The key to raising crowdfunding finance is preparation. Don’t think you can just sit back and see the numbers grow!
Here I set out some of the strategies and tasks we’ve undertaken. When we make it to 100%, I’ll come back with the definitive roadmap to successful crowdfunding.
- Prepare a kick ass investor pack with slide deck, financials and business plan. You don’t want any hold ups when people come a knocking with questions.
- Create the mother of all mailing lists and segment away – personal contacts, previous colleagues, current members, previous members, business partners you’ve spoken with before, investors, angels etc. Build a mailing strategy. It’s laborious, it takes time, but it will pay off.
- Personally email your network – and I mean everyone. If they can’t invest themselves, they can share the love. Pin them down and discuss realistic deliverables.
- Use your member base – give them sneak peeks and special offers to get them on board early.
- Redesign your platform (blog, website), update your signature, set up an out of office, tailor your newsletter. Everything you are doing should be talking about your crowdfunding campaign.
- Hire a PR company and get the brand name out there, in trade mags and consumer press.
- Make a video. It doesn’t have to be fancy; we did ours in a day in Vincent’s apartment. People love videos (your friends in particular will have a good old giggle at you strutting your stuff) and are more likely to watch them than read through truckloads of stats, data and facts.
- Get some pictures taken (if budgets allow). Again, visual content is engaging and gives a professional look to your business.
- Leverage your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is a super resource for professionals. Build your company page, but make sure that each team-member is also creating a buzz on their pages. LinkedIn groups are also a great way to build awareness. Select a number of groups which work for you and contact the group manager to see if they will feature you on their manager’s choice page. People are happy to support entrepreneurial endeavours.
- Keep emailing. Every milestone. Every target reached. Every new business relationship. Email your network. Keep Sian’s Plan on their minds. All the time.
- Do the legwork before. We’ve been attending pitches with Angel Networks and VC firms for the last six months. We know what we’re talking about. We’re putting our best foot forward. This confidence means wonders when the crowd comes calling. Likewise, once the traction builds on your campaign, get back in touch with these players and offer them a spot in the crowd. People are sheep! 🙂
- Call up every press contact you have. Pitch to professional publications. Tweet. Facebook. Google Plus. It’s hard work, but trending trending trending is important.
- Write for third party blogs like this!
- Above all, have fun and be passionate. People love excitement. It’s infectious. And fortuitous.