So you want to launch a successful crowdsourcing campaign but don’t know where to start? The key my friend, lies with inspiring “the crowd.” Many people believe that the beauty of crowdsourcing is that one can simply post an idea on a crowdsourcing site and the money will appear over night! The reality is, potential investors need to be inspired to believe in your idea – and in you. Otherwise, they certainly won’t feel inspired to reach in their wallets and support your idea with their hard earned cash.
Here are three things you can do today to increase contributions from a wider audience than your parents.
When was the last time you were inspired by a text ad? Nothing “sells” like video. Videos are a compelling way to show your audience why you and your idea are worth their investment. Video is more engaging than text and it appeals to more of the senses. Video provides a platform for you to communicate about your idea in a conversational way, make a connection with your audience and build trust. People like to know the brains behind the ideas and the personal touch that a short video provides is priceless.
Keep it simple. It can be as easy as using your smart phone or digital camera to capture 30 seconds of footage. Take a moment to introduce yourself, your idea and why it’s going to be the most addictive app to hit the market. Or, stage an interview where a friend asks you about your app idea. Be creative. Be direct. Be whatever you want. The sky is the limit. Once you’ve got some post-worthy video, review the material and do a quick “gut check” by asking yourself the following questions:
1) Was the video interesting to listen to/watch?
2) Did the video explain how you plan to use the campaign funding?
3) Did the video explain your background and why you will actually succeed?
If you try to run a crowd-funding campaign by simply asking for money and offering little or nothing valuable in return, you are the king of wishful thinking. Few people will contribute cash simply out of the goodness of their heart, for the sake of doing a good deed or just because they are looking for something to support. Taking the approach of “if I post it, cash will come” will get you nowhere, and fast.
Investors expect something in return so inspire them with incentives. Offer something compelling, fun or interesting in exchange for their money.
Some easy and well-established sample reward ideas:
- Advanced or early access to the product before it’s available to mainstream audiences
- Enhanced editions of your product – think “director’s cut” or a dedication page
- Merchandise – printing t-shirts, stickers, ball caps are cheap, easy to make – and provide advertising for you
- Photos from behind the scenes – are there any pics of your design team at work? Something exclusive is always fun.
- Make your backers part of the product – is there potential to make your highest donor a character within your game? Can you integrate their name into the graphics or background of your app?
- Make it easy for would-be contributors that are cash-strapped. Always have a $10 and less reward.
The consistently effective rewards are the one that have a personal touch or are unique. The more creative the better. Choose your rewards based on your product and inspire the crowd to make your idea a reality.
People that like you will want to help you. Your personal network is your strongest tool and the most important one. Did you share your campaign on Facebook, twitter and Pinterest? Did you send a personal note (including your video!) to all of your friends, colleagues and contacts asking for their support? and asking them to ask their network for support? If not, you need to.
Consider writing a personal email asking your friends and fam to help your cause by 1) making a contribution to your campaign – it can be as small as $10! 2) “Liking” your campaign and sharing it on their online social networks 3) Tweeting about the cool new campaign they saw (include the url for easy sharing) – include all the ideas you can think of for spreading the word. If people don’t have the money to help, they can certainly help spread the word – for free.
A Last Word
These three steps will help you personalize your campaign and inspire backers to believe in your idea. Remember, the key is to inspire your audience and the best ways to do that are:
1) Showcase you and your idea with a short video
2) Offer cool rewards as a thank-you for your supporters’ generosity
3) Leverage your social network to spread the good word about your campaign
If you are considering a new campaign or want to give a previous campaign a second chance, get in touch with the appsplit team. There is nothing we want more than to see successful crowdfunding campaigns on appsplit so contact us if you want help getting started. We look forward to it. Have you tried any of these tips? Have tips of your own? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.