Crowdfunding Campaign Tips

Susan Sjölund, CMO for FundedByMeSo what are the aspects of a successful crowdfunding campaign?

Are there any crowdfunding campaign tips that can help your financing round on FundedByMe succeed?

The answer to both these questions is yes…there are quite a few. We asked our Chief Marketing Officer, Susan Sjölund, to share her best crowdfunding campaign tips with you.

We are, after all, in the business of helping our entrepreneurs succeed!

FundedByMe Crowdfunding Campaign Tips by Susan Sjölund

Tell your story! Always remember that your supporters are supporting you as much as they are buying into your brand or campaign! They want to know who you are. Share with them your passion, your motifs and, most importantly, your vision! Don’t be afraid of getting personal (without turning it into an episode of The Jerry Springer show, of course!)

Tip: A good head and shoulders photograph of yourself – and other team members – make it easier for your audience to connect with you and your project.

In it to win it? Humility is a virtue, but too much humility won’t get you very far at FundedByMe! Go all in and make sure you have the best presentation possible – it is this that stands between a successfully financed campaign and having to go back to knocking on the VCs’ doors. Ensure you are 130% pleased with your presentation before hitting the ‘submit’ button. And don’t forget to maintain a steady tempo during the entire crowdfunding period – regular updates and messages to your fans and your supporters will show commitment.

Tip! Be sure to visit your user dashboard at least once a day. That way you can make sure you have total control over your presentation and you will also be able to make the necessary changes to your campaigning plan if the money isn’t pouring in.

Share! The fact that you are represented on FundedByMe is bound to generate your crowdfunding campaign a lot of positive attention. But take it a step further by marketing your project trough social media and telling your extended network – even total strangers on the street – about your project, referring them to your FundedByMe campaign page.

Tip! Marketing not spam…Make sure you are personal and nice in how you present your project to your target groups. If someone is not interested, move on. We are not fans of spam.

Makes sales not war! Sell your project! If you don’t seem to believe in your own project then who will? If you believe you have the recipe for world peace, the end of famine or something even cooler than the new World of Warcraft, tell the world! Your passion and energy will get others fuelled up to support your campaign.

Tip! Confidence and a sense of humour makes a great mix! Make sure you don’t get too pushy and impersonal in your sales pitch.

Take a couple of extra minutes to make sure that your presentation is just right – spelling misstakass makess you lok indifferent and you’r presentation uncommitted… yawn… and the result will ultimately be bad crowdfunding karma. Your future supporters need to know that you are serious and committed to your project.

Tip! Let someone else read your presentation before you go live and consider presenting a short private campaign pitch to that person to make sure your arguments are up to speed.

…aaand action! Having a good presentational film is crucial for receiving funds! There is no need for expensive camera equipment or fancy editing software; the only thing that is really important to have is some old-fashioned heart and soul! In doing so, your viewers will want to help you because they understand how much it would mean to you!

Tip! Build your structure for your film from the questions who, what, where, how and why? This meaning: Who am I and who is the team behind my idea, what do I want to do, how will I do it and why am I doing this?

Make yourself available by having the correct contact information posted on your FundedByMe campaign page and ensure that you don’t post too many different options for contacting you. Simply choose one or two ways that you know you regularly check – this way your supporters will be assured that you will get their messages. It is also good to have links to your profile pages across the social world – Facebook, twitter or blog.

Tip! Having your own domain makes a great impression in these situations! If you don’t already have one then why don’t create a simple blog using WordPress and profile pages on about.me and LinkedIn?

Last but not least, what are you giving back? Take time to consider what your supporters should receive for their commitment. The more appealing things you have to offer the more supporters you will get. This is a fact – everybody loves a bargain! Help someone reach their crowdfunding campaign dream and receive a limited edition T-shirt? Yes please!

Tip! Create unique things/services for your FundedByMe supporters. Create and maintain a high factor of exclusivity in what you are offering and people will know that you appreciate their help!

