Entrepreneurs worldwide realise crowdfunding helps in ways that traditional lending channels cannot.
One is that good ideas seen as too innovative by big financial firms, but realised for their brilliance by the population at large, can come to life.
The second is crowdfunding acts as a form of marketing. In the era of the attention economy, crowdfunding is a way to get your idea noticed in order to build momentum within a niche market in the tail of the long tail.
The third reason is bank lending practices are antiquated and with new forms of virtual capital and global issues needing hive mind solutions, the creative commons of the web (many times anonymous) is more powerful than traditional channels in changing the world.
Crowdfunding isn’t new by any means of the imagination but it’s here to stay and is only going to grow and be utilised by more of the population as business evolves in the era of the start-up economy. However, it’s not solely a tactic for new businesses either. Established startups and companies are using the practice as a way to inject new ideas into their product or to draw attention as enablers for small business. Some are using it as a new research and development pipeline.
Interested in going this route?
Here’s five things to consider to help you launch a successful crowdfunding campaign :
Prior to launch, assemble the right team. This should be made up of people in your network that want to be part of the cause. Good teams work like design thinking organisations by including a project manager, a marketer who understands coding and APIs; an administrator (to keep track of your funds), a creative director (to create your promotional assets) and a PR hack (preferably someone who understands the digital space and social sharing)
Produce the right promotional assets that will help promote your initiative. Much of this is now in the form of video. Use social-by-design, emotionally resonating story lines to attract an audience who will be more likely to share your cause because they feel it’s for a greater good or helps bring something to life that doesn’t yet exist.
Map out your strategy. Many people build things then wonder why no one knows about them. This is a communications issue. We don’t simply build anymore and hope people will discover our idea in an over-plugged world. We need to launch it with a distribution plan so others can help share how wonderful the idea is by voting with their dollars. Traditional forms of PR or advertising are useless here. How does one spread the message at a fast rate to the right audience? Think APIs to your benefit using the techie on the team while having the creative director and PR hack give it the storytelling hooks to resonate with the desired audience.
Start fast. Crowdfunding is all about attracting attention to your project quickly. If you’re slow out of the gate that’s a barometer for pivoting to try something new.
Never say die. Good ideas will ultimately be discovered and come to life. What are you waiting for?