9 Tips for Running A Successful Crowdfunding Campaign

If you’re thinking about turning to crowdfunding to raise money for your project, you may have questions about where to start and what you can do to ensure that your campaign is a success. Earlier this month, we sat in on a crowdfunding panel at VidCon to glean some advice from experts. Check out their tips after the jump.

Sites like Indiegogo and Kickstarter have helped people raise money to get all sorts of passion projects off the ground, from books to art collections, films, web series, video games, cool tech products and more. But if you’re thinking about turning to crowdfunding to raise money for your project, you may have questions about where to start and what you can do to ensure that your campaign is a success.

Earlier this month, we sat in on a crowdfunding panel at VidCon to glean some advice from experts, including Corey Vidal, who raised over $200,000 on Indigogo earlier this year for his film Vlogumentary, Jenni Powell of Pemberly Digital, who helped with crowdfunding campaigns for The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and Welcome to Sandition, and Indigogo’s Gaming Vertical Lead John Vaskis.

We’ve broken down what these experts had to say into a list of nine tips, which we hope will help you in your own crowdfunding endeavors!

1. Be genuine in your pitch

One of the biggest questions that people thinking about launching crowdfunding campaigns ask is “how do I keep from sounding desperate?” Asking people for money is scary and a lot of people shy away from it for fear of sounding like beggars.

So how do you keep from sounding like your begging? Let your passion shine through! Vidal points out the fact that when you are raising money through crowdsourcing, it’s different for asking for money for something like a car payment or a new toy you really want. You are asking for money to bring a passion project to life – presumably something that won’t only be fulfilling for you, but will also be fulfilling to those who donate and believe in you, your product or your vision. When raising money for Vlogumentary, he made it clear that “I really want to make this film for us. I really believe in it.”

It’s important to remember that you aren’t forcing anybody to donate. People will donate because they believe in you and want your project to succeed as much as you do. Vaskis says, “Be genuine in your pitch.” If you are genuine and your passion shines though, potential backers will be more likely to hop on the bandwagon.

2. Tap your super fan base to help spread the word

Before you take your campaign public and start promoting it everywhere, it helps to pad it with some donations to give it legitimacy. If potential backers see that others have already donated, it helps build trust.

This is where your super fans come in. Share your campaign privately first with a base of fans, friends and family that already know and trust you. They’ll get the donations ball rolling so others will be more likely to hop on board. As Vidal says, “It validates the campaign by the time the public gets it.”

3. Keep your backers in the loop

Have you ever given money to a crowdfunding campaign only to have it fade into oblivion? The date a product you backed was supposed to be completed passes without a word? You have no idea when you can expect the perk you were promised? It stinks, and it’s definitely not something you want to do to your own backers.

Vaskis says, “Update the crowd as often as you can. Even after the campaign’s over, you still want to be actively talking to your fans.” They’re more than your fans – they’re your investors and they deserve to be kept in the loop when it comes to the product they’ve invested in. Vidal recommends sending out an exclusive newsletter to anyone who donates.

4. Factor in hidden costs when setting goals

When setting a goal for your campaign, you may have to take more into consideration than just how much money is needed to complete your project. There’s the cut that the crowdfunding platform will take, the cost to produce and deliver perks and, even once you’ve taken those things into consideration there still may be hidden costs you hadn’t thought of.