10 Steps to Crowd Funding Your Dream

Crowd funding your dream is not a complicated process, but it does require some prep work on your part. CrowdFundingDream.com is a great platform for you to raise money for your project, but you can't expect to throw up a project and instantly get funded. You'll have to promote your project in every way possible to ensure you get enough people interested in what you have to offer.  

These 10 steps will help get you started in the right direction. Don't worry, if you need help promoting your dream project, we offer promotion packages specifically designed to raise awareness of your project and to drive visitors to your project page. But observing these 10 steps is still the best way to get started.  

1. Build a Prototype or sample. People want to see what it is you are expecting to do, to sell, or to produce. Satisfy their curiosity and show a demonstration. If it's a physical product, build a prototype. If it's a digital product, show an artistic rendition of the finished design, report, book, DVD cover, etc. Give people a real look and feel of whatever it is you want to accomplish.

2. Build your project page. This is of prime importance. You'll need to design a project page that not only clearly defines what you want to do, but that also encourages people to participate. Check out projects similar to yours that have been successful and observe how their project page is constructed. Your project page is point of contact with potential supporters, so design it so it fits the type of audience you want to attract. Use plenty of images and add at least one video. The one thing your project page has to do is to sell the viewer on your idea.  Get feedback from others once you've completed it to make sure it does it's job and does it well.

3. Include at least one video. Crowd funding campaigns that use short videos under 3 minutes in length are 50 per cent more successful than those that do not. A digital camera or smartphone will do just fine.  Slideshow style videos or animated videos also work well. Follow the "Problem - Solution - Living the Solution" formula.  State and show the major problem your project solves.  Get agreement from the viewer that it is indeed an insurmountable problem. Next, show how your project solves that problem.  If possible, show whatever your project is or does in action. Demonstrate it any way you can.  Finally, show someone who is using whatever your project offers and as a result, has solved the problem. This lets your viewer see the results that they too can get if they support you.  If you do a convincing job with your video, your support level will be high.

4. Offer valuable, enticing rewards. Offer rewards as incentives to get people to contribute to your project. If it's practical and not cost-prohibitive, offer the final product or a version of it as a reward for contributing. Think of your rewards as products people could buy in an online store.  Give them value for their money.  You can raise money for a project easily if you offer good rewards. Include at least 3 reward levels, including a $25-level reward because that price point is the one selected by contributors most often. The maximum single-pledge reward is $2000.

5. Set up your PayPal account. To receive funding you will have to have a PayPal business or premium account. If you don't already have one, set one up, associate a bank account with your PayPal account, and verify your bank information.  This can be done immediately if you have online banking and know your banking credentials, otherwise PayPal will make a small deposit in your checking account that you will have to verify which can take several days.  Do this in advance of your project start date.

6. Contact everyone you know.  Your family and friends will often form the base of your crowd funding effort.  Contact each of them and get them involved as early as possible. A few weeks before you plan to go live send an e-mail to your extended network of family and friends telling them about your upcoming project, explaining what crowd funding is, and preparing them for launch day. Many of them will already have social network accounts set up on Facebook, Tumblr, LinkedIn and Twitter. Prepare some posts they can send out on launch day.

If you know any influencers,
peak their interest and get them involved in your project.

Prepare some personalized email messages to each of your family and friends and send them the morning of your project launch date. People respond to a personalized e-mail more often than to a mass distribution email. Try to get your family and friends to contribute the first 20 to 30 per cent of your goal, and ask them to do it within the first few days of your campaign. Statistically speaking, the general public begin contributing to crowd funding projects after that first 20 to 30% has been reached. Since they do not yet know you, they feel more comfortable supporting a project that others are seen to be supporting first.

7. Build a list of media outlets. Find relevant media outlets to your project from both online and offline sources.  I'm talking about local magazines, newspapers and radio stations.  Include online sources such as Facebook Groups and Pages, LinkedIn Groups, niche-specific blogs and YouTube channels. Make a spreadsheet with the name of the media outlet, the type of content they use and their media contact information. Keep on adding to your list as you find new sources.

8. Promote your project. Write an "elevator pitch" about your project that introduces yourself, what you're doing, and why it's important and valuable. Personalize each email or letter to the specific person and publication you are contacting. Include something you like about them, their work, their web site or Facebook page, etc. and why you find it valuable. Keep your messages short with a link to our project page or prior to project launch to a YouTube video or to your web site or other virtual property. Start reaching out a few weeks before you plan to launch your project and then follow up once it is live. Only a few of those you contact will respond, but you don't need many.  You'll find some movers and shakers this way and just one can take your project over your goal amount.

9. Continue to promote your project. If you have done your prep work correctly, you should get an initial burst of activity when your launch date arrives.  You'll want to ride the surge and keep up the momentum. Stay engaged and involved. Answer any emails or calls you get about your project and always ask if they know anyone else that might be interested.  If so, ask them to contact those people themselves. Send frequent updates to your supporters to keep them engaged. Updates are notifications that are sent to your contributors, or anyone who has elected to “follow” your campaign to keep them up to date on your progress.  Send progress updates, images, and copies of recent press coverage. Projects that send out more than 30 updates raise 400 per cent more funding than those with five updates or less.

10. Invest in promoting your project.  Before you launch your project, you should have a good idea of whether you can raise the initial 20 to 30% base you need from family and friends. If not you might want to consider a more aggressive public promotion campaign. After your project launches, you should be able to see within the first 10 to 14 days whether it's on track to reach it's funding level or not. Again, if you anticipate less support than you need, consider additional promotion methods.

We offer several promotion packages specifically designed to help you raise the level of support you need. Visit our Promote Your Project page for more information.

Summary

Follow these 10 steps and you'll have the best opportunity to succeed in raising the money you need through CrowdFundingDream.com  If you need help with any of this information, contact us at here. Crowd funding is a great way to get your dream funded as long as you do your part. Follow these steps and get the results you want.