Crowdfunding is rocking and we are seeing businesses, charities, community groups and people with frankly epic ideas reaching out to their networks & raising the funds they need to make their great ideas a reality.
We love it so much that we talked to some of the UK’s most successful crowdfunders to discover what their ultimate crowdfunding hacks are - and so we thought we’d share a few with you.
1 - Get your target in sight. Setting a crowdfunding target is one of the biggest challenges you’ll face as a new Crowdfunder - Samantha Dobbie from The Real Junk Food Project says:
“Do your research! We looked into how much it would cost for us to bring a seven-day waste food cafe to Brighton. We checked out similar projects on Crowdfunder to make sure our target amount wasn’t unrealistic. Speaking to organisations which had run successful campaigns helped us a lot - we recommend you do the same for your project!”
2 - Unleash your creativity on your rewards. Sarah Bentley from the Made In Hackney Community Kitchen says:
“Have a variety of rewards - but lots of them. For example, you’ve got a great prize (meal for two say) - have a few of them lined up for people to pledge on - it’s easier to manage!”
3 - Videos are a great way of telling your story loud and clear. Murry Toms from the Cheltenham Town Billboard campaign gives some reel advice (ok - we know that was a bad pun!):
“Keep it short, to the point, clear and concise. Don’t be scared of it. Your camera phone will suffice, in one take. Script your main points, make sure you hit your marks and your idea will sell itself.”
4 - Launch like a rocket! Some crowdfunders have a great party, others get large pledges lined up to showcase early support for their campaign - some go all out and do both! Sean Dagen Wood from Positive News UK says:
“A launch event is a great way to showcase your idea and generate excitement and potentially media around your crowdfunding campaign - get invites out early (this also warms people up to what is happening!), make sure your project has already got off to a great start - so the audience really gets excited and make sure you ask people to pledge - some projects have got fully funded at their launch event!”
5 - Email your way to crowdfunding success! Email is one of the oft-forgotten gems of crowdfunding - and it can really help boost pledges on a campaign. Sarah Bentley from Made In Hackney adds:
“Nobody likes a “Dear Sir” email! Target your emails to your different audiences, it’s really important that your message is suitable for the person reading the email - and it’s also important to name people to build that connection.”
6 - Be a social superstar! Facebook is one of the best platforms for generating pledges, Twitter is brilliant for generating awareness and LinkedIn is a great place to look for corporate support. Ben McCabe, editor of Output Magazine says:
“Through our #StopPress hashtag we managed to gain four and a half million impressions on Twitter during the three days that the campaign ran. Picking the right hashtags and targeting your messaging at people likely to be supportive of your campaign can go a long way."
7 - Warm Up! Just like exercise - we recommend doing some “warm up stretches” before launching your crowdfunding campaign! In this case, Illana Taub from Snact says it’s all about the planning and some more planning…
“Plan plan plan! Know who you’re going to promote to, how and when. Ask people to review your rewards and the campaign before posting it - whether it’s friends or people who’ve successfully crowdfunded before.”
8 - Be noisy! Ben McCabe from Output Magazine (famous for raising £10k to rescue their business in 24 hrs) says:
“Make noise – a lot of it. If you can, get your entire team rallying around the project and supporting it. Make use of your own social networks to spread the word as well as any group of online discussion relevant to the field that you’re operating in.”
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