More goes into a crowdfunding campaign than just a good idea- you need to have a full marketing plan in place and the resources to successfully execute this plan. However, even when you feel prepared and have all the resources you need, all it takes is one unforeseen obstacle to completely derail your plan. There are some obstacles that are unpredictable, but others are more common for crowdfunders to face. Be aware of them so you can be prepared if you run into them on your crowdfunding journey.
Typical Crowdfunding Obstacles
To some, a 30-45 day campaign sounds like a long time, but when you think about how much goes into that campaign, there really is not a lot of room for error. A delay in updates, a lack of press hits or not driving enough traffic to the campaign can all lead to less backers. To prevent these from occurring, you need to have a long enough pre-launch period. The length of your pre-launch can be very subjective and will depend on your needs and resources.
There are a number of things we like to see before launch in order to have confidence that it will be a successful campaign. First, you need to have an extensive email list that you can alert when your campaign goes live and update throughout the duration of the campaign. You also need to secure your press coverage during your pre-launch phase so that media outlets can distribute their coverage and reviews during the live campaign. If you wait until your campaign goes live to try to get press, you probably won’t get much attention before the campaign ends. We also advise that you have your updates and stretch goals planned out so that you don’t have to worry about them during the campaign.
Many times, creators turn to crowdfunding sites in order to bring their product to fruition because without the crowd’s support they don’t have the means to bring it to the market. Crowdfunding sites are a perfect place to start because they allow the creator to reach a massive audience that they may not have had access to before. However, one of the key components of a successful crowdfunding campaign is press coverage, which is hard to do as an unknown company. Pitching an unknown company without samples is even more difficult.
The first step you need to take is to have at least five working samples that you can send to journalists. Then, make a list of the top outlets that are the best fit for your company and product. Identify key journalists at these outlet to pitch to, and offer to send them samples.
For other outlets and journalists, do a virtual demonstration by recording an engaging video of you using the product and explaining what it is and what it’s made of. This is a great option to utilize because you can share it with journalists, share it on social media and put it on any forum without any extra cost. Whether you have samples or not, we highly recommend doing this.
More often than not, a crowdfunding campaign is run by a brand new company. With so many brand loyalists out there who would rather buy products from brands they know and trust, it can be difficult to gain that initial audience. The first step is to create an extensive online presence, complete with a website, landing page and social media accounts. The landing page is very important because it is a way for creators to collect email addresses and keep in touch with potential backers about the status of the campaign. The best way to direct traffic to your landing page is through Facebook ads promoting a product giveaway. The giveaway will drive your target audience to your landing page and incentivize them to leave their email addresses. Then, once you have their email address, you can reach out to them before and during the campaign.
A crowdfunding campaign is a very intricate process without a lot of room for error. You may not be able to predict all the obstacles that come your way, but if you plan for the predictable ones, the unpredictable ones will be easier to navigate.