October 7, 2013

Why do Crowdfunding Campaigns Fail?

Tenacity: Backbone of the Entrepreneur RachaelAlford.com

Without looking into the specifics of the crowdfunding campaign, I can only provide some insight as to why a crowdfunding campaign has no backers.

For me, crowdfunding is the most satisfying way to raise money, but it takes tenacity to pull off a successful crowdfunding campaign.

1. Plan.  In order to be successful at any fundraising attempt, there are layers of pre-planning that must be completed. Even though you decide at 3:00 AM that you need to fund your grand idea –Don’t submit a crowdfunding campaign before you have planned out the entire campaign from setting goals to fulfilling rewards. Successful crowdfunding campaigns take months of preparation.

2. Learn about how the crowdfunding platform that you have chosen works. Create a complete profile. Pay specific attention to how any sharing features pull the campaign content. For example, when working with the Funder Hut™ platform, use this quick sheet to plan

3. Provide value. What are you providing to the backers as an incentive to support your campaign? The reward valuation needs to be considered carefully. Unless it is a nonprofit crowdfunding campaign, would you donate $10 for a Twitter shout out? Me neither.

4. Show and tell. People process information differently. So be sure to accommodate everyone by including video, images and inforgraphics along with narrative text for the project. Visuals of the rewards should also be included. Do you spend money without seeing what you are receiving?

5. Exude gratuity. Be thankful and excited that others are sharing in your vision. The biggest turn-off for backers is an air of entitlement. You may think your project is the best thing since sliced bread, and it very well may be. But you don’t want to alienate potential backers and possibly future customers.

6. Build the crowd. Many people come to me with innovative ideas and projects but cannot effectively market to the crowd because they have not considered their target customer in their crowdfunding marketing plan. Get out of the mindset that “if you build it, they will come.” Less than 10% of crowdfunding campaigns are found by people browsing the crowdfunding platform.

7. Learn to promote. Don’t rely on the crowdfunding platform for promotion of your campaign. Many platforms highlight or feature only popular campaigns. Don’t be scared to ask for money! If you don’t have the confidence in your project, why should a potential backer? Be authentic and share your dream. Don’t hire someone to help you get likes, follows, etc. these tactics don’t work.

8. Go offline. Host events, live demos, street teams, gamify, make calls, etc. Don’t isolate your efforts exclusively online. Even bootstrapping entrepreneurs can come up with promotional activities that don’t involve spending boatloads of cash. Be creative and engage your community.

**This is a question that I get a lot so I thought it would be a great question to begin the new Mailbag Mondays blog series. ~Rachael 

Got a question? Send an email to Rachael@RachaelAlford.com  Due to the volume of email received, your question is not guaranteed to be answered and featured here on the blog.

If you need help creating or planning your crowdfunding campaign, Rachael Alford Consulting Services offers interactive workshops, campaign plan or page critique, full campaign management and commission based options.

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