Crowdfunding 101 – it's hard. Getting people to put down their credit card is tough for established retailers, let alone brand-new start-ups. When it comes down to it, crowdfunding is about selling your story and guiding the audience towards understanding how your story can fit into their life.
The Dragon Innovation team has worked with many start-ups and previously advised them on the methods to get their product funded. but we have learned a lot by assisting and watching crowdfunding campaigns succeed. There is no exact science, but there are some rules that give you a higher likelihood to getting funded.
This next blog series will provide guidance on how to approach the crowdfunding process. Tips on how to write for your audience, engaging your backers on social media, and getting PR coverage will be covered.
There are many ways to approach in acquiring your first customers. This blog series is all about crowdfunding as a means to grow your business. But crowdfunding is not the path for everyone. You may need to think about raising a round of investment or securing bulk orders directly from a retailer.
It’s important to evaluate your options but answering the age-old question: Who is your audience?
By being able to lay out your audience, you’ll start to get a picture of a customer. Start by sitting down with your team to ask yourself these questions:
- What is your mission?
- Who did you design your product for?
- What do they want?
- How do they live?
- What are the constraints on their lives?
- How can your product make their life better?
If you’re having trouble answering these questions, you may need to step back to evaluate if you’re ready to move forward. One of the best ways to get a bigger picture is to conduct consumer research. User testing and market research/feedback are going to be invaluable before you go down the costly path of crowdfunding. Make sure there is a market before you invest.
While each crowdfunding campaign is unique, we recommend approaching your marketing strategy in stages that have proven to be effective and are modeled after the most common trajectories that successful crowdfunding campaigns tend to follow.
- Phase 1, the most critical, requires that you engage your personal network.
- Phase 2 is asking your personal network to share your campaign along with capitalizing on PR placements.
- Phase 3 is a continuation of Phase 2 with paid media added on to amplify reach.
Based off from the crowdfunding campaigns we previously managed, the campaign phases align with the below trajectory.
We look forward to sharing all of our learnings with you. If there are particular areas you’re interested in, please leave them in the comments below.