign is only possible if you tell the right story and make the donor part of that dream. – Fundraising is your main goal, but crowdfunding is also a great way to test the success of your idea. Crowdfunding campaigns tend to be the first step when wanting to launch a startup, products or social projects. However, what most people don’t know is that you can use different platforms to raise funds for personal projects such as attending programs like the European Innovation Academy Summer Program. The idea of crowdfunding your educational dream project might sound unappealing, but giving up on your dream project is something you should never even consider. Several EIA Alumni have successfully funded their tuition fee through crowdfunding. 

6 tips to create a successful crowdfunding campaign

Excited with the idea of raising funds for your dream project? Let’s go to the practical part of this article with some tips that will help you create a successful crowdfunding program.

1. Plan it carefully

You might have a great idea, but in order to create a successful crowdfunding campaign, you must plan each step with time. We recommend you to take between 1 and 3 months to design and execute your idea. Research about current similar projects, try to understand why they are successful (or not) and find what makes your project different. It’s also important to create a schedule from day one until the launch day, so you can make sure that you are on track to achieve your goals.

2. Finding the best crowdfunding platform

Choosing the right crowdfunding platform is another important part of your planning. With so many possibilities, you have to see which is the best fit for your project.  If you have a creative project, Kickstarter or Indiegogo might be a better choice while If it’s a personal crowdfunding, we recommend GoFundMe. Research is crucial so you can find your perfect platform. To make it practical, we have created a comparison between each platform and its pros and cons. 

3. Build your Buyer Persona

It doesn’t matter if you’re launching a  product, a startup or willing to enroll in an educational program. If you are looking for financial support, you must know who you are talking to.  Designing a persona is the only way to find the right language and reach the right crowd. A Persona is a different concept than Target Audience. Let’s check this definition of persona from Hubspot.

“A persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.”

Creating a persona means a lot of research and outlining your ideal donor, considering his behavior, demographic information and why this person would be interested in helping your project.  After you build your persona (you can use this tool to help you), it will be a lot easier to develop all necessary content and plan all future rewards that will be offered in your crowdfunding campaign.

4. Pitch time

All successful crowdfunding campaigns have something in common: the video pitch. This format of the content is your first contact with your audience and the most powerful tool you have to connect with people and encourage them to support your dream project.

In order to create the perfect video pitch, it is essential to be straightforward and genuine. Don’t forget to answer what your project is about, why, when and where you are doing it and, how it impacts our society. If you are able to answer these questions in the first minute of the video with an engaging story, chances are the audience will watch it until the last second and donate towards the project. In order to help your pitch organization try to follow the following steps:

  • To present who you are;
  • The reason you are trying to raise money for;
  • When your project will take place;
  • Where your project will take place;
  • Why you are raising funds;
  • How people can get involved.

It’s also important to include a short title and a short description of your video. There is nothing better than watching successful pitches to get inspired. Check Indiegogo’s selection of best videos from 2018 to get inspired.

5. Share your idea

Social media is a must-have if you want to share your idea and ensure a successful crowdfunding campaign. There are hundreds of channels you can use, but that doesn’t mean you should have a profile in all of them. Developing a communication plan and a PR strategy will help you choose the right channels and get to who you need to. If you are a beginner in communication planning, our suggestion is that you create a Facebook Company page for your project.

The best way to use social media to share your crowdfunding campaign is by planning and scheduling all posts. Setting a model will also make things easier to start sharing. To have successful results make sure you have the following elements on your post:

  • A high-quality and attractive image. Canva.com is an excellent tool to create your design on social media templates.
  • Hashtags are powerful elements to let people find your post. Try to mix generic hashtags such as #crowdfunding and, #crowdfundingprojects but also include some localization like #crowdfundingportugal or #crowdfundingitaly.
  • Always include a link to your crowdfunding campaign on your post. You might use a tool like bit.ly to shorten your URL and save some characters.
  • When you start writing, don’t miss focus on your persona to deliver the right message and create and engaging content.

Through social media, you can share not only your crowdfunding campaign but, also talk about your product, startup company or project,  write articles, share news related to your idea and plan Facebook lives to answer questions from your audience. If you are experienced, don’t miss the chance to explore Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, engaging with different audiences and helping your crowdfunding campaign be even more successful.

6. Ongoing outreach of your backers

You have planned, created and launched your crowdfunding campaign, and you are getting your first impressions and donations. It’s time to be thankful for the contributions and let your supporters know how your project is going.

Don’t forget what we’ve mentioned before: you have to make everyone that helps you feel as they are a part of your dream project. Turn them into ambassadors of your idea by giving feedbacks,  updating and sending news of what the next steps are. Use social media, personalized emails or even direct content and you’ll probably see them sharing your crowdfunding campaign with friends, family, and co-workers.

 

So now you know where to start and what to do! Your turn! Create your personal crowdfunding campaign and join EIA this summer