Five Steps to get More Supporters for your Startup Idea on a Crowd funding Platform

Five Steps to get More Supporters for your Startup Idea on a Crowd funding Platform

Piyush Jain, Co-founder & CEO, Impact Guru, 0

A startup evangelist Piyush is known for his strong investment banking, management consulting, emerging markets, multiindustry, trisector, startup and tech venture experience.

It is a great feeling when a breakthrough idea strikes and you successfully begin to build your start-up around it. However, the need to raise funds is a looming concern; but what if you don’t wish to offer an equity stake to angel investors or venture capitalists, right at the onset. Is there any alternative then? Absolutely; there is the option to raise funds through a rewards-based crowd-funding platform. What are tricks of the trade to get your startup idea funded on a crowd-funding site? Here are the key five steps that will help you take your startup idea to the next level through online fundraising.

1. Finalize your Product/Service Offering
To begin with, you should be absolutely clear about what is your product or service, which you will be selling to your supporters or potentials for funding your idea or startup. If your startup has created an innovative hardware based product, you could presell it at promotional prices. If your venture has created a software based product or a smartphone app, you could also presell a monthly or annual subscription or membership at heavily discounted prices. Alternately, you could give away branded swag like t-shirts mugs or similar merchandise to your supporters on the platform. You could also sell visibility and acknowledgments such as naming rights to a future product or a public mention of thanks on your website and social media for funds.

2. Tell a Story
You need to get your supporters sold on your vision by selling your startup idea with a compelling story. This is an art. Elon Musk’s Tesla is not just selling solar roofs, it is also selling you the idea of using renewable energy to reduce our carbon impact.
You need to think from supporter’s point of view and ultimately persuade them how your product or service will add value to them. This is the true purpose behind your product or service and the best way to communicate that is to create compelling multimedia content. Hire professional help if required. Often, the difference between success and failure of a crowd funding campaigns lies in the quality of your video content.

1. Start Strong
The first and the last day of your crowd-funding campaign are the most crucial days of your entire campaign. People tend to underestimate the power of social media and email. Research has shown that simply sharing your campaign on Facebook helps increase fund collection by over 350 percent. Email to friends, family and colleagues can often contribute to one third of fundraising success. Leverage the power of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, and emails to share your story with your network and beyond. Starting strong on the first day plays a pivotal part in setting the tone for the progression of your campaign.

Often, the difference between success and failure of a crowd funding campaign lies in the quality of your video content

2. Amplify Reach
Do not ignore the power of online marketing and public relations to amplify your reach beyond your known networks. Run a public relations campaign to maximize quality and quantity of coverage to get the word out. Supplement your publicrelations activities with paid online marketing activities on Google and Facebook to find new backers or supporters for your campaign.

3. Day-to-Day Campaign Management
There is no right or wrong way to reach out to your supporters. You need to keep learning as you go along. Check what’s working for you and what isn’t. Say, if public relations is helping you reach out to your audience, then you will clearly prioritize public relations activities over other efforts. But if WhatsApp messages are driving the results for you, then, that is the way to go. Monitor the output of your efforts and continuously refine your approach. Also, don’t forget to keep posting regular updates on achieving major milestones to update your backers.