Great, now that I’ve got your attention with that heading (I can see why pop-up ads succumb to using that line), let me tell you about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge! JOKES!
Whilst the Ice Bucket Challenge raises money for the greater good, this week’s post is about raising money for you. Although it doesn’t come easy, funding your brilliant idea and bringing it to life has been made a lot easier thanks to a combination of risk-takers, the internet and social media.
Crowdfunding in its simplest form is the ‘act of raising small amounts of money from many people’. Throw in a pinch of internet, a dash of social media, and a tonne of people with spare cash and what do you get? Online crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo that will have raised a projected $4.35 BILLION by the end of 2015. In short, you get money.
A great infographic on crowdfunding statistics is available here.
How it works
Different platforms have different restrictions and guidelines but at the most basic level, there are two main entities involved (adopted from the Kickstarter model):
- Creators – musicians, filmmakers, artists, and designers who share their idea through text, images and videos
- Backers – people who put their money into a project they believe or support in, or simply find awesome.
Backers’ money –> channeled –> covering Creators’ costs and expenditures. In return, Backers are promised some sort of reward based on their contribution. And whatever Creators save through over-projected costs can be –> channeled –> covering a First Class airfare and a fancy bottle of wine for their next meeting.
There are some flaws with regards to hidden costs, feasibility and tax consequences, but despite this, crowdfunding has seen the same upward trend as the ice bucket challenge in recent years.
Some projects manifest ingenious ideas and are extremely successful,
some campaigns come extremely close but don’t make the cut
…and then there are these
I’m sure a lot of you would have skimmed through the first half of my post because you already know what crowdfunding is. However, mastering the art of squeezing money out of a crowd does require a closer read.
There are two parts to any crowdfunding attempt:
- the creation – the actual product/project
- the marketing – how you build awareness and attract funding
You’re on your own for the first half of the concoction, but I’ve created a delicious recipe for the marketing side of things.
Creamy Crowdfunding Cookies
Social Media Batter
- Countless Friends
- 1-2 Videos
- 5 Photos
- 1 Heart
- 1 Cup Coffee
- Gummy Bears
First, a couple months before launching your campaign, mix Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to create a foundation of awareness and understanding of what you are working on. This will make sure that your project stands out from the crowd during launch on one of the crowdfunding platforms. Beat this social media batter with posts and content to keep the crowd updated and don’t forget to include links to the campaign throughout. To help with the consistency, throw in countless friends to spread the word on all 3 social media ingredients.
Just before baking (ie before the campaign has been launched on Kickstarter for example (I’m really trying here, so work with me)) line the tray with one or two short, concise and to-the-point videos that highlight the benefit to the consumer. For that extra flavour, sprinkle some photos of your product prototype to instill some faith and trust in potential backers. Finally, pour your heart into the mix because people generate support for products that get personal and connect with the creator.
You’ll also need some coffee to stay active with backers, customers, media, donors, investors, and others who demonstrate interest in your…delicious…cookies.
And some gummy bears to sweeten the deal of course..
- What cool campaigns have you seen on a crowdfunding platform?
- What else is important in the brand-me-and-my-idea process of crowdfunding?
- Do you like gummy bears?