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  1. #1
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    Crowdfunding Tips: The Ultimate Advice to Running a Successful Crowdfunding Project

    Ok, I thought I would start a thread in which members of CrowdFundingForum.com could post their best tips on running a successful crowdfunding campaign. I will post a few and then edit the list to add any input the community feels like adding. This is a continuing list of tips that I hope to grow for months to come:

    #1 Be Passionate About Your Project
    If you are simply creating a project to make money, funders will see right through you. If, on the other hand, they see that you are passionate about your project, and have a background in which this passion is shown and verified, they will be much more likely to fund you. You, as well, will be much more likely to work your butt off both in the funding and post funding stages of your project. If you aren't passionate about what you are doing, then don't even bother reading the rest of this post.

    #2 Know exactly how you will Spend The Money (Show this to your potential funders)
    If I am going to throw some cash at a project, I certainly want to know how the money I am providing will be allocated. Projects which provide a breakdown of how the funds will be spent are shown to bring in up to 50% more in funding.

    #3 Pick the right CrowdFunding Platform
    Believe it or not there are over 600 different crowdfunding platforms out there which will allow you to post your project. It can certainly be overwhelming when it comes time to decide on which platform is best for you. First you need to decide whether you want to use a rewards based, donation based, equity based, or debt based platform, and take it from there. If your project fits within a certain specific niche it is oftentimes best to use a platform which caters to that particular niche. Having said this, Kickstarter and Indiegogo are by far the most popular rewards based platforms out there, and combined receive more traffic than the hundreds of other platforms together. You will have the largest audience at either of these platforms, however your project will also get diluted by dozens of projects which launch on these platforms daily. Spend some time checking out as many platforms as possible. There is a nice list here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compari...nding_services

    #4 Communicate Clearly
    I have probably read over thousands of different project pages in the last year. There is a clear difference in the projects which bring in a ton of funding, and those which fail to bring in even a cent. That difference is clarity. It is important to communicate to your potential funders what your project is about, but also important to keep it as short and concise as possible. With hundreds of projects popping up every day, the average person will not have the time to read a novel about each project they may be interested in. Use a short video to provide your audience a clear picture of what you are trying to do, and use pictures as a replacement for words.

    #5 Use Social Media for What it Does Best
    By far the best source of traffic to a project is not directly from the platform you post it on, but instead from your social connections. Utilize Facebook.com, Google+, Twitter.com, and LinkedIn.com to their fullest. Many of the most funded projects of this last year have been from people or companies with a strong social network following. Who are the people who will be most likely to provide funding to your project? Those who have been a fan of yours for some time. Try and develop a social network following prior to going live with any crowdfunding project. Try to make connections within the niche your project caters to, so that once your project is live it will spread virally due to word of mouth. Very few projects succeed in meeting their funding goal when they do not have a strong social networking presence.

    #6 Rewards, Equity, a Good Story
    Depending on what type of crowdfunding model you are using, you need to make it appeal to those throwing money at it.

    If it's a rewards based project, than the rewards offered are extremely important. You should provide something of value that makes the funder feel like they are getting something close to the value of the donation. Many of the most successful campaigns provide rewards that could be said to be more valuable than each donation made. For instance the Ouya gaming system, which raised millions of dollars on Kickstarter, offered the actual system to funders at the retail price, allowing them to get access to the system prior to the general public. In that case, by funding the Ouya project you were getting a deal better than if you were to wait to purchase the system at a later date.

    If you are using an equity model of crowdfunding, then you better be prepared to give away a sizable portion of your company in exchange for the funding. Equity projects will appeal to people who's main goal is to make money via their investment into your project. SHow them that your company will have a bright future.

    If you are using the Donation based crowdfunding model to bring in your funding, then nothing will work better than a good story which is clearly told to the public.

    #7 Promote The Heck out of it
    Clearly if you don't have a strong social following, you can't just rely on the organic traffic coming from the platform you are listed on. You instead need to spend a ton of time promoting your project. To start off, you can always post your project for free at this very forum. From there you can turn to the numerous social media groups out here. Here is a brief list of some of the more popular groups found on Facebook, Linkedin, and Google+:

    Google+ Communities
    General CrowdFunding Discussion - https://plus.google.com/communities/...84851059709512
    The CrowdFunding Hub - https://plus.google.com/communities/...68571614737139
    CrowdFunding in General - https://plus.google.com/communities/...90691616458392
    CrowdFunding Strategies - https://plus.google.com/communities/...82245665411826
    CrowdFunding News - https://plus.google.com/communities/...08328248170201


    Facebook Groups:
    Crowdfunding Marketing - https://www.facebook.com/groups/crowdfundbuzz/
    Rewards Based Crowdfunding - https://www.facebook.com/groups/464627030285212/
    German Based Crowdfunding - https://www.facebook.com/groups/crowdfunding/
    Crowdfunding from Brazil - https://www.facebook.com/groups/196830543715710/
    Crowdfunding from Italy - https://www.facebook.com/groups/crowdfundingitalia/
    Crowdfunding from Mexico - https://www.facebook.com/groups/CrowdfundingMexico/
    Crowdfunding from France - https://www.facebook.com/groups/CrowdfundingFrance/


