5 Rookie Mistakes in Crowdfunding

Avoid some of the most common rookie mistakes in setting up your campaign, including….

Your pitch video is more like a short film

You know how you’re watching TV and countless ads come on? Even though it feels like they go on forever, they’re actually only 30-60 seconds long!  If we had a penny for the number of times we saw pitch videos that stretched to 8 minutes we’d buy a jet plane (and a Jacuzzi).  Think of your pitch video as a mini promotional video about what you’re trying to do.  Open with a quick personal testimonial, add a cool soundtrack, some graphics and presto, you’re good to go! Tip: Never go over 3 minutes.

Example: Box to the Fringe right away tells you what they’re raising for, presenting their project and telling you about their perks – in under 3 minutes!

Waiting for money to show up?

The ‘build it and they will come’ thinking only worked in Fields of Dreams because well, it was a movie and back then Kevin Costner was still kind of hot.  Just posting your campaign won’t have contributors flooding in.  Send an email blast to all your friends and family asking them to get their cash out (if your Grandma won’t give you $5 for candy, why should we?).  Make a list of all the influential people you know on Twitter and get them to push your campaign url viral.  Stop using the word ‘donations’ – people have contributed to your campaign because they want to stay in the loop to know how the project is developing so update them, keep your campaign refreshed with new videos and photographs, build a relationship with them, even ask them questions on your product, film, new ice cream flavors!

Example: Blenders Eyewear have been consistent in creating updates to their contributors, sharing photos and keeping them engaged.  Our insights show that repeat contributors tend to return within the first two weeks of their first contribution!

The copy in your campaign profile is like an essay!

When was the last time your read a book? Whilst you sit there pondering, we all have ADD now!  The internet has turned information into disposable nuggets of wisdom.  We want people to give you money so to prevent them from trawling through a manual to get to the point here are a few pointers: keep your campaign profile short, caramel sweet and definitely use all those visual headers we gave you – we spent hours designing these folks!  If you’re asking for tens of thousands of dollars, give a breakdown of what its’ going on otherwise we’re thinking you’re trying to fly to The Maldives on the sly.

Example: We Love You used very concise copy and a 2 minute video to get their story across – with 31 days to go they are $27K over their goal! Whilst they don’t have a big team campaigning, the story went viral and hundreds of people were able to quickly understand their goal and react through contributions because of a quick snapshot.

Your perks are sky high

We can’t dictate how you should design your perks, but we can share a few horror stories that we’ve seen which haven’t quite worked: a t-shirt and a shout out for $50 (is it made of cashmere?); creating perks that jump from $25 to $85; $1000 ‘for our love and affection and a big thank you’ and you’re quick to create 2-5 perks costing thousands.

Example: CraftStudio has provided consistent levels of entry points for people to contribute ($1, $10, $20, $20) with compelling gifts in exchange for money.  Traditionally from our data insights, we’ve discovered that having a $25 perk is where campaigns make the most optimum amount of money – so make them good! Also whilst you’re allowed up to 12 perks, successful campaigns usually only have 3-8 perks – so make them good!

Solo is a No-Go

Here are some activities that are completely fine to do alone: riding a bicycle, cooking an omelette, trying on a new outfit at the store.  Crowdfunding is not one of these!   Not only does it take up time but the more team members you have promoting your campaign, the more you increase your chances of having your profile page seen by a bigger audience.  They can tweet on your behalf, can provide contacts to bloggers, they can strategize on ways to increase exposure – this comes from the power of a team!

Example: Fix Young America has up to 50 members for their campaign!  Granted they are an organization of entrepreneurs but they are proof that strength in numbers works – they rapidly reached their $30K goal with still over 3 weeks to go.  Our data shows that 80% more money is raised with a team than by yourself.

(Campaign photo credit: Help us hire a rugby coach)

Discover more insights here - good luck!

 

 

 

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