Everyday, the importance of crowdfunding as an alternative source of financing seems to grow.
The model has had such resounding success that it has attracted everyone from “starving artists” to entrepreneurs, even big businesses like Sony.
Some say the success of crowdfunding is from more consumers seeking more personal connections with their choice of products.
But regardless of backer intent, most project creators soon find that raising money via crowdfunding isn’t that easy. There is the choice of sites to use, the types of rewards to offer, how you’ll ship goods across the world and much more; but before all that, getting the pre-launch is just as important.
With project creators focused on running a successful campaign and getting funded, the pre-launch stage is often the most overlooked stage of most campaigns.
This critical period, before your campaign even goes live, is where you drum up support and build the initial momentum to get your campaign noticed. Once the campaign launches, you’ll find you don’t have much time to do this.
Campaign creators need to get out of the mindset that you can just ‘launch’ your crowdfunding campaign and the funds will come rolling in.
With over $1,000 a minute pledged to projects on Kickstarter in 2015, and its position as the most-trafficked crowdfunding platform (30 million visits per month), it is clear that Kickstarter is the ‘place to be.’ But before you are swayed by those figures alone, also remember that only about 40% of projects get successfully funded.
Do you now see the importance of giving your project a head-start?
We advise campaign creators to prepare for up to 60 days before launching their campaign; this pre-launch phase can be divided into three stages:
Prelaunch Stage 1: Crowdfunding Research
Chances are someone has already had an idea similar to what you want to crowdfund.
Rather than shelving your plans, this is a good thing as it gives you access to vital data. By studying data on the success (or failure) of these campaigns, you can re-evaluate everything from your marketing strategy, choice of rewards to your fulfillment options.
By “stalking” previous campaigns, you can:
- Narrow down your target market for the product and the crowdfunding campaign itself.
- Find out how much failed and successful projects were trying to raise.
- What rewards were they offering?
- Did they get any backers?
On Kickstarter, you can investigate campaigns by simply searching the site for your topic and you’ll be presented with a list of projects that managed (or failed) to raise money.
You can dig deeper by using kicktraq.com to see how much funding the project generated each day when it was live.
One tip is to study the the project’s funding curve; if it showed steady growth, this means there is an established audience for the industry on Kickstarter.
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