With so many exciting start-ups trying to get off the ground, many entrepreneurs look to crowdfunding platforms to help realise the potential of their businesses.
There are some great examples of successful crowdfunded products and services. The 3Doodler tapped in to the growing popularity of 3D printing by producing a 3D pen, making it possible to draw and write 3D objects and lettering; creating one-off art pieces. After setting an original target of $30,000, 3Doodler raised an incredible $2.3 million, making it one of the most popular Kickstarter campaigns.
Investor rewards offer a great incentive and a little ‘thank you’ to contributors. Varying in price, these rewards alone can attract media coverage to help get your product into the spotlight and gain media coverage.
Fauna & Flora International set out to raise money to help save the mountain gorilla and enlisted Sir David Attenborough to help promote the cause via indiegogo.com. The wildlife broadcaster provided them with signed merchandise to act as investor rewards.
Craft beer subscription service Beer52.com reached its target ahead of schedule by offering some great rewards including free beer for life and the opportunity to brew your own beer with your name on it for a £100,000 donation. The exciting reward was featured in the likes of The Daily Telegraph, The Herald and Huffington Post – welcome additional coverage for the start-up.
The pitch video for your campaign can be central to gaining the interest of potential investors and lets you tell them why you are passionate about making the project a reality. Short, informative videos that tell the story of the product or service and what problem it is solving are best. Take a look at the video for peanut butter company Good Spread (https://bit.ly/1bOU6Wi), for example. Its video is engaging, interesting and funny and details what the team need the money for and how it’s giving back by donating the product to children suffering from malnutrition.
PR campaigns prior to launching on a crowdfunding website is another consideration. Engaging an audience of potential investors before the launch can make the difference between struggling to reach your goal and smashing your target. Social media campaigns focussed on sharing interesting and engaging content can help boost ‘likes’ and followers; facilitating conversations between entrepreneur and investors. Getting your product and details of its crowdfunding launch into media can propel the start-up into the spotlight – targeting influential bloggers, crowdfunding websites read by people keen to invest as well as national and regional press and lifestyle magazines, for example, can only help extend your reach.
Crowdfunding offers an exciting prospect to budding entrepreneurs – the opportunity to realise the potential of the business and propel it into the spotlight. Communicate clearly what your product aims to do, why you need funding and what you will deliver to fully engage the audience with the project.