Do you have any other tips that we should know about? Why not leave us a comment and tell us what worked for you?

Seven tips for crowfunding success

Arno Smit shares his crowdfunding success tipsAt FundedByMe we are reliant on the crowdfunding success of our entrepreneurs – when they succeed in their financing goals, we succeed!

Over the next couple of months we will pull together some tips and share them on the blog with you.

Today we offer you some crowdfunding success tips from our CTO and co-founder, Arno Smit.

Top tips for crowdfunding success from Arno Smit

1. Create a compelling story

People are more likely to invest in a business that they are passionate about or a story that is very compelling – something that they can relate to. Your campaign should be one, or both, of these things. What makes your business unique? And how will you take advantage of this opportunity?

It is important that your story is clear and easy to understand. Don’t overcomplicate what you are trying to achieve, be clear and professional. Build trust in your idea. Use images, references and cite your own track record and past successes. Create a great campaign video and be honest and polite in everything you say. Also, importantly, check for spelling and grammar before you hit ‘submit’.

2. Who is on your team?

It may seem obvious, but the more people you have working to promote your campaign the greater your chance for success. Do you know of any groups who are already passionate about your cause? Management, employees, suppliers and existing customers are all likely to be big advocates of your brand and what you are trying to achieve. Encourage these people to join your team and teach them how to spread the word effectively.

3. Making a video

An awesome video can make the difference between success and failure for your campaign on FundedByMe. A promotional video is a powerful tool for you to communicate what you are trying to do and gives you a platform from which to build trust. It will help bring your campaign to life, show that you are serious and add credibility to your idea. This is your opportunity to show potential investors that you are passionate, smart and worthy of their investment – don’t waste the opportunity.

You don’t need to be Steven Spielberg to make a short video nowadays – simply grab your smartphone, get a good setting with good light, look straight at the camera and…action! A video should be no longer than a couple of minutes maximum. In this case, less is definitely more.

4. Tell people what you plan to do with the money they invest

People work hard for their money and they will want to know how you are planning to use it before making the decision to invest in your business. You need to tell people exactly what your need the money for and how you will spend it once you reach your financing threshold.

5. Reward people for their generosity

Campaigns – both equity and reward-based, that offer really good rewards are likely to be more successful than those without. By adding value rewards to your campaign you’ll attract a different type of investor. Rewards give investors a return on their investment in the short term. The power in giving something unique, or getting access to the next big thing before it hits the shelves, is amazing. Think about what people are likely to find compelling and then link your rewards to entice people into investing more.

6. Be prepared to spread the word

Once your campaign is live on FundedByMe, you and your team need to actively promote it and spread the word. Successful projects are those where the entrepreneur doesn’t sit back but is very active in letting everyone know about the opportunity they are offering potential investors. Of course the launch announcement is hugely important, but plan ahead to try and maintain a drip feed and future activities as well. Actively manage your campaign so that you maximise every opportunity and don’t fall into a ‘lull’ where nothing is happening.

What is your best tip for an entrepreneur’s crowdfunding success? Leave it as a comment below!

33 million people in the room – Juliette Powell

33 million people in the room – Juliette Powell

33 Million People in the RoomEntrepreneurs and ideas come in all shapes and forms. Some will make it because they have a niche, others because it because the market is huge and others will make it because their passion is endless. But the only key to making it in any market – with any idea – is to spend time and tell everybody.

According to Juliette Powell, the equation is quite simple. If you tell 100 people and only two end up supporting you or buying your product, then telling 1,000 might bring in 20 supporters. And since we live in this amazing period in time with social media never far away, it´s never been easier to reach out.

In the amazing book “33 Million People in the Room” by Juliette Powell this is calculated quite smartly.

“…Let´s go to a restaurant and say that between you and your lunch partner, and all contacts in both of your phones, you have a network of 25 individuals. According to Reed´s Law, the amount of possible conenctions and subgroups within your group of 25 individuals is an astonishing 33 million people in the room.”