    LinkedIn Groups:
    Crowdfunding - www.linkedin.com/groups/CrowdFundingForumcom-Crowd-Funding-Discussion-5119191
    Equity Crowdfunding - http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=4141465
    CrowdSourcing And CrowdFunding - http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=3185331
    Angel Investors - http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=58534
    CrowdFunding 360 - http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Crowdfunding-360-4615319
    IPO's Via Crowdfunding - http://www.linkedin.com/groups/IPOs-...unding-4531540
    The CrowdFunding Panel - http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Crowd...-Panel-2649250
    Crowdfunding from Calgary - http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=3743585
    The Funding Co-Op - http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=4074530

    #8 Be Prepared Behind the Scenes

    Most people who launch a Kickstarter or indiegogo campaign very often overlook a few key areas that may come back to bite them in the butt later on. Project creators are usually so excited to get started, they fail to do the proper legal and business preparations. If you think there is a good shot that you may bring in over $10,000 from your crowdfunding project, consider opening a business. Register an LLC (Limited liability company) to protect yourself from the various legal issues which may arise. If you launch the project as an individual you will be personally responsible for any lawsuits brought on. Also, unlike business contributions you would ordinarily receive, contributions from crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter are considered income, and will need to be reported to the IRS.

    #9 Over Prepare, and Under Promise
    One of the biggest mistakes we have seen from the more successful crowdfunding projects out there like Ouya, Pebble, and others is the fact that they could not deliver their finished products on time to everyone. This put a damper on the companies once they were in production. Why couldn't they meet their production deadlines? It's very simple; they didn't expect to raise so much money and pre-sale so many products. It's awesome if you blow away your stated goal, but that awe can quickly turn into panic if you didn't prepare for the possibility that your project actually could do much better than you expected. Make sure your deadlines give you plenty of time should you for some reason do better than you ever imagined. Pushing a delivery date back a couple weeks likely won't mean less contribution. It;s better to be safe than sorry in the long run.

    #10 Learn From Other's Successes and Mistakes
    The best way to create a top notch crowdfunding project is to follow in the footsteps of those who have already had mega-successes in the market, as well as learn from mistakes they feel they made. Luckily for you, we have the Crowdfunding Success Story - Interviews section here at Crowdfunding forum where you can read one on one interviews with the creators of many major Kickstarter projects.

  2. #2
    Make the campaign interesting, and visually appealing. You only get one chance to make a first impression, so get it right the first time.

    Don't sound desperate by pleading or begging for money. Invite investors to participate by telling them how they can benefit by contributing.

  3. #3
    Great tips .

    I like the #7 point, but at the same time I feel like too many people spend too much time promoting on crowdfunding-related websites and need to spend more time on promoting on forums/websites/publications related to their niche (gaming, music, etc). That being said, I've seen a few people make some great relationships and do cross promotion through these crowdfunding hubs.

    Sal
    Crowdfunding Tips: Hidden Content
    Crowdfunding News: Hidden Content

  4. #4
    Great thread, thanks for taking the time to write that.

    4 + 5 I am definitely falling down on. I guessed my pitch was too long. The 'read a novel' comment woke me up. I'm taking the first 10 days as a soft run up to a bigger launch.

    *

    Invite investors to participate by telling them how they can benefit by contributing.
    Yup, I didn't do this.

  5. #5
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    Great tips! I also found this infographic that points to the importance of video in successful Kickstarter campaigns http://www.marketingprofs.com/charts...dref=nlt080913. Looking forward to implementing some of these tips on our project!

  6. #6
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    Thaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaanks for the tips whoooooaaaa

  7. #7
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    This is some great information...it shows we as entreprenuers of today still know how to in this country dig deep,wait on no one & make dreams realties.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salvador Briggman View Post
    Great tips .

    I like the #7 point, but at the same time I feel like too many people spend too much time promoting on crowdfunding-related websites and need to spend more time on promoting on forums/websites/publications related to their niche (gaming, music, etc). That being said, I've seen a few people make some great relationships and do cross promotion through these crowdfunding hubs.

    Sal
    I agree with Salvador, and so far we have had great success from other forums completely unrelated to crowdfunding, but provide information and resources to those who are more relevant to our project. In this case, we have a DAC/Headphone Amp which is more likely to be of interest to audiophiles and that community. We have provided a number of press releases to that industry, and have had at least 20 of them post our project on their blogs, forums or websites, like this one:

    http://www.whatsbestforum.com/showth...Light-Harmonic.

    16 1/2 % of our backers come from those sites. That's 15% of our funding! (At this time it's $105,377, and we are only in our 4th day). I would say that promoting to your "niche" market is definitely a good thing!

  9. #9
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    #1 & #3
    Promoting to our niche is correct.We partner with the American Legion and not knowing that they have a great passion for our product,is beginning to be the upside in our campaign on Kickstarter...
    With so many great ideas on these sites it can become over saturated and overwhelming to potential backers....

  10. #10
    Thanks for that. That list really made it for me!

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