How to Successfully Crowdfund Your Idea

Crowdfunding can get your project off the ground, but only if you do your homework

Update: Since writing this post I consulted on a follow-up campaign for the Borley Rectory film, which reached its target in the first week of campaigning.

1 — Set your target amount low, and exceed it early

A high target can put some supporters off, especially at the start of the campaign, when it can seem too large a mountain to climb. Ideally, you want to reach over 30% of your target amount in the first few days of the campaign. That gives you a lot more chance to get promoted in the platforms, and creates a buzz of excitement around the campaign. You can always exceed your target, and that looks good too. The trick is to go as low as you can, while still being confident that the minimum amount you set is enough to keep your promises to the community, so keep this realistic, and be honest with your supporters.

2 — Communicate constantly and creatively

It’s not a Monty Python restaurant, so Spam is definitely not on the menu. What you need is to have a solid plan of how you will roll out relevant content across all your social media channels, engaging your existing supporters and encouraging them to bring new ones on board. Shareability is key, so think interesting visuals, video, multimedia, games, and text content that will intrigue and delight your community. Someone at Indiegogo once told me that “Crowdfunding is just another word for marketing, and a successful crowdfunding campaign demands around-the-clock promotion. In today’s technocracy, that translates to constant tweets, relentless Facebook status updates, email blasts up the wazoo, sleep strikes, the occasional hunger strike, and any other means by which to keep your project on the minds of your friends, family, and supporters”.

3 — Leverage influencers

Think long and hard about what the audience is for whatever you’re crowdfunding. When you have that picture firmly in your head, start thinking about the type of person that audience is likely to listen to, especially on social media. They might be celebrities, or simply trusted influencers in their field, but getting them on side is key to energising your campaign and giving it that extra reach and momentum. Do your research and find things about yourself and your campaign that would interest those people, and reach out to them proactively with any means at your disposal.

Technology writer for FastCo, Quartz, The Next Web, Ars Technica, Wired + more. Consultant specializing in VR #MixedReality and Strategic Communications

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store