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10 Essential Steps BEFORE Launching Your Crowdfunding Campaign

posted Oct 2, 2013, 10:02 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Oct 2, 2013, 10:14 AM ]

If you are serious about running a successful crowdfunding campaign on any platform you need to be prepared. Just like any other campaign, a crowdfunding campaign must be planned and executed carefully yet boldly. Decisions made here can make or break any campaign. This list doesn’t aim to be complete but rather to provide what I consider the most important things you need to get right before you are ready to launch your campaign.

  1. Set a Realistic Goal

    Before anything else you need to be clear about what you want to achieve with your crowdfunding campaign. Forget how much money you’d like to get from the crowd. How much money do you need and how much can you realistically raise? Statistics show that on any platform 80% of your campaign contributions will have come from your primary and secondary social network so consider that when coming up with that magic number.

    This means that only about 20% of your expected campaign contributions will come from strangers. Ask yourself a couple of honest questions before you set your goal. How many subscribers does your YouTube channel have? What about Facebook, Twitter & Co?

    Is your social network big and engaged enough to reach your goal?

    Can you pitch your idea to 25 or 25000 people? What about your family and friends? Will they support your campaign? Your social reach and your ability to actually get these social contacts to contribute to your campaign set the limit for your campaign goal.Set the Right Deadline

  2. OK, everyone wants the money now rather than later, I get that. 30 days may already seem very long when you’re thinking about your YouTube channel and making videos and getting excited. However, setting the right deadline is another common mistake that many campaigners make. If you have a large following and your goal is reasonable set your deadline to 30 days.

    If you have doubts that you can mobilize your social network and get them to contribute enough money in such a short time then set a longer deadline.

    Deadlines can be very stressful and add an unnecessary burden to campaigners. Running a subscription based crowdfunding campaign can be a great solution to this as it allows creators to set up a monthly recurring campaigns that supporters can subscribe to for as long as the like. One of the advantage of subscription based crowdfunding is that there is no deadline. A campaign goes and supporters get monthly perks in exchange for their support.

  3. Chose the Right Crowdfunding Type

    So you have chosen a goal, set the deadline and now you have to decide what type of crowdfunding to use. Do you need one-off or ongoing support for your production? Are you planning on producing content frequently? Do you need all the money to realize your project or will part of the monetary goal work too?

    - Fixed Funding: If your production requires a certain budget and you cannot do it with less than the set goa, chose this option. Fixed Funding means that if your goal is not reached, all contributions are cancelled and refunded.

    - Flexible Funding: If your project requires a certain amount of money to produce but you could do a scaled down version while still fulfilling your perks, use this option.

    - Subscription Funding: Subscription funding is different because, as the name suggests, supporters can subscribe to a campaign for a monthly fee and receive monthly perks in exchange.

    Build a Monthly Paying Subscriber Base

    A subscription crowdfunding campaign has no expiration date and cannot fail if the set goal is not reached. The goal set is simply to let people know your monthly budget and the great thing is that contributions are paid out immediately and not held like with fixed or flexible campaigns.

    This funding type allows you to build an off-YouTube paying subscriber base that you have full control over. With any type of crowdfunding you get full access to names and emails of your supporters. Instead of a one-off campaign you’ll receive ongoing, sustainable support for your YouTube production. No deadline means your subscriber base can be build up over time and add a valuable revenue stream to your channel.

  4. Write a Compelling Crowdfunding Pitch

    Before you start working on your pitch video, perks or anything else, write your pitch text, explain and illustrate your projects core value proposition.

    Your pitch is your first chance to win – or lose a supporter. Don’t wing it. Plan it and work it.

    Why should someone support you to make for content they can already get for free on YouTube?

    Many campaigns have launched with decent traffic and media exposure but ultimately failed because the project’s proposition and problem wasn’t communicated clearly.

    Unfortunately many Youtube users think that creators make tons of money from ads and it’s don’t understand the economics of launching a successful channel.

