Black_BookThe final step is to create a pitch. The video is critical as you have a short period of time to capture someone’s attention.  Keep it high level and if there is a compelling angle, use it. As we saw in last week’s blog,  the success of the G3Box campaign came from tying fundraising for a maternity ward to Mother’s Day and crafting rewards that leveraged compassion for mothers.

We have talked about the need for planning and for preparation.  There has been a lot of hype over the years around some super or, dare I say, uber-successful campaigns like the Pebble Watch and the Coolest Cooler. These are OUTLIERS, both raising over $10 million. You need to be realistic in your targets and try to pre-sell or pre-raise at least 30% of your target before launch.

Ignorance is Not a Defense

When you are using that video clip, photo, or music, remember that if it is not your original creation, you need to find out how to use it without infringing on the creator’s rights. In some cases, the item may be free to use, but you need to find out by reading the permission or licensing agreement.

The consequence of not reading agreements can be a nasty fine or a cease and desist and both can disrupt your campaign. Traklight’s resource page has a listing of free creative resources to start with; just remember to read how to use others’ creations safely.

Rewards Pitfalls

Crafting the rewards for your campaign can be really fun but be careful if you do not set caps on the number of certain types of items you're giving out.  For example, if the reward is an autograph or a video, make sure you are not overcommitted to signing or creating should a lot of people want them!

The potential fulfillment issues are worth mentioning again.  We caution against taking a percentage of the raise if the full target amount is needed to honor your rewards. It sounds simple but has been overlooked before and you do not want to have angry backers!

In summary, there are three tips for crowdfunding that can actually be extended to all fundraising:

  • Find your Crowd

There is nothing worse that talking or pitching to someone who has no interest in your product or company. It’s a waste of their time and yours.  Fundraising is like sales - you have to prequalify your leads and decide if you are in the right room.  Pick your platform based on your unique needs, not based on where the last biggest success occurred.

  • Prepare, prepare, prepare

Crowdfunding success, like all fundraising, is hard work. It does not happen overnight and you need to plan and prepare for launch as well as each stage of the campaign. Once you launch, you must maintain momentum and constantly be on top of all communication.

  • Read, Read, Read

Whether it’s your licensing agreement, employee or contractor agreement, or the terms associated with using others’ property, please take the time to read and understand all contracts.  When in doubt seek professional help.

Interested in learning more? Check out our webinar with Early Growth Financial Services.


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