Photo: Beppe

 

Crowdfunding can be a daunting task – where do you start? What site should you use? Who should your target audience be? How do you achieve your goals without over-promising on what you can deliver? Fortunately, with a well-thought out plan, none of these questions should cause any concern in the long run. Choosing a reputable site and making sure it’s a good fit for you is the best start – that way you know you’re in good hands regardless of where you land.
Depending on the type of work your company does, your audience will vary drastically. If you’re in the technology sector, social media and tech sites will help greatly in finding people interested in your project. If you attend networking groups or regularly pass through crowded area like libraries or coffee shops, old-fashioned fliers still have an important place in the world – make something flashy and accessible, and you’ll find the inquiries start pouring in.

Photo: Jony Gayle

Photo: Dominic Torell

After deciding where you’re going to host your crowdfunding effort and how you’re going to spread the word, your best bet is to nail down a solid plan. Investors are going to want to want solid information and transparent campaigns, and they very rarely tolerant vague excuses or under-delivered goods. Be realistic with your goals – you don’t necesarrily need to “shoot for the moon” on your first attempt. Being honest and frank with any potential investors is the most important part of this process.
Once you’ve set everything up, the hard part kicks in – waiting for interested parties. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t immediately gain steam and blow your goals out of the water, there’s plenty of people out there looking for the right investment! Crowdfunding has raised more than 150% more in 2015 than in 2014, rising to $16.2 billion (with a B!) dollars. Businesses and small businesses accounted for over 40% of that total together, and they’re only expected to continue to grow.

Photo: MyEFunder

Photo: MyEFunder

If you’re thinking of pursuing this avenue of funding, you’re not alone – over 65% of small businesses have been looking at alternative sources of funding. In fact, crowdfunding has become so common and prevalent that states have had to enact new and unique legislation to account for the amount of money flowing around them. A great way to dip your feet into the entire process is to invest in someone else first – find a similar company or a business owner you’re familiar with, and contribute to their own campaign. You’ll gain valuable insight into the workings of the process, and may just get the push you need to get started. Check out the links below for some more useful articles on crowdfunding.

http://www.crowd101.com/crowdfunding-success-statistics-raise-money-online/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/lawtonursrey/2014/03/18/before-you-launch-your-crowdfunding-campaign-read-this/

 

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