    - Do your supporters know how time consuming it is what you’re doing?

    - Do your supporters know how little money most creators make through Adsense?

    - Do your supporters know how much equipment and production can run up to?

    Your pitch is about you and your project, the more information you give your potential supporters the more opportunities you have to connect with them. Nobody wants to donate to a campaign that noone time and effort into and that doesn’t cover my questions? Be transparent and share your story and your challenges with your viewers , engage them and give them a reason to contribute their hard earned money to your campaign.

    Show your pitch to friends and family and then from people who don’t love you and get their feedback. See it what you are asking and planning makes sense and refine until it’s perfect.

    Do not rush your pitch, it’s a foundation of a successful crowdfunding campaign!

  5. Produce a Killer Pitch Video

    Your video pitch is your single most important tool to tell your story, engage users and turn viewers into supporters. Anything your pitch video is lacking the rest of your campaign cannot make up for.

    Why would anyone want to give you money if your pitch video doesn’t at least attempt to show the kind of quality you are aiming for? As a YouTuber the expectations towards your pitch videos are even higher than for other types of crowdfunding.

    Keep the content of your pitch video short, engaging and always be transparent.

    Show details about your workflow and behind the scenes footage works very well too. Speak directly to your audience telling them who you are, what you are doing, why you are crowdfunding, what you are using the money for.

    Think of your pitch video as auditioning to convert strangers into a supporters in 90 seconds. That’s how important it is and that’s how much time and thought you should put into it.

    1. Offer Cool Perks That People Want

      Most contributions are made for perks. If you have perks no one wants, you can have a great campaign and still fail. As a rule of thumb try to have great perks on the lower end between $1 and $5 as this is the range that most of your contributions will be in but also make sure to have some higher priced perks for die hard fans, friends and family. The highest possible perk amount on TubeStart is $2000 for one time and $150 for subscription perks.

    2. Organize Your Team

      Running a crowdfunding campaign is no walk in the park and you will need help. The more help the better, make sure you have someone updating your campaign at least once a day and to personally thank each and every one of your contributors by sending them a short thank you message.

    3. Properly Configure Your TubeStart Account

      TubeStart offers a number of easy ways to spread the word about your campaign. The more you can automate the more time you will save to spend on promoting your campaign. You can connect your Facebook and Twitter accounts to automatically post campaign updates as they happen on TubeStart. You can also invite friends from Facebook or through Email invitations to help spread the word.

      1. Invite Friends to Your TubeStart Campaign.

        Invite Friends to Your TubeStart Campaign

      2. Have Your Core Supporters on Standby to Contribute

        Campaigns that reach 30% of their funding goal within the first quarter of their campaign have a 90% higher chance of succeeding than those which don’t. As soon as your campaign goes life you must unleash your core supporters such as friends and extended family and get past the first 30% of your funding goal as quickly as possible. Make sure you talk to them beforehand and make sure they are going to give your campaign that initial push it needs before you can successfully pitch it to your extended circles and online networks. Have an email list ready to send out as soon as you launch and don’t be shy to follow up with them individually to put some pressure on.

        None wants to be the first on the dancefloor and crowdfunding is no different. Make sure your campaign gets contributions right after it launches to make it stand out appeal to the rest of your social circles.

      3. Read The Crowdfunding Bible

        If you are serious about crowdfunding you must read the freely available ebook “The Crowdfunding Bible” by Scott Steinberg. I am not getting anything to promote this book, there is no affiliate link and I haven’t even had the pleasure to meet Scott but his book is the best free ebook on crowdfunding out there and will arm you with the knowledge required to run a successful campaign.

      The most important thing you need before crowdfunding is the right mindset. If you’re not ready to put yourself out there, own and work your campaign then no preparation can drive it home.

      Thanks for reading and all the best with your campaign! As always please contact me (see contact info below) if you have any questions!

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