Published on November 19th, 2012 | by Chris Blundell0
Crowd Funding: How To Not Suck
The amount of crowdfunding campaigns coming out at the moment, I felt compelled to write about my experience of it, how to avoid basic mistakes and also how to stop people hating you while running a crowdfunding campaign.
- It wont go viral. No, it won’t. Do not under any circumstances think that you will go viral. Like, at all. This is the first mistake everyone makes. It won’t go viral. It will take a shedload of convincing people that your project is worthy and that you’re working hard for it.
- Make a great video. Your video needs to be short, quality (not just a webcam) and to the point. If you can’t put together a simple video, how will people trust you to handle thousands of their money?
- Is your project just an idea or is it a well thought out plan? Some people put out campaigns far too early, before they had even realised their idea fully. Sort out all of the nitty gritty of your campaign, pass it round to others, get feedback, tweak. There isn’t room for low quality any more.
- Don’t ask for too much. Yeah it would be wonderful to get £50,000 for two people to spend 6 months makimg a game/movie/book. Do you think other people will believe that’s what you need?
- Why should people care? There are so many Kickstarter and IndieGoGo campaigns, why would people pledge to yours? Dont assume that because people like videogames that they’ll donate to your game, or because people buy Elvis songs that they would crowdfund a documentary on him.
- Spamming is worthless, conversation is gold. If you want people to listen to you, speak to them about something they’re interested in first, before trying to sell them something. I get asked for Twitter Retweets for crowdfunding campaigns from people who don’t even follow me. Show effort, speak to people first.
- Ask people for money: AFTER you’ve spoken to people, ask if they would take a look at your campaign, ask for feedback. If they seem positive about it, straight up (politely) ask them if they’d like to donate to it. If they can’t/won’t, thats fine, thank them for taking the time to look at it anyway.
- Speak to new people. I started off in March with 300 followers, by the end of the campaign for The Hit Squad I had 1300 followers, I had tweeted over 7,000 tweets. I spent around 10 hours per day on Twitter speaking to new people. D’you know what? It actually made things more enjoyable.
- Speak to press, but dont rely on them. Getting press coverage is awesome, but to be fair, they’re inundated with crowdfunding campaigns every day, they can’t include them all. Yours is unlikely to make the cut, press/blogs help raise awareness, but you have to complete the sale.
- Read EVERYTHING you can on crowdfunding. There are tons of articles full of great crowdfunding advice, Kickstarter and IndieGoGo usually run really good ones on their own sites. Read them all and take it in!
- The most important thing about crowdfunding is the people you meet. During The Hit Squad’s crowdfunding, I made friends, colleagues, enemies and more. This has lead to freelance work, friendships outside of Twitter, game buddies and people who would stick up for me if I were to ever be arrested for throwing a dead body out a hotel window.
- It wont go viral. Seriously. Stop thinking that it will.