Reed’s Law says that every new person on a network doubles its value. Adding 10 people, by this reasoning, increases its value a thousandfold.

By knowing this, you obviously understand that you have to increase your network. But not only that, you have to make this work for you.

1. Let your network know about your project. Email friends, post on Facebook, put up flyers in your neighbourhood, ask your family to tell all their contacts.

2. Ask your network to work for you. Ask them to spread the word. Ask them to tell at least four people about your project and convince them it´s worth their support.

3. Join Facebook groups that might either be interested in your project or might be interested in you. Tell your story.

4. Don´t forget to ask for action. That means that it´s not enough that people say they like your idea, or click on the “like” button. Ask them to click and donate or invest.

To summarize: Do your legwork and make sure that many people know about your project.

Entrepreneurs: Planning a super FundedByMe campaign video

When you decide to fund your business idea using the FundedByMe crowdfunding platform there are a number of tools that can help you best introduce your brand concept. If only you could send thousands of mini-me copies of yourself out into the real world to spend three minutes with each potential investor or supporter…imagine the impact! But, in reality, a really strong campaign video could do just that for you!

Elements of a strong crowdfunding campaign video:

1) Problem statement: You are solving a problem, right? Tell us what that problem is.

2) Introduce your product: Take 30 seconds to give us your elevator pitch as part of your introduction to your product!

3) Key descriptors: What is fantastic about your story? Tell us something we won’t forget!

4) Software / Hardware / Production stats: Show us something technical about your product / service / offering.

5) Usage demonstration: Do you have a sample product? A digitised sample? A drawing? Show us.

6) Features: Give a full description, mentioning everything else you have not yet covered during your campaign video.

7) FundedByMe campaign mention: Tell viewers where they can go to support your idea! Tell them how to find you on FundedByMe.

8) Perks: Is there anything you are offering as an addition to the original offering? Are you throwing in a free t-shirt to the first 100 supporters? A hug? Tell us!

9) Call to action: What do you want viewers to do once this video ends?

10) URL mention: Where can a viewer of your campaign video go to learn more about your team, your product or contact you?

 

Campaign video examples

These are some of our favourite crowdfunding campaigns on the FundedByMe platform at the moment – be sure to watch their videos! Tell us in the comments what you love about them – and also what you think should be done better. And then go ahead, create your own and share it with the world!

Beibamboo video on FundedByMe

Beibamboo (Finland)

 

SoundZoo on FundedByMe

SoundZoo (Denmark)

 

Nerdy by Nerds Jeans on FundedByMe

Nerdy by Nerds Jeans (Sweden)

How to write an elevator pitch

How to write an elevator pitch

elevator pitch

 

The thinking behind an elevator pitch is that you need to be able to tell a complete stranger about your business idea in the time from when you both step into an elevator until the first one gets off…Roughly 30 seconds? So what are the elements of a great elevator pitch? I was browsing some of my favourite sites and found the image above on The Beauty Entrepreneur. It’s a pretty smart way of creating an elevator pitch, don’t you think?

When writing a short description of your business idea it’s important to answer the following questions:

Who?

What?

Where?

When?

Why?

and How?

If you have any other elevator pitch ideas, let us know in the comments!

Your business idea pitch – tips to help you succeed

On a crowdfunding platform like FundedByMe your business idea pitch is one of many others. And what’s great about our platform is that we have thousands of potential investors regularly checking in to see what new projects we have that they could invest their money into. As an entrepreneur, your challenge is to get your business idea across to the right investor and provide a compelling case that they feel readily convinced to put their money behind your plan!

crowdfunding via Forbes.com

Easier said than done, we know! But here are some tips to get you thinking about how you can put together a really strong pitch for your business idea:

