Crowdfunding for beginners

How to Crowdfund

Many people are caught up with crowdfunding without realizing how much work has to go into a managing crowdfunding campaign.  Here are 10 key elements to think about before jumping into your campaign.

1. What crowdfunding site are you going to use and why?

There are multiple crowdfunding sites available with many different objectives.   So, prior to starting a campaign the first step you need to identify is your objective and purpose for the campaign.  This is similar to a mission statement for a business and should be given as much consideration as developing a mission statement.

After you've determined what your objective is for crowdfunding, you'll want to match the crowdfunding site to your objective.  There are a number of different types of crowdfunding sites available each suited to a different purpose.  

A key distinction in crowdfunding is whether you are looking to accept donations or whether you are looking to give away equity in your company in return for the funding.

A KEY TIP is to always take the free money before giving away pieces of your company.   Still, that doesn't always work for some types of campaigns; and, be very careful with how you define free.

In looking at crowdfunding sites that accept donations, the top two crowdfunding sites for creativity and donations are www.kickstarter.com and www.indiegogo.com.  These two crowdfunding sites have dominated the areana since crowdfunding began and have brought in billions of dollars in donations for projects on both sites.  

A KEY TIP for Crowdfunding on these sites is to understand how first time viewers search for and find your crowdfunding campaign.  With that being said, on www.kickstarter.com, new viewers from the city of Santa Maria, California are first shown staff projects, then projects from Santa Maria and then popular projects on www.kickstarter.com.  It is clear that there are many, many more people from Los Angeles, that will view your campaign if your campaign is based out of Los Angeles on www.kickstarter.com.  So, if you're running your campaign on www.kickstarter.com take advantage of the geographical search features and run your campaign from a very populous city.

On the other hand, www.indiegogo.com does not have a geographical preference for first time viewers of the site.  Instead, foremost it lists what is trending now on the site.  The lack of geographical preference is both an advantage and a disadvantage to the site.

Be sure to follow me for my next post as a I go through the next KEY ELEMENT for running a successful crowdfunding site, to make or not to make a video for your crowdfunding campaign, followed by what to pledge and the cost of running the campaign.