Preparation Work - Pre-Crowdfunding Campaign
Why Pre-Crowdfunding Planning Is Important
The idea behind crowdfunding is to fund an idea or project through the power of a crowd. This includes finding backers or supporters to donate or give toward completing your project. To fully maximize the effectiveness of your crowdfunding campaign, it is important to build your reach, setup your goals, and establish your project placement first. This lets you find your fit in the crowd and identify your targeted backers well before the launch of your campaign. A strong start equals a strong finish.
Pre-crowdfunding is one of the most important parts of your campaign. A strong start with strategic planning gets your project off to the best start possible. Also, once funds start coming in, more backers are likely to jump on-board and support your campaign. This also jump-starts your potential for highlighting with "best project" statuses on blogs, top crowdfunding project lists, and other authority websites.
On the other hand, it is much harder get restarted if you lose ground at the start of a crowdfunding project. Don't make that mistake. Trying to gain momentum halfway through a project or... near the end of it is a nightmare while trying to meet your basic funding goals. Most projects which surpass their funding goals do so early on with a strong start.
The consequence of failing at funding a crowdfunding project should be avoided whenever possible. At that point, its like old news. Everyone has already seen the campaign fail the first time and competitors might already be trying to capitalize on your same idea or a similar one but doing it better! These terrible scenarios can usually be avoided with proper planning.
Laying The Groundwork Before Your Campaign Launches
What Is My Campaign Funding Goal?
Setting a realistic funding goal is important to be able to reach it.
Set The Funding Goal
Take info account your expenses, backer reach, market depth, funding deadline, and other factors.
When Am I Launching The Project?
Launch timing is everything. Great timing increases chances of success.
Other similar project launches, time of year, societal trends, new product releases, and the economic climate.
Who Are My Targeted Backers?
Identifying and locating your targeted audience and backers is important.
Strategically Market To The Right Audience
Create personas and think like a backer. What would draw you into backing a crowdfunding campaign?
Strategic Planning: Funding Goals
Setting your funding goal is one of the strategic planning steps in the pre-crowdfunding campaign phase. Crowdfunding can be about making money. It is a great way to start a brand, establish a business, generate demand (without even having the products yet), etc. These are all true facts. However, you also need to identify how much you need to fund your project and only cover your expenses.
Many crowdfunding campaign creators get stuck trying to ask for too much at the start. It is better to set a lower funding goal which will meet your needs with mid to long range stretch goals for increased funding potential. This will set you up for successfully reaching the lower funding goals.
What if you have a giant project planned?
Keep in mind you can always break a great idea into smaller pieces. This might look like releasing "Your Crowdfunding Campaign Part 2" after part one is already funded and has a backer following. The point is to keep it manageable, reasonable, and sustainable. A good funding strategy will help your crowdfunding project be successful.
Expenses Versus Needs Versus Wants
Crowdfunding Budget Expenses
Keep track of what you are factoring into your crowdfunding campaign budget. These include expenses, needs, and wants. Expenses are the costs you are spending for your campaign including cost of making your widgets (if its a product), transportation, shipping, packaging, etc. These costs are not really flexible and are set or static. Plan this number out with a estimated model of a price per backer and add at least 5%. This is a good buffer to have for unforeseen expenses.
Crowdfunding Budget Needs
Needs are the costs you incur during the campaign which are more flexible. These costs depend on your actions and can include things like your time spent on the project (if you are paying yourself a fee or salary), crowdfunding marketing or consulting fees, paid ad budgets, other agency fees, fulfillment services (in case you don't want to package and ship rewards yourself). Factor these out before a campaign starts, but keep in mind what you can afford to cut if needed.
Crowdfunding Budget Wants
Wants are the most flexible optional costs in the crowdfunding budget. These are the add-ons which are nice-to-haves.
Crowdfunding Project Timing
The timing of your crowdfunding campaign launch is important.
You must know, study, and understand your target audience for your crowdfunding project. You may find it helpful to create backer personas or avatars which represent your target backers. These personas answer the five W's and How: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How. These details include who they are, what they do, what they are interested in, when they do it, where they are, what problems they have, how they will find you, and what your crowdfunding project will do for them. This includes asking the right questions.
Ask Backer Targeting Questions
Why should they care about your crowdfunding project? Can they become emotionally invested in your product or idea? Will they want to share the project with their friends? Where are they online? How will you reach them? Are the reward tiers or project benefits valuable and worthwhile?