  • Be specific on what product you are building. You may have a very clear vision in your head, but that doesn’t mean we all ‘get it’!
  • Give examples of who your customers are/will be, how many of them there might be and why they will buy your solution
  • What is the specific problem that you are solving? Many entrepreneurs are not able to quickly answer this question. In order to secure funding, you need to have this answer at your fingertips!
  • State who your competitors are and why your solution is better than theirs. You may choose not to list them by names, but often a description will suffice, think ‘Big fast-food chains that serve mass-produced food’, for example.
  • Be specific on how big a business opportunity this is and what revenues will look like in three to five years. While many investors are interested in VFI (value from investment), the majority is looking for ROI (return on investment) – are you committed to making a profit? How will you do this?
  • Tell potential investors where you are in the formation process: do you have a prototype / demo / alpha / beta version, what are your current revenues, etc.
  • Be sure to introduce the team behind your business idea, highlighting the relevant strengths and backgrounds they bring to your project.

Finally, before you hit ‘submit’ on your project page, get others to give you their feedback. What are they missing from your business idea pitch? Are there any facts that are missing that could convince them to support your idea?

Do you have any other tips that we should add to this list of great business pitch presentation ideas? Share them with us in the comments!

Entrepreneur tips: An awesome crowdfunding pitch video

The secret sauce to a successful crowdfunding round on FundedByMe contains a number of ingredients but it’s no secret that:

A great crowdfunding pitch presentation = A great crowdfunding round

In order to help you succeed and create a super pitch presentation that will show your company’s best side and get investors lining up to support you we will highlight a number of tips to help you put together a great crowdfunding pitch over the coming weeks.  Your presentation is the first introduction for future investors into your business – so make it count!

Today we look at your introduction video – here are some of our favourites on FundedByMe right now:

HolyManta Internal ND Lense Adapters

Nerdy by Nerds

 

What makes a good presentation video for crowdfunding on FundedByMe?

1) Introduce yourself and your team Investors are supporting your brand, that’s true, but they’re mostly buying into you as the team behind the idea. By being straightforward and honest you can create trust – which is vital for a successful crowdfunding round. If there are more members to your team than just you, introduce them. Tell the viewer what makes you and your team the ideal candidates for this ‘job’.

2) Tell a story How did you come up with this idea? What are your passions? Is this a solution to a problem you always had?

3) Talk about the money How are you going to use the money that gets raised in this round? (And no…the investor doesn’t want to buy you the latest handbag / shoes / apartment!). Show that you have a strategy.

4) Why crowdfunding? What is it that you hope to get from the crowd?

5) What’s in it for me? As an investor I want to know what I’m getting in return for giving you my money. Is it equity? How much equity are you offering? Is it the chance to be part of the latest cool innovation? Tell your audience what they’re getting in return for their support.

6) KISS – Keep It Simple (Stupid) Don’t get too technical in your introduction video. If an investor wants to know more details they can always contact you directly to ask for it. You want to appeal to a wide audience and in order to do so, you should keep it simple.

7) Look good You are the star of the show and you should look it! Wash your hair. Brush your teeth…and smile! Because then you truly are irresistible.

8) Show us your stuff If you have a prototype or a sample product, show it off. Introduce computer animated rendering if you don’t. Use your video to clearly share with viewers what your product / brand / idea is all about.

9) Respect copyrights Don’t use music that you are not licensed to use. The same goes for photography. Check with the creators that it’s okay for you to include their work in your video.

10) Go professional if you can At FundedByMe we support you doing everything on a tight budget – we’ve been there too! Creating a beautiful video doesn’t need to cost you an arm and a leg. But it needs to look good. Ask a friend or a design student to help you create an awesome video if you can’t do it yourself. And if you can afford a professional one, go for it. In the end, your video could make or break your campaign.

 

Do you have any additional tips for creating an amazing crowdfunding video? Are you an entrepreneur with strong opinions about what a great introduction video should contain? Why not leave us a comment below?

View other presentation tips here.

Crowdfunding Campaign Tips: Sharing your FundedByMe campaign

FundedByMe team offering crowdfunding project tips

So, your project has been approved on FundedByMe. The film is ready, you boiled down your pitch, you came up with creative rewards and asked for help in the crowdsourcing field. Congrats!

