In 2016 crowdfunding is an entrepreneurial pillar, offering the chance to present your ideas to customers before it hits the shelves. Raising money is no longer as simple as finding a venture capitalist and selling a dream. Investments are increasingly hard to garner and this is only more true with the difficulties our exit from the European Union presents. Wallets are pressed and releasing funds is no longer so easy. The most important parts of a successful crowdfunding campaign cost nothing.
The key to a successful crowdfunding campaign is having a narrative. A story that sets you apart from the countless other pages on Kickstarter or Seedrs will help immensely. Brewdog IPA recently raised record amounts of funds and building the first crowdfunded brewery. This was accomplished through the cultivation of an image told through videos and branding. They have over 40,000 investors and are quickly becoming a staple in bars and pubs across the world. There can be little doubt of their achievements. Studying successful campaigns such as this will help develop ideas about how to pitch your product. There are case studies available on Kickstarter!
Your USP will be useful in gaining media attention. Consider why your product is newsworthy. What gap in the market are you filling and why should people care? Reach out to journalists and bloggers and gain some of those valuable pixels in your favour. This ties into social media strategy and the two elements feed off each other. Followers and likes are king in today’s world and can increase your reach exponentially. Engage with your social media fans and encourage them to click the holy buttons. Apps such as Buffer or Grum allow you to schedule posts and maintain a consistent presence on feeds around the world. Let a sense of personality seep through and followers will enjoy your presence far more. This could be through office snaps or Friday night sign off posts. Remember that social media is not an advertising board and churning out product pictures daily is a quick way to turn people off.
Set yourself apart from the market that you wish to enter. This doesn’t mean situate yourself in opposition to the brands but carve your own, unique, space. Your identity is paramount and is the only thing potential investors have to go on without a product. Brewdog achieved this riding, and fuelling, the wave of craft beer popularity. The counter-culture vibe that emanates from their videos is not accidental and showing the dichotomy creates a psychological response. Get to know your target market and work out what makes them tick. Work this information into your campaign, target it to the right people and set your ideas loose! Allow yourself to be open and desirable, give your customers something they can relate to, and you’ll be well on the way to success.