Starting a crowdfunding campaign is a lot of work but fortunately, you don’t have to go into it completely blind. We have done several Kickstarter campaigns, each one more successful than the previous. There are some things that you can only learn through experience but if you have the right resources and tools to guide you it can make a world of difference.
In the second part of our series, we are going to look at some of the most helpful resources and tools we found during our successful Kickstarter campaign. If you missed our first blog post about how to launch a successful crowdfunding campaign, check it out here.
As you may know launching the Kickstarter campaign should be the last thing on your to-do list. Most successful campaign owners would suggest that you budget at least two months for pre-campaign efforts. The following are a few tools:
PRWeb: PRWeb allows you to create and optimize your press release on their website. They will then distribute your story to every major search engine and national news sites so you can gain more visibility and attract customers more quickly.
If you choose to use PRWeb, it will cost you $99 for a basic release or $250 for a customized service. However, we used the customized service and did not end up getting great coverage.
Publicize: Publicize employs former journalists and aims to be a more cost-effective PR solution for entrepreneurs. It is more costly than PRWeb, with prices ranging from $320-$800 per month.
We did not end up using Publicize but they seem to offer a great service. They do take up to eight weeks of preparation so keep this in mind should you decide to use them.
Test the Market: Pay for a $100-$200 SurveyMonkey survey. From here you can get valuable market intelligence, such as price, demographic, likes, and dislikes. Based on my experience, the information from SurveyMonkey is very useful and reliable to define your product offer.
Prefundia: Prefundia is a great platform that allows you to get feedback before your launch. It allows you to create a free project so you can build up your followers before your campaign begins.
Headtalker: Headtalker is a free platform that will connect to all of your current social media platforms. Once you create your Headtalker campaign, you can share your message will all of your followers. You need to have a solid number of supporters for it to work, though.
Wordpress: With Wordpress, you can easily create your own landing website with a blog. This is a great idea as people love to hear preliminary information.
Send project "sneak peeks" with visual content. For example, your preliminary product/project pictures like prototypes, sketches, FAQs, and giveaways.
Social Media: The highest performing channels are Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Each social channels are a great avenue to select and get on board project supporters.
For Facebook, create a dedicated page for the project and a public group related to the project. For example, if your product is a learning tool for kids, try to create a Facebook group about child learning techniques. Note, your family and friend’s likes do not really count!
Test your progress: You know you are ready when you have built up a substantial list of backers that can't wait for you to start the project. Don't mislead yourself; friends, family, and coworkers are not potential project followers!
You want to generate an email list with more than 1000 potential backers. Some successful Kickstarter projects we talked to had over 5,000 pre-backer email list before launching!
Backerclub: Backerclub is made up of a group of influential individuals who frequently back crowdfunding campaigns. When you sign up as a customer you pay $300 upfront and provide a special perk to motivate the Backerclub community. Backerclub then sends the green light to their community and you will receive an immediate response.
We received GREAT results from Backerclub. We suggest using it during the middle of your campaign when you need more fuel – and make sure you offer them a good perk!
Kicktraq: Once you launch your crowdfunding campaign, Kicktraq can help you predict the outcome of where your campaign will end up. Using their own algorithm, they can show you the exact figure your campaign is trending to. And the graph will be updated every time you receive a new pledge.
Alexa: Alexa is a verification tool for audience performance and it can be helpful for developing strategies to grow your traffic.
Crowdfunding is a change in paradigm and an exciting way to promote your products, secure funding, and create a community of people who are invested in your company’s success. A successful campaign requires a lot of work and energy but the results can be incredibly rewarding.
We'd love to hear your feedback and recommendations, leave a comment below.
This article is sponsored by Cloop, your magnetic cable keeper.
We are proud to have been successfully crowdfunded in 2016.
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