The stats are clear. Globally, on average, 45% of crowd funding campaigns reach their target. That means that about half fall short, often receiving no funding at all. But how does a project creator use the lessons learned and go back for a second bite at the cherry to achieve their desired outcomes. Experience is a wonderful teacher and, used correctly, can lead to successful funding campaigns.
Whilst it may seem at the end of an unsuccessful campaign that you are left with an incomplete puzzle, these pieces (when used correctly) can form the basis of a bigger, more attractive master piece.
Firstly, there are those that have pledged support to your initial campaign. You have a database of people who you now know will support you, and believe in you and your project. These become your first port of call when you relist your campaign, as asking them to do it once again gives you a rolling start. All the energy you spent getting them on board can be quickly repaid by telling them that you now know where you went wrong initially, and how this new campaign represents a better approach to achieving your funding target.
To deliver on this promise, you need to revisit your initial campaign, repeating what worked, fixing what didn’t, and addressing areas you must improve on.
The first area to visit is the project itself. Ask people if they understood what it is you were aiming to fund (often we see pitches that don’t actually state what they are hoping to do with the funds raised). Ask people around you and those who have pledged if the project seems logical, achievable and sensible. You may even wish to put out a quick poll on social media to find this out (even asking if people would put their money towards such a campaign – those that say yes should also be amongst those that you initially target when your project goes live once again).
Then you need to visit the areas that drive people to pledge. Support will come if people understand the benefits that your project will deliver – have you explained these and really spelled out what these benefits are? Also, your rewards are a key inducement for people to pledge their support. What worked first time ‘round, and what rewards were largely ignored? Re-use the popular ones, and perhaps replace the ones that no one really wanted. Ideally, you should have 4 tiers of rewards, so make sure that you don’t have too many or too few. Don’t be shy to cater for those who want to “pledge big” (we see so many people who only offer rewards for low dollars amounts). Ensure you set the first tier as an entry level pledge, and then cater for the steps in between.
Improved media (photos and videos) always enhance your chances of success. Many who have not used a simple video (and simple will suffice) find that moving pictures help tell a story far better than text or a few photos. It allows you to show your personality and engage empathy from the crowd to not only your project, but to you as the project creator.
External links to your project more than double your chances of reaching your funding target. If you have 4 or more links on other sites or blogs, linking people back to your project page, you have a 104% greater chance to raise your funds. Find sites, blogs, and discussions on the topics best related to your project, and post your links there.
And make even more noise than your first attempt. Look at the level of activity you undertook to promote your previous campaign, and see what you could beef up given a second attempt. Could you perhaps make social media announcements more often (twice a day rather than twice a month)? Could you achieve greater reach by Googling topics related to your project, its outcome, or your audience, and post comments and send messages about your project? Could you start a blog, or tap into other blogs and post your comments there? Are there media opportunities in the local press or on local radio that you could pursue?
Crowd funding is one of the fastest growing forms of e-commerce on the planet today. Too many view it as a one-off activity, but it should be seen as a tool for you to use for regular funding of initiatives or stages of an ongoing program. Make crowd funding part of your regular funding activities – fund one part of a project, and then another. Engage your “crowd” and keep incentivising them to continue their involvement in your growth and success, as well as funding your aspirations.
When it comes to crowd funding, the old adage rings true – “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”.