Crowdfunding continues to grow in popularity, with many startups and SME’s now considering it to raise funds and help their business grow. It has the potential to be extremely successful, allowing more people to be involved in your company’s success, creating a sense of community amongst customers.
Here are Spark CrowdFunding’s 12 steps to improving the performance of your crowdfunding campaign:
1. Tell a compelling story
People are more likely to invest in a project or business that appeals to them, something that plays on their passion and interests. Make sure your audience knows why you are passionate about making your project a reality. Allowing people to put a face with the project and showing them what your business will look like, will be extremely beneficial.
2. Use your connections to encourage early investment
Getting your family and friends to promote your campaign can give you an initial boost. Your investors could be anyone from your friends and family to university colleges or past employees. Try and let everyone know about your ideas and plans. When your campaign goes live and your connections invest, you can secure 20-30% of your investment target in a short space of time. Securing a significant portion of investment early in the campaign will likely encourage more investors to sign up, as they will see there is great demand in the company.
3. Embrace social media
Simply promoting your campaign on a crowdfunding platform is not enough. You need to engage with potential investors across multiple online channels, to promote your business as much as possible. Social media to is a great way of spreading the word. Something as simple as a tweet with relevant hashtags or a blogpost containing keywords can reach thousands of potential investors.
4. Be clear and transparent
Be clear on what you are trying to achieve and what the money you are raising will be used for. Communicating clearly to potential funders about what your campaign is trying to achieve is very important. It will help give your business a sense of identity too and help stand out from the crowd.
5. Be realistic
Being realistic is vital. You need to have a clear plan of how much money you require to commence your startup or need to continue your business growth. You need to have a realistic budget in place. Ensure that you cover all potential barriers to investment and discuss the risks. Before going live with your campaign, you should have clear goals. If your target is unrealistic the crowd will most likely not engage with your project.
6. Keep communicating and engaging
Tell investors your story and keep them updated with your plans and how your campaign is going. This could range from simply thanking backers for their investment or replying to comments and answering questions. By actively engaging with your supporters, you can create a loyal group of company advocates that can help promote your brand moving forward.
7. Talk to the experts
Many crowdfunding services will offer you the opportunity to discuss your campaign with them. Take them up on it! They can answer any questions you have and also offer advice and feedback on your campaign. If you are new to the crowdfunding experience or even a seasoned veteran of it, getting advice from the experts could be the difference between a successful and failed campaign.
8. Have a strong business plan in place
No matter what channel you choose to pursue to raise funds, you will always need a clear and professional business plan in place, and crowdfunding is no different. In order to get your campaign to go live, you will need to show a solid business plan that potential investors can review, so they understand the type of company they would be potentially investing in.
9. Create an engaging video to promote brand
Numerous studies show that people, including your potential investors, are increasingly preferring short, quality videos over long forms of text. It is a great opportunity to get creative, be informative and cut through the noise. Create an engaging video for your crowdfunding campaign that showcases why your business is worth investing in.
10. Branding is key
The branding of your company is vital as it clearly identifies who you are and what you stand for. Communicating an unclear message across your channels or using poor quality graphics will show a level of unprofessionalism that will deter individuals from investing. Ensure your campaign has a consistent tone throughout its communications, has a clear identifiable logo and a professional looking website.
11. Create a pitch deck
Every company, no matter it’s size, started with a pitch deck. Even Facebook and Google used pitch decks at some point! If you want to raise capital or convince business partners to work with you, a pitch deck is essential. It gives any potential investor an insight into your business. It is crucial that your pitch deck is clear, professional and highlights exactly what your business does and wishes to achieve.
12. Set out a clear campaign strategy
A clear campaign is strategy is crucial to the successful running of your crowdfunding campaign as it gives clear guidance on what needs to be done and ensures everyone involved knows what they need to do. It also reassures investors that their investment will be used to fund specific goals. Without a clear strategy in place, investors are unlikely to get involved as they won’t invest without knowing what will happen to their money.
Following these 12 simple steps can help you grow quickly and get the investment you need. When executed well, crowdfunding can be an extremely rewarding channel for raising funds. However, it can be a tricky task to manage on your own. That’s why Spark CrowdFunding are here to help. We are happy to answer any questions you may have around equity crowdfunding in Ireland so please get in touch.