Launching a crowdfunding campaign isn’t easy. There are a lot of pieces to put in place, and it’s normal to have a lot of questions. Every creator has their first campaign.
So why pave new roads when you can build on the successes and failures of the hundreds of entrepreneurs who’ve gone before you?
We’ve gathered together five of the best pieces of advice from our podcast interviews.
1. Jonathan Habshush — CEO and Co-Founder of HEAVYS
“It doesn’t matter how much you sell. It matters how you sell and how effective you sell.”
How you sell your project can make or break your campaign. It’s one of the reasons Enventys Partners and other crowdfunding agencies emphasize how important it is to have high-quality assets like lifestyle pictures and videos.
Some creators choose to shoot their own assets, but we recommend hiring a professional. Pictures and videos are your chance to make a first impression. They are the first part of your campaign page that backers lay eyes on.
Want your campaign to be effective? Focus on your market research. Market research is essential to learning your audience, gaining campaign insights and preparing for your launch. It doesn’t make sense to market a product geared towards men to a group of retired women. While products might have buyers from a variety of groups, knowing who the target audience is will help you create effective messaging.
Your campaign page is where you show your potential backers your vision! Your idea is only as good as the messaging and assets on your Kickstarter or Indiegogo page. If you can’t communicate it, you can’t sell it.
Focus on the why: Why would your customer need your product? Why should they back your project? Incorporate the answers to these questions in your campaign.
2. Victor Chor — Founder of InfinaCore and Creator of P4
“Be prepared on all fronts. It’s going to hit you hard.”
Crowdfunding isn’t linear. Every campaign looks different and has different challenges.
You and your team need to be prepared. Whether you’re working independently or with an agency, make sure your entire team is on the same page and prepared for anything.
Before launching your campaign, be sure you’ve thought everything through. Have conversations with manufacturers and fulfillment partners early. Understand what it will take to get your product into your backers’ hands. While you don’t have to have all the answers before launch, it’s important to have started asking the right questions.
The more you know about what it will actually take to bring your product to life, the more you’ll be able to leverage your campaign’s success.
Ask for it.
3. Derek Tillotson — Founder of Haven Safari and CEO of Haven Tents
“ If you meet a challenge, it’s so easy just to go the other way, and you gain so much more by meeting it head-on, skilling up to conquer the challenge rather than trying to work around it.”
There’s no one way to crowdfund an idea. Some campaign creators start with an idea and hire experts to create and manage the campaign. Others learn the skills to run most of the process themselves.
Derek’s approach could be right for you if you want to save some money. But it doesn’t guarantee success.
These days, there are multiple courses online that could help you learn the skills you need to prepare your campaign or idea yourself.
Crowdfunding $1 million doesn’t happen for most creators. But your campaign can see success with the right tools.
4. Steve Krengel — Co-Founder of Yowel
“I mean, work with [a company], but you want to also be involved in the process. If you can speed up your iterations by doing your own CAD work or even some of the marketing work, I mean, whatever you can do to move that process along, that’s what I would recommend.”
Some creators like to be very involved in the campaign project, and others tend to take a hands-off approach.
What’s the most important thing you can do to help your campaign?
Be active! Whether that’s coming to an agency prepared with prototypes, design concepts, and market research or being active with the backers on your campaign, involvement is key.
Actively engage with your backers, and promote personable content that shows who and what your brand is.
Backers and potential backers don’t care about bot-generated social media posts. Instead, they want to know the why behind your story and want to see your vision come to life.
If you don’t believe in your project, others won’t either. Believing in your product and communicating that passion is infectious.
5. Ken Frei — Co-Founder of HellaRoller
“I would say to get it in front of people. I think we’re programmed as humans to be afraid of failure. It’s just a total natural thing to feel, and afraid of getting difficult feedback. … I try to remind myself to get this in front of people and learn, and when I fail, because that’s certainly going to happen, to not take it so personally or feel like that’s the end, but it’s just a learning lesson that I can take and improve things.”
Don’t be afraid to fail.
In fact, you will fail. So fail fast, fail quickly and fail forward.
Every failure is a step closer to success. You don’t want failure when you’re working on a campaign that matters to you, but even a failed campaign doesn’t have to be a total failure.
It is a way to see what works and doesn’t work.
What went wrong? How can you use what worked on the campaign and turn it into an even better, successful campaign?
As an entrepreneur, you learn failure is typical, and success is possible.
What ideas are you ready to launch?
Art of the Kickstart is honored to be sponsored by ProductHype, the leading crowdfunding newsletter. Publishing weekly, ProductHype showcases five of the best, most innovative and exciting crowdfunding projects in an absurdly unique way. Their audience of more than 300,000 crowdfunding fans regularly back featured products and eagerly awaits the newsletter to learn about the new ideas that creators are bringing to market. Learn more about having your project featured in ProductHype, or join the HypeSquad today!