Crowdfunding – The Five Basics

We are often approached to create, manage and service crowdfunding campaigns for our clients. Often, most people are unaware of the time involved to produce a successful campaign. In order to succeed, you must bring your A-game, as well as a nice budget to create something of merit to further advance your marketing efforts long after your crowdfunding campaign concludes.

How do you optimized for success? We identify five basic strategies to help you reach desired results.

1. Strategize Your A-Game

Besides the desire to raise money, the main focus of your crowdfunding campaign is to market your project effectively.  If your campaign is not properly strategized from beginning to end, your audience isn’t going to be interested or invest. “People don’t want to back a campaign that’s not going to work,” says writer and entrepreneur Seth Godin on his crowdfunding experiences, and you can’t use crowdfunding as a shortcut to avoid properly fleshing out your ideas.  It is important to strategize all the key elements to achieve a successful campaign.  Allow your passion to shine, be smart about what you are asking and what you can fulfill. Lastly, make sure that your elevator pitch is on-point ready to dazzle.

2. Strategic Social Media

Pick the social media platforms that best match your marketing strategies and where your potential supporters are most likely to discover you. Don’t forget to customize your promotion to suit each platform, too. Visual graphics for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other platforms respond well to perfectly curated designs that include: call to action, engaging hashtags, and the opportunity to allow supporters to share cool sh*t is always the goal. Checkout Exploding Kittens. They became the most successful gaming Kickstarter of all time, raising $8,782,571 from 219,382 backers.  They largely did this in part with a spot-on strategic social media campaign that everyone wanted their friends to experience.

3. Produce a Great Video

Video clips give visitors a better idea of your project and you. Invest in the time and resources to produce a video of quality.  A poorly made video isn’t going to convince anyone to get involved and support your project. You can do it on your own if you have the skills, but it t is usually well worth paying for help to make your video pitch the best it can be because of the investment it will attract. Seth Godin again, on the campaign he ran that reached its goal in three hours: “There’s something about the medium that makes the video even more important than you’d think.”  Be clear about your vision, your mission and give people the opportunity to support you.  Remember, this video will always be available to review online long after your crowdfunding campaign concludes.

4. Create a Website

You have probably read some of the most popular crowdfunding projects covered in the press, but this won’t happen if you don’t have a solid website, populated with pertinent information that is easily downloadable. Do not rely on your Facebook page alone.  Not everyone is a fan of Facebook and increasingly more people are segueing to Instagram and Twitter instead.  Use high-resolution images to illustrate your project and be sure to have clear content without typos or broken links. Consider having pages that provide Q&A, your history, who you are or who are your team members.  Keep your text short and clear.  Be sure that all your links work and be sure you have no typos or grammatical errors. Presentation is everything.

5. Communicate for Success

If possible, it is better to begin your marketing two to three months before you launch your crowdfunding campaign. You can begin to share your intent with friends and family.  Sharing your personal story will ultimately help you acquire feedback from your potential supporters. Allow the people closest to you to share your project with others. You will find that people will want to help you as much as possible and giving them every opportunity to do so without any pressure.  Once you launch, keep your backers and potential backers in the loop by posting regular updates on your crowdfunding page, and keep the process going after the campaign has ended: “With Star Citizen, the supporters started asking very early on if they could get T-Shirts, and a boxed edition of the game.  They wanted to pledge more to get in-game items.  We heard it all,” says Star Citizen, who successfully funded through IgnitionDeck and were able to add additional perks  according to feedback.  Keep your communication upbeat and positive.

6. What Are Your Rewards 

Everyone loves to received gifts, presents or fun perks.  Since Kickstarter and GoFundMe have been around for a while, checkout what others have given away as rewards.  Create rewards that you can afford to create, as well as fulfill.  Most people do not consider the costs involved to create a reward or the shipping costs needed to send to prospective supporters. The Sin City Gallery’s 12 Inches of Sin book series raised $28,552 after setting a $20,000 goal, with rewards ranging from $2 (for stickers) to $10,000 (for an incredibly cheeky reward).  T-shirts are always a fun reward to receive. They are literally walking billboards for your project.

As soon as the campaign is over and you have met your goals, it is imperative to ship rewards out immediately.  Whatever your rewards may be, be sure to be clever about your content and designs. Remember, your crowdfunding campaign will be accessible to all in the future.  Do it right!


These are just a few points to consider when embarking upon your crowdfunding adventure. We will share additional points in the future.

Be Art. Be True. Be You.


Leave a Reply