Now what?

Well, now the fun starts. We have compiled this easy to follow guide to help ensure your campaign ‘goes viral’ and gets you as many ‘eyeballs’ as possible to give you the biggest chance of success. Start with step 1 to step 2 and so on, and watch the connections start happening!

1. Open a Facebook account for your project. ‘Like’ other pages or groups that contain people that might be interested in backing you, spreading the word or help you. Post there and tell them about your project with a link back to the project on FundedByMe. Don’t be shy to ask them to spread the word if they like it or back you.

 

2. Use twitter to tap into interesting conversations. This way you reach people already interested in your topic. Use hashtags # to mark your tweets so they are picked up in list that people follow. For example. “Today I launched  a new #crowdfunding project on #indie film. #newfilm #fundedbyme #financing”

 

3. Use these two methods daily.

 

4. Tell your immediate family and friends to visit your crowdfunding site. Ask them to back you now, and also to work for you as fundraising networks. Let your mom and dad and siblings tell their friends. Ask your friends to tell their friends. And ask them to back you either with money or by actively spreading your project.

 

5. Go to step 1 and repeat all the steps.

 

6. Choose 100 people that you should e-mail. 25% of these should be bloggers or press, 25% should be people that you would want onboard as investors, 25% should be people benefitting by your project or your time and 25% should be friends and coworkers that are not yet aware of your effort. 100 might sound like a lot but it goes really fast and the bonus is that you get to connect with really interesting people.

 

7. Call at least 10 local newspapers and tell them about your project. Call 15 friends and tell them about your project.

 

8. Listen to the reactions, adapt your pitch and repeat from step 1.

 

9. Don’t be shy but don’t be too pushy. Most importantly, don’t be passive.

 

To summarize: You are probably doing something really interesting, and I bet that somebody (and more then one) are really interested. The key is to make sure you reach out. Rather ask 1 time too many than 1 time too little.

 

View other crowdfunding presentation tips here.

 

Do you have other tried and trusted methods to ensure that your crowdfunding campaign goes viral fast? Why not leave us your tips in the comment field?

3 Secrets to Crowdfunding Success – by Anthony Kaufman

3 Secrets to Crowdfunding Success

1. Identify your target audience—preferably, audiences.Fox had two built-in niche audiences to target; fans and followers of her primary subjectTibetan Buddhist Master Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, of which there are many worldwide, and the estimated 7,000 people that Fox cultivated during the grassroots release of her last film, 2006’s “Flying: Confessions of a Free Woman.”

2. Give your backers plenty to see.The fact that “My Reincarnation” was essentially complete and already showing at select international film festivals also helped. While Fox was initially uncomfortable asking for money for a project that appeared complete, she still needed some $100,000 to cover the costs of music rights, post-production sound, subtitling and additional editing for broadcast. But she used the existing film to her advantage, touting the Kickstarter campaign at public screenings and teasing the movie with multiple video clips on the web.“So our campaign didn’t just have a Web 2.0 aspect, it had screenings and it had video,” says Fox, who worked with a team of filmmakers Stefanie Diaz, Katherine Nolfi and Lisa Duva, to make the effort work. (Nolfi and Duva took a percentage of the proceeds. Kickstarter takes 5% of every project’s donations.)

3. Get creative with incentives. (Hint: Hats and T-shirts probably won’t do the trick.)Like most Kickstarter participants, Fox also offered special incentives to donors—and not just posters or DVDs, but limited-edition prints of paintings by a famous Buddhist teacher, original art and artifacts from Fox’s personal collection (“I raided my home,” she admits) and a gold ring and Tibetan statue donated by the father and son shown in the film, which went for $5,000 and $7,000, respectively.“Those two donations tipped everything,” says Fox. “We probably raised $50,000 in four days.” In the future, Fox suggests, to bolster the value of incentives, “I’d ask people who believe in the project to donate precious objects. You have to know who is your target market and what do they want.”

Thanks to Anthony Kaufmann link